Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 889
1a) Vanuatu daily news digest | 8 November 2013
Many readers of the Vanuatu Daily News Digest will be saddened to learn of the death this morning of Jean Sese, formerly long-time director of the Prime Minister’s Office, a senior civil servant and one of the best ambassadors for the values which are truly ni-Vanuatu in the 21st century.
Jean Sese was a former Director of Foreign Affairs, former
Director-General of the Ministry of the Prime Minister, and former Director-General of Foreign Affairs. At he time of his death he was a Technical Adviser to the Prime Minister.
Jean Sese had recently suffered from a stroke. Yesterday he died of a heart attack which was reported by all media.
Messages of condolence to Cabinet Secretary Nadine Alatoa
(email@example.com) will certainly be passed to Sese’s wife Marilyne.
1b) Free West Papua’ launches PNG office
By Online Editor
4:35 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Papua New Guinea
The Free West Papua campaign PNG chapter office was launched Wednesday by international campaigner Benny Wenda.
This entity based in Port Moresby will coordinate and centralise the awareness and advocacy efforts in Papua New Guinea on the West Papuan issue.
The core objective is towards creating and educating Papua New Guineans on the plight of the Melanesian people in West Papua under the oppressive Indonesia colonial rule.
“We have a voice but our voice has been silent for more than 50 years. The Papuan issue is a regional issue and we call on our brothers and sisters in PNG to work with us hand in hand,” said Wenda.
According to Patrick Kaiku, an academic at the University of Papua New Guinea, many Papua New Guineans are still illiterate on West Papuan issues and even its location.
Following the launching of the office, Wenda with other West Papuan independence advocates will initiate a series of activities to mobilise Papua New Guinea grassroots and national political support to free West Papua from continued colonial subjugation.
He said the Free West Papuan campaign recognised that Papua New Guinea is the official battleground in the liberation of West Papua and has called upon Papua New Guineans to help in their fight for the right to self determination.
“We are one land, one culture, one people, and one ancestor. We are one people and we cannot do this without PNG,” said Wenda.
Ken Mondia, the director for NGO Partners with Melanesia, is challenging the government of Papua New Guinea to stop dealing with international issues and start looking to help their brothers and sisters who are separated from them only by a political border.
Benny Wenda has travelled the world on the campaign for Free West Papua and countries in Europe, Africa and other Melanesian islands such as Vanuatu and Solomon Islands have recognised the campaign and have set up offices…
Meanwhile, tears flowed freely Wednesday as West Papuan delegates sang their national anthem at the Word Council of Churches 10th Assembly in Busan, South Korea.
It was a powerful statement from a people who have called or more than 50 years for recognition from churches around the world.
The anthem was led by Reverend Albert Yuku, moderator of the Gereja Kristen Injili Di Tanah Papua (Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua).
Surrounded by Pacific youth delegates and the leaders of 11 regional churches, the Papuans – some in their traditional skirts and headdress – broke into song, bringing tears to the audience.
“We are so thankful for this opportunity to sing the anthem of the Papuan people,” Rev Yuku said after the performance.
“Our brothers and sisters from the Pacific have allowed us a space at this assembly in a way that was never done before. This is the church in action, the church in unity.
“We are so encouraged that there are people who care about the Papuan struggle for self-determination and hope this support will continue.”
The audience was taken completely by surprise when the Pacific Oikoumene Youth Group which was performing a Samoan slap dance suddenly parted and allowed the Papuans to take centre stage and sing.
A Papuan woman in the audience wept openly and the singers embraced tearfully after the performance.
Recognised by the Papuan parliament in 1961, the anthem Oh, my land Papua was banned along with the Morning Star flag when Indonesia annexed the former Dutch colony in January 1962.
The anthem and flag have since become symbols of the struggle for self-determination.
Rev Yuku said the West Papuan delegation hoped to influence the World Council of Churches to support the inclusion of the Indonesian-controlled territory on the United Nations list for decolonization.
A petition seeking this and calling for an end to arbitrary killings of West Papuan dissidents by Indonesian security forces has been signed by Pacific church leaders and will be submitted to the WCC today.
The churches hope the petition will form part of the WCC closing statement Friday .
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PCC/PACNEWS
2a) Alleged Papuan separatist killed in clash with Indonesian military
By Online Editor
4:33 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Indonesia
An alleged member of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), an outlawed militant separatist organization, was shot dead by soldiers in Papua’s Puncak Jaya province on Monday morning.
“One member of the armed group was shot and a firearm was confiscated,” Major General Christian Zebua, the top Indonesian military (TNI) officer in Papua, told the Jakarta Globe.
Kiwo Telenggen, the alleged OPM member, was shot in front of the Mulia district offices and died instantly.
He had arrived there earlier in the day along with two unnamed companions to a take a civil service test, but suspicious local residents reported them to military authorities, upon which the men fired shots at nearby soldiers and fled, according to Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Cmr. Sulistyo Pujo Hartono.
At the time of the incident, First Lieutenant Yuni and a detachment of TNI soldiers were headed to a Bank Papua branch on Jalan Ampera, near the district offices. According to Sulistyo, Yuni realized his ATM card was missing and drove off to look for it with the other soldiers still in the vehicle.
Kiwo allegedly opened fire on the car but did not hit anyone. The soldiers returned fire and killed him, Sulistyo said.
Soldiers found a military issued pistol on his person that had been sized by separatists in 2012, according to police.
Kiwo is an alleged member of the armed wing of the OPM, under the command of Goliat Tabuni, who is thought to have organized other recent attacks against TNI soldiers. The OPM usually operates out of Yambi.
Kiwo’s body was taken to Mulia hospital.
SOURCE: JAKARTA GLOBE/PACNEWS
2b) Corruption has taken root in PNG society
By Online Editor
4:40 pm GMT+12, 08/11/2013, Papua New Guinea
Corruption has taken root in every society of the country and greater awareness about the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) bill is needed, a researcher says.
Papua New Guinea’s Acting director of the National Research Institute (NRI) Dr Charles Yala, speaking at a forum organised to raise awareness about the bill, described corruption as a termite.
“Termites are small creatures, but when they team up and concentrate on biting the same tree, they can make a giant tree eventually collapse,’’ he said.
He said the only way to treat termites was to prevent them from starting their nest at the first place.
“In other words, every little corruptive action counts in little things and this have become reality in PNG.
“Therefore, the ICAC bill should be focused on education first and foremost, before investigation, prosecution and imposing penalties,” Dr Yala said.
He said the ICAC should not be a witch-hunt organisation.
Under the leadership of the good governance program, the institute decided to organise the forum with the intent to keep public momentum and discussion on the draft ICAC bill.
“While the public consultations have taken place, stakeholders must continue to raise issues before parliament debates the bill and continue to monitor its implementation,” Dr Yala said.
Director of the Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker said there were number of limited capacity of resources in terms of human and financial resources in order for ICAC to be effective.
“We need the capacity to address this issue in PNG.
“In PNG, law and order is listed as the first and corruption the second that really needs be given more attention,” Barker said.
The National Research Institute (NRI) held an interactive forum on the proposed Independent Com-mission Against Corruption (ICAC) Bill in Port Moresby Thursdaybefore it is tabled in Parliament next week.
The Ombudsman Commission, being a stakeholder and team member of the forum, commented and
agreed on the proposed establishment of ICAC, emphasising what roles and functions the ICAC should have.
Chief Ombudsman Rigo Lua said the Ombudsman Commission agreed that the purposes of the establishment of ICAC were to conduct independent investigations, to prosecute major or high profile crimes, and to raise awareness through education and prevention.
Ombudsman, John Nero said in order for the ICAC to be effective, it should operate independently without interference from any other body or person.
“We will have to cut out unnecessary political interference in this institution,” Nero said.
“It is about time we scrape out the involvement of politicians and invite members from independent bodies such as TIPNG and church organisations to ensure a better system or processes is in place to curb corruption in PNG.”
Nero also said there should be sharing of information between ICAC and other government agencies.
“ICAC will not work if such agencies like OC itself, police, the office of Public Prosecutors, to name a few, are not doing their work, it all comes to networking as well.
“The integrity system of this country must function well in order for ICAC to establish,” Nero said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
3) PNG Treasurer Denies Signing For Super Highway Loan
Polye says public should not be mislead by speculation
By Malum Nalu
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 6, 2013) – Treasurer Don Polye says he has not signed any loan documents for the K800 million [US$301.4 million] Lae-Nadzab super highway despite what Works Minister Francis Awesa and his department are saying.
He said he had only budgeted K160 million [US$60.3 million] in the 2014 budget for this particular project.
The Works Department, in September, signed a contract with China Railway International for work to begin on the four-lane Lae-Nadzab super highway, with the bulk of funding said to come from a Chinese Exim Bank loan.
The project has already sparked controversy, especially on funding, which Polye said was mere “speculations” by the Opposition and members of the public.
“This year, I’ve budgeted about K160 million for the Lae-Nadzab road,” he told reporters.
“That is the fact. The rest you hear are not true. For instance, the Lae-Nadazab road that has caused a wave of concern throughout the population.
“I haven’t signed any loan contracts so I don’t know where all this information is coming from. The Treasury signs loans. I haven’t signed any.” When told that Awesa was the one talking about the K800 million, Polye said: “Works Minister will always say it, other ministers will always say it.
“Of course, ministers have a duty to come up with their programmes and say how much it’s going to cost us.
“Just because that’s how much you need, doesn’t mean that you’re going to get all this.
“Ministers can say these are the areas of concern and we need so much money to fix it, but like I told you, it has to go through this fiscal discipline process.”
Polye said the public should not be mislead by speculations.
A Transport Department spokesman said yesterday the bulk of funds for the Lae-Nadzab project would be provided by the Exim Bank.
He said the Government expected to borrow K6 billion [US$2.3 billion] from the Chinese bank and some of that money would be used to supplement funds provided in the budget for the project.
He added the Lae-Nadzab road was an important initiative of the O’Neill Government and Awesa was committed to ensuring that it was fully funded and implemented.
The National: www.thenational.com.pg/
4a) Proposed new land laws cannot be rushed, says Vanuatu PM Carcasses
By Online Editor
12:57 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Vanuatu
Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses has said the new land laws being drafted by the government cannot go before the end of year sessions of the Vanuatu parliament, which are due to start later this month.
Speaking to journalists in answer to questions regarding the proposed laws, Carcasses said the intended new land legislations cannot be rushed; the drafts must first go through the process with the Departmental Committee of Officials (DCO) and the Council of Ministers.
He said he was aware of concerns from sections of the community, especially the chiefs of Efate, that public consultations were not held with the people of Efate and its offshore islands to get their views on the proposed land laws.
The Vaturisu council of chiefs of Efate and offshore islands and the South East Efate Area Council of Chiefs have both expressed concern about the four proposed laws being “rushed”. They have appealed to the Minister of Lands, Ralph Regenvanu who is pushing for the laws to be passed during this month’s session of parliament, to delay the process until Efate people have the opportunity to be consulted about the laws first.
The South East Efate Area Council of Chiefs for the villages of Eratap, Erakor, Pango, Ifira, Tenuku and Mele resolved, at their recent meeting, to hold a peaceful demonstration to petition the prime minister to delay the laws, thereby preventing them from entering the coming session of the Vanuatu parliament.
Carcasses told journalists at last Friday’s press conference he was willing to receive genuine concerns from the chiefs in writing. He said because of such concerns it was important not to rush the legislation through parliament.
Lands Minister Regenvanu explained during the recent land law summit in Port Vila that the proposed land laws, including amendments to the country’s constitution, would give more powers to the chiefs and the people’s nakamals and nasaras in matters concerning land and land dispute resolutions.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS
4b) Vanuatu daily news digest | 8 November 2013
a) Foreign Affairs Minister Natapei’s news – that The Brussels Embassy will be audited is encouraging. Beijing is also likely to be so examined we were told in VBTC News, and that embassy has also been of immense concern. In the one place we have an often visiting Asian diplomat untruthful about where he spent his childhood who decides the embassy needs refurbishing even though it has no money. In the other it seems we cannot work out who of our friends lent us vehicles we couldn’t afford which we urgently needed, so we sell them.
Our overseas people are excessive in travel matters. A public concern group which calls itself JAWS has recorded 26 trips for one person in Brussels between there and Vila in one year. For an embassy which has no money and needs to borrow – even a rich one – this is a lot of trips. And furthermore, one wonders why the ambassador in Brussels, when the embassy needed re-furbishing, didn’t go to the Cody / Mondragon Group with which he’d arranged to set the embassy up a decade before. This Group’s Stefan Mandel is now clearly in favour as an agent to bring in lots of investing retirees from China. He’s clearly
someone expecting to arrange big deals as the 2001 Ombudsman report on Mondragon makes quite clear. All his friends presently in government or the administration get a mention. This is the story of his fulfilling his plans for a Free Trade Zone on Santo. You should be able to see the report through paclii.org
b) George Andrews of the so-called Commercial Diplomacy Task Force, of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC), which invented the PR Program, says the outfit called VRS which does all the work in bringing in the Asian investors is not subject to VFSC regulation because it’s a Hong Kong company. But yet Post Editor Royson Willie points out to Andrews that VRS Vanuatu Limited is on Andrew’s own registry. Presumably the interesting accounting only takes place in Hong Kong. And Mr Mandel also gets a look-in in Andrew’s letter. Mandel, too, might like to re-read the Mondragon Ombudsman report.
The good news was the handing over of the francophone extension to USP academic services by Ambassador Xie Bohua of the People’s Republic of China. The Vanuatu Government requested China to undertake the work needed to expand the “second chance” programme at USP for francophones who had been unable to realize their their academic ambitions. A degree course in French for francophone teachers is hoped to be started with the 2014 academic year. The complex will be opened by the King of Tonga on graduation day next month.
c) The Port Vila polling date is now set for January 7th. This is the election at which each voter will have two ballots, one for the general seats and one for the seats for the reserved list for women candidates. Presently the only woman councillor is Councillor Jenny Tasale. That there is a separate reserved list for women does not prevent voting for women in the general list as well.
d) Daily Post began re-printing much of Maurice Frater’s “Midst Volcanic Fires” chapter on the terrible eruption of Benbow volcano on Ambrym in 1913. The centenary is being marked in various ways. As your editor is working his way through the various accounts of the horrendous event, it appears there was not as much loss of life recorded as he expected. The memoir called “Isles of Illusion”, turned into a film here some time ago, also makes reference to the eruption.
bobmakin | November 8, 2013 at 10:43 am
5) Fiji President assures Melanesian settlers of equal rights for all
By Online Editor
10:01 am GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Fiji
Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau visited the Melanesian community of Marata Village, Wailoku Wednesday with messages of hope and assurance.
Ratu Epeli said after his recent visit to the Solomon Islands, he placed it on his agenda to visit Fijians of Solomon Islands descent.
“I did go to the Solomons and met the Fiji community that were there and also met some of your relatives who were there,” Ratu Epeli said.
“So I have come here because I have wanted to meet you, you are part of the Fiji community; there is no two ways about that. We are all in this together and we will move from here together.”
Ratu Epeli reiterated the rights of all Fijians under the new Constitution to the members of the community urged the people to familiarize themselves with the laws.
“The Constitution states your status as Fijians and citizens. No one is left out and considered as outcasts and I want you to remember this that we are all counted as one.
“Whatever rights I have as a citizen, you have the same rights, no difference and I just want to make that clear to everybody,” Ratu Epeli added.
Ratu Epeli also placed emphasis on the need for parents to invest in the education of their children to reach great heights.
The members of the community were given the chance by His Excellency to air their grievances and were assured of Government’s commitment in addressing all issues.
Wailoku settlement spokesperson, Jo Lovanua conveyed the community’s appreciation on the President’s first ever visit to the people and elders of the community.
Ratu Epeli was accompanied by Fiji’s non – resident High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, Romanu Tikotikoca and Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji, Patterson Oti to two Melanesian communities; Wailoku and Kalekana settlements.
6) Villagers Urged To Purchase Fishing Licenses In Fiji
Fish sold without license will be confiscated: officer
By Serafina Silaitoga
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 6, 2013) – Villagers in Fiji who depend on the sea for income have been urged to get a fishing licence to avoid confiscation of their catches.
The plea by divisional fisheries officer North Joji Vakawaletabua follows concerns raised by villagers in Cakaudrove that their catch of crabs and fish they were selling at Savusavu Market last week was confiscated by Fisheries Department officers.
Mr. Vakawaletabua said the confiscation was a result of those selling the fish not having any fishing licences.
“The Fisheries Act is clear and it states that anyone wanting to sell fish or any sea provisions at the market or gain income benefits from such sale will have to obtain a fishing licence,” he said.
“And if anyone breaches that, we are empowered to confiscate the catch and sell it from our office and the income goes to government. The undersized crabs are put back into their homes if they are still alive.
“The fishing licence is only FJ$6.50 [US$3.52] and despite taking our licensing services to the villages and districts early this year, only a few turned up.”
Mr. Vakawaletabua said his officers travelled to villages in the North to issue licences and conduct awareness of the importance of such licences.
“Despite our visits to the villages and districts, only a handful came to register and buy their fishing licences.
“And we had made it clear to the villagers that they would need fishing licenses if they are to sell fish, crabs or any seafood at the market.
“We can’t allow those without licences to sell while those with licences paid FJ$6.50 for a licence to sell at the market.”
With the Christmas season approaching, crabs are already in season and Mr. Vakawaletabua has asked those who love to sell crabs during Christmas to acquire a licence.
“It is only FJ$6.50 and they can visit our offices to get one. It is much safer and better too for them because we will continue our inspection,” Mr. Vakawaletabua said.
Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.
7a) i’s Constitution founded on the vision and values of the military: PM Bainimarama
By Online Editor
4:39 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Fiji
Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama Thursday says the Pacific nation’s newest constitution is founded on the vision and values of the military.
Speaking at a military pass out parade at the Force Training Group in Suva, Commodore Bainimarama says the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) has intensified its roles to the nation since 2006.
“The RFMF has provided the Vision and the Will to move reforms, eradicate corruption, rebuild and reshape our Nation.
“I am proud to say that today’s parade is unique as you are the first recruits to pass out under the new Fijian Constitution that was assented by His Excellency the President in September this year.
The 2013 Fijian Constitution enshrines principles and values that gives voice to our collective aspirations and guarantees political and social rights for individuals. This Constitution was founded on the Vision and Values of the RFMF to chart our nation into peace, prosperity, united under a common identity and equal citizenry and a Better Fiji for All,” Commodore Bainimarama told the new recruits.
As the country prepares to return democratic election, Commodore Bainimarama says he was pleased that more than half of the population have already registered to vote.
“As you are all aware, next year we will hold the first genuine democratic election in Fiji’s history of one person, one vote, one value based on this new Constitution. It is pleasing to see that more than half of our population have already registered electronically to vote,” he explained.
Commodore Bainimarama also emphasised the need for the soldiers not to be swayed by external pressures.
“Do not allow yourselves to be easily manipulated by external pressures and influences around you.
As Territorial Force soldiers, be just, be firm and steadfast. In trying times that we are facing in our country, the RFMF plays a vital role in maintaining law and order in internal security situation. There are many obstacles in our path, and your enlistment into the RFMF today, is of great assistance to our cause. We must sacrifice for our future and those of our children, as we all deserve a better Fiji.
Let me, therefore, remind you that greatness in the RFMF is not measured in your years of service or the rank you attain, but will be measured by the sacrifice one is willing to make for the good of our nation. As members of the RFMF, it is your duty to keep the oath of allegiance which you have affirmed to uphold at all times,” the Commodore reiterated.
He also highlighted that the RFMF has just answered another call of the global community to serve as UN Peacekeepers.
“You may have well been updated that the RFMF had already deployed more than 500 troops since July this year for peacekeeping duties to the Golan Heights. They are there as part of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) to maintain the ceasefire between the Israeli and Syrian forces and to supervise the implementation of the disengagement agreement.
Our soldiers are putting their lives on the line on the other side of the world. Not waging war but keeping the peace, ensuring the safety of others. I will not be surprised to see some of you here today being called up for peacekeeping duties in the not too distant future,” Commodore said.
He said after today, most of the new recruits will be posted to the Territorial Force Brigade where they will be expected to assist the Regular Force soldiers in carrying out any RFMF tasking locally and abroad.
“Remember you are now part of a service renowned all over the world for its gallantry servicemen and women who have graced the battlefields of the past World Wars and Peacekeeping Operations in volatile areas of the world.
Put your months of endurance and pain into practice and go forth to uphold the high ideals forged through the years by your predecessors. It is not so much an occupation, but rather a calling to serve your country with dignity, pride and at heart,” Bainimarama said.
7b)Bougainville Piksa i kamapim planti wari
Updated 10 November 2013, 19:04 AEST
Igat askim olsem oli no ken soim piksa em oli kolim Mr PIP long Bougainville na tu long bikples Papua New Guinea.
Despla askim ibin kam long tripla yangpla pipal blong Bougainville husat i skul long ol University hia long Melbourne.
Despla tripla yangpla sumatin em iet long alberta, alex na justin na oli bin mekim despla toktok bihaen long oli bin lukim wanpla piksa oa film em oli kolim Mr PIP.
Despla piksa i bihaenim stori blong wanpla buk em oli kolim Mr Pip na emi stori long sidaon na laif blong ol pipal long Bougainville long taem blong crisis oa trabal emi bin kamap sampla yia igo pinis.
Sampla hap long despla stori ibin soim pasin we sampla foljia blong PNG ibin reipim ol mama long Bougainville na kukim ol haus..so mi iet mi bin wari tumas long despla.
Despla trabal ibin kamap bihaenim ol kros namel long Rio Tinto emi bin ronim Panguna copper mine, ol papa graon na gavman blong Papua New Guinea.
Planti tausan pipal blong Bougainville iet na tu long bikpla PNG ibin dai long despla fait.
Tasol despla stori blong Mr Pip i lukluk tu long ol heve em wanpla yangpla meri em nem blong en Matilda ibin bungim na tu bikpla laik blong en long ridim ol buk.RADIO AUSTRALIA
7c) La Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée au centre de Brisbane
Posté à 7 November 2013, 8:25 AEST
À 140 dollars le couvert, le fleuron du secteur privé de l’État australien du Queensland s’est déplacé en masse pour un déjeuner en compagnie du Premier ministre papou, Peter O’Neill dans le très chic Hilton de Brisbane.
Le Premier ministre de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, Peter O’Neill à Brisbane. (Credit: ABC)
L’évènement s’est déroulé la semaine dernière et je vous en propose les grandes lignes. La croissance économique de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée se situe toujours entre 6 et 8% par an et si le pays n’envisage pas dans l’immédiat la création d’un marché commun avec l’Australie, Peter O’Neill, propose autre chose : « De toute évidence, le développement économique du nord de l’Australie ouvre des opportunités uniques pour renforcer les relations entre les deux pays et nous devrions considérer la possibilité d’établir une zone économique entre le nord de l’Australie et la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. »
Cette zone économique, a-t-il précisé, pourrait être alimenté par un énorme projet hydroélectrique sur le fleuve Purari.
Sa source part de la région centre des Hauts Plateaux et le fleuve parcourt 470 kilomètres jusqu’à son embouchure dans le Golfe de Papouasie.
Ce vaste projet hydroélectrique fait l’objet de discussions depuis les années 80 et M. O’Neill veut que ces discussions deviennent une réalité : « Notre gouvernement a décidé d’aller de l’avant avec cet important projet. Nous voulons qu’il se réalise. Nous voulons que le nord du Queensland et le nord de l’Australie deviennent nos partenaires dans ce développement.
Dès la phase 1, le projet hydroélectrique de Purari pourra fournir 2 500 mégawatts d’une énergie abordable et fiable sans émissions de carbone. A plein rendement, le projet pourra tripler ou quadrupler cette capacité.
Le grand avantage du projet Purari est que les forts débits du fleuve sont constants et que la sécheresse n’est pas un facteur. Ce qui signifie que ce projet peut fournir une énergie propre, fiable et bon marché en abondance er respectueuse de l’environnement. »
2 500 mégawatts qui pourraient alimenter en électricité des localités du Nord-Queensland.RADIO AUSTRALIA
8a) omons National Hospital’s Emergency Ward In Crisis
Inadequate ventilation putting patients, staff at risk
By Ednal Palmer
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 7, 2013) – A vital ward of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in the Solomon Islands is facing closure if the Ministry of Health (MoH) continues to ignore their ‘emergency’ need.
The Accident and Emergency Department is a ward that cares for all referral and emergency cases throughout the country before admission to the wards if needed, or discharged with medicines.
A source from the hospital said the ward’s air conditioning was dysfunctional for some time now and poor ventilation has put patients and health workers at greater risk.
“That particular ward was designed without proper ventilation and the safety of the environment depends entirely on air conditioning,” the source said.
He said since the air condition was defunct, numerous letters and emails were furnished to responsible authorities to fix the problem.
“All those requests were never acted upon because they said there is no money.”
The source said the infection control group this week met to discuss steps to take amidst failure to address the problem.
The infection control unit of NRH recommended that the Emergency department close until issues mentioned are sorted out.
“They agreed that the MoH accounts purchase new air-conditions. They already got the quotations of the air-cons and fans yesterday. However the big question is how soon they will be purchased?”
The source said if authorities fail to act urgently, “then we as workers have no choice but to walk off from the department for our own health safety.”
“We are risking our health. It’s a health hazard for workers and patients.
“The place is crowded with the sick everyday and with no proper ventilation, it is not safe.
The emergency ward is an essential department and the face of the hospital.
The source said the better the management did for the patients at the department, the better the out-come on patients’ recoveries.
“However, the current poor ventilation within the department has posed a great health hazard to the Nurses and Doctors.
“Poor ventilation is due to the fact that the architectural design of the department was designed for air condition only. There are no windows for free air ventilation in and out.
The source said three air condition machines at the sub-acute are not functioning which leaves the area with hot air.
“The odors of diarrhea patients and other sick patients have circulated within the working area.
He said the health risks faced by health workers and patients include getting respiratory problems.
“The droplets that sick patients cough out can be transmitted to a health worker.
“Diseases that can be transmitted through droplets are: Pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB) Flu Hospital Acquired Pneumonia – Chest infection acquired in the Hospital.
“It has mix pathogens which is fetal if untreated. Tonsillitis – Infected Tonsils Pharyngitis – Throat Infection/ sore throat which so far, three nurses contracted TB and currently on treatment. “Most of the workers experience hoarseness of voices, sore throat and flu every day when and after working hours.
“Workers who have TB infections will have scar in their lungs for their life time after treatment and they are having risks of having chest infections or other chronic lung diseases.”
He said all sick patients and their guardians have equal risks as workers.
The Emergency department keeps patients who are very ill with all sorts of illness before final diagnoses are made.
It has three cubicles, the Sub-acute which keep patients who are sick but not life threatening, the Resuscitation room which has three beds which serious cases are kept for treatment and observations. These critically ill patients need oxygen and are closely monitored. The third cubicle is the minor theatre which is a room where all trauma cases are attended and stabilized.
Cases such as severe head trauma due to road traffic accidents usually presented with multiple lacerations and cuts and are normally attended to there.
Bleedings has to be controlled by suturing; if patients need oxygen then it will be given in the room while awaiting surgical teams to review and admission if required.
The Acute bay at the ward is another cubicle that has 16 beds.
Patients are kept there for continuation of medications or awaiting bed at the wards for admission.
Attempts to talk to the Minister and the permanent secretary yesterday were unsuccessful but a spokesperson from the Ministry said money is always a problem in problems faced by the hospital at the moment.
Asked if these problems were ever catered for in the Ministry’s budget, the spokesperson said the Minister was the right person to speak to.
8b) Free education for Fiji’s 202,000 students from next year
By Online Editor
4:42 pm GMT+12, 08/11/2013, Fiji
Over 200,000 school children in Fiji will benefit from a commitment by the Fijian Government to provide free education for primary and secondary school students from next year.
Nearly 19 percent of Fiji’s national budget next year or an equivalent of FJ$541.5 million (US$296.9 million) has been allocated for the provision of free education, according to Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
This major initiative is aimed at a radical overhaul of Fiji’s primary, secondary and tertiary education.
Bainimarama said government does not want to leave any child behind and wants to relieve the burden on parents worrying about school fee, textbooks and other costs associated with education.
“Education is the greatest investment a nation can make in its future. It produces a competent and competitive workforce, a responsible citizenry, and people who will do everything from build our homes to cure our illnesses.”
“We are now obliged to do so under our new Constitution. And each tier of the education system is set to benefit from our massive investment in the future of our children and our nation.
For 2014, the Education Ministry will receive $370 million (US$202 million), an increase of $101.54 million (US$55.6 million) from 2013.
From next year, parents will not pay tuition, textbook, building fees, or any other fee charged by schools from Year 1 to Year 8. To fund this new initiative, government has allocated $34 million (US$18.6 million). Schools will now receive $250 (US$137) a year per child to cover the full cost of tuition, a dramatic increase from the $30 (US$16) per child that Government currently spends to subsidise tuition fees.
This initiative for primary education will benefit 136,000 school children.
For secondary schools, Government will provide $31.5 million (US$17.2 million) for tuition fees. Forms 3 and 4 will attract a tuition payment of $440 (US$241) per student instead of the current $290 (US$159), Forms 5 and 6 will attract a payment of $485 (US$265) per student instead of the current $320 (US$175), and Form 7 will attract a payment of $610 per student instead of the current $370. This will benefit the parents and families of 66,000 secondary school students.
For tertiary students, Government has announced a low-interest loan to any Fijian student who is accepted at one of the tertiary institutions in Fiji.
The Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS) will cover the full cost of tuition and will not have to be repaid until after a student has graduated and received employment. Government has allocated FJ$30 million (US$16.4 million) to fund this program in 2014.
“This will act as a powerful incentive for students to take their studies seriously, and will ensure that all of Fiji’s brightest have the opportunity to continue their education and eventually enter the workforce as leaders in their field.
The country’s three universities will get funding assistance from government. The University of the South Pacific will receive an operating grant of $36.5 million (US$20 million), Fiji National University’s operating grant will be $38.5 million, and the University of Fiji will receive a grant of $3.5 million (US$1.9 million).
Another initiative that will be welcomed is the announcement of salary increases for the country’s civil servants including all the disciplined forces.
20, 000 civil servants who currently earn less than $15,400 (US$8,445) will receive a 23 percent pay rise while the next grade, earning between $15,400 and $20,600 (US$8,445-US$11,297), will receive a pay rise of 18 percent.
Those earning between $20,600 and $26,700 (US$11,297-US$14,642) will receive a pay rise of 12 percent, benefiting close to 4,000. Civil servants earning between $26,700 and $34,200 (US$14,642-US$18,755)will receive a pay rise of 10 percent, benefiting almost 2,000 individuals.
Principal-level officers earning between $34,200 and $46,200 (US$18,755-(US$25,336) will get an 8 percent increase, and those at the Director and Deputy Secretary level will get raises ranging from 7 percent to 4 percent.
Government Wage Earners and Special Police Constables will receive a 10 percent pay increase in addition to the 10 percent increase they received at the beginning of the year.
Government has set aside more than $92 million (US$50 million) for these pay increases.
Responding to the 2014 budget, the Fiji Labour Party described initiatives in the budget as ‘reckless and vote buying.”
“You can promise anything. It is the delivery that is important and this government has a record of not delivering on its promises,” said Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
However, the People’s Democratic Party commended the 2014 budget, especially for the dramatic increase for the education sector.
“We also thank the government for significant increase in for civil servants pay. This was long overdue. While it no doubt will increase the financial burden on government finances it will increase productivity and motivate workers, said a statement issued by the Party.
For 2014, the estimated expenditure is FJ$2.8 billion (US$1.52 billion) with estimated revenue of FJ$2.7 billion (US$1.46 billion) – providing a deficit budget of FJ$1.61 billion (US$874.39 million) next year representing 1.9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
9) G Media ownership laws under scrutiny
By Online Editor
4:27 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Papua New Guinea
The Papua New Guinea Government has moved to limit the operations of foreign companies and individuals in its economy.
It has amended the Takeovers Code to include a new, undefined “national interest” test that the Independent Consumer Competition Commission must apply to the acquisition of any shares.
The new restriction says that the commission “shall issue an order preventing a party from acquiring any shares, whether partial or otherwise, under this code if the commission views that such acquisition or takeover is not in the national interest of PNG”.
This will also affect the media industries in PNG where the Government is now discussing media ownership in the country.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said in an interview with PNGFM that the Government was having discussions for a possibility of addressing ownership of media organisations in the country.
“The only discussions we are having is about a possibility through an open transparent discussion with all media companies and all the media stakeholders in the media industry, just like any other country in the world. Media is a sensitive matter that Papua New Guineans need to participate in,” O’Neill said.
“So just like in Australia, just like in the United States, the United Kingdom, many other countries around the world, media ownership is always restricted largely to their own citizens.
“So Papua New Guinea is having that discussion with all stakeholders including owners of current media outlets to find a best possible way forward which will allow Papua New Guineans to participate.
“I know that there are some organisations like Post-Courier which is already listed on the stock exchange and many of our Papua New Guineans own some shares in there, so those are the kind of arrangement we are trying to encourage with other media outlets in the country.”
In a note on the change, Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers Anthony Latimer, Steve Johns and Steven Moe warn that the new amendment “has the potential to discourage foreign investment in PNG companies and is likely to have a negative impact on the share price of such companies”.
Tevita Gonelevu, chief executive of Fiji Television, the owner of PNG’s national TV broadcaster, EMTV, said senior ministers had discussed the government’s intention of limiting the foreign ownership of media.
He said: “They would be enacting a law, something like the Fiji Media Decree, where (the media) would be majority owned by locals.”
This would affect every major mass media organisation in PNG, except for the government’s radio broadcaster, the National Broadcasting Corporation.
It would concern not only EMTV – until 2005 owned by the Packer company Publishing and Broadcasting – but also the two daily newspapers, the 44-year-old Post-Courier, 63 per cent owned by News Corp (publisher of The Australian) and The National, owned by Malaysian conglomerate Rimbunan Hijau, and three FM radio stations owned by Fiji Communications.
The Norton Rose Fulbright paper says of the new “national interest” test for all share purchases: “There are no guidelines or formal tests for determining what is in the national interest of PNG or when a takeover or other acquisition of shares will be deemed not in PNG’s national interest. In short, the Securities Commission is left with a wide discretion to decide when or if a takeover is not in PNG’s national interest.”
The amendment has already been used to block one high-profile transaction.
The government has barred blue-chip Malaysian agribusiness Kulim from extending its stake in New Britain Palm Oil (NBPOL), PNG’s leading rural corporation, from 49 per cent to 69 per cent for about $250 million.
PNG Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru claimed in announcing the block on Kulim that 90 per cent of the economy was controlled by foreigners.
“As a responsible government we’re going to take some very drastic steps to create more opportunities for our own citizens to enjoy the wealth of our nation,” he said.
He said not only had the government blocked Kulim’s move to lift its investment, but it would “ask Kulim to sell down some of its shares to the respective provincial governments where the assets of NBPOL are located”.
The new national interest test applies to any company, domestic or foreign, registered under the PNG Companies Act, that is listed on any stock exchange or has assets of more than K5 million ($2m), more than 25 shareholders and more than 100 staff.
The amendment prohibits anyone involved in the acquisition from taking any action that is perceived as contravening an order made by the Securities Commission.
Maru said that in “sectors of national interest”, including agriculture, “only Papua New Guineans, or over 51 per cent nationally owned companies, will be allowed to operate”.
SOURCE: THE AUSTRALIAN/ POST COURIER/PACNEWS
10) t-ever Chinese film week launched in Fiji
By Online Editor
09:57 am GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Fiji
China on Wednesday launched its first- ever film week in Fiji, the 2013 Chinese Film Festival, bringing to the South Pacific island country five Chinese movies in a bid to help Fijians better understand the friendly Asian country.
The film week, which ends on Sunday, will showcase Ocean Heaven, The Grandmasters, Aftershock, Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, and Love in the Buff.
“All of these quality films have been produced and released in recent years. With diversified genres and styles, highly artistic values and visual effects, these films will help Fiji audience know more about China’s historical facts and cultural heritage, feelings and lives of Chinese people, and thus know more about China as a whole,” said Luan Guozhi, deputy director-general of the Film Bureau of China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and TV.
The film week is jointly hosted by China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and TV; Chinese Embassy in Fiji; as well as Fiji’s Ministry of Information, National Archives and Library Sevices.
“Every Fijian knows about Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee and like movie-goers the world over, every Fijian thrills to their exploits. But beyond that, few people in this country know very much at all about the rich history of Chinese cinema or about the increasingly important place of the Chinese film industry in global cinema,” said Sharon Smith Johns, permanent secretary for Fiji’s Ministry of Information, National Archives and Library Sevices.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to be exposed to a range of films that we would otherwise not have the opportunity to see. And of course, it is also a window on China itself — a country with a great history and an even greater future as it assumes a leadership role in the world and plays a more important part in our own region,” she added.
Meanwhile, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Movie Channel signed an agreement with Fiji Television Limited on Wednesday, authorizing the latter to broadcast 12 Chinese movies a year.
“This will mark the new beginning of our exchanges in film. We wish that such exchange programs will inject new vitality in the important partnership, and forge a more cooperative relationship,” said Luan.
Fiji established diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China on 05 November,1975, becoming the first South Pacific island country to do so.
11a) Digicel’s billionaire owner expands in PNG
By Online Editor
4:33 pm GMT+12, 08/11/2013, Papua New Guinea
Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien has set his eyes on expanding his business footprint in Papua New Guinea after one of his companies secured a $US15 million contract to rollout a high-speed fibre optic network.
His latest venture comes close to six years after his telecommunications company Digicel entered PNG’s lucrative mobile phone market to compete against the Government-owned operator Bemobile.
It is believed the latter has over 50 per cent of the market share today and also provides data services to a growing list of customers.
Siera Support Services, an Ireland-based sister company of Digicel (PNG) Limited, has won a $US15 million contract to build and rollout a high-speed fibre optic network in the country, according to a report published by the Irish Times newspaper.
The Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) could not confirm yesterday whether the contract is connected to the O’Neill Government’s national transmission network (NTN) when contacted by the Post-Courier.
However, it recently announced the rollout of a high capacity international and national fibre optic network that would enable retail telecommunications suppliers to offer consumers competitive prices to key locations within the country.
The project is scheduled to be completed next year and is in partnership with the proponents of the PNG LNG Project Esso Highlands, Oil Search Limited as well as the Southern Highlands Provincial Government.
The fibre optic cables would link Yonki to Mt Hagen, Mendi, Wabag and Porgera and pass through the Eastern Highlands capital Goroka as well as Kundiawa town.
Submarine cables from Port Moresby to Alotau and running through the islands of New Britain, New Ireland and Buka in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville are all part of the same project.
The contract awarded to Siera Support Services would see fibre-optic cables mounted on PNG Power Limited-owned power lines in Port Moresby as well as the urban centres selected under the Government’s rollout plan.
It is understood that work has already started in the National Capital District.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
11b) for Milne Bay as a new tourist destination in PNG
By Online Editor
4:20 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Papua New Guinea
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has pitched for the development of Milne Bay as a new tourist destination in Papua New Guinea.
“Milne Bay has a lot of potential to become a tourist-driven province and I urge you to make use of this opportunity,” he said during the closing Kenu and Kundu festival in Alotau on Monday.
O’Neill said: “With more arrivals of tourist vessels like Pacific Dawn that sailed in this morning with more than 2,000 tourists, you have the opportunity to exhibit your culture by selling your arts and crafts to them.”
He reiterated the Government’s support for the exhibition of culture and tourism in PNG and planned to allocate more funds to Milne Bay’s Kenu and Kundu festival in years to come.
O’Neill applauded the provincial government and its parliamentary leaders for their initiative to focus on tourism as a revenue earner.
After officiating at the closing of 2013 Kenu and Kundu festival, O’Neill toured the Pacific Dawn and officially opened the informal sector market, which was built to cater for street vendors in the Sanderson Bay area.
“This will empower you to embark on small-to-medium enterprises to sustain yourselves,” he told the vendors.
The market will be run entirely by a women’s group.
O’Neill said this was a great opportunity to enhance and empower the women of Milne Bay, who would gradually venture into small-to-medium businesses.
“This is a good time for us, given the increase in the number of tourists visiting our country every year,” he said.
“We cannot sit around and let these opportunities go by without grabbing them. We must make use of them.
“The Government will not give anyone money hand-outs to start your business. It will only provide avenues like this market.”
O’Neill went to the Trobriand Islands on Tuesday to launch the Kiriwina-Goodenough five-year development plan and to open a new jetty at the Kaibola government station.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
12) to monitor foreign workers in PNG
By Online Editor
4:18 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea needs an organised labour market, two reports on migration and development launched in Port Moresby Wednesday.
The African, Caribbean and Pacific is assisting the Government set up a technical sub-working committee to analyse, manage and share data relating to migration issues.
Andrew N’Drewei, the chairman of the working group on migration and development under the Immigration and Citizenship Services Authority, said the committee would monitor the movement of foreigners in the country.
The committee will comprise analysts and statisticians to develop a comprehensive migration data management strategy in PNG.
The reports said employment had increased through economic expansion, which meant a shortage of locals with necessary qualifications, thus making PNG “a magnet for foreign labour”.
The two reports showed that PNG did not have an organised labour market.
This affected national employment because the private sector gave preference to foreign labour, which came mostly from Asia.
The study recommended that strict measures must be taken to monitor foreigners coming into the country to work and for how long.
Researchers Luis Sena Esteves, Mariana Cifuentes and Rosa Sai’i Au, who conducted the studies, recommended more rural skills training and employment, support for return of Papua New Guineans working overseas and streamlining of processes to overcome nativism.
“The outcome of this process should lead to effective policies that can maximise the positive impacts of migration for development,” N’drewei said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
13) registry staffer sacked, Warning on false birth certificates
By Online Editor
09:59 am GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Papua New Guinea
One senior officer has been sacked while more than 15 are under investigation over alleged corrupt practices in the Papua New Guinea Civil Registry office.
Registrar-General Augustus Wagambio confirmed that the officers had been involved in falsifying civil registration information such as birth certificates for cash.
Wagambio said in Port Moresby many of his officers had even forged his signature on birth certificates and were charging people who wanted them.
He said so far he had sacked a senior officer, while 15 to 20 others were under investigation and could face suspension or the sack.
He said he was clamping down on corruption in the registry as directed by the Government.
“I will dismantle corruption in the office and have started by pulling out the root cause,” he said.
“Any officer found cheating Papua New Guineans are on the line to walk out. The civil registry is keen to start afresh. I am putting down my foot and getting rid of corrupt personnel. The officers sneak out registration information and sell it to the public for extra cash. That is wrong. I have terminated one already and am investigating 15 to 20.”
He said he wanted the illegal practice stopped.
Meanwhile, Wagambio has warned members of the public against buying false birth certificates from unauthorised people.
“People are producing false birth certificates and selling it to the public,” Wagambio said.
“My signature has been falsified on those birth certificates and sold on the street which makes them illegal.”
Wagambio urged the people to follow proper procedures in getting genuine birth certificates from the registry.
Birth certificates can be obtained on request at Vulupindi Haus, Waigani, for K15 each (US$5).
“Children below 18 and people living with disability will be given birth certificates without paying any fees,” Wagambio said.
“After buying the certificates, people can bring it down to the civil registry department office at Boroko for me to sign.”
Wagambio accused some of his officers in the civil registry of selling birth certificates.
“We don’t need such officers in the department,” Wagambio said
“Once I find out who those officers are, they will be removed immediately from the department.”
Those caught producing and selling false birth certificates can be fined K50,000 (US$19, 212) to K100,000 (US$38,424), or face a jail sentence of 10 to 20 years.
Wagambio has called on members of parliament to support the civil registry department in the registering of people in their electorates.
He said the department lacked manpower and funding.
“We have programmed everything and are waiting to carry out work but we are still waiting for government funding,” Wagambio said.
He said it was important to know the population of PNG because right now it was an estimated figure.
“It is vital for members of parliament to know the exact number of people living in their electorates in order to carry out work and deliver services effectively,” he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
14) Police Association keen to learn from their AFP counterparts
By Online Editor
10:03 am GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Papua New Guinea
The Police Association of Papua New Guinea has welcomed the presence of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in the country with open arms.
National president Leuth Nidung said that the union was very supportive of having AFP officers work alongside their counterparts from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC).
“We feel that we need the assistance and the expertise. We’d like to work with them and learn as much as possible to increase our productivity level in time management, work and discipline,” he said.
When asked to comment on the concerns raised by the AFP’s union that its members were being placed at unnecessary risk, Nidung said despite much publicity on crime, local police did not often face situations in which they had to use firearms.
He said it would take time for the AFP officers to familiarise themselves with the law and order situation in the country but he was confident that they would learn from their RPNGC counterparts.
Thirty AFP officers are already in the country and an additional 20 will be arriving next month.
Thirty-seven will be based in Port Moresby at the Boroko police station and 13 at the Lae metropolitan police station.
In a media briefing in Port Moresby last Friday, Australian High Commissioner Deborah Stokes, , told reporters that the current nature of the deployment was different to that of the contingent that was in the country under the enhanced cooperation programme.
According to Stokes the AFP officers would not: Replace or take over the role of any RPNGC officers; undertake executive policing functions; and arrest or charge any person for an offence against PNG domestic law.
“AFP officers will accompany RPNGC officers on foot patrols, vehicle patrols and visits to suburban police stations.”
Stokes added that each of the AFP officers would be in the country for a year.
Supt Terry Allen from the AFP’s Papua New Guinea-Australia Policing Partnership told the briefing: “The advisory role is for members of the AFP to influence the RPNGC officers to change with a lot of activities and we hope through mutual respect and discussions that it would work.” .
Meanwhile, PNG Police in Morobe have been given money by Governor Kelly Naru to buy more firearms.
Naru gave a cheque for K296,725 (US$114,015) to Lae metropolitan commander Supt Iven Lakatani Tuesday
The firearms will be supplied by JD Systems, a licensed supplier of firearms for police.
Naru wants to see Lae have more police presence on the ground.
The province is experiencing an unprecedented surge in criminal activities, including the attack on tourists and porters on the Black Cat Track.
Momase regional commander Nema Mondiai was recently attacked by thugs.
Naru said his government was serious about addressing law and order issues in the province and would continue to support police.
“The funds are part of an on-going assistance programme to help police address law and order issues in the province,” Naru said.
“We have already given some vehicles to police and this money is to purchase firearms.”
Naru said police housing, manpower and rural lock ups would be other areas which the provincial government would look into next year.
Mondiai assured Naru that the money would be used for the intended purpose.
“These firearms are not meant to kill people but to assist police protect lives and properties,” he said.
Mondiai said Lae had the highest crime rate in the country which was affecting the people.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
15) a New Guinea sued in Singapore over mining asset dispute
By Online Editor
10:07 am GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Singapore
A charity funding social projects in Papua New Guinea is fighting the government for the return of the Ok Tedi copper mine, after the state took full ownership of the mine that BHP Billiton handed over more than a decade ago.
Papua New Guinea’s parliament passed laws in September for the government to take 100 percent ownership of the giant mine, and also to remove a 12-year old deal that gave BHP Billiton immunity from environmental claims.
BHP was granted immunity after agreeing to transfer its 52 percent stake in the mine to the PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd (PNG SDP), a not-for-profit company incorporated in Singapore.
The Ok Tedi mine, in a mountainous region in PNG’s west, has been operating since the 1980s. It has been blamed for substantial environmental damage caused by dumping millions of tonnes of toxic mine waste into the river systems.
PNG SDP holds $1.4 billion in trust to be used in the Western Province when the mine eventually closes, according to its 2012 annual report.
The government in 2001 made a “very bad” decision in granting immunity to BHP by preventing its own people to sue for permanent environmental, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told parliament in September.
Michael Sullivan, a partner at Leahy Lewin Nutley Sullivan Lawyers in Papua New Guinea’s capital Port Moresby, said PNG SDP’s litigation against the government stood a chance of being successful as it was being pursued outside the country.
Sir Mekere Morauta, who is the chairman of PNG SDP and was prime minister when the immunity deal was struck, told Australian television that the firm had been structured the way it was and incorporated in Singapore because “I feared in the future that sticky, gluey hands would try to penetrate it.”
Papua New Guinea has struggled to attract foreign investment to exploit its abundant natural resources due to unclear regulations and endemic graft.
BHP is not involved in the legal action, but said it was confident there was no risk of future claims.
“In relation to the protections that the PNG government has said it would remove from BHP Billiton, we remain confident that we have other indemnities in place and that our shareholders are not exposed to potential claims,” BHP said in an e-mail.
PNG SDP is taking legal action to challenge the government on two fronts, with a case in the High Court in Singapore and before an international arbitration tribunal in Washington DC.
PNG SDP wants the Singapore court to block the Papua New Guinea government’s removal of its board members and chief executive and declare that the government has no authority over its affairs, case files obtained by Reuters showed.
Through the arbitration, PNG SDP is seeking the return of its share in Ok Tedi, or adequate compensation for the stake, said Nish Shetty, a partner at Clifford Chance Asia who is leading the arbitration effort.
PNG SDP has said it is can no longer fund nearly 100 social and economic development projects.
A government spokesman did not respond to phone calls for comment on the High Court and arbitration claims.
16) ce set to tighten New Caledonia gun laws
By Online Editor
4:31 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, New Caledonia
The French government is poised to tighten gun ownership rules in New Caledonia after an outcry over a recent series of fatal shootings.
The overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, has told the National Assembly in Paris that a decree is being prepared which should come into force by the end of next month.
Lurel made the announcement after being asked by a New Caledonian member, Philippe Gomes, for Paris to act.
Gomes has pointed to eight killings with a gun in a year, which he says is a rate three times higher than in France.
He says while there are a number of reasons for this, the process to acquire a firearm was eased in 2009 which has seen a threefold increase in gun ownership.
Last month, a teenager died after a man fetched a rifle and started shooting people in Noumea.
17a) PM Allegedly Met With False Ok Tedi Landowners
OTMIAA group claims it legitimately represents affected areas
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 6, 2013) – The Ok Tedi Mine Ltd. “landowners” who met with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last week are not legitimate, says the Ok Tedi Mine Impacted Area Association (OTMIAA) president Nick Bunn.
More In4 : PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/
CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION AND ENVIROMENT:
17b) Fears at least 10,000 dead in Philippines as Super Typhoon Haiyan approaches Vietnam
Updated 10 November 2013, 18:17 AEST
Unconfirmed reports suggest at least 10,000 people are dead in the central Philippines province of Leyte after Typhoon Haiyan hit the region.
A senior police official says about 70 to 80 per cent of the province was destroyed by the super storm, one of the most powerful on record.
“We had a meeting last night with the governor and the other officials,” said regional police director, Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria.
“The governor said based on their estimate, 10,000 died.”
Witnesses and officials described chaotic scenes in Leyte’s capital Tacloban, a coastal city of 220,000 about 580 kilometres south-east of Manila, with hundreds of bodies piled on the sides of roads and pinned under wrecked houses.
Vietnam braces for super typhoon
A much weaker Haiyan is now bearing down on Vietnam, where more than 600,000 people have been evacuated.
The typhoon is expected to make landfall tomorrow morning after changing course, which has prompted mass evacuations in northern Nghe An province about 230 kilometres from the capital Hanoi.
However, many of the estimated 200,000 evacuated in four central provinces on Saturday have been allowed to return to their homes.
Haiyan “is quickly moving north and north-west, travelling at a speed of up to 35 kilometres per hour”, the country’s weather bureau said in a statement.
The weather system has weakened over the South China Sea and is expected to hit as a weaker category one storm, meteorologists added.
The typhoon’s epicentre is expected to make landfall around 7am Monday local time (11am Monday AEDT), with winds of more than 70 kilometres per hour.
Preparations for Typhoon Haiyan have already claimed four lives in Vietnam, according to aid organisation CARE.
“Four deaths have been reported because of the preparatory work, that people were fixing their roofs and they fell off,” said CARE’s country director Claudia Futterknecht.
Director of Oxfam in Vietnam, Andy Baker, says the government is issuing mobile phone alerts to keep people updated about the typhoon’s progress.
“In Hanoi at the moment we have got rain showers but no wind to speak of as yet. We have heard that in other parts of the country, there are very strong winds and high levels of rainfall,” he said.
“[The typhoon] is running parallel to the coast already and will be for most of today.
“People don’t seem to be particularly concerned or worried but that may change as the storm hits.”
Englishman Peter Rosenfeld is in a hotel in the east coast city of Da Nang, which is a popular tourist spot.
He says buildings there have been boarded up with whatever material is at hand to prepare for the storm.
“The streets are completely deserted and there are … bin bags blasting down the streets at the moment that suggest the winds are getting up,” he said.
Philippines assesses damage
Among the worst-hit areas in the Philippines are the eastern island of Leyte and the coastal city of Tacloban, which saw buildings flattened in a storm surge.
First reports said 100 bodies had been found there, with 200 more deaths in Samar province.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and aid agencies are struggling to reach the worst-affected areas.
Take a look at the devastation left behind by Haiyan – one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded.
President Benigno Aquino says he fears the death toll will climb.
“It will be substantially more. We are not prepared to say how much more at this point in time, because that is also being collated at this time,” he said.
Destruction hampering relief efforts
The Philippines military has begun relief efforts, but aid agencies are struggling to reach the worst-affected areas.
The airport has been badly damaged and only military flights are operating.
Two Australian disaster experts are on the ground in the Philippines, with the Australian Government saying it is ready to provide further assistance if required.
The Government will initially provide about $390,000 in emergency relief supplies to assist communities.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop says the money will go towards sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, water containers and general health kits.
Charity organisation World Vision is aiding recovery and 37 of its own staff have had their homes destroyed.
Kate Rose from World Vision’s emergency response team says the organisation is trying to reach 1.2 million displaced people to give them shelter, and kits containing food and clean water.
She says crews are on standby in Vietnam and Laos, which are in the path of the devastating storm.
18) earchers warn Solomon Islands logging threatens reef fishing stocks
By Online Editor
4:29 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Solomon Islands
Researchers say if logging in Solomon islands continues at its current rate, nearby reef fisheries will be killed off within a decade.
The report by the Nature Conservancy says the nursery areas for the juvenile topa fish, or bumphead parrot fish, in Isabel province are located close to highly forested islands.
It says in areas where logging has occurred in the past 10 years, there appear to be no juvenile reef fish species.
Marine scientist Richard Hamilton has told Pacific Beat local fishermen are very concerned.
“You’re talking about subsistence economies here, you’re talking about people who rely very, very tightly on marine resources for livelihood,” he said.
“So they’re very concerned and a lot of the fishermen that we’ve been working with in Isabel province are actually now taking the lead in being proactive against logging on their customary lands.”
The researchers say the primary reason for the destruction of fringing reefs is excessive silt from logging operations, which settles on corals and quickly kills them.
Hamilton says fishermen and landowners are using the data from the research to make their case at timber rights hearings for areas where logging hasn’t yet occurred.
“I’d say the royalties which customary landowners receive from logging in places like the Solomon Islands is fairly small – and people are far more dependent on marine systems than they are on terrestrial, so it’s a big issue there,” he said.
“We’re not actually suggesting that all logging is bad, what we’re saying is that for these areas where you have lagoonal fringing reefs in close proximity to forested areas, they’re very, very fragile and…the start of the production cycle for fisheries.
“There’s some areas that shouldn’t be logged.”
Hamilton says there also needs to be work done in relation to logging operations following best international practice.
“That happens very rarely in the Asia Pacific region – I think the international body that regulates commercial trade in forestry in Asia Pacific, the ITTO, estimates that only 12 per cent of forests in the Asia Pacific region are currently following best practices.
“So there’s two things really – don’t log your really, really vulnerable areas…and if you are going to go ahead with logging in some of these less vulnerable areas make sure you follow these international best practices, because that will minimise the impact of sediment downstream.”.
SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS
19) nhouse gas volumes accelerating, reach record high, says UN
By Online Editor
1:05 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Switzerland
World carbon dioxide pollution levels in the atmosphere are accelerating and reached a record high in 2012, the UN weather agency said Wednesday.
The heat-trapping gas, pumped into the air by cars and smokestacks, was measured at 393.1 parts per million last year, up 2.2 ppm from the previous year, said the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization in its annual greenhouse gas inventory.
That is far beyond the 350 ppm that some scientists and environmental groups promote as the absolute upper limit for a safe level.
As the chief gas blamed for global warming, carbon dioxide’s 2012 increase outpaced the past decade’s average annual increase of 2.02 ppm.
Based on that rate, the organization says the world’s carbon dioxide pollution level is expected to cross the 400 ppm threshold by 2016. That level already was reached at some individual measurement stations in 2012 and 2013.
Scientists say the Earth probably last had this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at least a few million years ago, when sea levels were higher. Carbon dioxide levels were around 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution.
Trapping heat as a greenhouse would, carbon dioxide accounts for three-quarters of the planet’s heat-trapping gases that scientists say are causing sea levels to rise, glaciers to melt and some weather patterns to change. Methane, another destructive greenhouse gas, traps heat much more effectively but has a shorter life span.
Atmospheric methane also reached a new high of 1,819 parts per billion in 2012, which is 260 per cent higher than the pre-industrial level. Methane comes from natural sources such as wetlands and termites, but about 60 per cent comes from cattle breeding, rice growing, landfills and other human activities.
The rising amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere shows how people have “upset the natural balance of our atmosphere and are a major contribution to climate change,” said Michel Jarraud, the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization.
Carbon dioxide remains in the air for a century, some of it far longer, which means that a lot of future warming is already locked in.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is headquartered at the organization, says starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease are likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change.
The warming of the planet since 1950 is “unprecedented,” the panel says, and the Earth will warm by at least 2 more degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) this century, unless the world drastically cuts emissions, which appears unlikely.
20) r Typhoon Moves Through Federated States Of Micronesia
Haiyan spares Yap, expected to directly affect Ngulu atoll
By Dance Aoki
YAP, Federated States of Micronesia (Pacific Daily News, Nov. 7, 2013) – Yap escaped a direct hit from a super typhoon yesterday, but forecasters and residents of the Federated States of Micronesia were concerned about people living on the small Ngulu atoll.
Typhoon Haiyan was upgraded to a super typhoon by the National Weather Service at 2 p.m. yesterday. Winds in the region intensified throughout the day, blowing at 150 mph when the service designated the system a super typhoon.
More In4 : Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com
21) vi shares secret
By Online Editor
4:42 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2013, Fiji
Dubbed the king of sevens rugby, the world knew nothing of the struggles that Waisale Serevi went through to become the star he is today.
The man from Qarani in Gau, Lomaiviti yesterday shared with students of primary schools in Seaqaqa about his struggles.
Speaking at a rugby coaching clinic at Seaqaqa Primary School Serevi told students that the will to achieve something is the strongest weapon one could use.
“I was named after an uncle who was away from the country and because of this I used to be the outcast in my family,” he said.
“I was often reserved the leftover of every best thing back home and to tell you the truth, I struggled through my school days.
“I never passed an exam but the will to move on kept me in school.”
Serevi told students he would cut grass in his neighbourhood and sell beer bottles for his bus fare during his high school days.
“During my young playing days I would run from Nasole to Nabua for training sessions and people would think that I was training.
“They would say, ‘here comes Serevi fit as ever’ when little did they know that I had no fare to travel by bus.
“Coming back from the training sessions I used to be wet and would sit on the bus steps in my desperation to get home and get some warm clothes on knowing the weather in Suva.”
Serevi said these experiences made him hunger for the better things in life.
“I encourage you students in Seaqaqa to make good use of the opportunities available to you and if I could survive through these experiences, you can do better.
“Today is the beginning of a brighter day for you and this clinic will open doors to some of you.
“Like I have always said we all cannot be rugby stars, but whatever you do put your best into it for who knows that is your ticket to success.”
Seaqaqa District School headteacher Josefa Comasi said having Serevi was a blessing for schools in Seaqaqa.
Seaqaqa under-13 team captain Tevita Selesitino said Serevi was an inspiration.
“Seeing him in person just makes me want to give my extra best to become a better captain for my team.”.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
22) I won’t quit: PNG Kumuls LAM
By Online Editor
4:51 pm GMT+12, 08/11/2013, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Kumuls coach Adrian Lam will not resign.
Lam said he was in for the “long haul” and would see the Team Kumul five-year development programme out despite calls from the rugby league fraternity to end his tenure.
“I’m not going to quit. We’ve got a vision to develop rugby league in Papua New Guinea and that process is going to take some time,” he said.
“We’re only six months into this five-year Team Kumul programme. I’m absolutely committed to that,” Lam said from Hull.
On the Kumuls dismal form at the Rugby League World Cup, the 43-year-old, who has coached the team since 2007 (he was displaced by Stanley Gene in 2010), was frank in his assessment.
“Unfortunately, the truth is we’re just not up to the level we need to be to compete against these other sides.”
PNG were outmuscled and outplayed by Samoa 38-4 in Tuesday’s Group B clash and Lam summed up the weaknesses as ones that could not be fixed overnight.
“The boys were devastated by the result against Samoa.
“Everyone of those Samoa players is either in the NRL or the Super League.
“It’s hard to compete against that quality. Ultimately, we lacked the skill and the size. We just couldn’t cut it.
“That’s not to say the boys didn’t play their hearts out, but there is a big gap in quality from the Digicel Cup to the NRL and the Super League.”
Lam said the local rugby league personalities who had come out to criticise the team’s performances and call for his sacking were ignoring the reality of the situation.
“Rugby league (in PNG) has a long way to go yet but we’re on the right path.
“With the government’s support and inclusion in the Queensland Cup as well as the development of junior programmes we will achieve our goals.”
“Those individuals who are being critical don’t understand the situation. Rugby league was going nowhere for five years before the government stepped in. Now that we have something in place those criticising us are the ones who were part of the administration when it was heading nowhere.
“Rugby league is finally going forward. It has direction. It’s easy to point the finger when things don’t go according to plan but give it a couple of years and then judge us.”
Lam promised to make himself available to the media when the Kumuls returned from England.
“We’re going to have a press conference when we get back home and the press can ask all their questions then. I’m sure there are a lot of dissappointed fans in PNG but they have to undertsand that this group of players are working really hard to get the results. It’s not an ideal situation to be none from two but we are entering every game with the aim to win.”
Lam said the players were now facing a “test of character” in what will most likely be the end of their World Cup campaign but he refused to throw in the towel.
“Everyone needs to stand up and answer the critics with a strong and passionate performance against New Zealand. It’ll be a tough task obviously, but there are no forefone conclusions here, we’ll rally for that game with the knowledge that a win could get us to the quarter-finals.”
The Rabaul-born Lam admitted that even though he was based in Australia, the Team Kumul programme would see him in the country on a regualr basis.
“I probably won’t reside in Port Moresby but Mal (Meninga) and I will be up there a fair bit over the next few years.”.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS