Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 890


1) PNG law dean argues case for keeping polygamy

Posted at 05:18 on 11 November, 2013 UTC

The dean of the University of Papua New Guinea’s law school says polygamy is a tradition that should remain an option in modern societies.

Professor John Luluaki, who teaches family law, recently spoke at a law conference in Port Moresby, outlining arguments for and against the practice of having more than one spouse.

Professor Luluaki told Amelia Langford that polygamy serves a purpose.

JOHN LULUAKI: There are many cultures that have abandoned polygamy because of the influences of Christianity and modern demands and cash economies, that kind of thing. But there are still many societies in this country that continue to observe the practice of polygamy because it is functional. It is functional because it is the best remedy for certain social crisis situations.

AMELIA LANGFORD: And what would those be?

JL: Widowhood… Life outside of marriage in society is not possible. Widowhood, barrenness, particularly if the woman is barren she would, in some societies, promote the ideal of polygamy so that she can be able to assist her husband to have children. There are kinds of crisis situations that make polygamy functional in some societies and they wish to continue it.

AL: So do you think polygamy does serve a purpose, a valid purpose?

JL: It does, in traditional societies. And it is entirely up to those societies. But most importantly it is entirely up to women to reject it. If they reject it there’s nothing men can do. If women reject polygamy that is the end of the story – polygamy simply dies a natural death, we move on.

AL: It, obviously, was popular in traditional societies. Do you think it has a place in modern societies?

JL: I cannot answer that question the way you may want me to answer it. What I can say is I think the options must be available for women who may want to marry polygamously. If they wish to marry polygamously, what they need to know before they enter into such a contract are the likely consequences. If they choose to marry polygamously, these are the consequences. That is why we need to talk about it, so they know what the options are and what the consequences are, rather than telling them ’You can’t marry a man who is already married’. They must be given the choice. But they won’t have a real choice unless they are advised of the likely consequences of marrying someone who’s already married.

AL: Talking of options, what about if it was the other way around and a woman had many husbands – does that happen?

JL: Well, it’s entirely up to them. If they want to have more than one man they have to look for men who are prepared to become second husbands. That’s also an option. That’s an option that should be talked about, discussed. Look, the options for polygynous polygamy and polyamorous polygamy must be available to both genders, to both men and women.

Professor Luluaki says PNG is currently awaiting a Supreme Court decision on whether to recognise polygamy. PNG’s Constitutional and Law Reform Commission asked the court to rule on the constitutionality of polygamy to better protect the rights of women and children.

Radio New Zealand International

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 11 November 2013

by bobmakin

a) It’s proving to be a dirty morning: the early sun, which let us think the day would be a decided improvement on yesterday, quit the skies. And more dirty business emerges from Brussels. We have two persons purchasing diplomatic passports there, for Germany and Morocco. Together they paid over fifty thousand euros, sourced by their colleague Saken (he who got Phocea without facing any of the forgery or other illegal documentation charges himself, and who has done so much to refurbish the Brussels Embassy). They had 20 thousand euros sent to a Vanuatu diplomat in Paris and a like amount to the embassy in Brussels and some of it came on to Goodies in Vanuatu.

Whilst we have a new accreditation to Germany today, in the Daily Post story just mentioned, we also have another in VBTC News this morning. Home Affairs Minister Crowby speaks of a German woman, not believed to have diplomatic status, but travelling on a Vanuatu passport. Crowby said government must seriously monitor such matters. That said, it will be interesting to see how the government-inspired commission of inquiry concerning citizenship (which, of course, automatically means passport issue) handles these issues since it is believed some of the civil servants responsible for such matters have led the inquiry. The office responsible for citizenship was previously the greatest offender as regards speeded-up citizenship. Minister Croiwby says many questions have to be raised concerning passport sales. They do.

b) Vanuatu has lost a senior educationalist and patron of the arts. Suzanne Bastien who assisted in the education of many francophone teachers and pupils in Vanuatu died on Saturday at the age of 91, almost on the eve of the opening of the artists’ foundation at Esnaar, near Pango, which bears her name. Suzanne Bastien will be fondly remembered by teaching colleagues and pupils, Torres to Aneityum, but also by those who contributed to the expansion of French language teaching into all islands of the then New Hebrides, back in the ‘Sixties.

c) Tributes to the hard work and wisdom of the late Jean Sese have continued to come to this blog and cabinet secretary Nadine Alatoa over the weekend. Sese’s body was flown to Ambae for burial Saturday morning. This blog much regrets mis-spelling Sese’s name in the headline to the Friday second bulletin.

bobmakin | November 11, 2013 at 11:59 am

3) French Senate president due in New Caledonia

Posted at 05:20 on 11 November, 2013 UTC

The president of the French Senate, Jean-Pierre Bel, is due in New Caledonia tomorrow, becoming the latest high-profile French visitor before the territory’s crucial polls in May.

During his three-day stay, Mr Bel will meet a cross-section of political leaders and visit all three provinces.

Walter Zweifel reports.

“Mr Bel’s visit comes two months after the law commission of the French National Assembly was in Noumea and four months after a tour of the prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. French interest has a new focus as the territory’s Congress, which will be formed after the May election, will oversee the last phase of the 1998 Noumea Accord, which calls for an independence referendum. However, such a vote can be put off if the political leaders and the voters agree on a new statute, which in turn would require changing the French constitution.”

Radio New Zealand International

4) Economists still waiting for budget details in Fiji

Posted at 01:46 on 11 November, 2013 UTC

Economists and politicians in Fiji say they are still waiting for detailed figures on the country’s annual budget announced by regime leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama on Friday.

The Prime Minister’s wide-ranging budget speech included plans for free education, substantial pay increases for public servants and investment in health care and housing, financed through the sale of government assets, with tax incentives to promote business and investment.

Several economists and politicians spoken to by Radio New Zealand International say they are waiting for details like the fiscal update and budget estimates before they can make any comment.

The General Secretary for the political party Sodelpa, Pio Tabaiwalu, says it is a vote-buying budget and more information is crucial.

“We’re getting news on the grapevine that they are stopping the printing of the budget figures because of trying to change the figures. The government printers should have printed that straight away so that we can make a more critical anaylsis of the budget figures but I heard that has been put on hold and that’s very abnormal.”

The General Secretary for the political party Sodelpa, Pio Tabaiwalu.

Radio New Zealand International

5) Fiji’s Sodelpa still has questions over decree

Posted at 05:18 on 11 November, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s Sodelpa party says questions remain for Fiji’s political parties despite an amendment to the law defining the meaning of the word “child”.

Political parties have complained about tight restrictions on their operation including having to file the financial details of office bearers and their children under the Political Parties Decree which came into force this year.

They have been asking for a definition of “child” and an amended decree was gazetted last month defining the word as a person under the age of 18 or still dependent on his or her parents

Sodelpa’s General Secretary, Pio Tabaiwalu, says the word “dependent” also now needs clarification.

“This is the kind of decree that they’re writing for us, where they write one then they amend it. They’ve written something like 400 decrees and 200 of them are just amendments to the first 200. That’s what they’re doing on the hop and they’re not really thinking through the implications of their decrees.”

Pio Tabaiwalu of Fiji’s Sodelpa Party.

Radio New Zealand International

6) Mixed Reaction To Release Of 2014 Fiji Budget
Priorities called ‘excellent’ by some, ‘an election budget’ by others

By Avinesh Gopal

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 11, 2013) – There have been mixed reactions from political parties to the 2014 National Budget.

The National Federation Party and the People’s Democratic Party have welcomed it.

However, the Fiji Labour Party and the Social Democratic Liberal Party see it is an election budget.

PDP spokesman Nirmal Singh said: “We commend the government for an excellent budget, especially its increased allocation for education, health and social services.

“We also thank the government for the significant increase in 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.”

Mr Singh said the 2014 budget would strengthen the domestic economy with increased spending and the increase in demand for goods and services would enhance local investments.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, Radio New Zealand reported that economists are still awaiting specific figures to support the budget announced by PM Bainimarama last Friday.]

“PDP also commends the government for increasing the pay for the disciplined forces, especially the Fiji Police Force. We also commend the government for the construction of cross-country roads.

“This will open up more land for development and will benefit people living in remote and isolated areas.

“What is more important is the implementation of the provisions of the budget and to find out how the government is going to raise funds to meet these provisions which is going to cost significantly to the government finances.”

Mr Singh said of particular interest was the provision of $15million [US$8.1 million] for the election, which demonstrated a clear commitment from the government to conduct the election next year.

NFP’s former general secretary and Lautoka branch president Vishwa Nadan said the budget was the best one for some time now, especially the allocation for education.

FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry said in a statement that it was a “reckless, vote-buying budget”, saying anything could be promised but it was the delivery that was important.

Mr Chaudhry claimed budget sessions had become a meaningless exercise, saying budgets presented since 2009 had no credibility and were not sustainable.

“State assistance for first homeowners was also offered in budget 2013. Has anyone received any money under this scheme? Similar promises are being made again in budget 2014,” he said.

He said people’s major concern was the high cost of living and they would not be bought by promises.

SODELPA general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu said the party believed the budget was for the 2014 election.

Fiji Times Online:

7) Fiji Police Defend Arrest Of Budget Protestors
Spokesperson says group help for routine questioning and released

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 11, 2013) – The police in Fiji are defending their decision to arrest a group of silent protesters in Suva on budget day, saying it was not unconstitutional.

The 14 women and young people had been having a meal near the Fiji Revenue Customs Authority building, wearing t-shirts calling on the government to make the budget public.

A police spokesperson, Ana Naisoro, says the group was held for routine questioning but all were released by Friday evening.

She says the police can arrest and question people over their intentions under the Public Order Decree and that does not go against the new constitution, which allows for peaceful demonstrations.

“It’s just because what was stated on the t-shirt and we just wanted to find more as to the timing and the actual intent of meeting and gathering in such as place and also calling on the Government in such to make the budget public.”

Ana Naisoro says investigations are continuing.

Radio New Zealand International:


8) 400 March Against Muslim Prayer Room In Tahiti
Imam hoping to open mosque reportedly has received death threats

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 11, 2013) – About 400 people in French Polynesia have marched through Papeete in an unprecedented protest against plans to open a Moslem prayer room in Tahiti.

The crowd walked to the territorial assembly, carrying placards opposing radical Islam, sharia law and the wearing of the burqa.

This comes after a French imam last month opened a prayer room which was shut within days after the city administration found that the premises were only to be used as office space.

One of the march organisers has told the Tahiti-Infos news site the demonstrators have no legal basis to stop a mosque from being set up but want to express their opposition.

The imam’s project prompted an extraordinary debate in the territorial assembly last month and his lawyer said he has received death threats.

Radio New Zealand International:


9) Bougainville Peace In Jeopardy, Australia Think Tank Claims
Strategic Policy Institute says Canberra must ‘lead development effort’

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 11, 2013) – There are warnings peace in Bougainville will collapse if the Australian Government doesn’t lead a new development effort.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute says economic investment is required to prevent further civil unrest.

ASPI’s Peter Jennings says Bougainville remains a deeply divided society with the risk of substantial violence continuing.

“In an economic sense, it’s very parlous,” he said.

“The Island has really seen little or no economic development in the decade since the peace agreement came into effect.”

Thousands of people were killed during civil conflict in Bougainville in the late 1980s and the 1990s.

Australia led a peacekeeping mission to the Island in 1998 and stayed there for five years.

A new ASPI report says another peacekeeping mission will be needed unless Canberra helps get Bougainville back on a sustainable path.

“The island is in deep poverty,” Mr Jennings said.

“A bit of active diplomacy now and a significant increase in development assistance could actually help to lay the foundations to stop that violence resuming.”

The ASPI report is proposing a tripling in aid to the Island, taking the total assistance to just over $AU100 million.

But with Australia scaling back its aid budget that appears unlikely.

“Bougainville has gone off the radar over the last few years, but it is something the Australian Government needs to bring back onto the agenda,” Mr Jennings said.

Bougainville is situated between Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, and is run by the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

A referendum on the independence of Bougainville is due between 2015 and 2020.

Mr Jennings says there’s wildly varying opinions on which way the referendum will go.

“There’s a very risky difference of expectation on the part of Port Moresby and the Islanders about what’s likely to happen in the referendum on independence,” he said.

“I think Port Moresby expects that the Island will choose to stay with PNG.

“It’s more than likely that a majority of Islanders might choose for independence.

“Managing that mismatch of expectations is one of the big challenges we face in coming years.”

Radio Australia:


10) PNG pipal imas iusim midia long autim wari blong ol

Updated 11 November 2013, 16:56 AEST

Kene Kala

Despla toktok i kamap long wan kaen taem we oli sutim tok long gavman long traem pasim masu blong midia long kantri.

Odio: TPI_pngmedia_20131111

Martin Namorong, PNG writer na man ino save isi long toktok planti long ol isu long Namorong Ripot Blog blongen itoktok wantem Kene Kala (Credit: ABC)

Panti long ol praivet midia laen insait long Papua New Guinea i stap ananit long bikpla ‘pressure’ bihain long Gavman i laik sanisim loa long ‘ownership long midia long kantri.

Displa wari tu i bungim ol wokman meri na menijment blong nesinol brodkasta blong kantri, National Broadcasting Corporational, em Gavman i bosim olsem wanem igo aut long redio imas bihainim iet vois blong gaman.

Tasol planti midia ‘comentator’ na laen i was long wok politik i tok displa i bringim wanpla bikpla wari olsem midia wokman meri ino fri long tok aut oa ripot long ol bikpla isu i kamap.

Martin Namorong, PNG writer na man ino save isi long toktok planti long ol isu long Namorong Ripot Blog i tok, sapos displa i kamap olsem, ol man meri long ples igat bikpla wok lon mekim.

Emi tok tu olsem ol niusman-meri long kantri iwok long bungim planti heve long wok blong ol long wonem gavman ino save mekim gut wok blong en.RADIO AUSTRALIA


11) Pacifique : action caritative sur Internet

Posté à 11 November 2013, 8:59 AEST

Pierre Riant

Pourquoi demander à des villages parfois démunis de la région de donner de l’argent pour une bonne cause alors que l’on peut demander au monde entier ?

L’Internet devient de plus en plus une plateforme idéale pour réunir des fonds destinés à des entreprises philanthropiques.

Pour ce faire, il suffit d’accéder à des sites de financement participatif, une pratique de plus en plus courante.

Prenons un exemple concret.  Belinda Smith est Australienne. Elle est récemment revenue des Îles Cook où elle a occupé un poste d’enseignante dans le cadre de ses études à l’Université de Monash.

Elle tente actuellement de réunir des fonds à travers un site de financement participatif basé aux États-Unis, le site YouCaring. L’objectif est d’aider à la reconstruction de l’école d’Avaeta et du collège de Nukutere qui ont récemment été détruits dans un incendie. Belinda Smith a déjà réuni près de 1 000 dollars : « Jusqu’a présent, avec la participation de YouCaring, nous avons réuni 910 dollars. »

Alors, est-ce que dans le domaine des actions caritatives, ces sites sont une solution de d’avenir pour les nations océaniennes et les petites communautés du Pacifique : « Je pense que ça l’est et c’est en train de devenir très populaire en Australie. C’est facile de se présenter sur l’Internet et tout aussi facile de faire une donation. »

Et quelle est la réaction des gens concernés par l’école d’Avaeta et du collège de Nukutere aux îles Cook : « Nous sommes restés en contact avec la directrice de l’école d’Avaeta, Miss Charlie, via Facebook. Et ils ont affiché des photos et des histoires que les élèves ont écrites. Et d’après les photos que j’ai vues ce matin, la démolition de l’école a commencé et les travaux de reconstruction devraient bientôt débuter. »

Nous avons aussi contacté Michael Blasco, le porte-parole de qui aurait permis de rassembler 60 millions de dollars depuis sa création il y a 2 ans.

Nous avons demandé à Michael Blasco comment les bonnes causes étaient sélectionnées.  : « Nous avons aidé dans les 30 000 collecteurs de fonds depuis que nous avons commencé et il n’est pas nécessaire de sélectionner un projet en particulier. Les collecteurs tentent de réunir des fonds pour toutes sortes de projets. Et ce qui est bien, c’est que la communauté elle-même est en mesure de décider si c’est une bonne cause ou une cause qui n’en vaut pas la peine.
Mais quand vous parvenez à rassembler 60 millions de dollars, vous vous posez bien sûr des questions sur la légitimité de certains projets. Mais les gens nous avertissent. Si nous recevons plusieurs avertissements de personnes qui pensent qu’un projet n’est pas légitime. Alors nous bloquons le collecteur de fonds et nous discutons pour déterminer si c’est légitime ou non. »

C’est ainsi que Michael Blasco a un jour découvert qu’une jeune femme essayait de réunir des fonds parce qu’elle voulait tout simplement déménager à Los Angeles.RADIO AUSTRALIA


12) China Offers Infrastructure Loans Worth $1 Billion To Pacific Friends
China-PICs Development Forum took place Guangzhou

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 10, 2013) – China has offered Pacific Island countries a one billion dollar concessionary loan for infrastructure developments.

The China Daily reports the assistance has been offered to those countries in the region which have diplomatic ties with China.

The loan is part of a package of measures including two-thousand scholarships over the next four years to train local technicians and provide more medical facilities and Chinese medical teams for the region.

The China Daily reports China will also increase trade in the agriculture and forestry sectors, continue projects promoting Chinese farming methods and invest in green energy facilities.

The Vice-Premier Wang Yang made the announcement at the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in Guangzhou.

It was attended by representatives from Micronesia, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue and Fiji.

Chinese media report Mr Wang says developing a good partnership with the Pacific island countries is a long-term strategy in China’s diplomatic work.

Radio New Zealand International:


13) PNG needs policy on use of medicine


PAPUA New Guinea needs a mandated multi-disciplinary body to co-ordinate policies on the use of medical drugs.
This would be different from a pharmacy board or a pharmaceutical services regulatory authority or the medical standards arm of the government, a recent pharmacists meeting was told.
This body must be made up by the Health Department, health professionals, academic professionals, regulatory authorities, pharmaceutical industry, medical suppliers, consumer groups, non-government organisations in health care and the private sector.
The call was made by the president of the Pharmaceuticals Society of PNG Stella Pihau-Tulo.
Mrs Tulo pointed out that PNG also lacked public education and awareness about making informed decisions on how to use medical drugs and understanding the potential risks of medicines and its benefits.
A two-day meeting last week in Port Moresby discussed the rational use of medicine in PNG, which highlighted a grave concern on uses of medicine observed by the country’s few pharmacists.
World Health Organisation defines rational use of medicine as “patients receive medications appropriate to their clinical needs in doses that meet their own individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community”.
World Health Organisation estimated that worldwide, 50 per cent of all medicines are prescribed, dispensed, or sold inappropriately and 50 percent of patients fail to take their medicines correctly.
In diabetes for example, studies have shown that 36-93 per cent of patients are not adhering to their hypoglycaemic medications.
A recent PNG study shows that 59.6 per cent of patients have reported omitting their doses.
While there is irrational use of medicines, between 20-40 per cent of health budgets in developing countries is spent on pharmaceuticals. WHO estimates that about one third of the world’s population lack access to essential medicines.
PNG pharmacists have called for medicines to be used appropriately to minimise harm. There has to be correct diagnoses, suitable towards the person taking it, must be taken correctly, has proper storage conditions, there has to be knowledge and skills of the person prescribing, dispensing and the person taking medicines.
When there is irrational use of medicine there is an increase in morbidity and mortality particularly for childhood infections, chronic diseases such as hypertension diabetes, epilepsy and mental disorders.POST COURIER PNG


14) Australia Supports Technical And Vocational Education In Samoa
AusAid provides $1.4 million to ‘increase employability of Samoans’

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Nov. 11, 2013) – A direct funding agreement of over $3.25 million tala (US$1.4 m) has been handed over to the Government of Samoa from Australia.

The agreement, which was handed over by the head of Australian aid in Samoa, Counsellor Anthony Stannard enables continued support for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Program. TVET helps to increase employability of Samoans, including those with disability, through post-secondary training.

The agreement was accepted by Peseta Noumea Simi for the Ministry of Finance and the Acting CEO for Samoa Qualification Authority, Easter Silipa.

“This SQA led program is about improving the employability of Samoan women and men looking for jobs or wanting to upgrade their skills. Australia is pleased to be supporting the Samoan Government to help improve student outcomes from post-secondary training here in Samoa. Its success should see more job opportunities for Samoans, better wages, and increased employer satisfaction. I think it’s a very important program”, said Mr Stannard.

At the handover Ms Silipa acknowledged Australia’s support. “We express our sincere appreciation to the Government of Australia for continuing to invest in and support TVET.”



15) Wartoto backs deportation

CONTROVERSIAL businessman Eremas Wartoto (pictured right)has called on Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato not to bow down to pressure and explain the deportation of Australian Mark Davies.
Mr Wartoto called the Post-Courier at the weekend expressing his anger at the newspaper’s Editorial on Friday which called on the Foreign Minister to explain the deportation of Mr Davies.
“I call on the Foreign Minister not to explain anything, ” Mr Wartoto told the Post-Courier from Kokopo.
Mr Wartoto, who owns a string of businesses across PNG and Australia including Travel Air, Travel Car, Saraklok West Transport and shipping described the Post-Courier editorial as biased and racist in trying to protect Australian’s and not Papua New Guinea’s interest.
The businessman, who was investigated by the Taskforce Sweep team and had all his Australian visa cancelled, was infuriated that the newspaper was demanding an explanation for the deportation of Mr Davies.
“The Australian Government kicked me out when they did not explain to me the reasons why my visa was terminated,” he said.
“I am not guilty until I am proven guilty by a court of law.”
Mr Wartoto said he did not challenge his removal from Australia as he respected the systems that were in place to protect the sovereignty and national security interest of a State.
“I was kicked out by Australia but there is a system in place and we all must respect that system, I know my removal from Australia was political but I must respect the system,” Mr Wartoto said.
“This is not about what is right or what is wrong. It is all about protecting the interest of the nation.”
The businessman said this after reports that media adviser for the PNG Sustainable Development Program Mr Davies was deported last week because he was living in the country unlawfully.
Mr Davies, who is married to a Papua New Guinean, told the Post-Courier that he had a valid and current work permit but the government wanted him out because of press releases he has been putting on for PNGSDP.POST COURIER/PNG

16) PNG ponders tightening media ownership law

Posted at 05:18 on 11 November, 2013 UTC

A veteran journalist working for Reporters Without Borders says Papua New Guinea is considering restricting foreign ownership of media outlets.

Bob Howarth, who is the PNG country correspondent for the Paris-based organisation, says legislation is reportedly being prepared similar to that adopted in Fiji in 2010.

He says the two daily newspapers are mainly owned by Australian and Malaysian companies but this may change.

“If this legislation is real, they will be forced to sell their shares, including the only commercial TV station, EMTV, which is totally owned by Fiji TV of all places.”

Bob Howarth.

Radio New Zealand International

17) PNG Sustainable Development Plan’s Media Advisor Deported
Australian has been critical of government’s handling of Ok Tedi

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 9, 2013) – The media advisor for Papua New Guinea’s Sustainable Development Program has been deported.

Mark Davis, who is Australian, was given his deportation notice on Thursday, which said he was living in the country unlawfully.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the orders were signed by the foreign minister, Rimbink Pato.

Mr Davis, who is married to a Papua New Guinean, says he has a valid work permit but his position was becoming uncomfortable as his press releases for the Fund were critical of the government.

[PIR editor’s note: RNZI also reported that other journalist in PNG “are feeling the pressure from members of Parliament as controversial stories break in the media. … on Friday the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, warned journalists not to defame the Government, after the national broadcaster demoted three veteran editors and producers whose reports were referred to as imbalanced.” Reporters without Borders is also concerned about the deteriorating media situation in PNG as media freedom seems to be in jeopardy.]

He was put on a plane to Brisbane late on Thursday, after having his credit cards and personal possessions taken.

“Surrounded by four or five policemen and told that I was under arrest and put into a twin-cab ute with tinted windows and accompanied by three or four heavily-armed policemen and I was driven around Port Moresby for four or five hours and I was then put on a plane and delivered to Brisbane with my sole possessions being my passport and the clothes I stood up in, everything else having being confiscated,” said Mark Davis.

Radio New Zealand International:


18) Civil society groups take PNG government to court over Nautilus seabed mining project

Updated 11 November 2013, 16:39 AEST

Civil society activists are taking the government to court over the Nautilus seabed mining project.

A coalition of NGOs is mounting a legal challenge to the world’s first license to operate a deep sea mine in Papua New Guinea.

The license was granted under the former Somare government to the Canadian company Nautilus for its Solwara 1 mine.

One of the NGOs which is taking the government to court over the seabed mining project is Stop Experimental Seabed Mining in the Pacific.

Its spokesman Wenceslas Magun has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that the current government has been “arrogant and ignorant”, despite its appeal to stop the project.

Audio: Wenceslas Magun speaks to Pacific Beat (ABC News)

“Just this fear that it’s going to threaten our marine environment, our marine ecological system and affecting the livelihood of the people that benefit off our marine resources,” he said.

Mr Magun says the move to block the project is a precautionary measure.

“The majority of Papua New Guineans that live off the marine resources do not know what the threats of seabed mining is going to cost to the marine environment,” he said.

Mr Magun says the group’s advisors – which include scientists and lawyers – have “clearly indicated that there is going to be damage to the ecological system”.

“Nobody knows what the impact of the damage is going to be to the marine ecosystem because no one has ever done seabed mining in the world,” he said.

“It’s only based on assumptions… we cannot learn from lessons learnt in the past and mitigate any effect that does happen should the seabed mining take place.”

Mr Magun says the group has been told “there is sufficient grounds to take the matter to court.”

“Based on these information from our experts, we are going to strategise how we are going to address the issue,” he said, adding that a working committee has been formed to take the matter forward,” he said.

“We know that other countries like in Australia, the… people have banned attempts to mine their sea floor.

“And the government of Australia, the state of Queensland had adhered to their appeal.

“The (PNG) government has not heard our appeal, that is why we are taking this matter to court.”RADIO AUSTRALIA.


19) Jail terms for American Samoa’s FBI impostors

Posted at 01:46 on 11 November, 2013 UTC

Two men who duped about 60 people in American Samoa into working for them by claiming they were FBI agents have been sentenced to seven years in jail.

In 2009, Aperaamo Levi and Alatise Fonoti concocted a scheme where they pretended to be FBI agents with financing to hire local workers to clear land for a project that was supposedly funded by the federal government.

The chief justice, Michael Kruse, says the scheme was unbelievable but was what more incredible was the number of people who responded to the defendants’ job offers.

The dozens who ended up working for the men for weeks, or even months in some cases, had been lured with offers of high pay and big bonuses, along with electronic gadgets such as DVD players and kitchen appliances.

The chief justice says this shows the subculture of desperation in a lot of people who need work.

Radio New Zealand International

20) Australian woman named as new RAMSI co-ordinator

Posted at 01:46 on 11 November, 2013 UTC

Australia has appointed a woman to head the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands for the first time.

A career diplomat, Justine Braithwaite, will take over as the special co-ordinator later this month.

She replaces Nicholas Coppel who has held the role for the past two and a half years.

Radio New Zealand International

21) PNG police chief says Australian police mentors gratefully received

Posted at 05:18 on 11 November, 2013 UTC

The Papua New Guinea police commissioner, Tom Kulunga, says the Australian Federal Police now working alongside his officers are vitally needed.

30 officers began working in Port Moresby and Lae last week and another 20 are coming next month.

Mr Kulunga says the PNG constabulary, until the last two years, had not recruited new staff, leaving the force depleted and old.

Mr Kulunga told Don Wiseman there is a real need for help in the administration of the police stations around the two cities and this is where the advisors will fit in.

TOM KULUNGA: Those officers will come in and they will be complementing our shift supervisors, those that we have on shifts at those big police stations. Some of the roles would be to help us with mentoring and be able to help us with the preparation of court files and, at the investigation level, with the fraud squad, because we understand that they have a very high standard of fraud investigators and at we believe that them being present will boost the manpower, as well as their own skills that they will impart on our officers.

DON WISEMAN: How are they going to boost manpower?

TK: Well, there’s 30 of them, 30 officers are better than nobody at all. From what I know, they are very experienced officers, they’re not just any officers. And they’ve got a lot of experience to impart on our young officers who are at those stations. I am confident they will up-skill our officers at those levels.

DW: They’re not going to run the offices, though, are they?

TK: No, they will not be making arrests or prosecuting troublemakers or criminals, if you like to say.

DW: These Australian police, we know that the enhanced co-operation project back in the early part of last decade, that got called off after a court case found that these police could not have immunity from prosecution within the PNG courts. This time round, what’s their situation?

TK: I’m not a lawyer, but these issues have been addressed by our lawyers. And, as I said, they’ve got no powers over there so they’ll not be arresting anybody. So both governors have agreed that they be deployed.

DW: So there is no immunity?

TK: No, no such immunity, no. The provisions do protect the officers. But, as I said, I’m not a lawyer to answer those [questions].

DW: The AFP police association in Australia has expressed concern that there isn’t immunity – they’re worried.

TK: OK. That’s for the Australians to comment.

DW: You’ve got 30 and they’ll go up to 50. You’d be looking for a lot more, would you?

TK: We’d be looking for a lot more, but it’s only what we get.

DW: Have you asked for more?

TK: That’s up at the government level. There is some discussion going on, but I don’t know the exact details.

DW: Will the officers eventually move outside of Lae and Port Moresby?

TK: Not at this stage.

DW: And you’re expecting them to have a significant impact?

TK: Yes. We need to give it a try. I think we need to crawl before we walk. I’m, personally, positive that the inclusion of AFP officers will have some significant improvement in our general policing here. I’m positive about that. Because this has happened in the past. When they were here for a very short period we saw signs of improvement. So I am positive, otherwise the government wouldn’t have gone this far.

Radio New Zealand International

22) Mass Arrests Expected Following Inter-Island Violence In Vanuatu
Villagers injured, houses burnt in conflict between Lamap, Avok Islands

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 11, 2013) – A massive arrest is expected to take place in South Malekula following the recent conflict between the people of Lamap and Avok Island that ended with houses being burnt down and people being injured.

A police detachment from Malampa provincial center in Lakatoro should arrive in Lamap today, subject to weather conditions and the level of the Pankumu River, which held up the detachment yesterday. The second Vanuatu Patrol Boat, the RVS Turoroa, is heading to the area to transfer suspects to Luganville, Santo.

Samuel Pakoa, the Deputy Commissioner of police, who is also commander of the northern area and is based in Luganville, told the Daily Police by phone yesterday that the arrests will include suspects involved in the arson attacks that led to houses on Avok Island being burnt down, those involved in fights which resulted in many people being injured, and some people who were embroiled in the previous problems with the associated case of a deceased young man whose families said had died as a result of witchcraft or black magic.

“There will be many arrests made of suspects in all these issues. They will be brought to Luganville on Santo because the jail at Lakatoro on Malekula does not have the capacity to hold many people,” Pakoa said.

He confirmed that the situation on the ground has returned to normal after the incident, when the police detachment from Lakatoro was sent to the area to quell the situation.

Asked about the number of suspects to be arrested and transported to Luganville, the Commander North said he did not have an exact figure at this stage, but could confirm there would be a large number. He said once in Santo, police will carry out investigations into the arson and the fight that caused so many injuries, and would look into the reasons behind the whole conflict between the two groups as well.

“Investigations will take place and charges will be laid against those suspects before the court for hearing,” Pakoa told the Daily Post.

Vanuatu Daily Post:


23) Typhoon flattens island

Typhoon Haiyan has devastated the island of Kayangel in Palau’s north, according to an assessment of damages by emergency crews after the super typhoon struck overnight.
Blas Lawrence from Palau’s Government Media Office has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat no casualties have been reported, although all homes on the island have been destroyed.
“When we approached on the helicopter, the whole island was devastated,” Mr Lawrence said.
“I had goose bumps on the aircraft trying to think there are a lot of people laying down there.
“But fortunately, when we arrived, the first report that the citizens gave us was that there was no injury.”
Greg Grimsich, humanitarian affairs officer at the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Fiji, says early warnings have been an important part of preventing casualties. “A lot of the resilience that we see in the communities [comes] with the early warnings and the proactive steps of the government,” he said.
“With those early warnings going out from the Met Services, from the governments of Yap State and Palau, the residents were able to prepare, some were able to evacuate, some were able to prepare their homes.”
Mr Grimsich says while radio communication was cut off during the storm, some mobile networks allowed the communities to stay informed.
“The radio services, I understand, went down in both Yap and Palau, kind of in the middle of the storm,” he said.
“However, mobile networks remained up for the most part, however intermittent.
“There’s a lot of messaging going out by text messages, going out to communities… people are being kept informed.”(c/- Post Courier/PNG)

24) Climate change debate gathers steam

CANBERRA: The climate change debate is heating up as Prime Minister Tony Abbott prepares for his first week of parliament since winning power, with repealing the carbon tax at the top of his agenda.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says Labor still intends to move amendments to the government’s repeal legislation that would see the carbon tax scrapped but replaced with an emissions trading scheme.
“I’m a negotiator, we look for the middle way,” Mr Shorten told ABC television on Sunday.
“What we’ve said to Tony Abbott and the coalition is we will scrap the carbon tax on the basis that we move towards effective policies to deal with carbon pollution.”
He ridiculed the government’s alternative so-called direct action plan, calling it “silly” and hinting Labor will support a Greens push for a Senate inquiry into the policy. “We’re not going to have a bar of that,” he said. “It won’t work and it’s expensive.”
But government frontbencher Christopher Pyne says the coalition’s plan will work.
“What we’ve managed to craft is policy for climate change which is something that everybody could support,” he told Network Ten.
“Because who could be against planting more trees, better technology and better farming practices?”(c/- Post Courier PNG)


25) Kumuls out
of World Cup with 56-10 thrashing


LEEDS: New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney was delighted with his side’s 56-10 Rugby League World Cup victory over Papua New Guinea but admitted the loss of Thomas Leuluai with a recurrence of a groin injury took away some of the gloss.
Leuluai missed the Kiwis’ opening wins over Samoa and France after pulling a groin muscle in training on the eve of the tournament and lasted just two minutes of Friday night’s match at Leeds.
Kearney said he had no regrets over taking a gamble on the fitness of the former Wigan half-back or hooker, who will remain on tour even if he plays no further part in the World Cup. “Thomas trained well on Thursday and got through the session,” he said.
“We had to give him an opportunity tonight, I think the stakes are too high after this week. “It doesn’t look good for him and he’s pretty disappointed. He had geared himself for a big tournament.
“It’s a real shame for him. I know he would have added a great deal to the squad. I’m pretty keen to keep him here, he’s a very valued member of the group.” Sonny Bill Williams scored a first-half hat-trick of tries as the holders cruised to a 40-0 halftime lead but the brave Kumuls at least stemmed the tide in the second half to bow out of the tournament with some pride. “Sonny Bill had a lot of touches,” Kearney said. “He had a real dominant performance. “I thought it was a pretty complete performance in that first half.
We talked in the week about being focused and disciplined and we were certainly that. “I made a few changes at halftime and that probably threw the mix of the group out a bit but overall I was pleased.”
Kearney will also assess injuries to winger Manu Vatuvei (knee) and fullback Josh Hoffman (shoulder) and will anxiously await the outcome of a match-review panel after prop Ben Matulino was put on report for an alleged canonball tackle.
Papua New Guinea bow out of the tournament without a win but coach Adrian Lam was delighted with his side’s response to their earlier defeats by France and Samoa.
The Kumuls lost the second half only 16-10 after scoring consolation tries through Dion Aiye and Wellington Albert.
“I was really proud of them in the first half as well, even though the scoreline was not good,” Lam said.
“We only had the ball for nine minutes in the first half but we hung in there. It was a great test of character.
“We questioned their character and courage and asked them to stand up to get some of the respect we felt we lost”.
The PNG Kumuls are due to arrive back in the country on Thursday.c/- Post Courier PNG)

26) PNG Baras set for World T20 qualifiers


The Hebou PNG Barramundis are all set for the World T20 qualifiers in Dubai.
They play their first pool game on Friday against Kenya followed by Netherlands then Afghanistan on successive days.
The Barramundis take on Nepal next Tuesday, then Scotland and Denmark followed up by their last pool match against Bermuda on Sunday November 24.
The Barramundi’s training camp in Adelaide, South Australia has come to an end after five weeks of practice matches and intense fitness and skills sessions.
The Barras touring party of 15 players will not have Jason Kila and Raymond Haoda who unfortunately missed out on selection. The duo will head to Gold Coast where they will play with the Burleigh Bullsharks.
They will rejoin the rest of the Barras squad after the qualifiers when they return to Adelaide in December to complete the T20 leg of the South Australia Cricket Association (SACA) Premier League.
Chris Kent will join the Barras on Saturday when they fly through Brisbane to Dubai whilst Geraint Jones will join the team in Dubai on Sunday.
They have a couple days to acclimatise and train before their warm-up matches against Uganda and pre-tournament favourites, Ireland.
They will need to finish in the top four in their pool to progress through to the next stage.
Head coach, Peter Anderson was impressed with the efforts over the last five weeks.
Anderson said “We’ve worked hard on every aspect of the game and it’s about execution now. We’ve prepared very well and have to back ourselves and our ability from here on in”.(c/- Post Courier/PNG)

27) Bati rise to the challenge

Rashneel Kumar
Monday, November 11, 2013

THE Vodafone Fiji Bati “can only get stronger and better” in the Rugby League World Cup, says Fiji National Rugby League chairman Peni Musunamasi.

The national side lost its final group match against England 12-34 early yesterday but has booked its place in the quarter-finals.

Both teams were locked 6-all at the break before the hosts found their rhythm and scored five unanswered tries in the opening 20 minutes of the second spell to seal the match.

Fiji will face the winner of Samoa versus France match which will be played early tomorrow.

Musunamasi said the performance against England had proved that Fiji could compete against the top rugby league playing nations.

“Well we have moved up in preparation maybe not really on development as we see that most of these players are from NRL and only Marika (Koroibete) and Peni (Botiki) are the fruit of our development, but I can see we have proved ourselves to be more competitive in the world of rugby league,” he said.

“As we reached the semi-final in the last world cup our boys and officials will try and equal the achievement by the last world cup players and officials.

“It is now or never. I know our team will try and do their best to win the quarters. I know Samoa have also reached the semi-final in the past world cup so both will try and prove a point.”

Fiji Bati coach Rick Stone was impressed with the team’s first half performance, adding the strong play from the English in the early second spell caught them off-guard.

“I am pretty proud of the guys and the way we played, especially in the first half,” Stone told AFP.

“Obviously it was a really good effort.

“But England were great in the first 20 minutes of the second half and we couldn’t contain them. We kept fighting on and gave it all we had.

“We’re enjoying the experience. For some of the boys who have never left home before it has certainly been an amazing experience.”

England coach Steve McNamara said: “Fiji played better than I’ve ever seen. Whoever they face in the quarter-finals is going to have a tough job.”

According to the RLWC stats, Fiji dominates the missed tackles count on 114 but is third in average metres gained on 342m.

The Petero Civoniceva-skippered side has only made eight clean breaks so far and has done the least number of offloads on 11.

Discipline is one major area of concern as Fiji was penalised 26 times in the group play.

England (6) 34 – Tries: Ryan Hall (2), Ben Westwood, Sam Burgess, Brett Ferres, Rob Burrow; Goals: Kevin Sinfield (5)

Fiji (6) 12 – Tries: Eloni Vunakece, Semi Radradra; Goals: Wes Naiqama (2)…FIJITIMES

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