Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 896


1) PNG leader Peter O’Neill would be ‘less than happy’ if targeted for phone taps
By Online Editor
12:37 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has warned of his displeasure if Australia tapped his phone or those of his family.

Responding to questions from Fairfax Media, Peter O’Neill said: ”I would hope that my communications, and those of my family, are not being intercepted by any agency – government or non-government. If they were, I would be less than happy. But I am not aware that they are being or have been.

“If people want to know what I discuss, they can ask.”

Senior diplomats from other Asia-Pacific nations have also expressed concerns over the Indonesian phone-tapping allegations. Suggesting that Australia’s reputation as a friendly regional leader may have been tainted, embassies and high commissions in Canberra are closely monitoring the situation. “’Australia should not have been spying on any leader,”’ said one foreign diplomat.

O’Neill said PNG was a good friend of both Australia and Indonesia. ”We hope the goodwill between Australia and Indonesia is fully restored as soon as possible,” he said. ”That is in the interests of our neighbours and ourselves.”.


2) PNG to unveil plans for housing public workers around the country

Posted at 05:23 on 25 November, 2013 UTC

The Papua New Guinea government is this week planning to introduce the District Development Authorities Bill which will include the construction of housing in provincial towns for public servants.

The government says from next year it plans to build 10 houses for public servants in each district every year.

The minister of labour and industrial relations, Mark Maipakai, says it will drive productivity and lift service delivery.

He says with the government transferring huge resources to the districts and provinces to deliver services and drive growth, public servants need an incentive and better housing helps fill that role.

The District Development Authorities bill, under which a lot more decision making is to be made at the local level, is the government’s answer to service delivery failure.

Radio New Zealand International

3) Solomons’ deposed auditor general warns of dangers of not signing off report

Posted at 06:50 on 25 November, 2013 UTC

Solomon Islands’ former auditor general is warning that withholding a report into the controversial constituency development fund will be very dangerous for the country.

The comment follows Edward Ronia’s forced departure from his job on the grounds that he has reached the official retirement age of 55.

Mr Ronia will not speculate as to whether his forced exit is a result of political motivations around the report but he says no one else is qualified to sign it off for public release and donors are keen to see it.

“But also the public will be very happy to see it and if they do not see it they will really feel bad about it because it’s an area that the public is so concerned about. So that’s an important report for the country to know what is happening with public funds that are issued to the…released to members of parliament and used under their discretion.”

Edward Ronia says this is no time for Solomon Islands to be without an auditor general.

Radio New Zealand International

4a) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

a) Constitutional change

by bobmakin

Mark commented on Extra-ordinary Parliament sitting abandoned

The people of Vanuatu will now be witnessing an amendment to their Constitution. It is sad to see that an amendment to allow dual citizenship will not require a referundem. Because Article 86 of their Constitution only requires a referundum if the amendment relates to the three official language (French, English and bislama), the electoral system or the parliamentary system. This is sad because the lowest people of this country will never share their view through a referundum on this matter. (Constitution of Vanuatu – ( the Referundum Act –

bobmakin | November 25, 2013

New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

b) Extra-ordinary Parliament sitting abandoned

by bobmakin

Parliament will not be able to sit tomorrow for the the extra-ordinary session because of the constitutional review session which, it was said, continues. This was advised to Radio Vanuatu by the Speaker and Clerk of Parliament. The introduction of another sitting when one is already current (and will lead to debate on Friday) is not possible because it would “it would break the provisions of the Constitution” Radio Vanuatu News was told. The extra-ordinary sitting that was to take place today will now have to be abandoned, it was said, because the secondordinary session is to start next Monday, 2 December. The Speaker said that MPs are now receiving a “subsistence allowance for one sitting” and if another sitting were to be held presently, Parliament would have to double the subsistence allowance. The constitutional review sitting will be “completed” on Friday, the Unity Day public holiday, when, despite various custom reconciliations, political dialogue seems about as remote as it can be and any form of union but a dream from the days when the public holiday was first declared as if union might ever be possible.

bobmakin | November 25, 2013

4b) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 November 2013

by bobmakin

a) Daily Post today makes clear what is involved in the constitutional changes as regards citizenship. Dual citizenship, with restrictions and privileges, will be recognised if Parliament accepts the proposed changes. The paper also rightly points out that this willpave the way for the Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP). This needs much more focussed discussion than the Government’s single-minded advertising campaign for it actually gives. It might suggest a good forum for the Chamber of Commerce to organse. Equally, the Vanuatu Christian Council and Malvatumauri should also be involved.

b) Following on from Joel Simo’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald – Indigenous people, not Australians, should determine Vanuatu’s future – a reader has pointed out two separate themes which are very relevant, very important, and absolutely must be addressed in any public debate about land. The first is issues of land amongst ni-Vanuatu themselves. There are so many, with big ones like the Teouma to Rentabau land and small ones like La Colline land at Emten lagoon. Such issues bring in both government and civil society, along with the alienators/lessees. Communities become divided, and the fact that many such issues even pre-date Independence underlines the importance of present legislation fairly addressing what is involved. The other big point of this contributor was the foreign aid programmes’ assumptions concerning what gets called ‘development.’ This, too, goes back a long time and even well into Condominium times. Some would consider a jumbo jet airport at Rentabau as development, others would not. Even cutting down of mangroves to create sub-divisions with ocean views gets called development, but not by all. Development is so often seen as the answer to Poverty, but whose and what sort of development and whose and what sort of poverty remain questions that must be answered at the local level. All comments to this blog on this topic will receive serious consideration. As another blog reader has pointed out to your editor we are dealing with what in England were managed by statutes relating to Enclosures from the 12th century. In Tudor times, enclosures were blamed for vagrancy and social unrest. Enclosures statutes continued in the 18th and 19th centuries and periodically there were riots. Present Vanuatu legislation to go before Parliament attempts to avoid that.

c) Daily Post today also carries a report on the West Tanna land case before the Appeal Court. The freeze order remains intact. Post also covers the Court’s difficulties with cases before it and the backlog of land cases – many – and records some of the remarks from the justices of the full bench concerning how case handling could be improved by counsel bringing cases to the Appeal Court.

d) Radio Vanuatu News this morning leads with “a strong delegation of 16” to the Climate Change discussions in Warsaw reporting a close working relationship between government and civil society in Vanuatu on this important topic. The Vanuatu Climate Action Network is part of the NGO Climate Change Adaptation Programme, a collaborative effort between Oxfam, Save the Children, Care, Red Cross and the Vanuatu Rural Development Training Centre Association. Australia is supporting their work.

bobmakin | November 25, 2013

5) Lawyers in Driti case in Fiji sum up

Posted at 01:59 on 25 November, 2013 UTC

The lawyer representing a former senior military officer facing mutiny and sedition charges in Fiji has maintained his client was set up.

Counsel in the trial of Pita Driti have been wrapping up their arguments at the High Court in Suva.

It is alleged the former land force commander was involved in a plot to overthrow the government in 2010 and kill the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum by Christmas of the same year.

FBC News says Mr Driti’s defence counsel, Filimone Vosarogo, has told the court his client did not report the options of overthrowing the government to the Commander of the Military forces because he thought he had everything under control.

FBC News reports the lawyer for the prosecution, Audrey Campbell-Moffat, pointed out the differences in the accused’s testimony from a 2011 statement given to police.

Justice Paul Madigan is due to sum up the case tomorrow.

Radio New Zealand International


6) French Polynesia Politicians Trade Barbs Ahead Of French Visit
Opposition leader likens Flosse’s government to mafia

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 24, 2013) – French Polynesia’s opposition leader, Oscar Temaru, has hit out at the government of Gaston Flosse by likening it to the mafia.

He has also declared a boycott of this week’s visit to the assembly in Tahiti of the French overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, and announced a demonstration against the mafia.

Mr Temaru has accused Paris of guaranteeing a corrupt system run by convicts – in a reference to Mr Flosse, who in the French sphere is the politician with the largest number of criminal convictions.

This year, he received two lengthy jail sentences for corruption, but none of them is final because they are all under appeal.

In one case, a ruling has been due for months and in another case, the court has decided to put the matter off until after next year’s municipal elections.

The French Polynesian presidency has issued a statement in response, saying Mr Temaru’s incompetence is only matched by his hatred of France.

It says if the mafia exists it’s not where he says it is, but in the shadowy area where Mr Temaru used to run the public’s affairs.

Radio New Zealand International:


7a) White Ribbon Day: noken paitim ol meri

Postim 25 November 2013, 17:12 AEST
Kenya Kala

Tude em i International Day blong Stopim ol man i faitim ol meri bong ol – wanpla bikpla luksave blong tokim olgeta pipol, man, meri na yangpla long em i rong long faitim ol meri.

Odio: Joanna Brislane, Program menija blong IWDA long Solomon Islands i toktok
Displa dei tu ol i kolim White Ribbon Day we i kisim sapot raun long wol na long Pacific.

Laen NGO, International Women’s Development Agency, em beis long Melbourne i gat planti ol progrem blongen insait long Pacific, long skulim ol pipol long saet blong ‘gender equality’ olsem ol meri igat rait stap seif long haus na wok long lukautim femili.

Joanna Brislane, em i Program menija blong Solomon islands wantaim IWDA.

Em itok displa dei tu putim long ples kilia bikpla wok i stap iet long sanisim tingting blong ol pipol long Dometic Violens.

7b) Dame Carol itok Reserve Seats i gutpela long ol Pacific kantri

Postim 25 November 2013, 16:34 AEST
Jemima Garrett

Minista blong Community Services long Papua New Guinea bipo, Dame Carol Kidu, ibin tokim ol meri husat i laik kamap politisan olsem, dispela  “Reserved Seats” blong ol meri em i gutpela ol Pacific kantri.

Odio: Rita Norman, Youth Co-ordinator blong Wan Smolbag theatre grup long Vanuatu i toktok wantaim Bethany Keats
Dame Carol itok chair long palamen blong ol meri tasol long kontes long ol bai gutpela long meksua olsem bai gat ol meri long ol palamen long Pacific.

Em itok dispela em i impotan long sait long democracy sistim blong gavman.

Dame Carol i mekim dispela toktok long wanpela Commonwealth Women Parliamentarian Youth Forum long New South Wales Parliament House long Sydney tede.

Wanpela long ol meri husat i stap tu long dispela miting em i Rita Norman, wanpela Youth Co-ordinator wantaim dispela Wan Smolbag theatre grup long Vanuatu.

Em ibin tokim newsmeri blong ABC long Sydney, Jemima Garrett olsem dispela kain forum i gutpela long ol meri i kisim sampela save long hau bai oli nap ron long ol eleksen blong kamap olsem memba.RADIO AUSTRALIA


8) Muslim Australia Lebih Sering Alami Tindakan Rasis

Diperbaharui 25 November 2013, 16:04 AEST

Konferensi internasional bertema “Menjadi Muslim di Australia” mengungkap, kebanyakan warga muslim di Australia mengalami tindakan rasis yang lebih sering dibanding warga lainnya. Sementara itu, sebuah survei yang dilakukan kelompok anti Islam Q Society mengungkap bahwa Australia tidak menjadi tempat yang lebih baik gara-gara isu Islam.

Konferensi dua hari itu diselenggarakan Pusat Studi Islam dan Peradaban pada Charles Sturt University bekerja sama dengan the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy Australia.

Menurut Direktur Pusat Studi tersebut, Mehmet Ozalp, hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa warga Muslim ingin berintegrasi dengan masyarakat Australia.

Salah seorang pembicara, Prof Kevin Dunn dari the University of Western Sydney mengatakan, meskipun umumnya warga Muslim menghadapi masalah yang sama dengan warga lainnya seperti isu perumahan, pekerjaan dan pendidikan, namun satu hal yang berbeda.

“Dalam satu hal, warga Muslim di Sydney mengalami tingkat pengalaman rasis yang lebih tinggi,” katanya.

“Dari survei kita tahu bahwa 17 persen warga mengalami tindakan rasis di tempat kerja. Tapi bagi warga Muslim survei kami menunjukkan tingkat yang lebih tinggi, hingga 60 persen,” jelas Prof Dunn.

Menurut Mehmet Ozalp, meskipun ada sejumlah kecil warga Muslim Australia yang menjadi radikal karena isu-isu internasional, namun umumnya warga Muslim justru bersatu dan membantu mereka menemukan tempat dalam masyarakat.

Sementara itu, kelompok anti Islam Q Society melansir hasil survei yang dilakukan bersama Roy Morgan. Hasilnya menunjukkan 70 persen responden percaya bahwa Australia tidak menjadi tempat yang lebih baik gara-gara isu Islam.

Kelompok Q Society adalah organisasi yang pernah mengundang politisi Belanda Geert Wilders yang anti Islam ke Australia awal 2013.

Survei Roy Morgan ini dilakukan terhadap 600 responden dan dirampungkan akhir Oktober lalu. 53 persen responden menghendaki dilarangnya pakaian burka di tempat umum.RADIO AUSTRALIA

9a) PNG : l’autonomisation des femmes via le porte-monnaie électronique

Posté à 25 November 2013, 8:47 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le nouveau système ‘Micash’ permet à 400 vendeuses de marché de repousser des prédateurs et autres requins qui tentent continuellement de leur extorquer de petites sommes d’argent.

Ces vendeuses sont supposées payer 2 kinas par jour de redevance aux autorités locales pour installer leur stand et les autorités sont supposées réinvestir cet argent dans le marché. Toutefois, de soi-disant collecteurs viennent harceler les vendeuses pour obtenir les 2 kinas, et parfois plusieurs fois par jour, alors que les redevances ne sont jamais remises aux autorités.

Le porte-monnaie ‘Micash’ permet de contourner ces voleurs. Les explications de Tony Westaway, le directeur de Nationwide Microbank : « Nous avons mis ces  portefeuilles électroniques ‘Micash’ à disposition des femmes qui peuvent les utiliser pour payer la redevance directement aux autorités. C’est un service gratuit, nous ne facturons pas les vendeuses.

Et maintenant, les autorités reçoivent l’argent qu’elles peuvent réinvestir dans le marché. L’important est que les femmes sont moins harcelées  alors qu’avant, elles étaient continuellement houspillées par ces collecteurs que nous avons écartés du tableau et l’argent va directement aux autorités. »

Un problème de résolu, mais il y en a d’autres. Après les faux collecteurs de redevance, il y a aussi les bandits de grands chemins qui attaquent ces vendeuses dans les bus pour leur voler la caisse à la fin de la journée. À noter que ce nouveau système ‘Micash’ est actuellement en phase expérimental au marché de Gerehu. Tony Westaway : « Oui, elles ont des tas de problèmes quand elles rentrent chez elles dans les bus avec les ‘rascals’, ces gredins qui les volent. Mais nous avons des agents tout autour du marché et qui accompagnent les vendeuses quand elles veulent traverser la route pour faire un dépôt, deux, trois ou quatre fois par jour à la banque. Ensuite, elles peuvent rentrer chez elle par bus et tout ce dont elles ont besoin c’est du ticket, c’est tout. »

Si le système actuellement à l’essai au marché de Gerehu s’avère satisfaisant, il sera élargi à tous les marchés des centres urbains mais aussi dans les zones rurales. Un système qui sans nul doute participe à l’autonomisation des femmes de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée : « Il est surtout question d’autonomisation. Quand une femme s’équipe d’un porte-monnaie électronique, c’est bien souvent la première fois qu’elle se retrouve financièrement indépendante. Et tout le monde sait que la condition des femmes est très difficile en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée et de pouvoir bénéficier de cette indépendance est une chose très importante.
Et nous, nous concentrons sur les femmes et nous ne le cachons pas car nous savons qu’il y aura une incidence en termes de santé familiale et d’éducation familiale. Nous savons que d’investir dans les femmes avec cet argent mobile va rapporter de dividendes pendant longtemps. »RADIO AUSTRALIA

9b) PNG : violence sexuelle à l’encontre des femmes et des hommes

Posté à 25 November 2013, 9:09 AEST
Pierre Riant

Les niveaux de violences sexuelles et familiales sont si élevés qu’une conférence spéciale a été organisée en fin de semaine dernière à Port Moresby, la capitale, pour tenter de combattre le problème.

Ume Wainetti, du Comité d’action contre la violence sexuelle et familiale, nous a confié que les femmes n’étaient pas les seules concernées par la violence sexuelle : «  Nous avons des hommes, tout spécialement des personnes transsexuelles, qui se font violer et nombreux sont ceux qui se taisent. Probablement parce qu’ils ont honte d’être impliqués. Nous espérons que nous serons entendus et qu’ils viendront chercher une assistance. »RADIO AUSTRALIA


10) Special advisor to UN Secretary-General makes first trip to the Pacific
By Online Editor
12:36 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Nauru

The Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General, Amina Mohammed made her first official trip to the Pacific region when she visited Nauru last week, according to the Nauru Media Bulletin.

The visit is a milestone for Nauru and Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) paving the way for specific discussions about Nauru’s challenges to addressing the impacts of climate change. This is part of on-going global discussion on what will replace the Millennium Development Goals when it expires in 2015. The discussion is called the post-2015 Development Agenda.

As Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and former chair of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS), Nauru plays a vital role in campaigning and advocating the interests of its member states.

The visit is an opportunity for the Nauru Government and other senior officials to discuss Nauru’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Mohammed was accompanied by Nauru’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Marlene Moses.

While on island Ms Mohammed visited the Nauru Secondary School, the Republic of Nauru (RoN) Hospital; and took part in the commemoration service for Armistice Day where she laid a wreath on behalf of the United Nations.

Over the course of her visit Ms Mohammed met with Acting President David Adeang, cabinet ministers, caucus members, Speaker of Parliament Ludwig Scotty and acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade Michael Aroi.

The visiting UN special visited the hospital, topside and the Regional Processing Centre. She also met with members of the opposition, heads of department, state-owned entities and members of the community.


11) Fiji government told to take responsibility for deteriorating hospitals

Posted at 05:20 on 25 November, 2013 UTC

The Fiji government has been told to stop blaming past administrations and take responsibility to improve the state of the country’s hospitals.

The political grouping, the United Front for a Democratic Fiji, says hospitals are in desperate need of repair and staff are overworked and forced to use inferior medical supplies.

A community organisation says it hears horror stories from patients every day but says there’s no recourse for anyone with a complaint.

Bridget Tunnicliffe reports:

The United Front for a Democratic Fiji says on a recent visit to the Lautoka Hospital, they found only one of the three lifts were operating and patients are being asked to buy their own medication. The UFDF’s Mick Beddoes says last year nearly US$5.5 million worth of medication had to be written off after sitting in stock and expiring. Mr Beddoes says hospitals are being supplied poor quality items from China and India and doctors and nurses for example are buying their own plaster for use on patients because what’s supplied falls off within minutes.

“MICK BEDDOES: I’m assuming saving costs will have something to do with it but at the end of the day if you’re buying things that don’t actually work why are we buying them? If they’re no good for the patient then what’s the use of getting them?”

The president of the Medical Association, Dr James Fong, says the Ministry of Health is trying to increase the quantity of items but has recently acknowledged the need to ensure quality. Dr Fong says the Ministry of Health is aware of the issues hospitals are experiencing and is trying to do something about it.

“JAMES FONG: There is a sense of urgency, especially as of late. I know that people do get a bit annoyed about the state of some of our major hospitals. In many of our discussions this has been discussed and there have been efforts to try and ensure that we have a planned approach to any upgrade.”

Dr Fong says construction has started on increasing the number of operating theatres at the CWM hospital. But Mick Beddoes says there isn’t enough staff to handle the current number of theatres with some anaesthetists working 24 hour shifts. Mr Beddoes says the Minister of Health, Dr Neil Sharma, announced a $4.3 US$4.3 million upgrade of the Lautoka Hospital and CWM hospitals in 2010 but says there’s been little visible improvements, and says the minister should resign.

“MICK BEDDOES: He’s trying to suggest that it is because of prior neglect, well what do we mean by prior, they’ve been in government for seven years and the issues we’ve raised are what has occurred in the last 24 months, they can’t keep blaming governments prior to 2006.”

Dr Neil Sharma says funding has been allocated for upgrades but refused to comment further. The co-ordinator of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, Shamima Ali, says the health system has been slowly deteriorating and it’s become worse over the last few years. She says under the current climate no one is held accountable.

“SHAMIMA ALI: It’s mismanagement, the resources not being used effectively and also a lack of accountability. In terms of people complaining and the complaints being heard, no one responds, no one answers those questions, something is going very, very wrong.”

Radio New Zealand International


12) New Caledonia returns Solomon Islands red feather money
By Online Editor
12:23 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Solomon Islands

The Museum of New Caledonia (MNC) and Solomon Islands National Museum (SINM) are participating in a cultural exchange – the return of the traditional red feather money (te vau). Red feather money is considered a national treasure by the people of the Solomon Islands.

This is a welcomed new addition to the artifact collection at SINM and it serves to strengthen cultural ties between the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.

A ceremony for the handing over of the te vau will take place at the SINM in Honiara today. The event will be officiated by Dr Jimmie Rodgers, the out-going Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). The event is being jointly hosted by the Pacific Islands Museums Association (PIMA), the Solomon Islands Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and SINM.

The te vau had been under the care of the Museum of New Caledonia since 1999, after it was donated by Roy Benyon, the SPC Director of Translations. Benyon had originally purchased the traditional money while attending the first Melanesian Arts Festival in Honiara in July 1988. The traditional money is from the Santa Cruz Islands in the Te Motu Province. It was sold at the instruction of one of the elders from that island.

Last year, at the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts, hosted in Honiara, Benyon decided to return the te vau to its rightful home. “I am so happy to have (the) te vau returned to the Solomon Islands and for it to be (showcased) in the museum gallery in Honiara. This will ensure that museum visitors, as well as locals, are able to view it and learn about the importance of traditional currency that is a core part of the Solomon Island culture and tradition,” says Benyon.

In February 2006, PIMA issued the Code of Ethics for Pacific Islands Museums and Cultural Centres, under which it encourages its member organisations to ‘support the reconnection of ex-situ natural and cultural resources located domestically or internationally with their originator or creator communities’.

PIMA is happy to see that two member museums are upholding this principle through the repatriation of the traditional feather money of the Solomon Islands. PIMA says this demonstrates global best practice, as promoted in the International Council of Museums Code of Ethics, which openly states that museums have a duty to exercise respect for the feelings of human dignity held by all peoples, and be prepared to initiate dialogues for the return of cultural property to a country or people of origin.

Within the Pacific region, there was only one other case of repatriation of cultural item involving the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii and its museum counterpart in Tonga.

Tony Heorake, SINM Director, believes this is a very important cultural artifact for the people of the Solomon Islands.  “There is currently no te vau on display at the museum in Honiara, nor any in the museum collection. This repatriation is a timely event where our visitors will be able to view one on display,” he said.


13) Song contest to help combat violence against women
By Online Editor
3:44 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Papua New Guinea

The United Nations has launched a new song competition in Bougainville to encourage more women to participate in the largely male-dominated local music industry.

A cash prize is being offered to the best song that tackles one of two themes, ‘real men don’t hit women’ or ’empowering women’ and the winner will be announced on White Ribbon Day on November 25.

Agnes Titus from the UN Women in Bougainville told Pacific Beat she believe the song contest will make an impact and so far, many entries have been received from both men and women.

“We got a good number of entrants and basically, all are singing about ending violence against women,” she said.

“They go on to talk about violence against women. It’s a terrible thing, it doesn’t allow women to enjoy what they duly are supposed to enjoy here on this earth.”

Titus says there is a need to encourage women to get into the music industry.

“We actually have, because music is part of our life here, we just really need to encourage women to go more into the industry,” she said.

“We have some good musicians already, female musicians, but we really need to get more to come out.”

Titus says the organizers are happy that men have also shown interest in the competition.

“I think the onus here is really for us to get men to own the fact that they become too violent in their lives and that they do not know how to control their anger and often this anger results in violence against women and children,” she said.

“When we make the announcement of what group has won the song competition, we want to see more men out there too who will wear the white ribbon… because we are telling the men, it means you make a personal commitment to end violence, if you are a violent person, to end it in your family, in the community, among your peers.”

Titus says Bougainville is quite a violent place and the song contest is one small approach to tackle the issue of sexual violence.

“We believe the more we go out there to promote ending violence against women, we will certainly, we do have a hope that we will make a difference,” she said.

“This song contest is just one of the many approaches that we’re engaging here. We have got partners who are working tirelessly to do campaigning on ending violence against women.”.



14) New Caledonia representative marks one year in New Zealand

Posted at 05:20 on 25 November, 2013 UTC

In an effort to improve ties with New Zealand and the Pacific in general, New Caledonia has for the past year had a representative in Wellington.

Yves Lafoy, who is with the French embassy, is trying to facilitate links in a range of areas, from politics to science.

Although New Caledonia is closer to New Zealand than Australia, Fiji or Tonga, tourist numbers from New Zealand are small.

YVES LAFOY: We have more New Caledonian citizens spending holidays in New Zealand, rather than the opposite. And one of the explanations is that the cost of living in New Caledonia is quite high, especially for Kiwis and Aussies. But if you live in New Caledonia, if you work in New Caledonia, this high cost of living is adjusted through wages which are quite high. So, yeah, the cost of living is high, the air fares are not cheap, but I think for New Caledonia to be sold in New Zealand you really have – that’s my personal opinion and I’m working on that – you really have to send a package and say ’This is a piece of France in the Pacific. You’ve got the gastronomy, you’ve got the culture, but it’s also part of the Pacific region and you’ve got a fantastic environment’. Because, as you might be aware, New Caledonia is registered on the World Heritage list. And it’s got the second largest lagoon in the world after the Great Barrier. So we’ve got a lot of things to promote and sell, but unfortunately we’re not very good at marketing, and marketing in English. So there are a few aggravating factors, I would say, which unfortunately impede this tourism exchange with New Zealand. But we’re working on that. And I’ve got regular meetings with the New Caledonia tourism, based in Auckland, and also Air Caledonie International, to try to promote New Caledonia in New Zealand.

WALTER ZWEIFEL: You mentioned the high cost of things in New Caledonia. This is a major concern for a lot of people in New Caledonia. THere have been intermittent strong protests about this with concessions in terms of lowering tariffs in relationship to New Zealand, as well. How has that translated into boosting exports from New Zealand, given that there seems to be preferential access for some goods that used to be taxed highly?

YVES LAFOY: Unfortunately, New Caledonia is still a very highly protected market and still quite open to the European market. So we have a lot of goods coming from the European Union – France, but also the EU. But for example New Zealand is providing New Caledonia with 84% of dairy products. So we are very demanding on New Zealand products in the dairy sector. But the reciprocity of New Caledonia sending stuff or selling stuff to New Zealand is quite difficult. So we have a few niches, like for example squash, we’ve got very good prawns, farmed prawns. But they are very, very limited niches and I think the only chance for New Caledonia to export either to Australia or to New Zealand is to find produce of excellence, otherwise we’ll be in competition with Fiji or other countries in the Pacific who have much cheaper labour costs.

Radio New Zealand International

15) ABG enacts business laws
By Online Editor
09:37 am GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has passed a legislation that will balance economic development with the needs of the local people.

Director of local law firm, Tuia Namani International, Hubert Namani congratulated the ABG on the passage of Bougainville’s Inward Investment Legislation describing it as an historic moment in Bougainville and PNG.

“Too often in this part of the world we have seen investment take place with no thought for the consequences on the indigenous people. The ABG’s model for responsible investment means that only the right type of investor will be able to operate in Bougainville, bringing in much needed expertise and capital, but ensuring that the needs of Bougainvilleans are met. This is a great example of how to tailor policy and legislation from the ground up to meet local aspirations and to provide certainty for the investor”.

Namani, a director of the Small Business Development Corporation and went on to say that the PNG mainland could learn much from the approach that the ABG has taken in developing and implementing its policy.

“We must welcome responsible foreign investment because it has helped build PNG’s economy and it will continue to enhance the wellbeing of our people by supporting economic growth and prosperity.

“Foreign investment brings many benefits. It supports existing jobs and creates new jobs, it encourages innovation, it introduces new technologies and skills, it brings access to overseas markets and it promotes competition amongst our industries.

He said the national government must review foreign investment proposals against the national interest on a case-by-case basis and link it to a development strategy and policy for future development of our economy and country.

Our processes must also protect genuine investors who have been a part of the PNG economy for considerable time as opposed to fly by companies who come in to the country with competing interests and no capital.

Namani further said that “We are proud that our partner in Tuia Namani, Tuia International, has played a leading role in working with the ABG on it policy, legislation and implementation”.

Tuia Namani is a PNG registered joint venture between local law firm Namani & Associates and New Zealand based Tuia International & Tuia Group.

The business group jointly provide expert services in the following areas of trade development, investment promotion, public policy, law and regulatory advice, organisation design, performance measurement, strategy and economic development.


16) Pacific central banks win praise for their approach to mobile banking
By Online Editor
09:40 am GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Australia

Branchless banking in the Pacific is allowing thousands of people to have a bank account for the first time.

Experts say the Pacific is leading the world in its approach to mobile banking, with many people now able to get access to a bank account for the first time.

As part of their efforts to support the expansion of mobile banking, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and CGAP have brought together technology companies with commercial banks and regulatory authorities together for a brainstorming session in Sydney.

CGAP is a Washington DC-based financial inclusion resource centre.

Stephen Rasmussen, manager of business innovation at CGAP told the conference central banks in the Pacific have taken a cutting-edge approach to the regulation of branchless banking.More in4 :

17) Pacific International Commercial Bank to begin operation in Tonga next year
By Online Editor
12:17 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Tonga

Tonga’s newest bank, the Pacific International Commercial Bank will begin operation early next year

The commercial bank will open its doors in January, reports Radio & TV Tonga.

Aisake Tu’iono, one of its directors told Radio and Television Tonga News the shareholders of the new bank are Her Royal Highness Princess Pilolevu and Hu, a well-known business man from China.

Tu’iono said the Bank has appointed three managers. They are Penisimani Vea, who will manage the loans department, ‘Etuate Manuofetoa will be the new manager for its Finance Department and ‘Iveti Guttenbeil Paea will be the Operation Manager.

“We are currently on the process of discussing an interest rate of 6 percent for all our lenders, said Tu’iono.

The new bank will be situated at the ground floor of the Loumaile Lodge.
source: Radio &tv tonga/PACNEWS

18) Onion growers eye boost to Asian exports
By Online Editor
3:40 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, New Zealand

The first export onions of the new season are about to be shipped to the Pacific Islands.

But the industry body for onion growers wants to start sending New Zealand onions to new markets much further afield.

Onions New Zealand is asking its growers to back a new growth strategy that would see the industry – which last season earned $90 million in export receipts – try and break into new markets.

Onions NZ chairman Michael Ahern says onions are already a strong export performer – but the industry thinks it can do even better.

Ahern says the costs of compliance, the concentration of buyer power in Europe and Britain, and the cost of getting product there, are eating into the profitability from that region.

He says the industry is now looking to break into new markets in Asia, and it’s hoping to get some Government assistance to deal with the phyto-sanitary access issues.

Ahern says the industry is particularly interested in getting access to China, South Korea, the Phillipines and India. .


19) Solomon Islands interested in Fiji’s yellow ribbon concept
By Online Editor
12:25 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Fiji

The Solomon Islands government is interested in Fiji’s Yellow Ribbon programme concept, and their Correction Service is looking to start the programme there, next year.

A team of Corrections officers from the Solomon Islands led by its Deputy Commissioner Marktas Foran has been in the country for the last few days to observe the concept.

Foran says they plan to launch the project sometimes next year.

“It is a good concept, good for our people our inmates back at home so we come and learn from them what they do with the Yellow Ribbon Campaign and activities involving this. This will give us good knowledge and understanding to launch the campaign in the Solomon Island.”

Fiji Correction Service (FCS) Commissioner, Ifereimi Vasu says it’s good to note that other Pacific countries are interested in our programme.

He says FCS has provided them with all the information that will assist them.

“They are here for a week just to come and look at the awareness that we carry out prior to the launch. Things like visiting the communities and visiting schools and before we launch we must send a few officers to prepare for their launch next year, just to help our MSG brothers.”

He says Fijis Yellow Ribbon programme is one of the best concepts of rehabilitation in the region.

20) Vanuatu Parliament To Consider Dual Citizenship
Citing economic necessity PM Carcasses hopes to amend constitution

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 22, 2013) – Prime Minister Moana Carcasses has told his government ministers and backbenchers to be in Parliament this week because the government wants to amend the Constitution.

Clerk of Parliament, Louis Kalnpel, confirmed to the Daily Post that a special parliament sitting to discuss Constitutional Amendments will take place this Friday.

For an amendment of the Constitution to come into effect it has to be passed by two thirds of the House, which means 35 Members of Parliament must support the amendment, and there has to be 48 or three quarters of MPs in the 52-member House present in Parliament on Friday.

Otherwise Parliament may meet a week later if only 35 MPs are present this Friday but still, for the amendment of the Constitution to take place two thirds of the House must support the amendment.

A pressing “economic” issue now on PM Moana Carcasses’ table is the Capital Investment Immigration Plan which its promoters say could turn Vanuatu around economically because it is envisaged to bring in Port Vila many millions of vatu.

But to help that economic plan of inviting multimillion dollar Asians become Vanuatu citizens, Parliament needs to amend article 13 of the Vanuatu Constitution on Avoidance of Dual Citizenship.

Article 13 says “The Republic of Vanuatu does not recognize dual nationality. Any citizen of Vanuatu who is or becomes a citizen of another state shall cease to be a citizen of Vanuatu unless he renounces that other citizenship within 3 months of acquiring Vanuatu citizenship of that other citizenship, as the case may be, or such longer period as Parliament may prescribe, except that in the case of a person under the age of 19 years the period of renunciation shall be 3 months after he has reached the age of 18 years.”

Vanuatu won its Independence in 1980 after the Fathers of Independence promised locals that land would return to indigenous custom owners and that the stateless natives in the Condominium would be given citizenship.

Citizenship meant so much to the people in Vanuatu that the drafters of the Constitution said Vanuatu does not recognize “dual citizenship”.

When there were allegations recently that Chinese people along the Central Business District have acquired Vanuatu citizenship corruptly without living in Vanuatu for ten years, the first national leader to come out vocal on the issue was the Deputy President of Vanua’aku Pati, Tanna MP Joe Natuman.

Vanua’aku Pati led Vanuatu into Independence in 1980.

“The Vanuatu citizenship is a prized commodity money cannot buy,” Mr Natuman told Daily Post at that time.

Once the Dual Nationality is supported in Parliament sources close to the CIIP say there will be clauses in place to restrict the dual citizens from voting in Vanuatu, affiliating in politics, and holding public office.

People with Vanuatu heritage who are descedants of Blackbirding labourers living in Australia and Fiji can also apply to become Vanuatu citizens.

The claims to have a total of 36 MPs on its side to amend the constitution this Friday.

This would be arguably the sixth time since October 1979 when the Vanuatu Constitution is amended.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

21) Vanuatu government claims foreigners’ destabilising the country

Posted at 06:50 on 25 November, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu police are to investigate allegations the security of government information is being compromised by foreigners trying to destabilise of the Moana Carcasses administration.

The Independent quotes the deputy prime minister Edward Natapei saying the de-stabilisation is being caused by people whose government appointments have been cancelled.

He says the government will not bow to bullying tactics, or allow its foreign policy to be hijacked by foreigners.

Mr Natapei was responding to a raft of recent claims from the opposition alleging the sale of diplomatic passports and allegations of payments to government leaders.

He says there is no truth to the claims and the opposition has to ensure any criticism it makes of the government is correct before it goes public.

Radio New Zealand International

22) Fiji Military Delegation Visits China
Development and defense cooperation to be discussed

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, Nov. 24, 2013) – The Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration Joketani Cokanasiga began his official visit in China on Friday.

He is accompanied by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) chief-of-staff, Brigadier-General Mohammed Aziz, Navy Commander John Fox, Major Ratu Covunisaqa, Naval Officer Seci Lagivola and senior defence official, Joji Washington.

Fiji’s ambassador to China, Esala Teleni is also accompanying the minister for the one-week official visit.

The ministerial delegation visited the 1st Signal Regiment Military camp in Guangzhou accorded with the Military protocols and later viewed the regimental’s assets including specialised military equipment.

The visit by the minister is significant in cementing ties and further strengthening defence cooperation between the Fiji Military Forces and the People’s Liberation Army.

The delegation will visit Beijing today where the minister would meet his counterpart General Chang Wanquan.

The two ministers would discuss critical issues on development cooperation and assistance including exchanges between the two military forces. The minister concludes his official visit on Tuesday November 26, 2013.

23) Illegal Foreign Nationals Allegedly Protected By PNG Politicians
PM O’Neill says foreigners hiding behind false passports

By Isaac Nicholas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 22, 2013) – Politicians are protecting and involved with foreign nationals with double identities, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament yesterday.

The PM, who is also the Police Minister, said the police commissioner and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary top brass are aware of foreign nationals currently residing in the country with different passports and are allegedly involved with some MPs who are protecting them.

“There are some Indians and Pakistanis, some of them are involved with our leaders in the House, with passports that are from different countries and not their country of origin,” he said.

As an example, the PM spoke of a Pakistani holding a Somali passport, a Lebanese with an Australian passport and an Indian in possession of a Pakistani passport – they all live under the protection of some local politicians.

“This kind of terrorist sort of behaviour where persons of country of origin are not holding onto passports where they are entitled to and holding passports of other countries is a case that needs a lot of explanation,” Mr O’Neill said. “Our police units are starting to investigate that and they are writing to the leader concerned to bring these personnel that he is protecting to the police force so that they can be interviewed.”

Mr O’Neil revealed this when answering questions from the Governor of Sandaun Amkat Mai in Parliament yesterday.

Sandaun province is ready to play host to Australian police under the current Australia-PNG policing arrangement to assist address transnational crime.

The Prime Minister said that in respect of trans-national crime, all the new waves of criminal activities are starting to arrive at PNG door steps and warranted the need for an increase in manpower, training and skills.

The Israel government has agreed to address that by opening its facilities to take 20 policemen and women to train in counterterrorism and transnational crime.

“As a result of my recent trip to Israel, the Israel government has already volunteered to take 20 policemen and women to train to address counter terrorism and transnational crime training program which they will fully fund and we are going to take advantage of that,” he added.

The Government has agreed to send more police officers for training in the Jewish state after the Israel government-funded training ends.

The RPNGC is currently going through a modernisation program which includes the re-fleeting of its equipment and systems. “I know many of the police assets have been run down for quite some time and as a result our men and women are not able to perform their duties adequately so as a result of that in 2013 the government approved funding to the Police Department more than what they requested.

That funding increase has continued this year through the 2014 budget,” added the PM.
PNG Post-Courier:

24) PNG MP found guilty of fraud
By Online Editor
3:49 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Papua New Guinea

Pomio MP Paul Tiensten has been found guilty by the court of misappropriating K10 million (US$3.8 million) of public funds while serving as a State minister two years ago.

The Waigani National Court found Tiensten guilty of “dishonestly” paying the money to the locally-owned airline company, Travel Air.

In his 27-page ruling last Friday, Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, said Tiensten “and his officers in the department (of National Planning) dishonestly applied K10 million to the use of Travel Air”.

He extended Tiensten’s bail to January 21 to allow time for his lawyer, Arnold Amet Junior and State Prosecutor Anthony Kupmain to make submissions on the sentence.

Salika told Tiensten he was allowed to continue performing his role as the Pomio MP until the sentencing.
Tiensten, from Sampon village, Pomio, East New Britain, had faced charges of conspiracy to defraud and misappropriation.

Salika found him guilty only on the misappropriation charge.

Kupmain had told the court that the case began between May 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011, in Port Moresby.

He said Tiensten conspired with three people – Eremas Wartoto, William Sent and Ruby Zariga – to release the K10m to Travel Air owned by Wartoto.

Tiensten was the Minister for National Planning during the time of the misappropriation.

Salika ruled that Tiensten knew or ought to have known that his direction or directive to the acting secretary to facilitate release payment of K10m was wrong. He said Tiensten’s direction caused the department’s officers to bypass the proper appraisal processes and the Public Finances Management Act.

“Given the accused’s (Tiensten) level of education, his intelligence, skills and experience in the public service and politics, I have no doubt in my mind that he appreciated and knew that he what he was doing was wrong and that it was dishonest,” Salika said.

Salika said the project proposal by Travel Air never went through the processes and the procedure under the Department of National Planning’s own guidelines.

He ruled that the conspiracy charge against Tiensten had not been established.

Kokopo businessman Wartoto is facing trial on similar charges and has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court to challenge the nature of the charges.

A government source said MPs convicted of criminal charges could lose their seats. An MP jailed for six months or more would automatically lose his or her seat, the source said.

Task Force Sweep chairman Sam Koim in a statement said Tiensten’s case was one of the first to be investigated by the body when it was established by the Government in August 2011.

“The process of investigation and prosecution do take a great deal of time,” he said.

“Every accused person is accorded the full protection of law hence they are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.”.

25) Tonga’s Former PM Testifies In Cauchi Trial
Sevele denies trying to ‘freeze-out’ then Attorney General

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 22, 2013) – Tonga’s former Prime Minister Lord Sevele, a witness at the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court this afternoon, denied suggestions that his government had tried to “freeze-out” the former Attorney General John Cauchi.

Giving evidence as the second of three witnesses called by the defendant, the Government of Tonga, on the fourth-day of a civil jury trial, Lord Sevele who was Prime Minister from 2008 and for most part of 2010, was questioned by the current Attorney General Neil Adsett.

Lord Sevele said that it was not true to say that government had removed Cauchi’s responsibilities as Attorney General and given to it other people.

Lord Sevele also said there was a misunderstanding in regards to the role of Tonga’s Law Lords. The government sought advice from the Solicitor General, the Attorney General or the Crown Law office and other lawyers when it saw fit. The Law Lords were appointed by the king under his constitutional power and prerogative to discharge of his functions.

“The Law Lords are not to advise the executive, of which I was the head,” said Lord Sevele.

AG Adsett asked the former Prime Ministser what he had to say in regards to a complaint that the former Attorney General was not consulted regarding who should be appointed as a judge in Tonga.

Lord Sevele said the constitution stated that the decision to appoint or re-appointment a judge was a prerogative of the king under the constitution.For more in4 go to :

Matangi Tonga Magazine:


26) Drowning Kiribati

27) Deep sea oil protesters crowd iconic beach

28) Climate conference ends with acknowledgement of clash of policy slowness

Posted at 07:13 on 25 November, 2013 UTC

The United Nations’ climate conference COP 19 has ended with an acknowledgement of the slowness of policy development.

Pacific Island countries spoke out at the meeting in Poland’s capital Warsaw against a lack of action from developed nations to reduce carbon emissions.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s executive secretary opened the conference saying there is a groundswell for action as the risks of inaction materialise.

But Christiana Figueres acknowledged in a final press conference how much work is still to be done.

“International policy as well as national policy does not emerge overnight, in particular when the policy addresses the greatest transformation that mankind has ever seen. We’re caught in this very difficult contrast between the urgency of science and the pace of policy development.”

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s executive secretary, Christiana Figueres.

Radio New Zealand International

29) New Caledonia enviromentalists insist on Vale safety before restart

Posted at 05:23 on 25 November, 2013 UTC

The head of New Caledonia’s Rheebu Nuu environmental group, Raphael Mapou, says it will only condone a restart at the Vale nickel plant if it can guarantee its safety.

The six-billion US dollar plant was shut down nearly two weeks ago after it became public that an effluent pipe going through a World Heritage lagoon had burst.

Mr Mapou says after all the past incidents, the pipe rupture is an accident too many.

His words are translated.

“We will assess the developments next December and then we will say yes or no to the restart of the construction. The ball is now in the camp of the company and in the camp of the government of the southern province.”

Vale has said the pipe burst because too much air was in it.

It plans to resume operation at the end of the year.
Radio New Zealand International

30) Palau moves forward in recovery following Haiyan

By Online Editor
12:33 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Palau

Palau is moving forward in efforts to recover from the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan on 07 November

Since Haiyan, essential services including power and communications have been restored.

Power and water have been restored in most areas except for severely Kayangel and Ngarchelong.

A massive cleanup of Kayangel, the northern island atoll of Palau flattened by the storm began on Nov. 14, 2013.

The cleanup consists of removing debris from damaged homes, removing fallen trees and conducting a general cleanup of the island.

Dozens of volunteers, residents and government workers were dispatched to assist the state in the cleanup process.

Immediately following Haiyan, Palau’s President Tommy Remengesau Jr. declared a national state of emergency.

On Nov. 11, 2013, the US$1,480,000 Super Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Funding Act was authorized and appropriated for emergency operations and disaster relief.

Assistance has also been pouring in from donor partners and close allies in a bid to assist Palau in the recovery and cleanup phase.

Taiwan has announced a donation of US$100,000 for reconstruction efforts.

The government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency has announced a donation of goods worth US$20,000, which will be mainly used to assist in the cleanup of Kayangel state.

Goods including generators, sleeping pads and tarpaulins were prepared for shipment last week. According to the Japan Embassy in Koror, the goods are expected to arrive in Palau soon.

Local groups are also extending a hand to those affected by Haiyan.

The Maibrel Women’s Group presented US$1,000 to Kayangel Gov. Jeffrey Titiml for the residents of Kayangel, who survived Haiyan’s powerful winds and storm surges.

Peleliu state, Ngiwal state, friends and families have also donated raw and cooked food, clothing and beddings to the survivors.

The Kayangel Club of Guam is also holding a fundraising event later this month with proceeds to benefit the residents of the island state.

The northern states of Palau were severely damaged by the typhoon but Koror, the most populous area of Palau, experienced minor damage only.

Kayangel was in the eye of the storm experiencing powerful winds of over 160 mph.

Ngarchelong state, located on the northern tip of Palau’s main island of Babeldaob and closest to Kayangel experienced minor to severe damage.

Houses were destroyed or damaged, tin roofing was found far from houses and buildings, and trees were no longer standing in Kayangel.

More than 300 homes in Palau were damaged or destroyed by Haiyan, according to the initial damage-assessment report by the National Emergency Committee.

Some schools sustained minor to major damage including the Ngarchelong and Aimeliik Elementary Schools.

JFK Elementary School was totally destroyed. The school’s entire roof was missing and items from classrooms were scattered around.

Some residents took shelter at the school, but a resident said quick thinking led them to the state government office.

Others took refuge in the state’s dispensary and concrete water tanks while others hid underneath homes and in restrooms.

Miraculously, all 69 residents on the island at the time of Haiyan’s passage survived.

No injuries or deaths were reported in other affected areas of Palau.

However, the entire state of Kayangel is without proper shelter with the exception of a few intact dwellings.

Water and power are also down, but the Palau Public Utilities Corp. which oversees Palau’s water and power operations are working on restoring those services.



31) Fiji President urges Asia, Pacific to empower young
By Online Editor
09:47 am GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Thailand

Asia and Pacific leaders have been asked to adopt Fiji’s approach in ensuring the voice of the youth is heard.

The President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, made the call at the Youth Meeting with High Level Leaders, 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 11) in Bangkok, Thailand.

He said in an effort to make sure the voice of the young was heard, Fiji had reduced the voting age from 21 to 18 years.

“This is the same approach that leaders in the Asia and Pacific region could adopt to ensure our young people are involved in decisions that will affect their future,” Ratu Epeli said.

Fiji’s approach essentially meant that for the first time, young people could help to decide on a Government that would not only listen to their aspirations, but would importantly take decisive and concrete action to ensure a bright and secure future for the young, he added

“The change in voting age isn’t part of the legal reforms which are now enshrined in Fiji’s new Constitution which became effective from 7th September 2013, “he said.

Delegates also heard that Fiji would be having elections before the end of September 2014.

Fiji’s Constitution, he said, also had an expanded Bill of Rights which ensured that everyone had the right to life, to education, and to proper health services, among numerous other rights.

He said he was pleased that Fiji had provided a secure platform for the youth to be actively involved in governance and in decision-making.

He said he felt energised whenever he was surrounded by young leaders and the future generation who had the power to influence and shape the response to AIDS.

Ratu Epeli also urged leaders that it was time they worked together to fight for the rights of the youth.

“We need to work together to address their particular needs. And continue fighting for their human rights. After all, human rights are for all not just for some.”

He has called on government leaders to review their current laws, policies and practices in their countries.
Fiji itself, he said, had removed certain legal barriers that affected effective service delivery to key populations.

“Same sex relationships have been decriminalised. HIV related travel restrictions have been removed. We have also removed age restriction and parental consent for a young person under the age of 18.”

Under the HIV Decree of 2011, a person under 18 can consent if he or she is capable of understanding the nature and consequences of the test.

The journey he said was not easy, but it could be achieved with political will and leadership.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative to Fiji, Dr Laurent Zessler last Friday presented his credentials to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

Ratu Inoke welcomed Dr Zessler’s appointment and expressed a keen interest to work with the UNFPA in areas of mutual interest to Fiji.

Dr Zessler is also responsible for other 14 island countries in the Pacific.

The key focus areas of the UNFPA relates to family planning, gender equality and reproductive rights, education for youth on reproductive health and population policy.

Prior to his appointment, Dr Zessler has held several prominent positions within the UN.

He has been the UNFPA representative to Afghanistan, the senior regional advisor for UNAIDS in Senegal, the country director for UNAIDS in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Vietnam and Pakistan. Dr. Zessler also holds a Doctor of Medicine from the Paris School of Medicine.


32) Fiji Bati Plans
By Online Editor
12:51 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, Fiji

The Vodafone Fiji Bati is expected to include the core of the Rugby League World Cup team for the Four Nations tournament qualifier against Samoa.

Fiji will play Samoa in next year’s Pacific Test in April in Australia to decide the fourth team for the end-of-season Four Nations tournament.

Australia, New Zealand and England are the other teams that are confirmed for the tournament.

Fiji National Rugby League chairman Peni Musunamasi said their focus now was to qualify for the Four Nations tournament.

Fiji was bundled out of the RLWC after losing to Australia 0-64 in the semi-finals early yesterday at Wembley in London.

“Our Vodafone Cup competition starts sometimes after April which is after the secondary schools competition so most likely we might use most of the world cup players,” Musunamasi said.

“We will look into other players, we could use like John Sutton and try and see if we could get Jarryd Hayne as well.

“We will also use our local players. The main thing is we want to qualify for the Four Nations so we need to prepare the best team.”

FNRL will also decide on the future of coach Rick Stone as his term with the national side ends after the RLWC.

“I have yet to talk to Rick Stone whether he will be available or not but that’s something the board will decide on,” Musunamasi said.

Meanwhile, retiring skipper Petero Civoniceva has indicated his interest in being involved with the FNRL as its ambassador. Musunamasi welcomed the former Kangaroo’s decision adding “we were looking at him as one of our technical advisors to the 2017 world cup”.

“Considering what he (Civoniceva) has been through in the world cup, he will have a better conclusion on the areas to work on. We are also looking for a HPU manager to build up towards the next world cup and help with the development.”.

THE Fiji National Rugby League is hoping to host its annual Awards Night this week to celebrate the Vodafone Fiji Bati’s performance in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup in England.

The national side is expected back in the country tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, FNRL chairman Peni Musunamasi said despite the “disappointing” loss in the semi-final against Australia, they were happy with the overall performance of the team.

Fiji lost to the Kangaroos 0-64 early yesterday.

“It wasn’t the score that we were expecting. The boys were motivated after the Samoa game but there were some mistakes that led to the loss,” Musunamasi said.

“They (Fiji) gave away lot of possession and didn’t complete their sets and they didn’t put the pressure on the Australian team like in the pool game.

“Overall we managed to achieve what we wanted to and that was to play in the semi-final.”

Musunamasi said the details on the Awards Night would be released later as they were awaiting confirmation on team arrival.

33) Kangaroos on mission to upstage Invincibles’ record in World Cup final

By Online Editor
12:47 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, United Kingdom

Australian players have set themselves the goal in next weekend’s World Cup final against New Zealand of becoming the first Kangaroos team to hold opposition sides tryless in five consecutive matches.

The Kangaroos spoke before Saturday’s 64-0 defeat of Fiji about the achievement of the 1982 Australian team, known as the Invincibles, who did not concede a try in four consecutive matches against Great Britain, Leigh, Bradford Northern and Cumbria.

Since a meeting to address concerns about their defence in their World Cup-opening 28-20 win over England, Australia have managed to prevent Fiji, Ireland, the US and the Bati a second time in the semi-final at Wembley Stadium, from crossing their try line.

Assistant coach David Furner, who is responsible for the Australian team’s defence, unearthed the statistic and coach Tim Sheens spoke to the players on the eve of the match against Fiji.

”We just talked about the 1982 Australian team, which was led by Max Krilich, and they were the first Kangaroos team to be called the Invincibles because they never lost a game,” Furner said.

”It was a good focal point for the boys, I mentioned it to them yesterday and maybe some of the shape thrown at us wasn’t right up there with the best teams but certainly the guys have worked hard defensively and they made it a goal. That is 30 years and regardless of who you play you have got to defend and there were a lot of NRL players in that Fiji side.”

Going into the semi-finals, the Kiwis boasted the best attacking record in the World Cup after scoring 186 points in their previous four games compared to 174 points by Australia but the Kangaroos had conceded just 22 points compared to New Zealand’s 38 points.

”It was a credit to the players that they bought into it, Tim spoke about it and we believe the best defensive side will win this competition,” Furner said.

After beating Fiji 34-2 earlier in the tournament, the Kangaroos piled on 11 tries in a ruthless performance in the semi as the Bati found Greg Inglis and Jarryd Hayne too hard to handle. However, Sheens and senior Kangaroos players said the most pleasing thing was the team’s defence.

”England got off to a pretty good start against us and led 10-0 and that is not where we want to be,” vice-captain Paul Gallen said. ”It wasn’t a standard we wanted to set so we did speak about that and we have worked really hard on our defence with David Furner over the past five weeks and it has been paying off.”

The match was Fiji captain Petero Civoniceva’s last but there remains a possibility he will play again in the Pacific Test against Samoa on the NRL’s stand alone representative weekend in April to try and help the Bati qualify for next year’s Four Nations.

Civoniceva said the entire squad will travel to Fiji this week for a street parade in honour of their success and an official reception with President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama. ”It is exciting what we are going to be doing over the next few years in terms of developing our young guys over there and exposing them to the NRL and Super League competitions,” Civoniceva said.

34) OFC Executive meeting outcomes announced, Fiji to host executive meeting in 2014
By Online Editor
12:45 pm GMT+12, 25/11/2013, New Zealand

Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is pleased to release the approved decisions from the final OFC Executive Committee meeting of 2013.

Held at the Novatel Ascot in Greenlane, Auckland, the Executive Committee convened on 23 November.

The meeting included the following attendees: OFC President David Chung, Vice President Lee Harmon, Executive Members Frank van Hattum, Lambert Maltock, Toetu Petana, Thierry Ariiotima, Rajesh Patel, observer Ian Shaw, General Secretary Tai Nicholas and general secretariat staff.

OFC President David Chung then thanked Federation Tahitienne de Football President Thierry Ariiotima for that nation’s hosting of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in September and October.

“We are grateful for the way Tahiti hosted the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, a tournament rated as one of the best and an event that put Oceania on the world map.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the FTF for their professionalism. All video content was produced by OFC TV. FIFA was impressed with the professionalism shown and hope to use OFC TV at future tournaments,” Chung said.

Thierry Ariiotima then conveyed FTF’s gratitude for support received from the OFC.

“We would like to thank the members of the OFC Executive Committee for the grants that we received from OFC. This World Cup it was important for us to prepare this right and represent Oceania correctly.

“We knew if we weren’t at our best level then all of Oceania would have had a bad image. From everything FIFA told us I think not only Tahiti’s image was enhanced, but the entire Oceania confederation and how we handle such events.”

“If New Zealand can also host the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2015 successfully we will continue to have a very good profile at FIFA in hosting future events,” Ariiotima said.

Agenda items at the meeting included an update on the Ngahue Reserve, confirmation of the appointment of Fiji FA President Rajesh Patel to the OFC Executive Committee and an update on the status of departmental matters within the general secretariat and its restructure.

For a list of outcomes see below.

The OFC Executive Committee:

• Approved the minutes of OFC Executive Committee meeting of September.

• Approved the OFC budget for 2014.

• Approved the appointment of Fiji FA President Rajesh Patel to the OFC Executive Committee.

• OFC Futsal Invitational to become an annual event with the participation of four OFC Member Associations and up to eight AFC Member Associations in August each year. Played 4-10 August, 2014, in New Caledonia.

• Agreed the OFC Champions League format of 12 teams and to be hosted in Fiji.

o Host venues will be Ba, Lautoka and Nadi.
o Confirmed competition regulations to be sent out to Member Associations for approval.

• Agreed that the OFC qualifying format for future FIFA age group World Cups will be:

o Changed from U-17 and U-20 Championships to U-16 and U-19 Championships to allow successful teams at least one year to prepare for the World Cup.
o The new age-group format to begin for the OFC U-19 Men’s Championship from May 22 to 30, 2014.

• Approved the OFC Competitions Calendar to 2016 with the host bidding process now underway.

• Approved the OFC President’s Cup for the OFC Champions League winners, OFC Champions League runners-up, two teams from the AFC and two further invitational sides scheduled for November 2014.

• Acknowledged Tahiti’s successful hosting of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013.

• Acknowledged OFC’s Head of Social Responsibility Franck Castillo and the Peace and Sport Award won in Monaco for the ‘Just Play’ Programmes contribution to social integration peace and sport.

• Acknowledged the work of OFC Head of TV Olivier Huc who returns to Tahiti after two years in charge of the department.

•Confirmed the appointment of Gordon Glen Watson as the new OFC Head of Media and Communications.

• Approved restructure of the OFC general secretariat.

• Agreed on the meeting schedule for OFC Executive Meetings for 2014.

The next OFC Executive Committee Meeting will be held in February 2014 in Fiji.

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