Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 897

MELANESIA:

1) Histri tede lo palamen

Olgeta –

Tede 26 Novemba 2013 hemi fes taem sins 1991, taem we VP Gavman blong 1979-1991 i lusum paoa, we Gavman i gat 2/3rds majoriti blong ol Memba blong Palamen i sidaon long Gavman saed!
2/3rds hemi quorum blong wan normal sitting blong palamen, mo semtaem hemi namba we yu nidim blong pasem wan amendmen long konstityusen.

Ta, MP Ralph Regenvanu…..www.graonmojastis.org

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 26 November 2013

by bobmakin

a) Constitutional change may well not be easy for the Government come Friday. Nakamal toktok has it that regardless of party reconciliations (such as the recent redoubled effort on the part of VP and NUP) the electorate is unaccepting of any legislation which will weaken their hold on their land. Paul Telukluk MP says in today’s Daily Post “It is true the Government held the National Land Law Reform summit, but it failed to provide copies of the Constitutional amendment before it went to Parliament. Copies in English were only received last Thursday and French on Friday when Parliament was due to sit. The government of the Prime Minister Moana Carcasses failed to comply with the standing orders of Parliament, and it makes a mockery of the issue of Land Reform which is the life of chiefs, custom land owners, the people and the future generation of Vanuatu.” The Constitutional change will enable a land grab by foreigners, Telukluk says.

b) The director of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre (VKS), Abong Marcellin, says VKS intends to set up an FM radio service and TV station in the future. This will enable a better understanding of Vanuatu culture when tourist ships are in town VBTC News reports him saying.

c) Daily Post reports the landing of the telecoms cable we all believe will greatly assist our internet connections with the world. Interchange (the cable laying company) director Simon Fletcher foresaw Vanuatu soon becoming an ICT hub for the region, specifically Melanesia, with the next link through Port Moresby via Santo.

3) Referendum?

by bobmakin

Sue Farran commented on Vanuatu daily news digest | 26 November 2013 Introducing legislation to facilitate better management of customary land by customary land owners in accordance with custom is in line with the constitution not contrary to it. Far more controversial from a constitutional perspective is the proposal regarding dual
citizenship and the selling of citizenship. Arguably as citizens can vote this does raise electoral issues and should be subject to a referendum. Or are those who support the latter proposal attacking land law reforms to distract attention from the very weak arguments justifying selling citizenship?

POLYNESIA:

4) French Polynesia unemployment doubles in five years

Posted at 01:23 on 26 November, 2013 UTC

Census figures released in French Polynesia show a doubling of unemployment over five years to almost 22 percent last year.

In the same period, the population increased by 8,500 to reach 268,000.

However, migration figures have been negative, with almost 8,000 more people leaving the territory than entering.

Internal migration has seen a shift from Papeete to nearby townships.

Radio New Zealand International

AUSTRALIA:

5) MEDIA RELEASE

Bonito Mabo AO – Opens Tweed Heads Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI) 

Capacity Building Forum

Celebration of Culture and Reconnection

ABS ASSI Survey consultation begins

Two Day Forum Hosted by newly Elected ASSI National Secretariat at South Tweed Community Hall (Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 DECEMBER, 9-5pm)

The importance of local South Sea Islander culture to the rich fabric of  Multicultural Australia will be acknowledged in the upcoming Wantok ASSI Capacity Building Forum to be held at the Tweed heads Community Hall, Tweed Heads NSW on the 7th and 8th December.

The forum will be opened by Mrs Bonito Mabo AO, a Welcome to Country by a traditional owner and speeches by the Tweed Lord Mayor – Cr Barry Longland and NSW Member for Ballina and Minister for Local Government and for the North Coast Donald Page.

The two day forum will be delivered by facilitator Paramount Chief Duane Vickery complimented by a panel with Pacific Island / ASSI Historian Prof. Clive Moore and Aboriginal / ASSI activists Prof. Gracelyn Smallwood, both significant figures and contributor’s to history, human rights and justice in Indigenous and ASSI communities.

2013 also marks an historical moment in seeing a national representative ASSI body voted in at this years Wantok 2013 National ASSI Forum held in November at the State Library Queensland (Brisbane). Tweed Heads ASSI will be represented on the National ASSI Board of Directors to the National Secretariat (ASSI.PJ).

Fiona Mount, Secretary TASSI and SBOD, says .. ‘ I am truly humbled to be nominated onto the Secretariat Board of Directors to the National Secretariat (ASSI.PJ.  Acutely aware of the foundation commenced in my home town area of Tweed Heads by our predecessors such as Les & Marg Togo, Phyllis and Robert Corowa, our elders today, I am also inspired by my own family ancestors and the cultural values and morals that they have passed on to future generations. I am passionate about our culture achieving not only a higher national profile but also ensuring that our elders and our youth are not disadvantaged in modern society.  I am committed to this National Body, our South Sea Island culture and the ongoing development of meeting the needs of our community.  Our story is one that has taken over 150 years to unfold. It needs to be told. It needs to be acknowledged, in a visible and tangible manner. It needs to be catered for, nationally. ‘

Robyn Watego, Vice president TSSI says … ‘Tweed South Sea Islanders open our arms and hearts to new and old friends, roll up our sleeves when there’s work to be done, we smile to those who need a friendly face, we listen to those who need to be heard and we know when to work and when to have fun.  We are a small group, but we are together and we are here. We are grateful to have such an important event as Wantok at our home.‘

President of the National Secretariat (ASSI.PJ) Waskam Emelda Davis says … ‘The Tweed Forum represents an important milestone for ASSI people and youth especially in Northern NSW particularly since the formal NSW Parliament Recognition on the 15th August 2013.  It is one of a series of programs to assist ASSI to learn more about our history, culture and families, both in the Tweed and in other regions as well as reconnecting with family from the Pacific Islands and sharing our rich culture with the broader community groups. Initiatives such as this establish a sense of belonging for what has been seen as a forgotten peoples.’

There will be a number of prominent names from the Tweed in attendance such as Boykin, Carter, Chadburn, Corowa, Enares, Itong, Keevers, Moss, Mussing, Mye, Noter, Slockee, Toar, Togo, Terare, Watego and Wogas families.   In particular 95 year old Phyllis Corowa (née Enares) will be attending and is one of the founders for the 1972 ASSI United Council. Phyllis and her husband Robert (Zane) Corowa as president  worked diligently with the ASSI community towards recognition by the Commonwealth of ASSI’s. Phyllis continued and after Roberts passing saw Corowa Park, Chinderah named after her deceased husband. Her continued work also included the establishment of the South Sea Island Cemetery on Cudgen Road, Chinderah. There will be a ceremony recognizing the prominent elders of the Tweed ASSI community for their diligence and respected work in such a sustained ASSI community group.

Waskam Emelda Davis says ‘I am so proud to deliver Wantok on my home territory. I was bought up by my nana who was well respected on the Tweed and beyond Emily May Enares, we lived on Cudgen Road, Chinderah and I have fond memories of my community.’

‘This forum will allow the Tweed Community to share their journey, knowledge and discuss a number of local and national needs that they would like to see addressed.

Importantly we will be capturing data that will form the basis for the creation by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of a survey program which will capture effectively  for the first time ever, the national demographics of ASSI / SSI people.  Up until this time, such statistical data has not been recorded efficiently from a national perspective by Government and ASSI people have been continuously overlooked as a population by government agencies. To most Australians we are virtually invisible and few know of our history within Australia.’

Australia is home to an estimated 40,000 ASSI descendants and a further estimated 300,000 recent Pacific Islander migrants.  Men and women and children from eighty Pacific Islands were Blackbirded to Australia between 1863 and 1908 and many of those Islands are represented here in Australia today and have an untapped shared history of relevance.

The newly elected Secretariat Board of Directors (SBOD) and National Secretariat (ASSI.PJ) will champion the Australian South Sea islander plight through meaningful community engagement.

President SBOD – Natalie Pakoa says… ‘As the newly elected Director of the Secretariat Board of Directors, I look forward to meeting and talking with  the community of Tweeds Heads to gain a better understanding from a local perspecitve of the issues facing our ASSI families.’

For more information and media interviews with Director of National ASSI Secretariat Emelda Davis please contact:
Emelda Davis: 0416 300 946
Media: Marie Geissler: 0416 285 727
For more information logon to:  www.assipj.com.au

6) Indigenous art flies around the world

Updated 25 November 2013, 20:20 AEST
Adrienne Francis

A new piece of Indigenous art is taking to the skies on a Qantas plane to promote Australian culture around the world.

The team behind the airborne art project hopes it will prompt greater recognition and curiosity towards Aboriginal art.

An ochre canvas painted by the late Indigenous artist Paddy Bedford was selected to inspire the fourth flying artwork commissioned by Qantas.

The visually striking aircraft was shown off to a team of collaborators including staff from the National Gallery of Australia in a Canberra hanger.

Original masterpiece

The original painting which inspired the plane artwork, Medicine Pocket was created by Mr Bedford using earth pigments on canvas in 2005.

The National Gallery of Australia’s Franchesca Cubillo says it tells the story of the landscape in the East Kimberley.

“This is referencing an important waterhole or a site of living water,” she said.

Designer Ros Moriarty who collaborated on the project says it is an important piece.

“A magnificent piece of work from a world renowned artist, a luminary in the Indigenous and the Australian art scene,” she said.

The team behind the project included Mr Bedford’s family, the Bedford Trust, the National Gallery of Australia, an Indigenous owned design company, Qantas and Boeing.

They spent 18 months translating some of Mr Bedford’s original vision into a form that could adorn an aircraft.

The completed design has been named Mendoowoorrji after Mr Bedford’s mother.

Flying canvas

The team of collaborators say the translation of Mr Bedford’s original dreaming image onto the Boeing 737 aircraft was far from easy.

“He was one of the first East Kimberley painters to paint wet-on-wet, which meant he was loading up his paintbrush,” Ms Moriarty said.

“It included stringing a number of paint brushes together, wrapping scourers on the end of implements.

“These paint schemes last about ten years. So the paint dries very quickly, a bit like nail polish!

“So for the engineers and the technicians to be able to apply this technique to get a painterly feel is actually a phenomenal job that was achieved in the Boeing paint shop.”

Ms Moriarty says 140 nylon stencils were needed to define every line and the 702 dots featured in the Mendoowoorrji design.

“125 kilos of paint. So a lot of paint a lot of man hours. A lot of technique,” she said.

Qantas says the plane’s skin will be due for a refresher in about a decade and will carry an estimated 5 million passengers during its lifetime.RADIO AUSTRALIA

TOK PISIN:

7) Bougainville i makim stopim vailens agensim ol meri day

Updated 26 November 2013, 14:42 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Long Bougainville autonomous rijin blong Papua  New Guinea ol pipol i joinim planti milian pipal long wold long makim International Day against violence against women.

Odio: Helen Hakena, direkta blong Leitana Nehan divelopmen agensi i toktok kost blong vailens agensim ol meri
Aste tu emi bin stat long samting em oli kolim “16 days of activism” oa kampen em olgeta kantri long wold isave bihaenim.

Despla kempein ibin stat aste we oli bin makim International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women na bai pinis long namba 10 december, we em i taem blong makim International Human Rights Day.

Papua New Guinea isave makim 20 pela dei blong kampen long wanem emi gat planti ol narapla samting em oli laikim ol pipol imas luksave long ol.

Helen Hakena, direkta blong Leitana Nehan divelopmen agensi long Bougainville, itok  moa long wan tausan pipal ibin kamap long statim despla 16 dei blong kampen agensim vailena agensim ol meri.

World Bank itok tu olsem violence gensim ol meri long Pacific rijan isave mekim ol kantri i lusim planti bilian dola long wanwan yia.

Despla em toktok i stap insaet long wanpla nupla ripot blong World Bank em oli bin tokaut long en aste blong makim  International Day against violence.

World Bank Group itok  domestic violence i kamap olsem wanpla bikpla wari tru long ol Pacific island kantri na emi wok long mekim sampla progrem long helpim ol kantri long rijan long daonim despla wari.

Ms Hakena itok ol despla toktok blong World Bank i tru.RADIO AUSTRALIA

FRENCH:

8a) Des bienfaits des services bancaires mobiles

Posté à 26 November 2013, 8:32 AEST
Pierre Riant

Dans le Pacifique, nombre de gouvernements se désespèrent de ne pouvoir encaisser les factures issues de services essentiels : de l’eau à l’électricité en passant par l’éducation ou la santé et ces factures impayées suscitent une dégradation des services en question et tout le monde en souffre.

Un groupe de consultation des États-Unis – Assist the Poor – conseille l’utilisation et la prolifération des services bancaires mobiles pour effectuer des micro-paiements.

Les explications de Leesa Shrader, membre de ce groupe de consultation : « Je pense qu’en matière de développement, les pays donateurs ont dépensé beaucoup d’argent pour mettre des services de base à disposition des personnes à faible revenu; comme l’eau, l’énergie, l’électricité.
Toutefois, après la mise en place des infrastructures, et bien très souvent, presque toujours, le système s’effondre parce qu’il faut de l’argent pour entretenir ces infrastructures d’approvisionnement en eau par exemple.
Et les pays donateurs ne peuvent pas continuer à financer indéfiniment le système. Les [petites] communautés sont disposées à payer mais le problème a toujours été de mettre en place un système de paiements durable pour  ces micro-factures. Parfois, ce n’est qu’un centime quand quelqu’un désire utiliser des installations sanitaires publiques. Alors comment faire ?
Et bien dans ce domaine le porte-monnaie électronique s’est avéré une solution très intéressante. Toutefois, il faut maintenant les personnaliser en fonction des services utilisés.
Des petites entreprises commencent à répondre aux questions : comment quelqu’un paye pour utiliser des toilettes publiques, ou pour utiliser de l’eau propre pour cuisiner ou avoir accès à l’énergie solaire etc.»

Le portefeuille électronique peut-être en fait un compte en ligne que l’on accède par un téléphone portable ; Pas de carte, pas de chèque, aucun objet de paiement juste un mot de passe. Ainsi, ce mode de paiement est apprécié pour sa simplicité d’autant plus qu’il permet aussi de contourner la corruption : « Souvent,  on demande aux personnes démunies de donner un peu plus d’argent. Nous savons qu’en Asie, des familles vont à l’hôpital et les médecins demandent un peu plus d’argent, et le personnel soignant aussi, c’est très insidieux.
Les hôpitaux ont du mal à contrôler la situation alors de nombreux hôpitaux, au Kenya par exemple, ont dit : c’est terminé, nous n’acceptons plus de paiement en liquide tout doit se faire en ligne avec les portefeuilles électroniques. Tout devient donc transparent pour l’hôpital et pour les clients. »

Et n’est-ce pas un problème d’avoir de quoi payer un téléphone portable : « Je pense que le problème n’est pas là, c’est plutôt dans la couverture du réseau. Vous pouvez trouver des portables vraiment pas chers et je ne pense pas que cela soit une contrainte et des institutions de micro-finance prête des portables.
Mais en zone rurale, la couverture des opérateurs de réseau n’est pas suffisante  et je crois que les opérations d’aide au développement devraient se concentrer là-dessus. »RADIO AUSTRALIA

8b) Les Nations-Unies veulent que les femmes chantent

Posté à 26 November 2013, 8:26 AEST
Pierre Riant

En Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, l’ONU a lancé un concours de chansons ouvert à la région de Bougainville pour que les femmes participent davantage à une industrie de la musique dominée par les hommes.

Le trophée sera accompagné d’un chèque offert à l’interprète de la meilleure chanson associée à 2 thèmes : « Les vrais hommes ne battent pas les femmes » et «Renforcer le pouvoir d’action des femmes ».

Nous avons parlé de ce concours de chansons avec Agnès Titus, coordinatrice de l’ONU-Femmes à Bougainville : « Nous pensons que ce concours de chanson aura un impact et nous avons reçu des candidatures à la fois d’hommes et de femmes. Nous sommes vraiment contents du résultat et nous sommes en train de former un comité de sélection de la chanson gagnante. »

La violence à l’encontre des femmes est effectivement un grave problème à Bougainville. Selon un rapport de l’ONU publié cette année, 80% des hommes ont reconnu avoir eu recours à la force pour avoir des relations sexuelles avec une femme et 62% affirment avoir violé une femme ou une jeune fille  au cours de leur vie.

Et dans ce concours de chansons, des hommes vont chanter : « Les vrais hommes ne battent pas les femmes »… la réponse d’Agnès Titus : «  C’est très intéressant. Pendant la promotion nous avons en fait encouragé les hommes à venir à la cérémonie de remise des prix le lundi [25 novembre], la Journée du Ruban Blanc. Et quand nous révèlerons le groupe qui a gagné le concours de chansons, nous voulons voir davantage d’hommes arborer le Ruban Blanc. Et cela nous permet d’expliquer ce que signifie ce ruban, cela nous permet de dire aux hommes qu’avec ce ruban, ils s’engagent personnellement à mettre fin à la violence à l’encontre des femmes, de la société, des proches. Parce que Bougainville est effectivement un endroit violent en ce moment et je pense que c’est en partie la conséquence d’avoir traversé un conflit. »

Bougainville a effectivement été victime d’une guerre civile violente entre 1989 entre 1998. Hier, les résultats ont été annoncés et c’est :RADIO AUSTRALIA

EDUCATION:

9) New law book expected to speed up progress on gender equality

Posted at 00:19 on 26 November, 2013 UTC

Pacific Island countries should be better equipped to close gaps in their laws affecting women after the launch of a new law book.

“Human rights lawyer Imrana Jalal wrote Law for Pacific Women 15 years ago and revealed the extent of legal discrimination against women in the region.”

Sandra Bernklau of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community says the update will be a good lobbying tool.

SANDRA BERNKLAU: Although it’s been written now in 2012, launched in 2013, you can see that it’s not a huge volume. There has been enormous progress made in some areas of law in the Pacific, especially around addressing domestic violence, addressing affirmative action in women in leadership. There’s been movement there. But there’s also been huge gaps – areas such as employment, citizenship, property rights, family law. There hasn’t been huge movement. So the book offers policy makers, leaders, womens activists a guideline, a baseline, where are we at right now with how women experience the law in the Pacific?

SALLY ROUND: And how will that help them, going forward into the future?

SB: Because it will give them an idea of where exactly the gaps are. And it’s a good lobbying tool. It looks at what laws have progressed, so they may not need to worry about that. But they may need to worry about complementary legislation, for example great progress in domestic violence. But accompanying legislation, such as family law, where you’re looking at marriage, divorce, adoption, property, maintenance of children, all of those areas under family law, if you don’t have that women would be very reluctant to leave, for example, a violent relationship because their economic security would be at risk. When you don’t have equal access to property, housing, it puts women at risk. It gives people an idea of where those gaps are and where they may need to focus their next area of legislative reform.

SR: And where is this being done successfully in the Pacific, where there is complementary legislation that is helping women?

SB: The Fiji Family Law Act was an excellent example of that. And I think other countries are taking things on a step-by-step basis. So they’re thinking ’OK, shocking statistics on violence against women, violence in the home, so let’s work on domestic violence first. Let’s get that right, let’s implement that and then let’s take the next step’. And then there’s also other concerns – employment legislation, maternity leave, sexual harassment in the workplace, all of these are being highlighted. So I think it’s very overwhelming for smaller countries – ’Oh, my goodness. We have to work on all of this legislation. This is really over the top’. But they’re all making enormous progress and there’s huge commitment to progress legislative reform.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Academic awarded grant to research 200-years of Samoa’s history

Posted at 04:45 on 26 November, 2013 UTC

An Auckland University academic has been awarded funding to research a key period of Samoa’s history, from 1800 to 2000.

Associate Professor of the Centre for Pacific Studies, Damon Salesa, will use his Marsden Grant to explore what he calls the transformation of everyday life in Samoa.

He told Amelia Langford that Samoa’s history has tended to be written from the colonisers’ perspective, not that of the local people.

DAMON SALESA: What’s happened in the past is most of the histories of Samoa have concentrated on colonialism and chiefly politics. So what I’m hoping to do with this grant is broaden that out, so many of the things that are really interesting and fundamental to Samoan life, like changes in technology, changes in environment and food, many of those things, we don’t really know as much about those things as we should. So it’s partly about broadening and deepening our understanding of what I’m calling ’ordinary life in Samoa’. So although Samoa was highly connected to other parts of the Pacific, it was quite removed from Europe and North America. So this period I’m looking at from 1800 to 2000 was a period when relatively rapid change was happening. If you think of things like the arrival of horses and cattle, the arrival of new crops.

AMELIA LANGFORD: So it’s really going to cover quite a bit.

DS: A lot of it is about asking question of these sources that in some respects people haven’t thought were interesting questions. (Laughs) Asking questions, for instance, about what happens when we get these intensive agricultural changes in Samoa. Historians typically haven’t been very interested in that. Asking, for instance, how the life of Samoan children changed. We went from a very different notion of Samoan childhood in 1800, which was very family and village based, to a notion of Samoan childhood in the 20th century which was built around education and literacy, where you listened to the radio and you read foreign books and you learnt English. That big change is something that I think is really important for us to easily understand.

AL: So this will be invaluable for future generations, won’t it?

DS:That is the plan. And one of the things about standard history, those political histories, is that they tend to age very rapidly. I often say every generation writes its own history. And it’s fine for the US and New Zealand, even, because there’s so many historians at work. But I think for Samoa the plan here is to build a history that will speak to multiple generations, and then allow historians to go and work on whatever they want and have something that stable and built to last, at least for a little while.

Damon Salesa says the grant will also fund an international conference and the digitisation of key Samoan archives.

Radio New Zealand International

BUSINESS:

11) New Caledonia leaders call for international nickel cartel

Posted at 05:10 on 26 November, 2013 UTC

New Caledonian political leaders say they would like to create a nickel cartel with Indonesia and the Philippines similar to the oil producing countries’ OPEC.

New Caledonia’s vice-president, Gilbert Tyuienon, and its Congress president, Roch Wamytan, discussed the issue with Indonesian leaders in Jakarta amid concern over the drop in the nickel price.

The two countries reportedly hold about 80 percent of the world’s ore supply, with Indonesia supplying Chinese smelters whose growing output has lowered the nickel price way below the production costs in New Caledonia.

The New Caledonian leaders say there was interest in Jakarta in suggestions to regulate the nickel market along the lines of the rubber and tin market.

Last week,

Radio New Zealand International

12) PNG impresses Pacific
By Online Editor
3:46 pm GMT+12, 26/11/2013, Vanuatu

Papua New Guinea has best policy guidelines for socio-economic development in the Pacific, a conference was told in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

“PNG is committed to becoming a middle-income nation by 2030 when our aspirations stipulated in the strategic development plan are realised and consequently Vision 2050,” chairman for World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund board of governors Don Polye told his economic ministers, senior economic officials and donor partners.

He said: “Political stability has been a denominating factor in attracting investors in the country.”

Polye, who is PNG’s Minister for Treasury, said he was keen on formulating similar policies on global risk mitigation centre, climate impact security facility and global infrastructure fund for the region.

He wanted the fragile economies to insure themselves against natural disaster, saying their budget alone would not be able to cater for recovering devastations.

Polye had encouraged business and trade partnerships within the region to ensure business and financial sector grew and strengthened to find a resilient economic prosperity.

He challenged both advanced and fragile economies to uphold the principles of fiscal discipline without which, their economy became vulnerable to depression.

“When one economy sneezes, everyone gets cough.

“Therefore, we are integrated through trade and business so we must observe the role of fiscal discipline for economic prosperity,” Polye said.

He said PNG was an emerging economy in the Asia-Pacific, citing that growth was driven by its Fiscal Responsibility Act, Debt Management Act, Medium Term Fiscal Policy and political stability.

The economic ministers praised PNG for its progress in extractive industry transparency initiative and the Sovereign Wealth Fund among others.

Congratulating Polye, IMF deputy managing director Min Zhu challenged him to fully represent the small Pacific island nations in the two prestigious financial institutions.

Polye said he was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting where he learned many good lessons which can add value for PNG to help unlock its growth potential.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER:

13) Fiji judge rules former army chief guilty of mutiny

Updated 26 November 2013, 14:07 AEST

The Suva High Court has found former Fiji Land Force Commander Pita Driti guilty of mutiny.

A Suva High Court judge has overturned the verdict of a jury and found former Fiji army chief Pita Driti guilty of mutiny.

Colonel Pita Driti was the Fiji military’s land force commander when Commodore Bainimarama staged his 2006 coup.

He is alleged to have been part of a plot to assassinate the attorney-general and banish interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama in 2010.

Devanesh Sharma, former president of the Fiji Law Society, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat it is not unusual for a Suva High Court judge to overturn the findings of a jury.

“I mean at the end of the day, the final protection of any high court trial is that the judge will make the final decision because the judge is normally a very experienced person who will know the law,” he said.

Fiji’s local media is reporting Justice Paul Madigan has deferred sentencing until December 10 and Driti remains in custody.

Coup plan to topple Bainimarama

Driti told fellow officers he had lost faith in Mr Bainimarama, who gained power in the 2006 coup that toppled a democratically-elected government, the Fiji Times reported.

Prosecution witness Lieutenant-Colonel Manasa Tagicakibau said that in 2010 he was in charge of army logistics, including surveillance, when Driti approached him seeking support for the plan.

Tagicakibau said Driti complained that Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, widely seen as Mr Bainimarama’s number two, had too much influence on the military leader and should be killed.

He allegedly wanted to depose Mr Bainimarama in October 2010 while he was visiting Fijian troops in Sudan.

Tagicakibau said he and two other officers blew the whistle on the plot just before Mr Bainimarama’s scheduled departure for Sudan, the Fijivillage news website reported.

Driti was subsequently arrested and an alleged co-conspirator, Lieutenant-Colonel Tevita Mara, fled to neighbouring Tonga, where he has ties to the aristocratic elite.

ABC/AFP

14) Southern Highlanders Warned Not To Disrupt PNG Airliner
Minister says Air Niugini flights will stop if problems persist

By Jacob Pok

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 25, 2013) – The people of Mendi in Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands Province, have been warned that Air Niugini will completely stop its flights into Mendi if the people continue to disrupt airport operations.

The tough stand is from the Public Enterprise Minister Ben Micah. Mr Micah and a team of Southern Highlands MPs took the first Air Niugini flight into Mendi on Saturday after a month to address the people and reopen Air Niugini flights into Mendi.

Air Niugini flights into Mendi were cancelled for almost a month by Air Niugini management and the National Airports Corporation following disruption to the airport operations due to disputes between two security contractors over the Mendi Airport security.

Air Niugini engaged a new security contractor through tender process to provide security at the airport but the former contractor refused to pull out, causing a tension between the two contractors which affected airport operations and forced Air Niugini to cancel its flights.

During the inaugural flight on Saturday, a huge crowd turned up to see the Air Niugini Dash 8 disembark at the Mendi Airport.

The Southern Highlands MPs which included Governor William Powi, Mendi MP De Kewanu, Imbonggu MP and Works Minister Francis Awesa and Nipa-Kutubu MP Jeffery Komal showed their presence with Minister Micah to address the people.

Mr Micah told the people that Southern Highlands had a lot of good history and has produced good leaders in the likes of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and others that were present with him.

“You are also the leading province in terms of resources which contributes immensely to the economy of the country and you should be proud of your province,” Mr Micah told the people.

He said such small disputes affected flow of services in the province and that must be stopped.

“I want to have an agreement with you the people of Mendi to make this the last and put a stop to damaging public properties and disrupting services. If we hear anymore disruptions, Air Niugini will cease its operation completely without any prior notifications,” Mr Micah said.

“These disruptions are not caused by natural disasters such as typhoon or earthquake, it is caused by us human beings and this must stop.’’

The minister further urged the people to take the message seriously and look after the public properties which would benefit them.

In supporting the minister, Governor Powi urged his people to adhere to what the leaders say.

“I had to request Minister Micah on the floor of parliament to reopen Air Niugini flights into Mendi because we are moving towards Christmas and families will need to move to and fro for holidays and other businesses.

“We have been travelling via Mt Hagen and face a lot of risk travelling by road to Mendi and that is why I had to request Minister Micah to reopen Mendi flights,” Mr Powi told the people. He said Minister Micah assured him that he would reopen flights into Mendi on the conditions that the people behave and put a stop to disputing airport operations.

“That is why we are here today to reopen Air Niugini flights into the province and I want you all to make this the last and refrain from disrupting these services or they will be withdrawn,” Mr Powi told his people. He added that his administration would upon consultation with Air Niugini, put in K100,000 [US$37,947] to subsidise flights into Mendi so that Mendi would have more than one flight a day. “We will put in money depending upon proper consultations to subsidise flights into Mendi and I urged you people to be responsible and protect properties that will benefit us,” Governor Powi said.

PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION AND ENVIROMENT:

15) Kiribati man loses appeal over bid for refugee status in NZ

Posted at 09:24 on 26 November, 2013 UTC

A Kiribati man has lost his appeal against a New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal decision to deny him refugee status.

Fairfax reports that Ioane Teitiota has now exhausted his legal bid to live with his wife as refugees in New Zealand with their three New Zealand-born children.

Mr Teitiota’s application for refugee status was based on his claim that living in Kiribati was no longer tenable due to the combined pressures of overpopulation and rising sea levels.

However, in a written judgment issued today, Justice John Priestley rejected the bid, describing Mr Teitiota’s claim to be a refugee as impermissible.

Justice Priestley said that under the United Nations convention a refugee was a person with a well-founded fear of persecution on specific grounds.

He said that people who fled due to national disaster or global warming had become refugees in a way not caused by persecution.

Radio New Zealand International

16) ADB report predicts urges better access to climate funding for Pacific

Posted at 05:10 on 26 November, 2013 UTC

A report by the Asian Development Bank on predicted economic losses related to climate change in the Pacific is calling for dramatically improved access to global and regional climate funds.

The report follows the United Nations climate conference COP19 in Poland, where Pacific Island countries lobbied for the mutli-billion dollar Green Climate Fund to be made operational.

The bank’s study predicts the economic loss that could be suffered by the Pacific region ranges from just under three percent to almost 13 percent of annual GDP by 2100.

Papua New Guinea is expected to experience the most signficant loss – up to 15 percent of GDP by 2100.

Vanuatu’s GDP is predicted to drop by six percent, Solomon Islands’ by nearly five percent, Fiji’s by four percent and Samoa’s GDP by almost four percent.

Most of the losses will be related to climate change’s impact on agriculture, with the report noting that the region may require more than three quarters of a billion dollars a year to prepare for the worst warming scenario.

Radio New Zealand International

YOUTH:


17) Pacific Youth Council’s Harry James elected into the Commonwealth Youth Council
By Online Editor
3:41 pm GMT+12, 26/11/2013, Fiji

At the first ever Council General Assembly for the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC), held in Hambantota, Sri Lanka – November 12 2013, the Pacific Youth Council’s (PYC) Harry James, from the Solomon Islands, was elected as the Pacific Region representative for the newly formed youth council.

The meeting brought together young people from all over the commonwealth to nominate and elect the council members.

Having been a part of the Pacific Youth Council for the past year, Harry James was a favoured candidate for the position of Pacific Region representative.

‘I feel honoured to represent the voice of our young people of the Pacific in this international platform,’ says Harry.

‘What I believe I can achieve is implement the CYC affairs in the region, working in partnership with the Pacific Youth Council and its member Youth Councils to plan and implement programs and activities to our young people in the pacific region.’

Joining a team of eight others from across the Commonwealth, Harry will spend the next two years representing the interests of the young people of the Pacific in what has been dubbed as the largest and most diverse youth lead body in the world.

Leading the youth body is the newly elected chair, Nigerian National Ahmed Adamu, joined by three vice chairs and five regional representatives.

The CYCs mandate is to represent the voice of the 1.2 billion young people of the Commonwealth in order to provide a framework for youth-led development projects and initiatives…..PACNEWS

More information available: http://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/commonwealth-youth-delegates-elect-new-youth-council-leaders

Media contact
Brenton Niemz
brentonn@spc.int

+679 337 9474

SOURCE: SPC/PACNEWS

SPORTS:


18) Pacific still playing catch up with rugby league big guns
By Online Editor
4:00 pm GMT+12, 26/11/2013, United Kingdom

Fiji bowed out of the Rugby League World Cup at the weekend after a 64-0 hammering by Australia.

The Bati finished as the top performing Pacific country, but as Vinnie Wylie reports, the gulf between the big three and the rest of the world is as big as ever.

Fiji’s semi-final drubbing was their second defeat to the Kangaroos in the space of three weeks for a grand total of 2 points for and 96 against. It mirrors another big loss to the same foe at the 2008 World Cup, where Fiji also reached the semi-finals.

Bati coach Rick Stone admits a 64-0 scoreline is a tough way, to finish but says he’s proud of the Bati’s efforts team’s overall World Cup performance.

“ Bit of a sour taste in our mouth about our performance yesterday. We wanted to see the improvement of what we’d put up in the tournament so far but we took a couple of steps backwards unfortunately. I don’t think it should dampen our spirits about the tour and we definitely found a couple of players that we think can play at the international level. Some of them are young players who are going to form the nucleus of our team going forward.”

Toa Samoa were the only other Pacific team to make the knockout rounds before succumbing to Fiji in the quarter finals.

The President of Rugby League Samoa, Tagaloa Faafouina Su’a, says while they would have liked to go further, a top eight finish is a good result.

“This is the first time ever that our Toa Samoa team has made it to the quarter final. Considering the fact that our preparations from the start with lots of challenges – playing pulling out due to injuries and other commitments and then we fielded a really young team – some players for the first time they played an international test – in the end two wins [and] two losses, making the quarter finals, is like a step from the other years.”

Papua New Guinea coach Adrian Lam has faced mounting criticism at home after the Kumuls failed to win a game at the tournament. Lam is contracted through until the next World Cup in 2018.

He says after years of upheaval the rebuilding process will take time and he has no intention of walking away.

“With the social media and whatnot they’re never happy up there whether you’re winning or losing. A lot of the criticism is brought in by people who have been involved in rugby league before but also assisted it to get to its knees so we’ve got to try and just keep real about the whole situation and just forge forward with what we know. I know I’ve got Mal on board now and that’s only going to be a benefit for me and the team and the country, and just persist with pushing forward with that and allowing the system to work for itself.”

The Cook Islands and Tonga also failed to make it out of the round robin phase, with the star-studded Mate Ma’a left ruing an opening defeat to Scotland and the Kukis paying the price for a shock loss to the USA.

Talks are ongoing about expanding this year’s Pacific test concept, with as many as three test matches in the works for April 2014.

Fiji’s top four finish confirmed their spot in the Four Nations tournament at the end of next year, alongside England, New Zealand and Australia.

Meanwhile Australia and New Zealand will contest the World Cup final at Old Trafford in Manchester this weekend.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

19) Kangaroos ready for Rugby League World Cup final
By Online Editor
3:59 pm GMT+12, 26/11/2013, United Kingdom

At the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, a soft preparation was cited as a major factor behind Australia’s shock loss to New Zealand in the final.

But despite enjoying a similarly easy ride against a string of minnows at this year’s tournament, the Kangaroos are adamant they are better equipped for battle ahead of Saturday’s showdown with the Kiwis at Old Trafford.

Leading into the final in Brisbane five years ago, then-Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart spoke several times of his concerns about Australia’s run, which included big wins over Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Stuart’s fears were realised when an out-of-sorts Australian side fell to the Kiwis 34-20.

The Kangaroos’ run to this year’s final has arguably been even easier and they’ve piled on 210 unanswered points in their past four matches; two big wins over Fiji and thrashings of Ireland and USA.

New Zealand, on the other hand, were pushed to the limit for the first time and needed a last-minute try to overcome England in Saturday’s semi-final.

But despite the contrast in semi-final tests, Australia’s players believe their imposing defensive record, and the fact they are finishing games strongly, are good signs for the final.

“I feel as though in 2008, when we played Fiji in that semi-final, even though we still belted them (52-0), I reckon we lost a bit of momentum heading into that final,” veteran centre Brent Tate told AAP.

“I don’t get that feeling this time.

“I’ve been really impressed with how professionally we’ve approached every game.

“Because in all those games, we sort of knew we were going to win if we played well and it’s been a matter of not getting in the habit of throwing the ball around and getting away from your structures and what works for you.”

Vice-captain Paul Gallen agreed Australia had done everything in their power to ensure they were ready for the final.

“At the end of the day, all you can do is play who they put in front of you and we’ve done that pretty well,” Gallen said.

“We haven’t take our foot off the gas.”

Kangaroos halfback Cooper Cronk believes both sides’ campaigns will effectively be irrelevant when they meet in front of an expected crowd of around 75,000.

“It doesn’t really matter what’s transpired in the weeks leading up to it,” Cronk said.

“It just comes down to these next four days and the 80-minute performance.”.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

20) Oceania Football strengthening ties with Asia

Posted at 00:19 on 26 November, 2013 UTC

The Oceania Football Confederation is continuing to build closer ties with their Asian counterparts.

At the OFC’s Executive Committee meeting on Saturday it was confirmed the Futsal Invitational Event featuring teams from Oceania and Asia, which was first hosted this year, will become an annual event.

The OFC General Secretary Tai Nicholas says it’s all about working together and lifting standards within the region.

“The President and I were in Asia last month. We talked with a number of federations and with Asia Football about testing the level of OFC and AFC teams. We can confirm that Indonesia and we’re in talks with China and Korea, in addition to Australia and Malaysia, joining some OFC teams so we can build on this Futsal Invitational Tournament.”

A new tournament, the OFC President’s Cup, was also given the green light.

This will see the Oceania Champions League winner, runners-up, along with two teams from Asia and two further invitational sides competing in an annual tournament from November next year.

The event will also serve as preparation for the O-League winners ahead of their appearance at the FIFA Club World Cup.

Radio New Zealand International

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