Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 900

MELANESIA:

1) Any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won’t be tolerated – Police Chief

Posted at 21:23 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

Indonesia’s National Police Chief General Sutarman says the country’s police will take stern measures against those wanting to separate Papua from Indonesia.

General Sutarman told local media that police will take firm action against groups or individuals wanting to separate Papua from Indonesia because Papua is part of Indonesia.

The Indonesian government is paying more attention to Papua and has therefore set up the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua, UP4B, particularly to speed up infrastructure construction.

The police chief says with so much attention being diverted to the region, any intentions to separate from the Republic of Indonesia will not be tolerated.

The police chief has been on a working visit to Papua since Tuesday.

He signed a cooperation agreement with Public Housing Minister Djan Faridz in Sorong on Tuesday for the construction of 100 housing units for police officers stationed in Raja Ampat.

On Wednesday, General Sutarman visited the Papua Provincial Police office in Jayapura to meet the police officials stationed there.
Radio New Zealand International

2) PNG politician calls on government to put a cap on the population

Posted at 02:13 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

A Papua New Guinea politician is calling on the government to limit the number of births in the country to stem rapid population growth.

The Member of Parliament for Sumkar District in Madang Province, Ken Fairweather says population growth in PNG is faster than western nations and says the country’s essential services such as education, health and infrastructure cannot keep up.

Mr Fairweather says in his electorate, the population rose by about six percent in 2010 and he has begun a programme of issuing birth control arm implants to reduce the number of women there having babies.

He says the government needs to start similar programmes across the country by issuing free contraception to women.

“I’m saying we need to have a cap on the population of around eight million which is probably what we have about now, and try to limit the birth rate to a sustainable level of one or two percent, which is not sustainable at the moment. And that’s the whole point we’re all making.”

Ken Fairweather says he hopes 15 thousand women will receive arm implants in Sumkar within five years.
Radio New Zealand International

3) Solomon Islands Chosen For Commonwealth Ministers’ Group
India, New Zealand, Pakistan also included for next 2 years

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 28, 2013) – Solomon Islands has been selected to join the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).

At the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Commonwealth Heads of Government agreed on the following countries, Cyprus, Guyana, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka (ex-officio as Chair in Office) and Tanzania to be the new members of CMAG for the next two years.

CMAG deals with serious or persistent violations of the Harere Declarations, which contains Commonwealth’s fundamental political values such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

It was established by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1995.

In 2011 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia, CMAG was given an enhanced mandate.

The mandate include that CMAG to work with the Secretary General and its Good Offices to monitor progress of a member country’s response to the violations to the Harere Declarations and the Commonwealth Charter and recommend to the Heads of Government the decision either to suspend, expel or reinstate a member country.

Solomon Islands is honored to be represented on the CMAG and looks forward to contribute to the good work and deliberations of the CMAG for the next two years (2014-2015).

Solomon Islands replace Vanuatu since its membership expires after two years.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Clay Forau Soalaoi will join eight other Foreign Ministers from the Commonwealth who are members of the CMAG to have their regular meetings.

The CMAG usually hold two regular meetings each year, one in London in the first half of the year and the other in New York, in the wings of the UN General Assembly session, in September/October.

It will also continue to meet on the eve of CHOGM, to finalise its report to Heads of Government.

However, should there be a need for extraordinary meetings of CMAG; this will continue to take place as necessitated by events.
Solomon Star

4) Solomons corruption watchdog: no time to be without auditor general

Posted at 05:28 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

A Solomon Islands corruption watchdog says now is not the time for the country to be without an auditor general.

The comment follows Edward Ronia’s forced departure from the role on the grounds of reaching the official retirement age of 55.

Transparency International Solomon Islands’ chairperson says there is a constitutional provision for the governor general to extend the employment of a public office-holder who has turned 55.

Ruth Liloqula told Annell Husband the governor general should exercise that provision.

RUTH LILOQULA: Because he’s an effective and active auditor general and has done a very, very good job since he got the job he should be allowed to continue until the end of his contract, which is December 2014.

ANNELL HUSBAND: Why, then, do you think he has been terminated?

RL: That is something that we’re still trying to find out – the reasons for his termination. So far his performance in the public side, it’s to be commended.

So if there is any other reason that he is being terminated other than the age then that needs to be explained to the auditor general and also to public that is asking why this is happening.

AH: Even on the grounds of age, though, it doesn’t make sense, does it, because he passed that age some time ago?

RL: Yes, he passed that age some time ago and the governor general has discretionary powers to allow him to continue in this post, and we are calling for him to invoke this and reinstate him so that he can do proper work, he can finish his time in office properly.

AH: Mr Ronia himself said to me this is not a time when Solomon Islands should be without an auditor general. Do you agree?

RL: Most definitely it is not the time for Solomon Islands government or Solomon Islands as a country to be without an auditor general. We have worked so hard to get somebody that is capable of doing the job and it comes from outside of the system at the date of the former one. So I do agree with him that, yes, definitely, it is not the time for him to be retired. There is nobody in the pipeline as far as I know.

AH: Yes, that’s the difficulty, isn’t it, replacing him? How possible is it that someone from within Solomon Islands will be able to step up to that job?

RL: Those are the issues that we have taken into consideration and the reason for asking for his reinstatement. Because those questions, I am sure, have not been taken into account when this decision was made.
Radio New Zealand International

5) Vanuatu constitution amended with changes to land issues and citizenship

Posted at 21:23 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

The Vanuatu parliament has just passed the sixth amendment to the country’s constitution with changes to land issues and citizenship all included in the same debate.

The Vanuatu Daily Digest reports the changes were approved by 36 MPs, with one against and 9 abstentions.

The changes were introduced by the prime minister Moana Carcasses as necessary for the development of the country.

The opposition leader, Ham Lini, says there was no opportunity for both sides of parliament to consider the proposals which finally emerged, with changes introduced late Friday morning.

The land reforms, which followed consultations around the country led by the lands minister Ralph Regenvanu, incorporated the outcomes of the 2006 Lands Summit, which had been ignored until now.

The citizenship changes allowed for dual citizenship, aimed at attracting people willing to invest in Vanuatu.
Radio New Zealand International

6) Vanuatu Opposition’s Georgia Letter Faked: Foreign Ministry
Letter used against Vanuatu minister confirmed false by Georgia

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 28, 2013) – Vanuatu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that it has done its own investigations into a letter used by the Opposition in its attack against the ministry of foreign affairs and has found the letter, purported to be from the Georgian Embassy in London, to be a forged document.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said “the Office of the Opposition had made some serious allegations against the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning communication between Vanuatu and Georgia.”

“In its press statement the Office of the Opposition failed to authenticate the letter which they had reported as official correspondent of the Georgian Embassy in London.

“Following these accusation the ministry of foreign affairs has done its own investigations and wishes to clarify that the letter used by the Office of the Opposition, purportedly against the minister of foreign affairs who was then the prime minister, is now officially confirmed to be a forged document.

“Official communications between ministries of foreign affairs of both countries now confirms that this is a forged letter.

“Both ministries are seriously concerned because someone had falsified the letterhead of the Embassy of Georgia to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland for the purpose of forging a letter to Hon. Nipake at that time.
“The letter dated 20th June 2011 to Hon Nipake was a letter that is uncharacteristic of diplomatic communications at that level.

“The ministry of foreign affairs of Georgia has officially confirmed that the letter purportedly signed by the Georgian ambassador to the UK and Northern Ireland is a fabrication.

“Therefore all allegations and assessments brought in the office of the Opposition based on this letter are false and speculative and should not form any basis of allegation against the ministry of foreign affairs.

“Fabrication of state documents by individuals is a serious criminal act which needs to be immediately investigated,” Foreign Minister, Edward Natapei said.

He said the ministry is taking this matter seriously as state documents are compromised through forgery.
“Emails of government officials are being hacked.

“This is a serious security matter that the Government will need to seriously look into in order to ensure that state matters are well guarded,” Natapei said.

Foreign Affairs Minister further said that the Office of the Opposition will need to overcome the “unsophisticated methods to create instability at a time when we need to defend this country against foreign elements who want to infiltrate and benefit from this country.

“It will not happen during my watch as the minister responsible for managing our foreign relations with other countries,” Natapei said.
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com

7) Commentary – Fiji’s Electoral System Changes

By Jon Fraenkel

The electoral system proposals in the various draft constitutions for Fiji have changed dramatically. In the first draft released in late 2012 (put together by the Yash Ghai-led Fiji Constitutional Commission), Fiji was to shift to a ‘closed’ list proportional representation (PR) system. A ‘closed’ list system is one where the voter ticks the ballot for a political party and the party determines which of its candidates sit in parliament. The list is ‘closed’ in the sense that voters have no control over which particular candidates get selected. Earlier this year, the government ditched that proposal, and opted instead for an open list PR system using Fiji’s four divisions as electoral constituencies.

An ‘open’ list system is one where the voter, not the party, determines the order of election of the candidates. Voters potentially get more control. In the latest draft constitution, the four constituencies have been abandoned and instead a 50-member parliament is to be elected from a single nationwide constituency. But the plan is still to use an ‘open’ rather than a ‘closed’ system. All these systems entail proportional representation (PR), in the sense that party percentages of the vote will determine party shares of the vote. Having a PR system, many of us have argued for decades, is likely to work better for Fiji than first-past-the-post (1970-1987), the mixture between first-past-the-post and the multi-member block vote system (1992-94), or the alternative vote (1997-2006).

Treating the country as a single nation-wide constituency makes sense if you have a closed list PR system. Voters are simply confronted with a list of parties on the ballot paper, and make their choice. But if you opt for an open list PR system, you could potentially get a huge and unwieldy ballot paper. At the 2006 election in Fiji, there were 338 candidates contesting for 71 seats. If you put that many candidates on a ballot paper, it will look like a table cloth. Having just escaped from one unwieldy electoral system with a bewildering ballot paper, Fiji may be about to go for another elaborate system. The government’s press release mentions that Israel and Netherlands have nationwide PR systems, but there are some significant differences. Israel does have a single nationwide constituency, but it uses a closed list PR system and Netherlands uses what is called a semi-open or flexible list and has 18 multi-member constituencies. Real world examples of open list PR with nationwide or large constituencies are Columbia’s Senate (with a hundred members) and Brazil has some districts and state legislatures that use open list PR and are around the size of, or larger than, Fiji’s proposed parliament.

Why has this change been made? It is actually pretty ingenious, particularly if you bear in mind that the Bainimarama Government has for some time been committed to introducing an open list PR system (and of course that had been the National Council for Building a Better Fiji proposal). The earlier government draft constitution proposal for an open list PR system in four constituencies was probably going to make life difficult for Bainimarama and his allies as they put together a party to contest the next election. No such party currently exists, and assembling such an organisation from scratch may potentially prove a hard task. The system they initially chose earlier this year was not likely to make that task any easier. Bainimarama may have accumulated some personal popularity, but none of his ministers are likely to attract a major share of votes at the national level. And the plausible candidates for the government’s as-yet-unformed political party are also not likely to draw sizeable personal votes. It is only Bainimarama himself who may, many argue, have a significant national following. Open list PR systems potentially strengthen the position of candidates with a strong personal base and minimise the ability of parties to control which candidates get elected. So the four constituency open list system would potentially have made the interim government’s task ahead of the election all the harder.

Under the system now on offer, voters may be confronted with a potentially huge ballot paper with hundreds of names on it. The Prime Minister’s will be one of the most easily recognisable names contesting, and presumably that will be located somewhere near the top of the ballot paper. His opponents will have more localised support: they would have found campaigning simple under the four constituency system. Under the open list PR system, those personal votes Bainimarama is able to accumulate will automatically translate into votes for his party. In other words, he will likely be able to get a host of candidates selected on his coat tails. Under most open list PR systems, you first tally the votes for the candidate. Then you work out how many votes that entails for each party. Then you work out how many seats that translates into for each party. And then you work out which candidates within that party have the highest vote tallies and those are the candidates elected to sit in parliament. So let’s say Bainimarama personally gets 40% of the nationwide vote. Since there are to be 50 seats, his party would then get 20 of these seats. Those actually elected would be the 20 top polling candidates in Bainimarama’s party. In practice, that party would probably get more than 20 seats because some parties or independent candidates would fail to reach the 5% threshold. Below 5%, parties do not get any seats at all. We have yet to see what formula is used to distribute seats, but the one chosen may potentially prove yet more advantageous.

________________________________

Jon Fraenkel is a Professor of Comparative Politics at Victoria University of Wellington. He was co-editor of From Election to Coup in Fiji; The 2006 campaign and its Aftermath (2007) and The 2006 Military takeover in Fiji: A Coup to End all Coups? (2009).

8) Govt intends to plug gaps before 2014

By Online Editor
4:01 pm GMT+12, 29/11/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has assured there would be no hiccups in electronic voting during next year’s general elections.

He was responding to a question put to him by the Fiji Sun on concerns of internet connectivity in some parts of the Western side of Viti Levu raised by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Fiji, Dr Chandra Dulare

Dr Dulare was speaking at the inaugural Tertiary ICT Conference 2013 at the Japan Pacific ICT Centre – Multipurpose Theatre, Laucala Campus, of the University of the South Pacific yesterday.

In his introductory remarks, the acting vice-chancellor of the University of Fiji, Dr Chandra Dulare, said that in the West numerous places could not connect to information and communications technology (ICT).

“The connectivity is something that has to be addressed,” Dr Dulare said.

The Fiji Sun asked Sayed-Khaiyum whether the problem would affect the one-day election.

“Connectivity would not be a problem during the 2014 elections,” he said.

Sayed-Khaiyum had already said that counting would be done in polling stations when polling closed and results would be relayed to the main centre for the announcement of winners.

The conference, jointly organised by the Fiji National University, the University of the South Pacific and the University of Fiji, is looking at how to access to modern technology for all.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama had announced in his 2014 Budget address that the Government had allocated $15 million for preparations for next year’s elections.

“The balance will be provided by our international partners, many of whom will also soon be making specific pledges for material support, based on the results of our needs assessment survey,” he said.

Papua New Guinea has already pledged $18.3 million (25 million kina) for election preparations.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

9) Amended Fiji decree to intimidate political parties and officials – Chaudhry

Posted at 21:23 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

The Fiji Labour Party says the government has introduced more draconian measures aimed at undermining the country’s political opposition.

It says the regime extended the Political Parties Decree in October but is yet to publicise the changes.

The decree was first introduced nearly a year ago and placed onerous financial and membership demands on the parties.

Labour’s leader Mahendra Chaudhry says the latest amendments give the elections’ registrar wider powers to obtain information on the finances of political parties and officials.

He calls it unlawful, unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy that aims to destroy political parties.

“’It is to discourage people from playing active role in political parties and extract confidential information in respect of political parties, their families and the party itself, which they could be in position to use to intimidate the officials of the party as well as others who are active in the political arena.”

Radio New Zealand International

10) Minister attacks graft

Ropate Valemei
Saturday, November 30, 2013

MOST of the state-owned enterprises in Fiji have been corrupt, says Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the Attorney-General and Minister for Public Enterprises.

He made the comment while addressing participants in a three-day course being conducted by the Australian Institute of Company Directors for senior officials of Fiji’s Public Enterprises on Thursday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Most of the state-owned enterprises in Fiji have been corrupt, it’s a given, all the organisations that you are in I can give you some incidents.”

He said some of them had been corrupt in the sense of people taking bribe directly, tender processes not followed, or directors on various boards had allowed those statutory bodies and state-owned enterprises to procure services from their own companies.

He added that directors of some boards allowed finances from those companies to be used for their personal purposes.

“Numerous examples in Fiji where people have been directors and where they have absolutely raped and pillaged the companies that they have been directors of, or they have serving on various boards, shut down companies and they are allowed to open another company within a week.

“That used to happen, it is still happening to an extent. That is one aspect and the Company Decree will put a stop to that, and there is a necessity to put a stop to that.”

“We have incidents where directors who are making decisions have received funds for people who are bidding for projects. Whether it’s paying for their children’s school fees, medical bills or whether it’s been in relation to them funding their properties or getting a loan from them.”

He said this would probably be unheard of in other jurisdictions but in Fiji it had been allowed to happen.

But he said Fiji was on the cusp of greatness if we were able to get up to speed with running our organisations well and in a transparent manner with all the best international practises.FIJITIMES

POLYNESIA:

11) French Polynesia told of need for reforms to aid economy

Posted at 02:10 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

The French overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, has told business leaders in French Polynesia that reforms are needed to make the territory more competitive.

Mr Lurel says tourism, fisheries and agriculture have the potential for the economic development of the territory, whose economy has slumped in recent years with unemployment doubling in the past five years.

While being reserved about demands for French financial support, he says it would be poor form for Paris not to accompany a territory making efforts to be rigorous about spending.

Mr Lurel has dismissed criticism by the opposition’s Oscar Temaru as ongoing political campaigning.

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

The French Polynesian presidency says Mr Temaru’s incompetence is only matched by his hatred of France.
Radio New Zealand International

12) Akilisi Pohiva Renews Case Against Tongan Officials
Opposition leader alleges embezzlement, theft at Tongasat

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 28, 2013) – The leader of Tonga’s opposition, ‘Akilisi Pohiva, has relaunched legal action in the Supreme Court against the prime minister Lord Tu’ivakano, the justice minister Clive Edwards, Princess Pilolevu Tuita and the Tongasat Company.

Earlier a case against the three and the company, alleging theft, conspiracy of theft, embezzlement and conspiracy to commit theft, was dismissed by the Magistrate’s Court for insufficient evidence.

But Radio Tonga reports Mr Pohiva was not satisfied with that ruling so he took the matter to the higher court.

He has told the court more than half a million US dollars was given to Tongasat in secret and that amounts to theft and embezzlement.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

13) French Polynesia Assured $57 Million Loan Will Go Through
Overseas territorial minister won’t sign deal on visit to Tahiti

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 28, 2013) –

The French overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, has assured French Polynesia that Paris will stand by the territory’s people but says the deal for a loan advance won’t be signed during his three-day stay.

A month ago, Paris said it would release a 57 million US dollar loan before the end of the year under a deal which would force French Polynesia to repay it within two years.

Its signing was to go ahead during Mr Lurel’s current visit to Tahiti, but he now says the agreement will be finalised in Paris.

The French Polynesian government has been cash-strapped and needs funds to pay suppliers and public servants.

Mr Lurel was also met by a small group of protestors from the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira party, saying the territory is not for sale.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

TOK PISIN:

14) Bikpela san i kilim 19 pipol long Long Island long PNG Madang Provins

Updated 29 November 2013, 19:23 AEST
Bethany Keats.

Namba blong ol pipol idai long Long Island long Madang Provins long Papua New Guinea nau igo antap long 19 na 12-pela blong ol em ol pikinini bihainim planti mun nogat ren.

Odio: Pastor Joe Ande i toktok wantaim Bethany Keats

Namba blong ol pipol idai long hatpela san nogat ren long Long Island long Madang Provins nau igo antap long 19-na namel long ol dispela idai em 12-pela ol pikinini.

Long Island ibin bungim hatpela san stat long mun June na ol pipol long Island nau iwok long painim ol kain kaikai oli nap painim long bus
long lukautim  ol.

Lokel Pastor Joe Ande nau istap long Lae traim long kisim sapot long halivim pipol long Island blong em

Pastor Ande itok ol pipol long Island nau iwok long hat wok tru long painim ol samting long halivim laif blong ol.

Pastor Joe Ande itok bikpela sori tru long lukim ol pikinini i bungim dispela heve na 12-pela nau i lusim laif blong ol long dispela taim nogut em Long Island iwok long bungim nau na sevenpela em ol bikman na meri.

Ol kaikai em ol Long Island pipol iwok long kisim strong long en em long kokanas,ol kumu long bus.

Long wara Pastor Ande itok wara tu i bagarap,olgeta hul-wara i drai na dispela nau bikpela wari blong ol pipol.

Bekos long wara ino gutpela igat wari nau long pipol i pekpek wara long drinkim ol doti wara .
RADIO AUSTRALIA

BAHASA:

15) Infeksi HIV di Asia Pasifik tak Alami Penurunan

Diperbaharui 29 November 2013, 17:08 AEST
Oleh Sen Lam

Pia yang berhubungan seks dengan sesama pria diidentifikasi oleh Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa (PBB) sebagai kelompok yang rentan terjangkit HIV/AIDS di Asia Pasifik, khususnya di kawasan perkotaan.

Para penari Bangladesh dalam forum ICAAP di Bangkok, Thailand.

Sementara infeksi HIV mengalami penurunan lebih 50 persen di sejumlah negara, jumlahnya di kawasan ini tidak banyak mengalami penurunan dalam lima tahun terakhir.

Tingkat penderita HIV justru meningkatkan di enam negara, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand dan Vietnam, dan khususnya tinggi di kota seperti Bangkok, Hanoi dan Jakarta.

Mereka yang berisiko termasuk para pengguna narkoba suntik, pekerja seks, pria yang berhubungan seks dengan sesama pria.

Dalam forum ICAAP (International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific) ke-11 di Bangkok, pekan lalu, seorang peserta dari APCOM, Midnight Poonkasetwattana, menjelaskan infeksi HIV di Bangkok mencapai 25 persen, termasuk di kalangan gay.

Hal itu, menurut dia, disebabkan karena pesan tentang seks yang aman tidak sampai ke kalangan tersebut.

Forum ICAAP ke-11 mendorong perlunya pemerintah di kawasan Asia Pasifik untuk bertindak mengatasi HIV dan penyebarannya.RADIO AUSTRALIA.

FRENCH:

16) Coopération militaire sino-fidjienne

Posté à 29 November 2013, 8:41 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le ministre fidjien de la Défense, de la Sécurité nationale et de l’Immigration, Joketani Cokanasiga, revient juste d’une tournée de 5 jours en chine à la tête d’une délégation de haut niveau des Forces armées fidjiennes.

Une visite jugée très importante en termes du renforcement des relations militaires entre Fidji et l’Armée populaire de libération.
M. Cokanasiga s’est entretenu avec son homologue chinois, le général Chang Wanquan. Au centre des discussions : la coopération, la formation et les échanges militaires.

Est-ce que ce renforcement des relations militaires entre Beijing (Pékin) et Suva doit susciter des inquiétudes dans le Pacifique ?

Nous avons posé la question à Eric Shibuya, professeur agrégé d’Études stratégiques à l’Université Marine Corps aux États-Unis : « Je pense qu’il n’y a pas de quoi s’inquiéter dans un proche avenir. Je vois mal des bâtiments de la marine chinoise mouiller dans des ports fidjiens du jour au lendemain. Je pense qu’il surtout question de prestige que de coopération entre la Chine et Fidji. Je crois aussi que toutes ces choses sur la coopération en matière de sécurité sont un peu exagérées. La coopération concerne plutôt le leadership et la création de lien à ce niveau. 15 policiers fidjiens ont été récemment en Chine pour étudier le leadership. C’est ce genre de choses qui se déroulent en ce moment. »

Deuxième questions : est-ce que ces discussions entre Fidji et la Chine pourraient avoir une incidence sur les relations entre Fidji et l’Australie : « Je pense que c’est une opportunité  pour Fidji de trouver les moyens de contourner des demandes que l’Australie pourrait proposer en échange d’une normalisation des relations entre les deux pays. La Chine est pour ainsi dire devenue le partenaire préféré, un partenaire de remplacement depuis l’administration de Bainimarama en 2006. »

Les relations entre l’Australie et Fidji se sont effectivement dégradées depuis le coup d’État militaire de 2006, mais le nouveau gouvernement australien de Tony Abbott a plusieurs fois exprimé son intention de les normaliser dès que possible.

Et enfin troisième et dernière question : ce partenariat avec la Chine ne donne-t-il pas plus de poids à Fidji dans la région : « En ce qui concerne l’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande, ça fait partie des calculs fidjiens. Mais pour les autres nations océaniennes du Pacifique, le fait que la Chine soutienne l’actuel gouvernement fidjien ne pose pas je crois un problème. Toutes les îles du Pacifique comprennent l’équilibre qu’il leur faut trouver dans leurs relations avec les États-Unis, l’Australie et la Chine. Mais je pense que toutes les nations océaniennes ne s’inquiètent pas que la Chine ait offert son soutien à Fijdi. Je pense pour les États-Unis, la Nouvelle-Zélande et l’Australie, l’important est de savoir si le rapprochement entre Fidji et la Chine signale le remplacement des influences occidentales à Fidji. »RADIO AUSTRALIA

17) Nouvelle embrouille diplomatique pour l’Australie

Posté à 29 November 2013, 9:03 AEST
Pierre Riant

Julie Bishop, la ministre des Affaires étrangères, a été rappelée à  l’ordre par la Chine.  Beijing (Pékin) a qualifié ‘d’irresponsables’ les propos de la chef de la diplomatie australienne critiquant la décision chinoise de mettre en place une zone de défense aérienne en mer de Chine orientale.

Cette vaste zone  se situe entre le Japon, la Corée du Sud et Taïwan et l’espace aérien chinois se trouve au-dessus de plusieurs îles disputées, notamment au Japon.

Mardi, Julie Bishop a annoncé qu’elle avait convoqué l’ambassadeur de Chine pour exprimer son opposition à cette zone de défense aérienne chinoise: «L’Australie a exprimé clairement son opposition à toute mesure coercitive et à toute action unilatérale pouvant changer le statu quo en mer de Chine orientale. »

Le porte-parole du ministère chinois des Affaires étrangères, Qin Gang, a immédiatement riposté en appelant l’Australie à « corriger ses erreurs pour éviter d’endommager les relations sino-australiennes. Les déclarations irresponsables de l’Australie sur la Zone aérienne d’identification (ZAI) sont dans l’erreur et la Chine ne peut pas les accepter. »

Si Julie Bishop ne retire pas ses propos, l’Australie pourrait, après l’Indonésie et les écoutes australiennes,  se retrouver dans une nouvelle dispute diplomatique qui risque de compromettre l’accord de libre-échange commercial que le gouvernement australien aimerait finaliser avec la Chine.

pour l’instant, Julie Bishop n’a aucune intention de revenir sur ses propos.RADIO AUSTRALIA.

WORLD:

18) Barack Obama slams Hollywood for promoting gun culture

Movies.Ndtv.Com
Saturday, November 30, 2013

US President Barack Obama has asked Hollywood not to promote violence and glorify the usage of guns in its movies as they may negatively influence the minds of children.

“When it comes to issues like gun violence, we’ve got to make sure that we’re not glorifying it because the stories you tell shape our children’s outlook and their lives,” Mr Obama said in his remarks at an event at DreamWorks studios in Los Angeles on Thursday.

“Earlier this year, leaders from this town sat down with vice president Joe Biden to talk about what Hollywood could do to help keep our children safe. This was in the wake of Sandy Hook. The stories we tell matter. You tell stories more powerfully than anybody else on the earth.

“I want to make clear, even as we think long and hard about the messages we send, we should never waver from our commitment to the freedom that allows us to tell those stories so well.

“The stories that we tell transmit values and ideals about tolerance and diversity and overcoming adversity, and creativity that are part of our DNA. And as a consequence of what you’ve done, you helped shape the world’s culture in a way that has made the world better,” he said.

“Even if their own nations haven’t made that progress yet, and young people in countries all around the world suddenly make a connection and have an affinity for those who don’t look like them, and maybe originally they might have been fearful of them, now suddenly they say, ‘Oh, this person is like me’, which is one of the powers of art. But that’s what you transmit. And that is a remarkable legacy,” Mr Obama said.

19) BRIEFLY

Agencies
Saturday, November 30, 2013

Access denied

BAMAKO – Tuareg demonstrators have occupied an airport runway to prevent Mali’s Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly visiting the rebel-controlled northeastern town of Kidal, officials say. Protesters said Malian soldiers shot and wounded three of the demonstrators, but the Malian army denied that. A source said troops had tried but failed to stop the demonstrators occupying and blocking the runway.

Rivals clash

BUENOS AIRES – Argentine union members have clashed with environmentalists protesting the construction of a corn-processing plant by US-based seed giant Monsanto. Local media reported the groups came to blows outside the plant in Cordoba province. Environmentalist Vanina Barboza said dozens of workers from the Argentine Construction Union attacked the protest camp, injuring 20 activists and stealing personal objects.

Comet ‘broke up’

The comet came within 1.6 million kilometres of the sun, which in space terms basically means grazing it. NASA solar physicist Alex Young said it would take a few hours to confirm ISON’s demise, but admitted things were not looking good. He said the comet had been expected to show up in images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft but almost four hours later there was “no sign of it whatsoever”.

HEALTH:

20) United Nations predicts HIV-AIDS could be eradicated in the Asia-Pacific within 15 years

Updated 29 November 2013, 22:09 AEST
James Oaten, Sen Lam, Richard Ewart

The United Nations says the “end of AIDS” in the Asia-Pacific is achievable within the next 15 years.

Audio: Battling HIV stigma in Fiji

The United Nations says the “end of AIDS” in the Asia-Pacific is achievable within the next 15 years, but the organisation’s regional special envoy has warned against complacency.

“Many countries are progressing. There are only four, five countries where we are seeing an increasing number of infections,” the UN’s Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS Prasada Rao told Radio Australia.

“Post-2015, at least for the next 10-15 years, we should see new infections brought down to a very negligible level, maybe 10 to 15 per cent of what it is now.

“This really is the elimination level. For me, that really is the end of AIDS.”

It is a statement that’s been echoed from the UNAIDS executive director.

HIV-AIDS DATA: UN

Global data:
New HIV infections were at 2.3 million in 2012, a 33% reduction since 2011.

Indonesia:
HIV infections rose sharply from 7,195 in 2006 to 76,879 by 2011.

Vietnam:
Men who inject drugs are predominant group of HIV-infected people.
Ho Chi Minh City, however, is the only province to see increase in prevalence, from 34% in 2006 to 46.1% in 2009.

Pakistan:
People who inject drugs (PWID) have the highest rate of prevalence.
Almost a third (27.2%) of injecting drug users have HIV, compared with 20.8% in 2008.

“For the first time we can see an end to an epidemic that has wrought such staggering devastation around the world,” Michel Sidibé said in a statement.

“Progress is clear in the scientific breakthroughs, visionary leadership and precision programming. The combination of these powerful factors means that people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives, can now protect their partners from becoming infected with the virus, and can keep their children free from HIV.”

The number of new HIV infections has dropped by one-third in the past two years, but Mr Rao says the countries where HIV infection rates are still increasing include Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV-AIDS reports the number of new HIV infections has increased in Central Asia by 13 per cent since 2006.

The groups most at risk include men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who inject drugs.

Combating the stigma of HIV-AIDS

One of the key messages of World AIDS Day, which falls on December 1, is to combat the stigma associated with HIV-AIDS.

It’s a message that is particularly important for Fijian Joeli Colati, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2007.

“When I was told I had HIV, fear and disbelief gripped my system,” Mr Colati told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.

“Now, seven years later, with endless therapy, discovering and loving who Colati is, and focusing on my dreams and goals.

“I am no longer afraid of what others think.”

HIV-AIDS group Fiji Network Plus says patients with HIV face further discrimination from within the health sector because many doctors and nurses believe homosexuals and sex workers are immoral.

The organisation’s executive director Vani Dulaki says this prevents people from seeking help and getting appropriate care. Misconceptions about the disease are also common.

“Some people believe they can pray and they will be cured,” Ms Dulaki said.

“Some people think they can use medicinal cures that their grandmother used and they will be cured.”

She says those working in the health sector need regular training.

“There’s a misconception that if you do training with one group of people you think they are experts after that training. It’s not true,” she said.

“You have to continue to monitor it, to see if its working, and continue to educate people.”

The rate of infection in the Pacific is low, but Papua New Guinea remains a concern for the United Nations. It has 90 per cent of the Pacific’s HIV-AIDS infected population.

The aging HIV-AIDS population

With the “end of AIDS” seen as an achievable goal, the United Nations is now turning attention towards caring for adults aged 50 and over with the infection.

Worldwide, an estimated 3.6 million people aged 50 years and older are living with HIV.

The UN says this “aging” is due to three factors: antiretroviral therapy prolonging the lives of people with HIV; decreasing HIV incidence among younger adults; and the fact many people aged 50 years and older are exhibiting increasingly risky behaviour commonly associated with younger people.

“Every person counts,” Mr Sidibé said.

“If we are going to keep our pledge of leaving no one behind-we have to make sure HIV services reach everyone in need.”RADIO AUSTRALIA

21) PAC Finds PNG Health Service Facilities In Poor Condition
Chairman says situation in rural areas ‘simply unacceptable’

By Freddy Mou

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 28, 2013) – Many Papua New Guinea Government hospitals and clinics are in pathetic condition and the services they provide are poor, the Public Accounts Committee says.

Committee chairman John Hickey said hospitals were without equipment, inadequately staffed, dysfunctional, poorly managed, poorly organised, poorly financed and barely capable of providing basic services to the people.

“The situation in our rural and remote areas is simply unacceptable,” he said.

“Our people are suffering and neglected of some basic health services provided by the Government compared to the church-run health facilities.”

The committee yesterday questioned Health Secretary Pascoe Kase on the relationship between the Government and the church-run hospitals.

Kase said they were working closely with the church-run health facilities.

“Church-run health facilities are a very important arm of the Government and we value and recognise it,” he said.

“The health partnership policy currently being reviewed recognises the role of churches that are providing services to the people of Papua New Guinea.

“Almost 80% of the health services in rural areas are provided by the church-run health services.

“The church-run health services had been recognised by the Government in 2007 as a legal entity which are providing health services in the rural areas.”

Kase  told the committee that the churches not only provide health services but also conduct training in rural areas.

“Almost 100% of community health workers training in rural areas are conducted by the churches,” he said.

“Although the church-run health facilities staff were not paid on time, they did their job without complaining.”

He said this changed in 2011 during the Goroka health conference when the Health Department raised the issue with the government.

“Now they are paid just like any other staff in the Department of Health,” Kase said.
The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

22) Report Claims Tonga 4th Most Obese Nation In The World
Both Tongan men and women found to have same risk of NCDs

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 28, 2013) – A new report states that Tonga is the fourth most over-weight country in the world, and that Non-Communicable Diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, neoplasms and diabetes are a leading cause of adult death, while data showed that 36 percent of Tongan boys and 54 percent of Tongan girls were over-weight or obese. Death rates in the most productive age groups are three times higher than in Australia and New Zealand

A Millennium Development Goal Acceleration Framework Report and an Action Plan to combat and reduce non-communicable diseases in Tonga were presented to Hon. Lisiate ‘Akolo, Tonga’s Minister of Finance by Ms Osnat Lubrani, the new UN Resident Coordinator and Development Programme Resident Representative, yesterday afternoon, November 27 at the Fa’onelua Convention center.

Ms Osnat Lubrani said that the Plan was initiated by world leaders at a summit in 2010 and the UNDP has been preparing the MGD Acceleration Framework Reports Action Plan to combat NCDs for 40 countries, including Tonga.

NCDs consist Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke), Cancer, Diabetes and Chronic Respiratory disease, has been identified as the dominant cause of adult mortality in Tonga, registering 28.6 to 36.3% for males and 20.9 to 27.7% for females from 2005 to 2009.

According to the report Tonga is the fourth most over-weight country in the world. The average weight for a Tongan woman increased by 21.1kg  over 30 years to reach 95kg, and the weight for Tonan males increased by 17.4kg to 95.7kg. Moreover, data showed that 36 percent of boys and 54 percent of girls were over-weight or obese.

Alarming

Alarmingly, men and women have relatively the same risk of having NCDs as early as 25 years old, with a worsened scenario by the age of 45 to 64 years. This is the most productive age of their lives and most of them have vital roles for their families, communities and the national development of Tonga.

Cardiovascular diseases, neoplasms and diabetes are the leading cause of adult mortality in Tonga.

Tonga faces a double burden: communicable, maternal and neonatal deaths still account for about 22% of total deaths of all ages, whilst NCDs account for 74%of total deaths of all ages, most of which are premature.

Mortality by cause (% of all deaths), 2008: Cardiovascular diseases 38%, Communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional 22%, Other NCDs 15%, Cancers 9%, Respiratory diseases 7%, Diabetes 5% and Injuries 4%.

Adult mortality (15 to 59 years) is estimated at 26.7 percent for males and 19.8 percent for females. This rate is roughly three times higher than that of neighbouring developed countries such as New Zealand and Australia.

The Tongan government has declared that combating NCDs is now among Tonga’s highest national development priorities.
Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

23) 30,000 In French Polynesia Thought Infected By Virus
Health official says dengue-like zika virus spreading fast

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 28, 2013) – Health authorities in French Polynesia estimate up to 30,000 people, or about ten per cent of the population, may have been infected by the zika virus over the past six weeks.

The head of the surveillance office, Dr Henri-Pierre Mallet, says the illness is mild but not well understood compared to the concurrent outbreak of dengue fever and the situation is dramatic for the public health system.

He says the authorities may soon need to appeal to regional health authorities and the French government for further assistance.

Dr Mallet says the virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and symptoms of the week-long illness include a rash, fever, joint pain and red eyes.

He says it is not as severe as the similar dengue fever but the local population has no immunity to zika.

“So there is a very fast spreading of the infection. And one place is infected with a lot of cases, after that it is better; but another place, again, is infected. And so like that, from place to place, island to island, yes the cases are still increasing and spreading all over the country.”

Dr Mallet says people in French Polynesia are getting sick every day, every time and everywhere, but most only need a few days off work to recover.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

24) Immunization of Babies In Fiji Reportedly Exceeds Australia
With help from Australia, health ministry says 94% vaccinated

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 28, 2013) – The level of immunisation for babies in Fiji has exceeded that of Australia, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.

A new survey by the ministry has found that 94 per cent of babies in Fiji have been given the main ten required vaccinations, up from 79 per cent in 2006.

Kylie Jenkins, the technical facilitator for infant and child health with the Fiji Child Health Sector Program, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program this result is due to close cooperation between the Australian Government and the Fijian ministry.

“The Australian government has been committed to the immunisation program in Fiji now… since before 2006,” Ms Jenkins said.

“They have trained a lot of nurses, they’ve improved systems surrounding data collection and reporting of kids that are vaccinated.

“They’ve also strengthened the program by introducing three new vaccines early this year and late last year for the baby vaccines.”

Ms Jenkins says the immunisation coverage rate among babies in Fiji has been rising steadily for the past few years.

“Back in 2006, the coverage rate was about 79 per cent at one year (of age),” she said.

“We did another coverage survey in 2008 and the coverage then was about 93 per cent, so we’ve sustained and slightly increased the coverage rate, which has been very pleasing.”

She says there are a range of vaccinations available to protect children against a range of common diseases in the nation.

“They protect against polio, whooping cough, diphtheria, haemophilus influenza, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, measles, rubella, and just last year, for the childhood immunisations, they added on the pneumococcal virus vaccine,” she said.

“Also in the beginning of this year, we started vaccinating class 8 girls against the HPV vaccine.”

Ms Jenkins says the ministry is looking to achieve a 100 per cent coverage rate in the next two years.

“We need to sit down at the minute with the Ministry of Health and… find out what some of those reasons were as to why [some] children weren’t reached… and [look] at the motivational factors with parents as to why they didn’t take their children for vaccinations,” she said.

“The survey did give us some hints that children who have lost cards… didn’t return for their immunisations.

“We’ll look at working towards 100 per cent, which is a big ask, in the next two years.”

Ms Jenkins says there is little resistance in Fiji to the ministry’s messages about the importance of immunising children.

“There’s some small pockets of resistance but… they are really not having much of an effect,” she said.

“Children die of pneumonia, children die of diarrhea, so I think there’s very strong faith in the immunisation program and parents do rely on it.

“Generally speaking the public in Fiji holds great faith to the immunisation program.”
Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

EDUCATION:

25) Director: Address school leavers

Source:
The National, Friday November 29th, 2013

ALL public and private tertiary institutions will not have the  infrastructure capacity to take in the vast majority of school leavers in Papua New Guinea, a private educator warned the government.
Port Moresby Institute of Matriculation Studies director Norman Sike painted this grim picture after his assessment of the K15 billion 2014 Budget which has K1.5 billion set for the education sector.
He said as a consequence of the government’s free and compulsory education policies, there will be a dramatic and exponential increase of Grade 12 dropouts, at least 90,000-plus by 2018.
Sike’s forecast is a reflection of Office of Higher Education director Dr David Kavanamur’s observation that Grade 12 school leavers this year would be 18,600, an increase of 8.5% from last year’s 17,000.
Like Kavanamur, Sike said the government should build more infrastructure in tertiary and training institutions and improve their capacities within the next five years.
Otherwise, they will not cater for all school leavers, he said.
“By 2018, all public and private tertiary institutions combined will not have the physical capacity to provide places for the vast majority of these dropouts by a long way,” Sike said.
“An important area that comes to mind in this context of increased infrastructure investment is for these existing tertiary institutions to extend and increase their delivery modes to include distance and open learning to widen access,” he said.
“Using this infrastructure assistance, tertiary institutions can harness the benefits of internet technology and offer quality and flexible online programmes to as many students as possible in addition to the traditional postage and present system of running distance correspondence programmes.”

26) District opens third uni centre

Source:
The National, Monday November 25th, 2013

By GABRIEL FITO and SYLVESTER WEMURU
YANGORU-Saussia district in East Sepik now boasts three separate University of Papua New Guinea Open campuses to allow accessibility and enhance learning for those pursuing university accreditations.
The main campus is located at Kubalia in the Sausso local level government area, Numbo LLG has a sub centre while the third sub centre for East Yangoru LLG was opened by Middle Ramu MP and Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll last Monday.
Yangoru-Saussia MP Richard Maru said he would establish another sub centre for West Yangoru soon to cover the electorate.
Speaking at the opening, Tomscoll said there were only two ways that people made their living in this world.
“Agriculture is one, while the other one is when people use their knowledge or skills to make money,” he said.
“We Papua New Guineans are very lucky because we have more land, we own the land and make money out of it.  In other countries where the state owns the land, they depend on human resources.”
He challenged students to make use of the university centre to get a paid job to support themselves and their families if they did not wish to turn to agriculture for the financial benefit they pursued in life.
Maru, the Trade Commerce and Industry Minister, said the centre would give a second chance to students who could not make it through to the tertiary institutions.
The university centre was sponsored by the Yangoru-Saussia joint districts planning and budget priority committee with K100,000 for the renovation of an old building.
Campus director Brian Waranduo said while they had commenced studies a few months back, two of his students have already qualified for studies at the UPNG main campus in Port Moresby next year.

He said with the latest advanced technology at their finger tips, students at Yangoru could also do degree programmes online from the Southern Cross University in Australia and he would be the first to graduate with a law degree next year.

MEDIA:

27) Samoa TV stations facing allegations of pirating

Posted at 05:32 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

Overseas television programme makers are considering legal action against two television companies in Samoa.

In a news release, Transworld Distribution, which is based in Delaware in the United States, says for the past month or so overseas distributors have been seeking legal advice on a possible class action against the offending Samoa stations, TV ONE and TV3.

Talamua online reports that Television New Zealand recently sent a cease and desist order to TV3 over the unauthorised broadcast of the programme ’Dynamo, Magician Impossible, which, it says, was pirated from TVNZ and broadcast on TV3.

TV3 has also broadcast the BBC series ’Call the Midwife’ without a licence.

TV1 was recently taken to task for broadcasting ’The Sound of Music’ which the chief executive, Galumalemana Faiesea Matafeo put down to operator error.

The statement said that the TV rights in Samoa for all of these programs and films are owned by another station

A spokesman for the programme owners group says they are collecting a mountain of evidence and will be seeking infringement orders for each and every breach.
Radio New Zealand International

BUSINESS:

28) Group aims for growth

Ropate Valemei
Friday, November 29, 2013

WIB president Dr Nur Bano Ali and Westpac general manager Adrian Hughes at the 2014 Women in Business Awards launch in Suva. Picture: GERALDINE PANAPASA

WOMEN in Business hopes to increase the number of women-owned businesses in the country as part of its aim for the WIB Awards next year.

WIB president Dr Nur Bano Ali says they aim to grow them through the creation of a conducive environment for access to resources and the complementary tools for that purpose.

Dr Ali also aimed to increase the number of women in the corporate and executive sector through the creation of a more enabling environment for their inclusion.

“In recent years women have achieved greater visibility as they hold leadership and key roles in organisations and businesses.”

She said this must be applauded and recognised to encourage the momentum of the trend for the betterment of the business environment for women to thrive in commerce.

The awards are designed and totally focused to recognise the outstanding commercial contribution of the women in Fiji to the socioeconomic development of the country.

“With the growing number of women in commerce and executive management in Fiji, it is indeed very necessary to ensure that the focus on their continued participation in this space is maintained at the highest levels.”

She said the awards and the attention to women’s commercial contributions to Fiji’s economic growth would achieve not only that, but indeed keep the focus on the need to include women in larger numbers for a more equitable and robust business world.

“Women’s dexterity, skilful management and strong leadership abilities which are vital for the creation of a happier, healthier and more successful commercial world and Fiji being no exception, has to be acknowledged for the value that it brings.”

While they have seen in recent years an increasing agenda for enabling women to go into commercial enterprises, she said they had to be cognizant of the fact that a lot more had to be done to promote this.

“More relevant attention to growing women-owned businesses and creating new ones is essential and need I say the commercially smart thing to do.”

She said the inadequate number of women-owned businesses within our economic framework needed to be questioned and examined to modify the dynamics for directing attention to this cause.

“Many women-owned enterprises and women executives will necessary create an enabling circumstance for the development of systems and structures to accommodate their inclusion in larger numbers.”

With such drive, she said, Fiji would then be able to achieve the requisite level of women in commerce for this to become norm and not an anomaly.

She said it would also strengthen the commercial skills of women who chose to work in that sector and make them better performers in their chosen fields of business.FIJITIMES

29) Businesses avoiding taxes

Source:
The National, Friday November 29th, 2013

By ELIZABETH MIAE
PAPUA New Guinea has become a paradise for illegal businesses to operate in without paying taxes, the Tax Review Committee says.
Committee member Sir John Luke Crittin described it as a “huge black economy” in which businesses were not registered, thus bypassing the tax system.
“They manage to make an enormous amount of profit and not pay K1 of taxes,” he said yesterday.
“We’re losing billions every year.
“It’s not what hasn’t been collected, it’s  what has escaped.
“It’s the businesses that are not registered – they don’t pay taxes. They’re not in our books and they bypass the system.
“The problem is that the small people who are trying to do the right thing are investigated. But the big people are not investigated and a lot of them escape because they have lawyers and money.”
He said the “black economy” also involved money laundering.
“You can get a briefcase filled with kina, you go to a certain place in Port Moresby or Lae, you give the money and you get a receipt,” he said.
“You go to Singapore or Hong Kong and get it in dollars. No declaration. That’s it.
“That money never comes into the tax system.”
Sir John said the system in PNG had improved but implementation was still a problem.
He told reporters that criminals had become very smart and made fun of PNG because it was so easy to by-pass its tax  system.
He said the committee would “plug the holes”.
Sir John said the taxation system in the country was unfair as it slammed the small people.
He reassured the public that the committee was not there to raise the tax of the country but to find ways to decrease or eliminate taxes for
people earning K1,000 or less per fortnight.
He said the committee would make recommendations to the Government to identify those not paying taxes and  generate extra revenue from them.
Chairman Sir Nagora Bogen agreed with Sir John and said it was definitely a challenge in terms of policy design and administration but the committee would do its best to address it.

30) Fiji’s domestic airline, Pacific Sun, rebranded

Posted at 02:10 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s domestic airline, Pacific Sun, has been rebranded, and will be known as Fiji Link from next year.

Chief Executive Stefan Pichler says this is part of the ongoing restructure of the domestic carrier aligning it with Fiji Airways.

The Pacific Sun General Manager, Shaenaz Voss, says the airline came up with four design and naming options which were then voted on by the public, the staff of Pacific Sun and Fiji Airways.

Shaenaz Voss says the link was by far the preference externally as well as internally in particular with the Pacific Sun staff.

The new brand will be adopted in mid 2014 when their new ATR 72 arrives painted in the new colours. The changeover will be gradual keeping with finances in mind.
Radio New Zealand International

31) Nautilus exploration due soon: Togolo

By Online Editor
3:55 pm GMT+12, 29/11/2013, Papua New Guinea

Nautilus Minerals, the Canadian deep-sea mining company, will start sea floor mining exploration in the waters of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands soon.

Company country manager Mel Togolo disclosed this recently to the Madang provincial government.

Exploration activities are expected to be completed in December.

Nautilus has licences around Bismarck Sea and the Woodlark areas and parts of the Solomon Islands.

The operation will explore for deposits and will do “target testing” using remote operated vehicle (ROV) to test for metal content.

The company’s exploration vessel mv Fugro Solstic was due to call at Madang port yesterday.

Company manager for environment Dr Samantha Smith said the vessel was 70m long and had the capacity to carry

51 people at one time including 33 crew members.

The vessel was fitted with latest technology required for such a big operation, she said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER:

32) Drug cartels target Australia from south Pacific bases

DateNovember 30, 2013

30 reading now
Read later

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker

EXCLUSIVE

Cocaine cartels have established bases in the south Pacific to conduct massive drug importations into Australia, according to a confidential federal police and US Drug Enforcement Administration inquiry.

The intelligence gathering operation has linked one central America syndicate to over 1500 kilograms of cocaine smuggled to Australia from Vanuatu via yachts participating in successive Bundaberg Cruising Yacht Cub ”Port2Port” rallies. The syndicate is suspected of importing a huge shipment of cocaine into Australia in the Port Vila to Bundaberg yacht rally in late 2010.

Federal police seized a second shipment of 700 kilograms of cocaine smuggled on a yacht in the 2011 sailing event and made another seizure of 750 kilograms of cocaine on a boat in Port Vila earlier this year.

The crackdown in the south Pacific, which has also included large cocaine seizures from yachts near New Caledonia and Tonga, is part of a major shift in the federal police’s anti-organised crime operations.

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Commander David Sharpe said the federal police cannot ”arrest its way” out of the drug trafficking problem facing the nation and is complementing its traditional drug seizure and prosecution program with new measures to deter offshore cartels from targeting Australia’s drug market.

The police’s new strategy includes a greater focus on money laundering and closer relationships with state agencies and America’s DEA, which has agents in most trafficking hot spots around the globe.

The DEA’s top Australian agent said cartels are aggressively targeting Australia due to record local drug prices. DEA agent Dave Cali also said his agency was concerned with the international expansion of Australian outlaw bikie gangs, including into the Asia-Pacific region. US bikie gang the Mongols recently established several chapters in Australia. ”We just view them as organised crime syndicates regardless of what patch they are wearing,” Mr Cali said. ”It is a concern for us when gangs go outside of Australia to other areas closer to the US.”

Federal police commander Ian McCartney said police teams tracking dirty money have identified a ”United Nations” of launderers, mainly in Sydney and Melbourne. He said both cities ”are awash with drug cash”.

The drug money movers are predominantly Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Tamil and Chinese nationals who knowingly flout laundering laws in return for a 3 per cent to 5 per cent cut of every dollar moved. Commander McCartney said the illicit business is so profitable, some money launderers will even underwrite funds and replace money if it is seized by police. ”What we were seeing is the major [crime syndicate] controllers are actually based offshore,” he said.

”The people that were coming here were at a lower level in what we call shore parties … we could continue to keep arresting them, but the disruptive impact on organised crime was not going to be that significant.

”So our focus shifted to targeting and disrupting the professional money laundering syndicates that are, in effect, moving money on behalf of organised crime.”

The AFP’s work in this area – driven by joint-taskforces with the DEA and other state and federal agencies – is generating intelligence about the identity of overseas syndicates making billions of dollars from the local drug market. ”Allowing that money to run gives us the opportunity to identify major organisers overseas and track fresh importations,” commander McCartney said.
http://www.smh.com.au/

33) Damning report released into PNG’s Finance Department

Updated 30 November 2013, 9:18 AEST
Liam Fox, PNG correspondent

A PNG judge has approved the release of a report into corruption at the country’s Finance Department.

A judge in Papua New Guinea has lifted an injunction preventing the publication of a damning report into corruption at the country’s finance department.

A Commission of Inquiry spent several years investigating allegations of widespread corruption at the Finance Department.

In 2010, the day after its report was tabled in parliament, lawyer Paul Paraka and the former Solicitor General Zachary Gelu obtained a court injunction suppressing the report.

They sought a judicial review of the inquiry but the National Court has rejected the application and discharged the injunction.

The report details how the department paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in sham compensation claims.

It recommended more than 50 people including lawyers, senior bureaucrats and businessmen be referred for criminal prosecution.RADIO AUSTRALIA

34) Arming American Samoan police will open Pandora’s Box says critic

Posted at 02:10 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

A critic of a plan to arm American Samoa police officers is warning the move will only succeed in escalating gun violence and will open Pandora’s Box.

The Department of Public Safety has received its first shipment of guns, 24 Glock-17s, which police officers will have access to after extensive training and psychological testing.

The police say the fatal shooting of a police officer outside the High Court in 2010 contributed to the move to arm officers.

But one resident, Dale Long, says arming the police is unnecessary and violence begets violence.

“There is no gun problem here. It’s not like Chicago or something where people are running around with machine guns and stuff. There are no guns to speak of here and it’s just going to escalate the problem.”

Dale Long says although officers will undergo training and psychological testing first, it is of little comfort to him.
Radio New Zealand International

35) The Northerns Marianas suggests ways to stop birth tourism

Posted at 05:27 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

The Northern Marianas wants the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to force airlines flying to the islands to adopt pre-screening and other strategies to deter travel to the islands for the sole purpose of giving birth.

A child born in the CNMI automatically becomes a U.S. citizen and it is thought the practice of pregnant Asian women travelling to the territory to have their babies is common.

The CNMI governor, Eloy Inos, and the territory’s delegate to the US Congress, Gregorio Kilili Sablan, says charter operators have been the most successful in screening tourists and in effect helping stop the birth tourism traffic.

Both leaders say many of those who come to Saipan solely for birth tourism travel on regular scheduled services on Asiana Airlines, and not on charter tour flights.
Radio New Zealand International

36) Fiji AG Calls On Officials To Quash Bribery In Government
Sayed-Khaiyum claims directors engaging in corrupt practices

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 28, 2013) – Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says some senior leaders of state owned enterprises and statutory organisations are taking bribes.

Sayed-Khaiyum said corruption is rife and must be rooted out if Fiji is to achieve greatness.

Addressing directors from various government ministries, departments as well as statutory organisations at a three-day workshop in Suva today, the attorney general said there have been cases where people in leadership use their powers not to further the objectives of the organisations they serve but to further their personal agendas.

He highlighted some instances where people take bribes directly, some others ignore proper processes that are supposed to be followed, or people who have been directors of various boards have allowed those state-owned enterprises or statutory bodies to go and procure services from their own companies. In some cases some senior officials have allowed finances from the organisations they serve to be used for their own personal purposes.

“We have instances where directors who are taking decision receive bribes …whether its paying for their children’s school fees or their medical bills on in relation to them partnering with properties or getting a loan,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

There are others he says who do right by declaring their interest at the first instance, only to turn around and engage in corrupt practices.

He said practices such as these need to stop. He reminded senior officials that their duty is to the organisation they serve.

“You can’t serve two masters at one time,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Take this opportunity to contribute positively to the organisation which you serve and by doing that you not only assist the organization, but overall you contribute to the growth of the economy.”

The workshop continues over the next two days at the Holiday Inn. It’s conducted by the Australian Institute of Company Directors for senior officials of Fiji’s Public Enterprises including representatives of Fiji Link, Housing Authority, Trade Ministry, and Fisheries Department among others.
Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

37) 8 Males Arrested For Assault On Servicemen On Guam
Young men reportedly part of a Central Guam street gang

By Gina Tabonares-Reilly

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Nov. 29, 2013) – Eight young male individuals – all members of a street gang named “H-Up Ruckus” – were arrested in connection with the reported assault against three U.S. Marines in Tumon, Guam, last Saturday.

The Guam Police Department Criminal Justice Strike Force made the arrest after an investigation revealed the two male adults and six male minors were the suspects behind the assault against three military personnel last Nov. 23 at around 9 p.m. by the Sling Slot ride in Tumon. The three injured servicemen were transported to Naval Hospital for treatment.

According to GPD spokesman Officer A.J. Balajadia, the strike force conducted interviews and obtained corroborating statements confirming that the suspects are the individuals who attacked the Marines. The same suspects were also identified as those behind another assault incident on the same date injuring another victim, a civilian male Korean.

Balajadia said all suspects were affiliated with a street gang named “H-Up Ruckus,” whose members are young boys from central Guam.

Random

The interviews with the suspects also revealed the attacks were done at random and not specifically directed against U.S. military service members.

Among those arrested and taken into custody were:

Duane Marvin Naputi, Chamorro, 18. He was charged with assault, guilt established by complicity, rioting, conspiracy to commit assault, disorderly conduct, and jurisdiction over an adult.
Marcus Erwyn Damian, Chamorro, 19. He was also arrested for guilt established by complicity, rioting, conspiracy to commit assault, and jurisdiction over an adult. He was booked and released.

Three minors, ages 15, 16 and 17, were confined to the Department of Youth Affairs with charges of assault, rioting, disorderly conduct, guilt established by complicity, and conspiracy to commit assault.

Three other minors, two 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old, were taken into custody but later released to their parents with a notice to appear before the Juvenile Investigation Section for further disposition. They were charged with rioting, disorderly conduct, guilt established by complicity, and conspiracy to commit assault.

Their case has been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General for prosecution. They are expected to appear in court Monday next week.

Prior to the Nov. 23 incident, six sailors were assaulted by a large group near the Acanta Mall in Tumon.

The sailors were attacked by a large group of men carrying bats and pipes on the night of Nov. 16. The injured sailors were taken to Naval Hospital Guam.

This case remains unresolved. GPD and military authorities have asked the public to come forward with any information that may shed light on the case.
Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION AND ENVIROMENT:

38) River floods, destroy crops

Source:
The National, Friday November 29th, 2013

By PISAI GUMAR
THE wild Rumu River is threatening the Zifasing Bridge and the stretch of road stretch between Tararan and Zifasing villages along the highway in Huon Gulf, Morobe.
After breaking its banks, the Rumu flooded and destroyed crops and fresh food gardens in the two villages and parts of grazing farms from Rumion Piggery, Fayang and Bismarck.
Zifasing councillor Waya Langim and MP Ross Seymour visited the area to upstream Mama-Bogeba on Wednesday.
Two cocoa fermentries were also submerged.
Langim said that early this year the river flooded, causing extensive damage to crops.
Rural development officers from Wampar LLG, Kome Velea, Ben Misironga and Charles Kokoba from the district administration visited the affected areas and compiled a nine-page report that was circulated to government agencies in May this year.
Langim said flooding built up piles of sediments near the Muttu Primary School mid upstream.
The sediment build up resulted in the river becoming shallow by causing overflow once it flooded.
“The continuous flooding has been affecting income opportunities for cash crop producers as there was damage to cocoa, bananas and yams as well as melons and vegetables,” Seymour said.
Many homes and bore water supplies were affected by the continuous flooding as well.
Langim said that flooding had created issues relating to food insecurity due to the extensive damage to the villages’ food gardens.

39) Claims controversial land leases cost PNG a third of its territory

Posted at 02:10 on 29 November, 2013 UTC

There are claims Papua New Guinea has lost a third of its territory to foreign companies, which the think tank the Oakland Institute calls one of the swiftest and largest land grabs in recent history.

The Institute, with the Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, has produced a film called, On Our Land, which documents the loss of land under the Special Agriculture and Business Leases.

The leases were aimed at freeing up customary land for productive use but mostly illegal logging operators had acquired it and the think tank says they are destroying the world’s third-largest rainforest.

The film chastises the prime minister, Peter O’Neill, for failing to act, despite a government-sponsored inquiry, which revealed corruption and mismanagement over the land deals.

The film exposes the policies allowing for land acquisition that reverse land rights Papua New Guineans achieved with independence in 1975.

They also show the human and environmental cost of land and resource loss.
Radio New Zealand International

CULTURE/TRADITION/ART/EVENTS/FASHION+

40) Anger at removal of cultural symbols

By Online Editor
4:26 pm GMT+12, 29/11/2013, Papua New Guinea

The removal of cultural decorations and symbols from Papua New Guinea’s Parliament House has been deplored by the National Museum and Art Gallery.

Director Dr Andrew Moutu said he had made known his views with the Speaker Theo Zurenuoc and Clerk of Parliament Vela Konivaro on the de-installation of the symbolic lintel that adorned the façade of the National Parliament.

“From where it originates, the decorated lintel belongs to an assembly of cultural paraphernalia that was technically designed to induce discipline and respect among its cultural bearers through the psychology of fear and intimidation,” he said.

“Discipline and authority of the villages resides and emanates from such cultural representations.”

Moutu said the Museum and Art Gallery understood that various sentiments had been expressed in the media about the apparent religious and spiritual connections the images on the lintel entailed.

He said the sentiments might have moved the Speaker and the Clerk to have the lintel removed.

Moutu said they understood that there were plans to remove the totemic poles which adorned the State Hall inside Parliament.

He said the museum had written to resist the implementation of these plans but the advice was ignored by the Speaker and Clerk.

“Therefore the decision to de-install the lintel is as heinous as a sacrilege,” he said.

“I call on the speaker and the clerk to abandon all the plans to de-install cultural decorations and to commission and re-install a new lintel to replace the one that has been removed,” he said.

“Culture and history provide the soul and heart of any nation and to desecrate cultural symbols in this manner is to subject our national identity to an alien self-image.”

Attempts to get comments from Zurenuoc were unsuccessful. Clerk to Parliament Vela Konivaro denied any knowledge of the removal of the carvings.

Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare had called for a stop to the removal of the cultural images which represented the traditions and history of the country. He has talked to the Speaker and Clerk about the matter.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

41) Fashion show proves a hit

Source:
The National, Friday November 29th, 2013

By ELLEN TIAMU
PAPUA New Guinea is overflowing in unique arts and crafts, languages and creativity and these should be translated onto clothing and fashion, Mahesh Patel, the Chemcare Pharmacy Ltd (CPL) Group of Companies chairman says.
He was speaking on Wednesday night at the first PNG Fashion Week show at the Cosmopolitan Club in Port Moresby.
Patel said he was reluctant when approached to sponsor the event but realised the significant potential and benefits that could be obtained from it by the fashion industry in the country.
He said the bilum was a product exclusive to PNG and was now woven into everyday wear that could be promoted further, given the right platforms.
“There is so much creativity and potential in PNG and these must be translated and transferred onto the catwalks,” he said.
“There are fashion weeks in Milan and New York every year so why not Port Moresby?”
Managing director of Fiji Fashion Week and organiser of the Ellen Whippy-Knight shared similar sentiments, saying people had traditional expressions of art for many years and fashion was a way of marketing and advancing creativity and talent.
“We have been carving beautiful traditional totems and motifs for thousands of years and so creativity and imagination is the very fabric of our cultural identity, it is who we are,” she said.
“International designers have been using our intellectual property and it is up to our governments to help us in the Pacific to protect these.”
Whippy-Knight said her organisation had been committed to raising the visibility and profile of Pacific fashion instead of just Fijian.
“PNG was always the next natural step,” she said.

SPORTS

42) Coach bashed

Source:
The National, Friday November 29th, 2013

KUMULS coach Adrian Lam was punched at a night club in Port Moresby  last Saturday.
Lam, who was in town to present a report on the Kumuls World Cup campaign to the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League Board, was apparently hit by an angry fan.
Lam flew back to Sydney the following day but it is not clear whether he reported the assault. Attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.
Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko said he had heard of the attack through social media but had not received a report on the incident.
Word of the attack has been “public knowledge” since Sunday.
Tkatchenko described the incident as disappointing saying fans had no right to attack a coach or anyone for any reason.
He said the incident reflected poorly on the people but also added that Lam should have been more careful.
The PNGRFL is yet to make a statement on the incident.

43) Aussies thrash PNG men in opener

Source:
The National, Friday November 29th, 2013

AUSTRALIA’s skill and experience were too much for Papua New Guinea, posting a dominant score of 93-35 yesterday in the opening day at the FIBA Oceania Pacific Basketball championship.
The game was fast paced from the start, with neither team willing to back down, but ultimately, Australia’s superior skill set and depth of bench allowed them to forge ahead.
Michael Healy came off the bench for Australia, showing grit and determination under the rim at either end of the court, and as a result, put up a points tally of 18, the team high.
Both teams were able to move the ball around well, although Australia did capitalise on mistakes made by the newly formed Papua New Guinea team.
Starting the second half trailing 15-51, Papua New Guinea rallied together and dug deep, showing flashes of good skill and ball control.
An alley-oop completed by Apia Muri put a strong full stop to the third quarter, although it was too little too late.
He ended up as the top scorer for PNG, slotting 15.
Australia had an insurmountable lead and they did not let off the gas, continuing to pile on the pressure and the points.
The coaches of both teams were pleased with the way their teams performed and are looking forward to their next match ups.
Australia 93 (Healy 18, Krebs 14, McKay 13) Papua New Guinea 35 (Muri 15). PNG is in pool one, which has Tahiti and Guam.
The women opened up their campaign yesterday, taking on hosts New Zealand Maori in a result that was not available at press time.
In their Pool 2 are Tahiti and Samoa, who will not get any points for breaching eligibility rules.

44) Fiji runs in some stellar tries

Rashneel Kumar
Saturday, November 30, 2013

THE Digicel Fiji 7s got off to a jittery start before finding its footing to steamroll to a 36-5 win over USA in its opening pool match in Dubai 7s last night.

The Ben Ryan-coached side scored six tries to one to start its maiden Dubai 7s title hunt campaign on a high note.

Following a series of handling errors and indiscipline in the early stage of the first half, Fiji scored the first points in the match through Samisoni Viriviri’s try.

USA bounced back from Stephen Tomasin’s try to level the game 5-all at the break.

Coach Ryan emphasised on winning possession and the side did exactly that to find its rhythm in the second spell.

Tries from Pio Tuwai, Samu Saqiwa and Viriviri gave Fiji a comfortable 24-5 lead midway of the second spell before debutante Mosese Mawalu got his brace to seal the 36-5 win.

“We will score some stellar tries this weekend and hopefully our defence will be robust and solid and we will see how far that takes us,” Ryan told irb.com.

“We have some great pace and steppers and with Pio Tuwai back he is a lovely footballer and will benefit the squad.

“They are the sort of team that will react to a big crowd. We have four newcomers and there is always that cross-your-fingers and hope they get into it, but I have a sneaky suspicion they’ll react really well and play the house down.”

With a disappointing start to the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series in Gold Coast, Australia Ryan has assured of a better performance this weekend.

“I have been with the boys for the last month, going to some of the islands and watching some of the tournaments there,” said the former England coach, who took over just a week or so before the start of the season.

“We have had some long training camps to narrow the squad down, which was tough.

“I publicly spoke about their fitness levels, and they’ve got on with it.

“They’ve been flogged in almost every session and they’ve also started to learn a bit more about what to eat and how to rest and recover.

“They’ve been like sponges, been outstanding, and I’ve been pleased with their progress so far.”

Ryan has a mixed history in the last three years in Dubai.

In 2010 and 2011 he and England won the Cup, beating Fiji en route to those titles, but 12 months ago they had their worst ever tournament in the history of the Series, winning the bottom-tier Shield.

“It is a great atmosphere, and Fiji is often many people’s second team, if not their first, so I am sure the boys will not lack crowd support, particularly the way we play.”FIJITIMES.

45) BRIEFLY

Aap, Ap, Afp
Saturday, November 30, 2013

PNG entry

BRISBANE – Papua New Guinea has taken a step towards achieving their NRL dream after their bid was officially welcomed to the second tier Queensland Cup on Thursday. The PNG side will take part in a 13-strong 2014 tournament with home games to be played in Kokopo, north-east of Port Moresby, after meeting the QRL’s strict criteria.

No win, no car

BUDAPEST – Hungarian football champions Gyori ETO found an original way to punish their players after an embarrassing defeat, by confiscating the keys to their sponsor’s cars, a media report said on Thursday. The management of the club, which took its fourth Hungarian league title last season, struck back after the team went down 3-0 last weekend against bottom-of-the-league side Mezokovesd-Zsory SE, the news portal kisalfold.hu reported.

Out for two

MUNICH, Germany – Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm will miss the European champions’ next two games after injuring his right hamstring, the club confirmed on Thursday. The 30-year-old limped out of Bayern’s 3-1 win at CSKA Moscow on Wednesday as they extended their winning streak in the Champions League to a record 10 matches.

Messi recovers

MADRID – Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi will travel to his native Argentina on Friday to continue his recuperation from a torn hamstring, his club Barcelona confirmed on Thursday. Messi suffered his third and most serious muscle injury of the season earlier this month in a 4-1 win away to Real Betis and is not expected to return to action until after the La Liga winter break in January.

Up to No.5

ZURICH – Cristiano Ronaldo’s match-winning goals for Portugal in World Cup playoff matches against Sweden lifted his country to No.5 in the monthly FIFA rankings. Portugal’s 1-0 and 3-2 wins fuelled a nine-place jump in the standings published Thursday as rivals played only friendly matches which score fewer points in the calculations.

Football fixing

LONDON – Six men have been arrested by police investigating alleged fixing in English football matches, amid claims of attempts to defraud Asian betting websites. At least three footballers and an agent are among the six arrested, according to London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, which said an undercover investigation by its reporters had triggered the police swoop.

Detained

DOHA – French footballer Zahir Belounis left Qatar on Thursday after being stuck in the 2022 World Cup host country for 17 months over a pay dispute with his club. The Al-Jaish player left with his wife and two daughters onboard a Qatar Airways flight, according to an aviation source.

Giggs’ career

LONDON – Ryan Giggs believes the stability of playing for Manchester United throughout his career has allowed him to extend his playing days until his 40th birthday. Giggs turns 40 today but his performances remain of such a high standard that United manager David Moyes is already hinting the Welsh midfielder could continue to play on next season.

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