Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 919


1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 2 January 2014

by bobmakin

Happy New Year!

Broadcasts of tributes to the late Patrick Crowby Manarewo,Minister of Internal Affairs and former mayor of Port Vila, continue. The tile of Manarewo has been passed to Fr Henry Cowby, brother of the deceased. Radio Vanuatu News suggested Fr Henry Crowby might stand in the by-election for the parliamentary seat of his sibling. A Bill for compensation of 8 million vatu for death or injury in the course of work of an employee, to his family, by the employer, was introduced by Minister Crowby in the recent sitting of Parliament. This replaces an earlier requirement for 2 million vatu compensation in such circumstances.

VBTC will re-broadcast results of the Years 8 and 10 examinations (Anglophone and Francophone), along with Year 12 on Friday and Sunday evenings.

Vanuatu has welcomed changes to the seasonal worker programme of Australia. This will give additional work opportunities to Pacific Islanders. Persons over 45 years will now be accepted in the programme. Those working with the New Zealand RSE scheme will henceforth also be accepted. The changes are part of a year-long trial. The report said Australia benefits considerably from the efforts of self-disciplined islander workers.

A tourist was killed yesterday noon in front of the Port Vila market. A vehicle knocked down a tourist believed to be from the cruise ship which visited during the day. A man is held in police custody to answer questions following the fatal accident.

The Electoral Office is going to require a medical check-up of intending electoral candidates in future. The cost of the by-election last year for the Tanna seat which became vacant with the death of former MP Harry Iauko required huge un-budgeted expenditure. A reader of this blog has wisely suggested all public figures should be required to have an annual check-up and be given a health advice session so that the cost of overseas medical treatment can be avoided.

2) Campaigning Stopped In Wake Of Vanuatu Minister’s Death
Parties reportedly plan to renew activities after Crowby laid to rest

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Dec. 31, 2013) – When Port Vila learned about the death of Patrick Crowby, Minister of Internal Affairs, in New Caledonia the presidents of the parties that are contesting the Port Vila Municipality have temporarily stopped public campaigns.

Port Vila would still go to Polls and elect 12 councilors and specifically five female councilors from the Reserve Seats on January 7, 2014.

But because Crowby was the late Minister of Elections and was a former Port Vila’s First Citizen who had transformed it to The Most Beautiful City in the South Pacific as Mayor in the ‘90s many longtime Vanuatu politicians want to pay homage to Crowby.

And will announce the re-opening of political public campaign when he is laid to rest in Port Vila Cemetery.

Indirect instructions have been issued that no public campaigns will take place until such time as Crowby’s body arrived from Noumea tonight.

Many politicians have observed the stand taken by the leaders of political parties as one 2014 Port Vila Municipal Council contender in FresWota confirmed that “they have been asked to stop campaigning until Monday night”.

The late Crowby is a son of Port Vila and he will be the first Vanuatu minister who has passed away but buried in Port Vila.

In the past, a deceased minister and a former prime minister were sent for burial in their home islands or constituencies.

Crowby followed his mother’s political party, the UMP then joined the late Father Walter Lini’s National United Party in 2008, was elected in 2012 as a UMP candidate but then joined Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Green Party and political observers say the Greens Party will be greatly affected in this election in terms of public political campaigning,

Many Greens want to get elected in next year’s elections and make noise about their political propaganda but inside them they feel they have to honor the loss of one of their very senior ministers and this mixed feeling could have a cause on the elections a former Greens Central Ward councilor said.

On the other hand there could be some undecided Port Vila voters who could vote out of sympathy for the loss of a former Greens MP and former Greens statesman.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

3) Unionist unhappy with government stance

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, January 02, 2014

UNIONIST Daniel Urai has expressed disappointment at the government’s stance of declaring unlawful the peaceful walkout by about 400 staff members of Sheraton Fiji Resort and Westin Denarau Resort and Spa on Tuesday.

Mr Urai, the general secretary of the National Union of Catering and Hospitality and Tourism Industries Employees, said Labour Minister Jone Usamate was ill-advised on the matter.

“The minister made a decision based on limited advice,” he said.

“He was not well-informed of the reasons the workers walked off their jobs.”

Mr Urai said the union would have further talks with the resort staff and the landowning committee before making any other decision.

Mr Urai’s comments come in response to a statement issued by Mr Usamate on Tuesday declaring the walkout unlawful.

In the statement, the Labour Minister said the strike breached Section 175 of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007.

He said Section One of the ERP required that a notice of secret ballot be provided to the Registrar of Trade Unions prior to any strike action.

“The Registrar of Trade Union today confirmed that he has not received a notice of secret ballot as required under the law,” Mr Usamate said.

Fiji Islands Hotels and Tourism Association president Dixon Seeto declined to comment on the issue.

“I decline to make any further comment on the issue except to say that as there is further dialogue between the resort staff and management, I think that is a positive move,” he said-


4) Am. Samoa Attorney General’s Term Comes To An End
Afoa L. Su’esue’e Lutu will transition to senatorial seat

By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Jan. 1, 2014) – Who will be the next Attorney General? That is the question that everyone is asking and Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga is expected to announce his choice today, says the Governor’s Executive Assistant, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira.

The last cabinet meeting of 2013 for the Lolo and Lemanu administration was dedicated to outgoing Attorney General Afoa L Su’esu’e Lutu, whose last day at work is today. In January, he will take up the senatorial seat representing the villages of Fagatogo, Fagaalu and Utulei.

Afoa, who was a candidate for Governor in the last General Election was appointed by Governor Lolo as the Territory’s Attorney General, and was the first political appointee announced by the new administration.

During the cabinet meeting Governor Lolo commended Afoa for his commitment to the cause and stated that although he will be missed in this administration, opportunities such as this one do not come often.

Lolo described Afoa as a warrior who was determined, and was not scared to make decisions. He thanked him for holding the fort for the administration when they stepped in.

Afoa was presented with a plaque and a tanoa (kava bowl). The outgoing AG thanked the governor and Lt. governor for their commitment to the people, adding he has served in three administrations, twice with the late Lutali’s administration and then under Lolo’s administration.

Today is not a sad day, rather it is a happy day which coincides with the festive season as we approach the new year,” Afoa said, also thanking Maoputasi County for the opportunity offered to him to take on the senatorial seat.

He thanked Lolo and Lemanu for choosing him and fighting back his tears, Afoa apologized, saying it may appear that he’s running away as if something has happened however this was not the case. “This is the county’s decision and who am I to deny the decision by the county?”

Afoa told Lolo that he may be moving to the Legislative branch, however he will always return if the governor and the administration call on him for anything. “I’m only a phone call away,” he said.

Chief Election Officer Tuaolo Manaia Fruean who spoke on behalf of the administration and Governor Lolo asked Afoa to use his ability as an attorney to soothe any issue coming from the Fono towards the administration.

In September, 2013, Afoa accepted the offer to take the Senate seat which was initially endorsed for High Chief Tiumalu Telesia Scanlan. Tiumalu later told Samoa News that she offered Afoa the Senate seat because she was not physically fit to take the seat, given her age.

Afoa fills the seat left vacant earlier this year in June with the passing of the late Senator Faagata Mano Faagata.

All that’s left to do now is for the Secretary of Samoan Affairs to certify Afoa’s selection.
This comes after the governor is presented with the county’s “Return of Writ for Special Election” which is to be signed by the Maoputasi County Chief and county traditional leaders, according to local law.

Afoa is also currently the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Korea in the territory.

Other issues discussed at cabinet meeting

During the last cabinet meeting of the year, Governor Lolo commended the Director of DYWA Pa’u Roy Ausage and Director of Arts Council Uta Dr. Laloulu Tagoilelago for a job well done for putting together the Christmas Program.

He also noted that next time the Samoa Bowl Committee have a project such as the one they just did,  the cabinet should also be involved. He admonished them that the Administration can’t involve themselves unless they are made aware of the project or event. Lolo then thanked Lealao Melila Purcell for his commitment to Samoa Bowl and thanked others who were involved.

Lolo then urged the Samoa Talks Committee, led by Tuaolo Manaia Fruean and Sonny Thompson, to touch base with the Samoa Government and discuss issues for the Inter-Samoa talks.

Lastly the governor said, during this festive season there will be a lot of celebrations and to those who consume alcohol, please drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive, because if anyone breaks the law, there’s nothing he can do about it, the law will be upheld.

Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga had pointed out earlier in the cabinet meeting that there were reports that some government employees have been caught drinking and driving, and that’s unacceptable.

The Samoa News:


5a) PNG kapital siti bai tambu olgeta long salim buai long wik bihain

Updated 2 January 2014, 15:08 AEST

John Papik

Tambu tru blong salim buai long Port Moresby city  long bai stat nau long Januari 8  2014.

Stat long wik bihain bai lukim nogat  moa buai bai pipol i salim long city blong Port Moresby.oa emi official stat blong tambu long salim ol buai long city.

Tingting blong putim tambu long salim buai ibin stat long mun Oktoba las yar taim ol autoroti i wokim maket blong salim ol buai tasol autsait long Port Moresby city.

Gavana blong National Capital Distrik Powes Pakorp husait i go pas long dispela tingting i tok emi sori long emi kamap wantaim dispela tingting.

Mr Parkop itok emi hope dispela tingting blong en bai inoken kamap long wanem em ino laik stopim pipol long salim na baim buai long wanem dispela ibin samting blong tumbuna bifo oli ibin iusim long ol pasin tumbuna blong ples.

Bikpela wari long dispela taim em Mr Parkop itok em pipol blong tede em bikpela long en long Port Moresby  no bihainim pasin blong ples na oli iusim long wokim bisnis en long halivim sidaun blong ol.

Moa pipol i iusim long olgeta de na narapela wari emi buai i kamapim planti pipia long city blong Port Morsby ne mekim city i luk doti long eye blong ol visitors blong narapela kantri..Radio Australia.

5b) PNG kalabusman em oli ibin ronwei long Mendi haus kalabus ino kam bek iet

Updated 1 January 2014, 16:14 AEST

John Papik

Moa long tripela ten ol kalabusman  nau istap hait yet long eria blong Mendi long Southern Highlands blong Papua New Guinea, bihain long bikpela namba blong ol ibin ronawei long wik igo pinis.

Samting olsem 42 ol kalabus ibin ronawei long Buiyebi haus kalaabus arasait long Mendi long las Sarere apinun tasol sikispela blong ol, polis ibin nap long kisim ol bek.

Tingting blong ol kalabus i ronawei ibin kamap bihain long wanpela Church Sevis blong ol kalabusman.

Bihainim toktok bilong NBC niusman long Mendi Joe Kerema, i luk olsem ol kalapusm imas save yet ol prison ofisa inogat ol samting bilong pait or ol firearms olsem na planti bilong ol ibin ronwe long sem taim.

Buiyebi haus kalapus em wanpela bigpela haus kalaous na em isave lukautim tu ol kalapus bilong ol narapela province olsem Hela, sampela hap bilong Western Highlands na igo moa.Radio Australia.


6) Arsip Australia Ungkap Hubungan Dengan Indonesia di Masa Lalu

Terbit 2 January 2014, 12:30 AEST

Anna Henderson, staf

Badan Arsip Nasional Australia baru-baru ini menerbitkan dokumen kabinet rahasia periode 1986 hingga 1987, saat pemerintahan dipimpin oleh Perdana Menteri dari Partai Buruh Bob Hawke.

Dokumen-dokumen tersebut menunjukkan berbagai cara kerja pemerintah di balik layar, termasuk yang melibatkan hubungan dengan Indonesia.

Prioritas luar negeri pemerintahan Australia saat itu termasuk China, Jepang dan Indonesia.

Jim Stokes, seorang ahli sejarah, menyelidiki bagian dokumen yang membahas Indonesia. Ia mengatakan bahwa sikap negatif dan kecurigaan dari kedua pihak, Australia dan Indonesia, dipicu oleh reportase media, perihal hak asasi manusia dan masalah Timor Timur.

“Kabinet setuju bahwa Australia harus berusaha membina hubungan baik dengan Indonesia di berbagai tingkat, namun menghindari melakukan tindakan berlebihan yang bisa menyebabkan Indonesia berasumsi bahwa tanggung jawab dalam hubungan yang sukses hanya dipikul Australia,” jelasnya.

Hawke mengatakan kabinetnya memahami pentingnya memperbaiki hubungan Australia dengan negara tetangganya.

“Saya selalu memahami kalau upaya Australia untuk memiliki hubungan yang hangat dan erat dengan Indonesia tidak mudah, karena ada banyak perbedaan di lingkungan politik dan budaya diantara Indonesia dan Australia,” katanya.

“Sangat jelas kalau Indonesia akan menjadi salah satu kekuatan ekonomi dunia dan kita harus memiliki hubungan yang baik dengannya.”

Sanksi terhadap Afrika Selatan

Di masa Hawke, Australia juga menjatuhkan sanksi terhadap  Afrika Selatan.

Masa pemerintahan partai buruh di tahun 1980an dan 1990an diwarnai perselisihan antara Hawke dan Paul Keating, yang sempat menjabat sebagai Menteri Keuangan di bawah Hawke.

Pada tahun 1991, Keating menantang kepemimpinan Hawke dan akhirnya menggantikannya sebagai Perdana Menteri.

Baru-baru ini, keduanya bercerita melalui wawancara dan dokumenter di ABC mengenai persaingan mereka. Keating mengaku sebagai yang paling berjasa di balik kemenangan partai buruh pada tahun 1987, sementara Hawke bersikeras bahwa dIialah yang dipilih oleh rakyat Australia.

Perselisihan ini seolah terkuak kembali dengan penerbitan dokumen-dokumen tersebut.

Meskipun dokumen-dokumen tersebut tak langsung menyebutkan ketegangan antara Hawke dan Keating, namun menyinggung peristiwa merosotnya sektor perdagangan Australia pada masa itu.

Keating memegang peran penting dalam penanganan masalah tersebut, antara lain dengan memperingatkan masyarakat bahwa Australia akan menjadi ekonomi tingkat tiga.

Tindakan Keating tersebut mengejutkan kabinet.

Selain itu, Ia juga disebut menginginkan diterapkannya kontrol terhadap peminjaman dan pengetatan dalam pembelanjaan.

Pada tahun 1987, kabinet harus meningkatkan anggaran untuk membangun gedung parlemen baru. Akibat unjuk rasa dan kelebihan biaya, kabinet terpaksa meningkatkan anggaran total menjadi lebih dari 1 miliar dollar.

Pemerintah tadinya mempertimbangkan memotong subsidi untuk ruang-ruang makan parlemen, namun anggota parlemen dan senator memprotes rencana tersebut. Pemerintah juga tidak jadi meningkatkan gaji para politisi.

Dalam dokumen-dokumen tersebut, dirincikan bagaimana pemerintahan Hawke gagal memperkenalkan otonomi di wilayah ibukota Australia. Akhirnya, wilayah ini, yang termasuk Canberra, baru mencapai otonomi tahun 1988.Radio Australia


7a) Antarctique: l’hélico du Dragon des Neiges va enfin pouvoir décoller

Mis à jour 2 January 2014, 14:36 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Jeudi midi, l’évacuation des 52 passagers de l’Akademik Shokalskiy était imminente.

La météo devrait enfin permettre leur transport par hélicoptère jusqu’au pont du Dragon des Neiges, le brise-glace chinois qui s’est dérouté il y a quelques jours pour porter secours au bateau russe piégé dans la glace depuis le jour de Noël.

L’évacuation prendra plusieurs heures, les passagers, principalement des scientifiques, seront transportés par groupes de 12 dans l’hélicoptère. Après 45 minutes de vol, une fois à bord du Dragon des Neiges, qui est stationné à 20 milles nautiques, là où s’arrête la glace, ils seront transbordés sur l’Aurora Australis, brise-glace australien qui s’est lui aussi dérouté il y a quelques jours pour prêter main forte à l’Akademik Shokalskiy.

Les 22 membres d’équipage resteront à bord du bateau russe pour le piloter le dégel venu.

7b) Iles Cook: quand l’aide tourne à la catastrophe écologique

Mis à jour 2 January 2014, 14:39 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Le gouvernement défend sa décision d’envoyer 2000 batteries au plomb dans six îles reculées du pays pour fournir de l’électricité solaire aux habitants.

Les batteries au plomb sont plus lourdes et durent 17 ans de moins que les batteries au lithium-Ion.

Ces batteries permettent de stocker une partie de l’électricité produite dans la journée. Elles ont aussi été choisies parce qu’elles peuvent être transportées sèches puis remplies d’acide et devenir ainsi opérationnelles une fois arrivées à destination.

Mais ces batteries au plomb sont lourdes, et elles constituent une menace pour l’environnement. Steve Anderson est le PDG- fondateur d’une entreprise du secteur énergétique, basée à Rarotonga, la capitale des Iles Cook. Il est farouchement opposé au projet :

« Les Iles Cook sont au nombre de 15, disséminées sur une superficie deux fois et demi plus grande que celle de l’Australie. Et ce sont de très, très petites îles. Donc transporter ces batteries  de 90 kilos chacune dans les îles les plus reculées est un défi logistique difficilement surmontable, elles doivent être déchargées des bateaux à la force des bras. Donc l’idée qu’elles puissent être rapatriées à Rarotonga en fin de vie est très hypothétique. L’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé estime que 120 millions de personnes sont exposées à de trop fortes doses de plomb dans le monde, et 99% d’entre elles vivent dans des pays en développement. Donc je ne vois pas pourquoi nous placerions ces batteries qui contiennent des centaines de tonnes de plomb sur des atolls qui culminent en plus à seulement 1 ou 2 mètres au-dessus du niveau de la mer. »

Steve Anderson propose de continuer le projet d’installation de l’électricité solaire dans les atolls reculés des Îles Cook – en changeant tout simplement le type de batteries utilisées :

« Les batteries au lithium-Ion sont utilisées dans nos ordinateurs et téléphones portables. Elles sont beaucoup plus petites que les batteries au plomb et en plus elles ont une durée de vie plus longue. Les batteries au plomb durent de 5 à 8 ans, mais moins si elles sont placées dans un climat chaud tropical. Les batteries au lithium-Ion, elles, ont une durée de vie de 25 ans et elles sont pratiquement inertes (elles n’entrent pas en réaction chimique avec l’environnement, elles ne réagissent pas au contact d’un autre corps, NDLR). Pour cette raison, dans certains pays ces batteries au lithium-Ion sont même autorisées dans les déchetteries non spécialisées. Alors que les batteries au plomb, elles, doivent être recyclées dans un centre équipé, et en l’occurrence il n’y en n’a pas aux Iles Cook, ce ne peut être fait qu’en Nouvelle-Zélande ou en Australie. »

Le gouvernement défend son projet d’utiliser des batteries au plomb, soulignant que leur délicat recyclage créera nécessairement un marché aux Îles Cook, une activité économique bienvenue. La réponse de Steve Anderson :

« C’est vrai sur Rarotonga, la capitale, où nous pouvons prêter des conteneurs maritime pour stocker les vieilles batteries au plomb. Mais même dans ce cas, il faudrait attendre au moins un ou deux ans, le temps d’accumuler suffisamment de batteries au plomb pour justifier le coût exorbitant de leur transport vers l’Australie ou la Nouvelle-Zélande. Quant au coût du transport des batteries des atolls jusqu’à Rarotonga, il est trois à quatre fois plus élevé que le transport vers la Nouvelle-Zélande. Tout cela n’est pas viable. Par exemple, l’atoll de Pukapuka est déjà couvert de batteries au plomb, elles ont été abandonnées sur le sable, et dans le lagon, héritage de vieux projets similaires. »

En outre, les batteries au plomb ont déjà été refusées par un autre pays du Pacifique :

« Niue a insisté pour recevoir des batteries au lithium-Ion dans le cadre du projet d’électricité solaire financé par le Japon, invoquant la protection de l’environnement. Donc il y a un précédent. Et nous estimons que les donateurs doivent prendre leurs responsabilités et fournir des solutions durables aux pays qu’ils aident, et vérifier d’abord si les pays ont les moyens de recycler quoi que ce soit. Clairement, on préfère recevoir une Toyota Prius qu’un V8 Holden, parce que c’est bon pour l’environnement, la Prius consomme moins d’essence, et coûte moins cher sur le long terme. Y a pas que l’environnement, c’est aussi une question d’argent. »

Mais le gouvernement des Îles Cook ne semble pas prêt à suivre l’exemple de Niue et à poser ses conditions:

«  J’ai cru comprendre que le gouvernement des Iles Cook n’ose pas bousculer les donateurs – l’Australie, la Chine, la Nouvelle-Zélande et le Japon, donc il se laisse mener par les donateurs, qui ont de bonnes intentions. Mais j’espère juste que le bon sens prévaudra et qu’ils choisiront une solution durable. »

Steve Anderson, le PDG- fondateur d’une entreprise du secteur énergétique, basée à Rarotonga, répondait à Tom Fayle sur Radio Australie.


9) China debt surges by 70pc

Thursday, January 02, 2014

CHINA has local government debts of 17.7 trillion yuan ($F5.50tn), up 70 per cent from three years ago, according to an official report.

China’s government asked the National Audit Office (NAO) in July to do a round-up of the debts outstanding at a local level.

The report showed some local governments were using new loans to repay more than a fifth of their debt.

China has a total government debt of about 58 per cent of its economic output.

Persistent fears over the level of non-performing bad debt have affected perceptions of the world’s second-largest economy, as some worry whether the loans can be paid back.

The figure is still less than half the debt burdens in Japan — the world’s third-largest economy — and Greece, but some analysts warn that China’s debt cannot continue to grow at this pace forever.

“While China’s total government debt remains low by the OECD standards, the pace of the rise is still alarming,” said ANZ Bank economists Liu Li-Gang and Zhou Hao.

“This national debt audit result could indicate that China’s local government debt almost doubled in about two-and-a-half years.”

According to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, local governments took up 80 per cent of total bank lending in China at the end of 2010. Local governments in China borrowed heavily after the global financial crisis, to try to sustain growth rates.

The Chinese central government has repeatedly stressed the urgent need to guard against financial risks, including the local government debt problem.

10) Passengers onboard Akademik Shokalskiy remain stranded in Antarctic ice as helicopter rescue delayed

Updated 2 January 2014, 13:18 AEST

A helicopter rescue operation for 52 passengers onboard a Russian research ship stuck in ice in Antarctica has been delayed.

Poor weather has already forced several air and sea rescue attempts to be abandoned since the ship became stuck at Commonwealth Bay on Christmas Eve.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority now says current sea ice conditions mean a planned rescue will likely not go ahead today.

AMSA says the Chinese ice breaker Xue Long’s helicopter is unable to land on the Aurora Australis due to load restrictions and it is not safe to land the helicopter next to the AMSA vessel.

AMSA says all passengers and crew are safe and well and that “alternative measures to complete the rescue are now being investigated”.

The rescue operation was expected to take several hours, with passengers to be flown by helicopter in groups of 12 to the nearby Xue Long.

They would then be taken by barge from the Xue Long to the AMSA vessel Aurora Australis.

The 22 crew members were to remain onboard the Russian ship.

“This rescue will be a complex operation involving a number of steps and subject to factors such as weather,” AMSA said earlier in a statement.

A stunning day.Hopefully we’ll hear about the evacuation soon. #spiritofmawson Alok Jha

— Chris Turney (@ProfChrisTurney) January 2, 2014

Each of the seven return helicopter flights were to take around 45 minutes, with the whole operation expected to last at least five hours.

AMSA spokesman John Young said earlier the passengers are not likely to make it back to Hobart until mid-January.

The 74 people onboard the ship were retracing Sir Douglas Mawson’s Antarctic expedition and conducting scientific research.

Yesterday, expedition leader Professor Chris Turney and the crew created a celebratory new year’s video, including a song, which was uploaded to YouTube.

 11) Phones on planes

Thursday, January 02, 2014

MANILA – The Philippines’ civil aviation authority said on Tuesday it would allow passengers to use mobile phones and laptops to make calls and access the internet during flights.

Civil aviation director general William Hotchkiss said the order covered “transmitting portable electronic devices”.

With immediate effect, the move will allow “people on board the aircraft conditional use of laptops, cellular phones, Internet or short-based-messaging service, voice communications and other broadband services during flights”, he said in a directive.
However, devices should still be turned off pre-flight, when the aircraft is refuelling, and be switched to silent mode.


12a) Foundation gives $14k

Geraldine Panapasa
Thursday, January 02, 2014

IN support of the Ministry of Health’s initiative to reduce cervical cancer cases in Fiji through its mHealth program, Vodafone Fiji Foundation made a contribution of $14,645.

Foundation executive Ambalika Kutty said it was very important for people to be aware of health issues plaguing society.

“We have always been and continue to be at the forefront to assist in ways that promotes societal well-being,” she said in a statement this week.

Colonial War Memorial Hospital’s Dr James Fong received the contribution in Suva and said the grant would enable them to purchase vital medical supplies to aid in the awareness, screening and treatment of cervical cancer.

“It is for an important cause given the high incidence of cervix cancer in Fiji. The Ministry of Health has started to expand the awareness program and screenings in the interior communities.”

“This timely contribution from the foundation will assist in the purchase of specialist equipment to be used for the screening and treatment process.”

He said their team had developed a data management system to host the collation of data from screenings, treatment, and health check-ups to track and monitor progress on cases identified.

Dr Fong said the contribution from the foundation showed the genuine desire to make a real difference in the lives of many people who were still unaware and susceptible to such life-threatening diseases.

12b) Hundreds monitored in Taiwan after bird flu case

Updated 2 January 2014, 2:57 AEST

Taiwanese authorities are monitoring hundreds of people who may have had contact with a mainland Chinese tourist infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu.

Officials in Taiwan say authorities are monitoring hundreds of people who may have had contact with a mainland Chinese tourist infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu.

The 86-year-old man from the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu is in stable condition in hospital in Taiwan, where he was on an eight-day tour, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said in a statement.

As many as 500 people may have had contact with him, all of whom are being asked to report to doctors should they develop possible symptoms, the statement added.

The 149 people who may have had close contact include two family members accompanying him on the tour, the tour guide, bus driver, medical personnel and patients sharing the same hospital ward, it said.

“Three medical personnel have shown symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections and taken medicines as preventative treatment,” the statement said, adding that they should monitor their condition for two weeks while awaiting the outcome of tests.

They have not been placed in quarantine.

Taiwan in April reported the first H7N9 case outside mainland China, after a 53-year-old man who had been working in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou showed symptoms three days after returning to Taiwan via Shanghai.

The Taiwanese government has issued a travel advisory for residents planning to travel to China, upgrading Jiangsu to “alert” level.

Guangdong province in the southeast has also been placed in the alert category.

An 80-year-old man infected with the H7N9 strain died on Thursday in Hong Kong, the first H7N9 death in the city since the virus emerged there last month.

He had been taken to hospital after returning to Hong Kong from the neighbouring city of Shenzhen in mainland China, where he lived.

Taiwan’s CDC warned people to avoid touching and feeding birds or visiting markets with live poultry when visiting Chinese regions with H7N9 cases.


13) Guam Hospital Waiting For Finalizing Of $25 Million Loan
Loan will be used to pay debts to hospital vendors: administrator

By Amanda Francel Blas

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 2, 2014) – While Guam’s only public hospital hoped to borrow $25 million to pay some of its bills before the end of the year, Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) is still waiting as loan documents are finalized.

“Both the hospital and the bank’s lawyers are working on the loan documents,” Joe Verga, GMH administrator, said. “We should have the loan by early (this) year.”

The loan, which will be lent by Bank of Guam, will help the hospital repay an existing loan that was used to bail out the hospital about three years ago, Pacific Daily News files state.

The loan also will be used to pay debts to vendors. Verga said Supply Service Center, a federal wholesaler of pharmaceutical and medical supplies based in Perry Point, Md., will be among the first vendors to be paid once the loan is approved.

“They’ve already been assured by both myself and the hospital board,” Verga said.

According to Verga, there is no Jan. 1 deadline to pay off the hospital’s more than $5 million debt to the wholesaler. However, GMH hopes to repay the debt as soon as possible to avoid an automatic garnishment of Medicare reimbursement funds.

“The federal government and the supplier are being kept involved,” Verga said. “While they won’t be garnishing any of our funds, there’s always the risk of a garnishment automatically kicking in with the new year.”

Once the loan documents are finalized, Verga said, the documents will be given to the Office of the Attorney General for review.

“Everyone knows the loan is imminent and I’m sure it’ll pull through,” Verga said. “I’m cautiously optimistic.”

Pacific Daily News:


14a) Fiji Government’s Free Education Grants To Begin
Almost 900 schools eligible for support will see funds by Jan. 10

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 1, 2014) – The eligible 898 Fijian schools who qualify for the free education grant will start receiving their allocation for the first school term from tomorrow.

Of these, 730 are primary schools and 168 are secondary schools.

Speaking to FijiLive, Education Ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal said by 10 January all schools would have received the grant.

“We will deposit the money into their respective schools’ accounts.

“So by 10 January all schools that qualify for the grant will have that allocation in their accounts to start the new school term.”

The ministry reminds the heads of the 898 eligible schools they still need to submit their audited report for 2013 by 31 May to ensure they receive their allocations for Terms 2 and 3 on time.

Rural and remote schools that need assistance in the preparation of their audited financial reports are to inform their education districts. They will be provided with expertise to compile their reports.

Last month, the education ministry carried out financial management training for all schools heads throughout the country just to go over how the grant will be given out, the government’s expectation with respect to proper usage of funds and the teachers’ responsibility to ensure children do not miss out on the free education initiative offered by the Fijian government.

Meanwhile, a total of 16 schools, of eight primary and eight secondary schools, which are privately owned aren’t eligible for the grant.


14b) Authorities extend Fiji TV licence

Geraldine Panapasa
Wednesday, January 01, 2014

RELEVANT authorities have renewed Fiji Television Limited’s existing television broadcast licence for a further six months.

And according to Fijian Holdings Limited chief executive officer Nouzab Fareed, this was effective from Monday.

“FTV received a letter confirming licence extension for another six months from December 30, 2013,” he said yesterday.

“We are satisfied but wish for at least a long-term licence from June 2014.”

Since acquiring Fiji TV through Yasana Holdings Ltd in March last year, Mr Fareed said FHL had made structural changes as well as a new management team.

“We introduced at least four channels and reduced monthly subscriptions as well as improved the subscriber base,” he said.

Fiji TV was granted its first six months licence in June last year and is the South Pacific’s largest broadcaster in the region, excluding Australia and New Zealand.

It broadcasts its free-to-air station, Fiji One, via Sky Pacific to Fiji and 10 other Pacific Island countries. It has a subsidiary company in PNG, Media Niugini Limited, which operates as EMTV and is PNG’s only free-to-air commercial station.

15a) Journo accused of ‘terror’ link

Thursday, January 02, 2014

CAIRO – Egypt has accused detained journalists from the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera television network of belonging to a “terrorist” group, saying they had ties with the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

It’s not immediately clear if all three journalists face the same accusation, the first prosecutors have brought against journalists since the government designated the Brotherhood a “terrorist” group last week.

Prosecutors had earlier ordered the detention of three journalists with Al-Jazeera’s English channel, including Australian Peter Greste, after their arrest on Sunday in a Cairo hotel.

The move comes six months into a crackdown by the military-installed government on the movement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, which has extended to media viewed as biased for the Islamists.

The prosecution accused the suspects of “belonging to a terrorist group,” in a statement.

A lawyer for Mohammed Fahmy, the Canadian-Egyptian bureau chief for Jazeera English in Cairo, said his client had been accused of Brotherhood membership.

Fahmy, a well-known journalist in Cairo who previously worked with CNN, has no known ties with the Brotherhood.

“It’s insane. Mohammed has nothing related to the Muslim Brotherhood, neither to their ideology or any aspect of the Brotherhood,” his brother Sherif Fahmy said.


15b) Markham farmers growing rice


The National, Thursday January 2nd, 2014

LOCALS in Morobe have been encouraged to go into farming as a source of livelihood.
Joma Integrated Agriculture Farm (Joma) chairman Jonah Gandu urged the people of Markham to grow rice for income.
He said Markham Valley was known as the “food bowl” of Papua New Guinea and they have to live up to that reputation.
Gandu said: “To fulfil the name we carry, we must tap into agriculture to feed PNG.
“People have not seen the potential of rice farming.
“Rice can help the local farmers in many ways as it could be a source of income, food and employment.”
Gandu partnered with Michael Marainump, who is the Joma’s vice-chairman, to register the farm with Investment Promotion Authority last June.
He said the Markham district’s division of agriculture and livestock had played a major role in realising their dream in rice farming.
Joma has seven hectares of land, which had already been sowed with rice and employed 125 seasonal workers to plant, weed, spray and harvest the rice.
After harvesting a two-hectare rice field last year, they produced 178 bags (50kg) of unhusked rice.
After being milled, much of the rice was sold while some was distributed to the community for taste-testing, their first time to eat   home-grown rice.
Gandu said: “We were ridiculed by some people at first. They said we were the didiman’s (Department  of Agriculture) labourers.
“Now they have realised that what we are doing is no joke.
“The district has helped us a lot.
“They (DAL) helped us with tractor to plough the field, rice seedlings, milling machine, power tiller, a harvester and a winnowing machine.
“All we have to do is work on the land.
“The rice seedling we are using is TCS10.”
Both Gandu and Marainump planned  to expand the farm as they were encouraged by DAL to include other fast-growing crops.
Marainump said: “We will expand the farm. The didiman had advised us to plant pawpaw, African yam, taro, aibika, corn and eggplant.”
Land has already been allocated for the new crops.
Rice farming was carried out on customary land at Antiragen Village, Umi-Atzera LLG.

16a) PNG Capital City’s Betel Nut Ban Now In Effect
Governor pleased that residents have responded well

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 1, 2014) – Papua New Guinea is imposing a total ban on the sale of betel nut in the capital Port Moresby from Jan 1 to counter the negative impact of betel nut chewing and spitting.

The move comes after a partial ban was introduced late last year when betel nut could only be sold at wholesale markets in the city.

Port Moresby’s Governor, Powes Parkop told Pacific Beat the impact of the ban has “exceeded expectations” and the city is already looking much better.

“I am very pleased with the outcome, people have responded well,” he said.

“But still there is some section of the population who keep on becoming a nuisance to everyone else.

“The temporary markets that we allow, we have to shut it down now because it pose some challenges as well in terms of containing the negative impact of betal nut chewing and spitting.”‘

Mr Parkop says people who do not abide by the new rules will be fined or made to perform two hours of community service. If not, they can be arrested and charged.

“Betel nut chewing is not done on a customary basis anymore, it is purely commercial and people are chewing 24/7 and that is why it has become a problem. If it was purely a customary practice, we won’t have a problem, but now it has become purely commercial,” he said.

“Eventually they will get used to the idea of driving out of the city and enjoying the betel nut outside of the city. Our people should not think too much about it… it’s not we’re depriving them totally and absolutely of the enjoyment of the betel nut.

“Some of them should get another life. They shouldn’t give excuse. They are using those points as an excuse to leave our city with filth and ugly images and health problems.”
Radio Australia:

16b) Marijuana retailers in Colorado open doors after drug is legalised for recreational use

Updated 2 January 2014, 8:33 AEST

By North America correspondent Michael Vincent

Legal sales of marijuana for recreational use have begun in the US state of Colorado.

Dozens of people lined up at some stores in Denver on January 1 to buy up to 28 grams (1 ounce) of marijuana legally for the first time.

Colorado legalised the drug for recreational use in November, 2012, in a ballot that coincided with the US presidential election and put it in the vanguard of the push for nationwide legalisation.

“It just makes it an item of commerce, like going into a liquor store,” 61-year-old Charles Pierce said at the Denver Kush Club, where pot fans lined in the wind and sleet for the 8:00 am opening.

Colorado is expected to earn $US67 million in tax revenue this year from legal sales of the drug.

It has already approved 348 marijuana business licenses state-wide, but local government areas can block approval of the shops if they choose.

While it is now legal to buy the drug, consumption in open and public places is outlawed.

Marijuana for health purposes is legal and regulated in 19 US states.

Do you agree with the legalisation of marijuana? Will it happen in Australia? Leave your comment below.

Supporters hope legality could end police discrimination

Voters in Washington state voted to legalise marijuana at the same time Colorado did, but Washington is not slated to open its first retail establishments until later this year.

Still, supporters and detractors alike see the two western states as embarking on an experiment that could mark the beginning of the end for marijuana prohibition at the national level.

“By legalising marijuana, Colorado has stopped the needless and racially-biased enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws,” Ezekiel Edwards, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Criminal Law Reform Project, said.

Cannabis remains classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law, though the Obama administration has said it will give individual states leeway to carry out their own recreational-use statutes.

Nearly 20 states, including Colorado and Washington, had already put themselves at odds with the US government by approving marijuana for medical purposes.

Opponents warned that legalising marijuana for recreational use could help create an industry intent on attracting underage users and getting more people dependent on the drug.

Comparing the nascent pot market to the alcohol industry, former US Representative Patrick Kennedy, co-founder of Project Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said his group aimed to curtail marijuana advertising and to help push local bans on the drug while the industry was still modest in stature.



17) PNG Police Say Christmas Jail Breakout ‘Well-Planned’
More than 30 ‘dangerous’ inmates still on the run

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 1, 2014) – More than 30 prisoners remain on the run in Papua New Guinea’s southern highlands, after a mass breakout during Christmas celebrations at the weekend.

At total of 42 prisoners escaped from the Buiebi jail just outside of Mendi late on the weekend, but six have since been recaptured.

The Southern Highlands Provincial Police Commissioner Chief Inspector Sibron Papoto told Pacific Beat it seems the breakout was well planned.

Mr Papoto says it is a routine that the officers take the prisoners out for church service and light refreshments during the Christmas period.

Just as the prisoners were being locked up, some of them tried to escape by getting into a fight with the officers in charge.

“They knocked off (a) particular lance corporal, lifted them up and pushed them towards the main gate,” Mr Papoto said.

“As soon as that was going on, the acting commander… sensing one of his officers was held up by the prisoners and they use him as a human shield.”

When the commander realised the prisoners were trying to escape, he tried to block the prisoners from escaping through the main gate.

“The commander rushed to the main gate and tried to lock the main gate but then the prisoners jumped over the fence,” Mr Papoto said.

“By then, some already outside. And then they attacked him, they punched him, they removed his mobile phone, they removed the key out then open the main gate.”

“The forty-two of them, they rushed out.”

Mr Papoto says the officers did not sustain major injuries during the escape.

Depsite appeals to the public about more information about the prisoners, Mr Papoto says there has been no success.

But he warns that prisoners on the run are dangerous.

“During this time, we couldn’t do much. We had problems with few logistics… but we are doing what we can,” Mr Papoto said, adding that it’s been challenging for police to search for the prisoners when there is more security than usual required during the festive season.

Officials at the Buiebi jail are getting help from Port Moresby and Mr Papoto hopes the police will recapture all the prisoners soon.

“There are enforcement from the islands region and probably from Port Moresby of correctional services officers. They are already on the ground… they are doing what they can,” he said.

There have been many incidences of prisoners escaping from PNG jails and Mr Papoto says the jail has to tighten up its security services so the incident does not repeat itself.

“There should be some measures put in place by the correctional services management at the jail to ensure that this kind of thing does not happen and repeat itself,” he said.
Radio Australia:

18) Indian president signs historic anti-corruption law

Posted 2 January 2014, 1:39 AEST

India’s president has taken the final step to create a powerful anti-graft watchdog, signing it into law two years after a mass anti-corruption movement swept the country and galvanised politicians into action.

Parliament saw rare unity last month when the ruling Congress and main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) approved the bill creating a corruption ombudsman with sweeping powers to prosecute all politicians and civil servants.

President Pranab Mukherjee’s final approval of the law comes as the world’s largest democracy gears up for general elections due by May.

Voters have become increasingly incensed by a string of corruption scandals that have engulfed the nation.

Anti-graft hero Arvind Kejriwal, now Delhi chief minister, and his upstart Aam Aadmi (“Common Man”) party, whose mission is to clean up pervasive corruption and create a “bribe-free India”, trounced the Congress party in Delhi state polls last month.

Mr Kejriwal, 45, was a key member of the grass-roots anti-corruption movement launched by 76-year-old social crusader Anna Hazare who demanded the tough law back in 2011.

Legislation was stalled by political bickering and debate about the extent of the bill’s scope.

The Congress-led national government has been hit by a series of multi-billion-dollar graft scandals, from allegations of illegal distribution of cut-price telecom licences to the 2010 corruption-tainted Commonwealth Games.



19) Settlers return home


The National, Thursday January 2nd, 2014

THE first batch of settlers from the seven highlands provinces who have been living in New Ireland are on their way back home.
They arrived at the Namasu wharf in Lae on Tuesday onboard the mv Manmantinut for their home provinces.
The 148 people, including 54 children, arrived at the wharf and straight into buses which were to take them to their respective provinces.
They were excited to be back on the mainland but missed their friends back in New Ireland.
David Yaplin, a security manager with New Britain Palm Oil who assisted with the repatriation exercise, said: “This is the first of the three batches of settlers who have left the province.
“Those from Sepik and the island provinces of Manus and West New Britain will make up the other two batches.”
He said it cost the provincial government K180,000 to charter the vessel.
Yaplin said the voluntary repatriation exercise was for those who had been in the province for more than 10 years.
He said they had  contributed in the development of its infrastructure.
They however could not return to their home provinces because they could not afford the fares for all family members.
“And when the provincial administration put in place the voluntarily repatriation exercise and asking for those who are willing to go home, the settlers responded positively,” Yaplin said.

20) 5,000 nearly out of water


The National, Thursday January 2nd, 2014

MADANG Governor Jim Kas says a toxic plant disease could be affecting food supply on the drought-stricken Long Island.
The island, to the east of Madang town, has been badly affected by a six-month drought. The 5,000 population are running short of food and safe drinking water. Nineteen people are reported to have died from eating sago.
Kas said the Bogia coconut syndrome is killing the island’s major food supplies.
He told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme that his government would provide financial assistance to the islanders. He hopes that the Government will help.
“The provincial government has made a decision to support the islanders with K300,000 and we are expecting some financial assistance from the National Emergency and Disaster Office in Port Moresby,” Kas said.
He said the Bogia coconut syndrome was affecting  coconut, pawpaw and banana.
“I have evidence that the syndrome (is) affecting watermelon leaves, taro leaves, yam. I think it’s a major problem,” he said.
“I flew across the lake there. I hope in due time, we will address the issue by maybe piping water from the freshwater lake to all the villages on the island.”
Kas said the province would charter flights to provide government services to the people.
Kas invited scientists and researchers around the world to come and find the source of the problem.
He said: “We need specialists to come and find out because our scientists here have tried their best and have not even established what kind of pest is affecting coconut trees, pawpaw and bananas.
“And it’s now getting down to the root crops. If the source of the disease is not detected, then I feel that it will be a big problem on Long Island.”

21) SA, Qld begin new year with scorching heatwave

Updated 2 January 2014, 6:14 AEST

Parts of Australia have started the new year in sweltering conditions, with temperatures near 50 degrees Celsius in regional South Australia and a heatwave predicted for Queensland.

According to the weather bureau, the mercury at Tarcoola in central SA hit 48.9 degrees on Wednesday afternoon, while Oodnadatta reached 47.7 degrees and Coober Pedy posted 47.4 degrees.

The fire danger rating in South Australia reached catastrophic level on Wednesday, with gale force winds from former Tropical Cyclone Christine creating challenging conditions.

Winds and dust storms are moving from the state’s north across the Nullarbor Plain and will be passing near northern Spencer Gulf by early Friday.

Temperatures are forecast to hit 48 degrees in Oodnadatta on Thursday before dropping down to the mid-30s for the rest of the week.

Similarly, Coober Pedy is expected to reach 45 degrees and Tarcoola 40 before dropping later on.

The hot and windy conditions in SA’s north do not translate down to Adelaide where temperatures are forecast to be about 23 degrees all week.

The Northern Territory is also experiencing a similar heatwave.

Top temperatures at Alice Springs have not strayed below 43 since the start of the week.

22) Week-long Queensland heatwave

Queensland’s north-west has also seen a hot and sticky start to 2014.

Urandangi topped the state on Wednesday with 46.5 degrees, while Mount Isa posted 44.6 and further south Birdsville hit 44.5.

The sizzling temperatures will not abate in parts of Queensland for at least a full week.

Mount Isa is forecast to remain above 40 degrees until next Wednesday when temperatures drop to a relatively cool 37 degrees.

Similar conditions are faced at Longreach, Winton and Barcaldine.

Brisbane is expected to reach a high on Saturday with the mercury nudging close to 40 degrees.


23) Youths choose change

The National, Thursday January 2nd, 2014

YOUTHS from a notorious community in Lae have started 2014 on a new footing by surrendering their illegal weapons.
In a small but significant ceremony on Tuesday, 20 youths from Mendari Sepik settlement in the Back Road area surrendered 10 homemade guns, a hand grenade, wire catapults, marijuana plants and five homebrew-producing cylinders to police.
Lae metropolitan commander Supt Iven Lakatani, China Town police station commander Sgt James Luan and Mark Aigal chairman of Bumbu community task force policing were on hand to receive the weapons.
Youth leader George Hevengu told police that life in the settlements in Lae was different from life in the residential suburbs like Eriku and Town.
“Nothing is safe in the settlements,” Hevengu said.
“We therefore make guns to defend ourselves
“These (guns and bullets) are the things that make us become man.
“Now we are giving you our strength. We will now depend on you (police).”
“Whenever, there is a problem and we call for your help you must promptly respond,” he said.
This was the second major surrender ceremony by youths in the notorious backroad area within December.
In Las Block Mangi settlement about a kilometre from Mendari a military-issue hand grenade, a gas canister and more than 10 homemade guns, including homebrew producing apparatus, were surrendered to authorities by youths.
Another youth leader Daniel Perry said they are giving up their weapons because they wanted a better life and wanted to leave in peace.
Lakatani, when receiving the weapons, told the youths that they it was true they were removing their strength by surrendering the guns but he told them that they were also removing their enemies.
“As long as you have these things on you police will after you,” Lakatani said.
“You have therefore removed an enemy too,” he said.
Lakatani said homebrew, guns and marijuana are three things that have caused chaos, disorder and disharmony in many communities in PNG.
He promised to help the youths start off a community policing concept in their community emulating what Bumbu settlement has done.
The youths also presented a petition to authorities saying they wanted better services and opportunities in their area so that they can participate in the city’s development meaningfully.

24) Centre helps street children


The National, Thursday January 2nd, 2014

STREET children are a common yet unnoticed group in Papua New Guinea, a priest says.
“Do they depict a trend of poverty in the country and is the government seriously addressing poverty if there are risks or does the situation already exists,” Father Arnold Schmitt asked.
The Lae City Street Daycare Centre is a Catholic-run institute that has fed, clothed and provided medication for street children  for eight years.
Administrator and St Mary’s Catholic Church parish priest in Lae, Schmitt said: “The centre’s idea is a huge trap to catch the mouse. You put a little bait, lure the mouse and trap them. “The ultimate aim is to get the child into school to face the bigger world.”
He said the youngest child visiting the centre is seven and the oldest would be 15 years old but the realisation to be educated is not there until the child is 13 or 14 years old.
“The kids are supposed to be in the classroom but that is not the way these kids see life. They believe in a street-kid life, they come in and feed off from the care centre then leave. They have to support their own families at the end of the day or their little sects thriving out in the streets by contributing the money earned from collecting bottles in the streets.
“We wait for them to realise that they cannot go on living as street children, it’s not possible but the reality is possible,”  Schmitt said.
“More than 90% of children visiting the daycare centre come from non-functional or broken families. That is from families which either parent is dead or has eloped or divorced or either parent has just left, unable to contain the un-supporting living conditions, forsaking the children to a single parent.
“The children are forced to live on the streets to contribute to the survival of his or her siblings, supporting the single parent.”


25) Life after rugby

Emoni Narawa
Thursday, January 02, 2014

LIVING a fruitful life after a rugby career is just as important as playing the sport.

This is the view of Fijian rugby icon and former national rep Waisale Serevi.

The sevens magician, who is one of the co-partners of the Serevi Rugby brand which was founded by Chris and Julie Prentice, and Semi Lotawa, and with the help of Pate Tuilevuka, is a living testimony of a successful rugby player making it big after hanging up his boots. While most rugby players idolise Serevi for his uncanny skills on the field, the former national sevens skipper challenged players to follow his life skills after mesmerising the rugby world. He said players should be mindful of their lives after rugby while still in their prime.

“This is just my message to rugby players, think of what you will be doing next, after rugby,” the sevens maestro told Times Sport during a visit to the country late last year.

Serevi said he was thankful he suffered no major injuries during his 21 years as a player.

He established himself as the king of the abbreviated code, becoming the first Fijian to be inducted into the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame.

“Rugby is a career that can finish tomorrow because of injuries,” he said.

“I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to play rugby for 21 years with not a lot of injuries and with the opportunity of Chris and Julie, I was able to establish this life.”

Serevi rugby program co-ordinator Tuilevuka, who plays his rugby in the US, shared similar sentiments, saying players should utilise their fame to establish a web of contacts.

“I believe players should step out from being shy all the time and challenge things that are uncomfortable in their lives.

“Build contacts on and off the field while you’re at the peak of your career. While you still have the support of the nation and fame as a rugby player, remember your life after rugby.

“Serevi used to say that he was not very smart academically but he had rugby talent. He went around and established that web of contact which was useful after his rugby career.”

Tuilevuka said a rugby career was like a business.

“You can use the same principles of how you look after your body while planning for life off the field and find ways to invest into your life after rugby,” he added.

Serevi said he was thankful he suffered no major injuries during his 21 years as a player.

He established himself as the king of the abbreviated code, becoming the first Fijian to be inducted into the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame.

“Rugby is a career that can finish tomorrow because of injuries,” he said.

“I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to play rugby for 21 years with not a lot of injuries and with the opportunity of Chris and Julie, I was able to establish this life.”

Serevi rugby program co-ordinator Tuilevuka, who plays his rugby in the US, shared similar sentiments, saying players should utilise their fame to establish a web of contacts.

“I believe players should step out from being shy all the time and challenge things that are uncomfortable in their lives.

“Build contacts on and off the field while you’re at the peak of your career. While you still have the support of the nation and fame as a rugby player, remember your life after rugby.

“Serevi used to say that he was not very smart academically but he had rugby talent. He went around and established that web of contact which was useful after his rugby career.”

Tuilevuka said a rugby career was like a business.

“You can use the same principles of how you look after your body while planning for life off the field and find ways to invest into your life after rugby,” he added.

26) ‘Q’ joins Toulouse

Arin Kumar
Thursday, January 02, 2014

FLYING Fijians captain Akapusi Qera officially became a Toulouse player as of yesterday after Gloucester confirmed his immediate departure.

The move was imminent but instead of waiting for the current season to end, the robust flanker was released early in return for a transfer fee from the French club.

The 29-year-old was a regular on the Gloucester starting line-up after the 2007 Rugby World Cup where he helped Fiji to the quarter-finals.

However, since the arrival of England openside Matt Kvesic at the club, Qera was restricted to either making brief appearances off the bench or not even making the match squad.

Toulouse needed a suitable replacement for their injured flanker Gregory Lamboley and Qera was ready to make the move.

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davis said in a statement they were going to miss Qera’s services.

“We are naturally disappointed to lose Q (Qera) at this time,” he said. “However, on his return from the Autumn internationals, he requested for his own reasons to be released from his contract early.

“On a personal level, it has been a pleasure working with Akapusi and I wish him well in his new career at Toulouse.”

Qera said the time was right for the move but he would always cherish his stint at Gloucester.

“For personal reasons, I feel the time is right for me to move on from Gloucester Rugby now after the last seven seasons at Kingsholm,” he said.

“I would like to thank the Club and its supporters for the backing they have given me over the years, and my time at Gloucester will always be close to my heart.”

27) League slowly picks up


The National, Tuesday December 31st, 2013

Rugby League Year Ender
THE return of a fully mandated Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) administrative body and the granting of a licence for the SP PNG Hunters to enter the Intrust Super Cup in Queensland are two positive highlights for the country’s national sport in 2013.
While the winless effort by the Kumuls at the World Cup in England grabbed all the media attention for the wrong reasons…it led to talented teenager Wellington Albert attracting a National Rugby League (NRL) contract with the Penrith Panthers and the demise of coach Adrian Lam (pictured).
With Team Kumul coaching staff on lucrative contracts, jointly funded by corporate sponsors and partially covered  by the public purse that local PNG coaches and even National Rugby League (NRL) coaches to an extent dream about, someone was certainly going to get the axe to regain the people’s confidence.
But the real winners this year are the committed local leagues who continue to pay up their affiliations to the national body, in the hope they will get some much-needed administrative, coaching and refereeing programmes as returns.
After nearly five to six years of turmoil, the intervention by the ‘action’ Moresby South MP and Minister for Sport Justin Tkatchenko has allowed the sport to brush off those cob-webs especially in the lost and forgotten rural leagues.
All they want is to ensure that the pathway is opened again to give hope to a host of rugby league mad hopefuls that don’t get a look in at the Digicel Cup level.
Now they will have that opportunity in the national zone championships and the likely return of the national club championship component as well, confirmed by newly appointed PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka (pictured right) recently.
Tsaka passionately spoke about reigniting the ‘grass-roots’ with development officers.
“We don’t have people on the ground to run these programmes and flying in and out of personnel is not sustainable,” he said.
“Starting in 2014 we will put people in the provinces to run the programmes together with the schools to ensure we maintain that pathway for young players like Wellington Albert can be discovered,” Tsaka added.
The new chairman also spoke about cleaning up the game to bring back the notion that rugby league is a family oriented sport that can be enjoyed by all and also regaining the trust and confidence of the corporate community, who at one stage had a long list of backers.
There are so many reasons you could throw at each about curtailing violence in all areas of the sport, one would have to be the engagement of younger fitter and sharper whistle blowers.
Currently the senior and aging referees, some with heavily strapped knees give the impression that no-one else wants to take up the job.
The Digicel Cup management are guilty to some extent for not doing their part to by continuously appointing these “aging referees” to control their games.
While Tsaka and his board have given priority ‘red’ to getting rid of all forms of violence in the game, it would pay to revamp the referee’s structure, ensure there are strict criteria’s set.
So that players will not get away with a lot of unprofessional play and players, coaches and supporters do not have to come up with that normal assumption that ‘referee em one-side’ idea whenever their team is behind on the scoreboard.
Tsaka and his board have certainly got their work cut out to raise that sunken ship in 2014.

28a) Lae FC eager to make mark in 2014


The National, Tuesday December 31st, 2013

LAE FC do not mind the “dark horse”  tag in the 2014 National Soccer League competition.
As the latest addition to the Papua New Guinea’s semi-professional soccer competition, the club is yet to show their discipline, their style of football, their best players and of course who their real supporters are.
Coached by former soccer player, soldier and reputable coach in Peter Gunemba and managed by a strong team of sponsors, administrators and officials most of whom are non-alcoholics, discipline is paramount.
Currently the team comprises 35 inexperienced, experienced, raw and talented players whose individual qualities so far has given a hard time to the coaching and technical team to come up with their final 25 by January 7 who will participate in the season.
The only international player and import for the club is in O-League player Harold Buskh, a Tongan striker and midfielder who is currently playing in Fiji, whose clearance is currently being sought by the club.
Players with NSL experience are Goroba Tau, Japheth Tiampo, Matheson Nasa, Kohu Liem, Emmanuel Simon and Emmanuel Yawi, while co-sponsor and Panamex Pacific PNG national sales and marketing manager Ronald Ram will also play on the flanks.
Zilu Scientific managing director Jason Peter is co-sponsor with Panamex Pacific PNG with him and Ram becoming directors to the club, while Gidi Madu (president), John Gulupao (treasurer), Elsie Maggorz (secretary), Peter Gunemba (head coach), Raymond Nasa (trainer), David Jemo (team manager) and Peter Dabinyaba (assistant team manager) make up the management and technical team.
One thing for sure is that Lae FC is a truly Morobean franchise after concluding a successful team bonding and buildup session at Busamang village in Salamaua, Huon Gulf, the management is planning to visit villages in Nawaeb, Markham and Bulolo in the coming weeks to give the rural people of Morobe a feeling of ownership.
“We are a new team and we have not played with a strong opponent yet, our first game will show whether we have prepared well or not. We don’t want to see Lae FC as a new club where other clubs can gain points from,” said coach Gunemba.
“I have noticed a change of attitude especially from the older experienced players who have influenced the younger ones and it’s a big challenge to pick the team.”
Gunemba said discipline is of utmost importance and they have imposed strict discipline on players conduct on and off the field and have worked hard to get the team to honor God and practice the franchise motto which is ‘Strive together’.
“We have a zero tolerance on alcohol in Lae FC especially on the players, despite your seniority or experience if you do not abide under the rules set, then you have no place in the team,” he said.

28b) Sports Notebook

Rashneel Kumar
Thursday, January 02, 2014



THE tournament will be held at Burebasaga District School grounds on January 18. Competition will be for women and mixed teams. Registration for women is $50 and mixed $40. Winners: Women $150, mixed $100. Other consolation prizes as well. First eight women’s and four mixed teams to register with full payment will be accepted. Registration closes on January 15. Contact 8038406, 9509546 or 9816075 for more information.


THE Greenman Landscaping Development Program will be held on February 19-20 at Vatumali, Navosa. Interested players are invited to attend. Coaching and umpiring clinics will be held on the day. Unaisi Rokoura and Losalini from Netball Fiji will be present. Interested players and coaches are to confirm attendance by calling 9949410 or 6520677. Invitation open to primary, secondary school teams and clubs.


A NETBALL tournament will be held on January 15-16 at Draiba Village grounds at 8am. Registration fee is $80 per team. Winner gets $500, runner-up $200, losing semi-finalists $75 and best player $50. Interested teams in Nadroga/Navosa are welcome to participate. Only first 24 teams will be accepted. Entries close January 10.

* AGM for Navosa Netball will also be held on January 15 from 7pm and all clubs to send two reps to attend the AGM. Contact manager Sifini 8406650, Judy 9949410 or Nene Vilise at Draiba Village. We will also run development teams (U13, U15, U17 and U19) during our new season next year.


Fiji 7s

THE Fiji National 7s squad will march into camp on January 6. All players are to meet at the Rugby House at 9.15am. Players are to bring along the following: passport, two normal passport size photos, two passport photos (US visa size requirement), birth certificates, wife’s consent letter if married, employer’s consent letter (for those players who are working). For more information, contact Paula Biu 7441561.

Fiji U20

All players in the Fiji U20 squad are requested to report to the HPU centres near them for a fitness test on Monday January 6 at 10am. For more information, contact Paula Biu 7441561.

Uluinakau 7s

THE Uluinakau 7s tournament will be held at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori on January 10-11. Forty men’s teams, 10 Indo-Fijian teams and eight women’s teams are invited to participate. Registration fee for the men’s tournament is $300, Indo-Fijian tournament $150 and $100 for the women’s. Prizemoney for the men’s competition is $5000, runner-up $2000, losing semi-finalists get $700, Plate winner gets $600, runner $500, Bowl winner $400, runner-up $300, Shield winner $200, runner-up $100. Indo-Fijian winner $500, runner-up $200, women’s winner $500 runner-up $200. Contact Vasu Vesikula on 9376801, Maika Naioba on 9263558, Alifereti Kavoa on 9006110, Adi Litia on 9368800, Jope Galu on 8644448, Eliki Kaisuva on 9212122 or email

Gaunvou 7s

THE Gaunavou 7s tournament will be held at the Ba Market Grounds on January 11. First 24 teams to pay $100 entry fee will be accommodated. Main prize is $1000. Contact Driu 8402853, Vili 9735896.


THE following players have been named in the senior extended squad for 2014 and are to attend team briefing at the FRU HPU Lawaqa Gym on January 13 at 2.45pm.

Forwards: Prop: S Samoca, P Makutu, P Kovekalou, A Cawanibuka, E Lotawa, M Kaisau, L Petero, R Levula, Aseri (Under-20); Hooker: S Naureure, S Tabaiwalu, A Salawaqavuka, P Turagakece, L Salaba, O Bola; Lock: M Tamaya, E Naba, A Domolailai, E Rokomanu, I Tania, P Naruma, U Tavucilagi, N Tabua, V Mata; Loosie: I Ratuva, S Gonevou, Rt M Volavola, N Nagusa, L Kurimudu, E Nalidi, A Kulavere, S Roko, A Boko, S Rabo, Paula (Davetalevu), A Moimoi, J Naqoroqorovakatini, J Navori, J Nahalo, K Waqa, S Kunatani; Backline: Scrumhalves: E Bula, S Gavidi, N Raiwalui, R Rabici, K Loboilagi; First-five: J Lutumailagi, J Ralulu, R Vatunaruku, S Naoba, L Rawalai; Centres: J Kunawave, A Duwai, E Tovilevu, S Cava, S Kunatani, S Mataitoga, S Rawaca, F Hickes, O Navori, S Naitoni, D Ratubuli; Wingers: A Waqatabu, S Viriviri, T Momolevu, I Taqea, A Natoga, K Rakoko, E Navori, I Nuinui, L Mataisau, I Takelo, P Korociri, Tui Ba; Fullback: Rt M Kurisaru, I Ratuva, M Toga, T Roko, J Koronisaga, P Ralagi. It is compulsory for all players who have been named to be at the briefing. Contact team manager Pita Kedralevu 9786424, Esala Nauga 9371910, Tikiko 7071080.

Lomavata 7s

THE Lomavata 7s tournament will be held at Churchill Park in Lautoka on January 18. First 32 teams to pay $400 entry fee before January 16 will be accommodated. First prize $5000. Contact Driu 8402853, Vili 9735896, Emosi 9224899.

Burebasaga Development 7s

THE Burebasaga Development 7s will be held at Burebasaga District School grounds in Rewa on the January 17-18. Registration fees for seniors is $180 and under-20s $120. Cup winner gets $1300, runner-up $500. Plate winner $250, runner-up $100, Bowl winner $100 and runner-up $80. U20 winner receives $400 and runner-up $100. First 24 teams for seniors and eight teams for U20s with full payment of registration will be accepted. Valid photo ID for under 20s, no birth certificates will be accepted. Registration closes January 14. Contact Jone 8038406, 9509546 or Joseva Tuitai 9816075.


Fiji U20

THE players listed below have been named in the 30-member Fiji U20 squad and are to report to camp on January 5, 2014 by 6pm. Players are requested to come on their own expense and claim their fares upon arrival. The camp will be until January 17th, 2014. Selection is still open for those who may think that they are capable of donning the national jumper. You are to join your respective district teams and you will be identified through your participation and performance.

Shaneel Naidu (Nukuloa College), Masiwane Nairube (Kamil College), Waisea Yavala (Xavier College), Antonio Tuivuna (Drasa Secondary), Kolinio Sivoki (Samabula United), Avneel Kumar (Drasa Secondary), Samuel Anand (Natabua College), Samuela Nabenia (Tavua College), Setariki Hughes (Saraswati College), Pranil Naidu (Shop & Save), Iosefo Verevou (Saraswati College), Narend Rao (Nukuloa College), Joeli (Drasa Secondary), Jonetani Buksh (A D Patel College), Paulo Buke (Xavier College), Rupeni Rabici (Nukuloa College), Kelvin Naidu (Tilak High), Saula Waqa (Nukuloa College), Jnr Shazil (Kamil College), Ratu Tevita W (Saraswati College), Mataisi Toma (Nadi College), Gerish Prasad (Bhawani Dayal), Nikhil Chand (Saraswati College), Lekima Gonerau (Tavua College), Josefa Koroi (Kamil College), Nemani (Guru Nanak College), Viliame (Labasa College), Ravnit (Drasa Secondary), Ashneel Raju (Guru Nanak College), Jale Dreloa (Samabula United)


THE NTC soccer club will host a Futsal competition on January 4 at the FMF gymnasium in Suva. Registration is $100 per team. Winner wins trophy and $300; runner-up takes a trophy and $200. Contact Ajay Bhan on 7777510 for more information.


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