Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 974
1) 14 Bougainvilleans lost at sea found
3 May 2014
The provincial disaster manager in Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville, says a group of 14 people, missing at sea for a week, has been found safe and well.
The group went missing on Friday a week ago while travelling from Nissan Island to Buka.
Franklin Lacey says an Australian Airforce plane spotted the boat late on Friday afternoon.
“So they gave me the co-ordinates. I gave the co-ordinates to my search party and they got them [ the missing 14] over to Fead Island.”
Bougainville’s provincial disaster manager, Franklin Lacey, says the four children on board the boat are well, but a number of the adults are still under medical observation.
He says it appears the boat ran out of fuel.
Mr Lacey says the group should be back in Buka tomorrow.Radio NZ
2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 3 May 2014
There was no Vanuatu Daily News Digest yesterday.
- Vanuatu’s Prime and Foreign Ministers have taken exception to France establishing a natural park over areas of the Coral Sea claimed by Vanuatu, notably Matthew and Hunter Islands and their EEZ. Minister Natapei, in a letter to Ambassador Djokovic, protested that the area is under dispute and the declaration of the natural park by France contrary to the wishes of the people of Vanuatu and Kanaks of New Caledonia.Prime Minister Carcasses will lead a delegation to Paris to discuss the matter. PM Carcasses will also take 4 VMF to Paris to march in Bastille Day celebrations at the same time.
- Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the South Pacific and especially in Vanuatu waters has been singled out by Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Tosoul as an area of great concern. He was speaking to Parliament. Vanuatu has been cautioned by the European Union in the matter. Vanuatu is required to better monitor the activities of vessels which bear the Vanuatu flag of convenience and engage in fishing activities. A fisheries bill also has to be ratified in the present sitting of Parliament. Opposition Leader Ham Lini insisted there must be observers on board such foreign owned fishing vessels.
- The Vaturisu Council of Efate Chiefs is said to have supported the idea of the $35 billion airport for Enam near Rentabau. The financial benefits, however, remain a concern to the land owners. This week the Vaturisu council members met with the ad hoc committee of both sides of Parliament, the committee concerned with the airport project. Levi Tarosa of the Vaturisu Land Reform Commission outlined the worst fears of the Commission to government.
- The Vaturisu Council of Chiefs is also requesting Efate become a separate province. This was a resolution of their conference this week at Pango. Efate would be separated from the Shepherds and Epi under the arrangement proposed by the Efate chiefs. The government has not responded.
- The Supreme Court has quashed the suspensions by Health DG Santus Wari of three leading health professionals, Director of Public Health Len Tari, Director of Corporate Services Russel Tamata and Director of Curative Services Hensley Garae. They have been re-instated after 8 months on full pay.
New Zealand’s new High Commissioner Georgina Roberts has handed over new security equipment to Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL). Four walk-through metal detectors are amongst a valuable list of items for Bauerfield and Pekoa.
3) Sam nyus
1) ANDREW NAPUAT hemi kam 1st Politikol Advaesa blong mi. John Salong we hemi bin stap olsem 1st Politikol Advaesa blong mi fastaem naoia i tekemap posisen blong Advaesa blong mi, wan posisen we i bin empti i stap.
2) FES ODINERI SESEN BLONG PARLAMEN BLONG 2014
Naoia 1st Odineri Sesen i stat finis.
Ol bill we i stap long list blong lukluk long olgeta hemi olsem:
1. Bill for the Vanuatu Qualifications Authority Act No. of 2014
2. Bill for the Education Act No. of 2014
3. Bill for the Right to Information Act No. of 2014
4. Bill for the Waste Management Act No. of 2014
5. Bill for the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No. of 2014
6. Bill for the Fisheries Act No. of 2014
7. Bill for the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act No. of 2014
8. Bill for the Customs (Am) Act No. of 2014
9. Bill for the Shipping (Am) Act No. of 2014
10. Bill for the Sale of Medicine (Am) Act No. of 2014
11. Bill for the Control of Pharmacists (Am) Act No. of 2014
12. Bill for the Municipalities (Am) Act No. of 2014
13. Bill for the Agreement on Strengthening Implementation of the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the South Pacific Region (Ratification) Act No. of 2014
14. Bill for the Industrial Development Act No. of 2014
15. Bill for the Ozone Layer Protection (Am) Act No. of 2014
16. Bill for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Stockholm, 22 May 2001 (Adoption of an amendment to Annex A) (Ratification) Act No. of 2014
17. Bill for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Stockholm, 22 May 2001 (Adoption of an amendment to Annex A, B and C) (Ratification) Act No. of 2014
18. Bill for the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization to the convention on biological diversity (Ratification) Act No. of 2014
19. Bill for the Passport (Am) Act No. of 2014
20. Bill for the Representation of the People (Am) Act No. of 2014
21. Bill for the Decentralization (Am) Act No. of 2014
22. Bill for the Public Land Transport Act No. of 2014
23. Bill for the Capital Investment Immigration Plan and Consular Program Act No. of 2014
24. Bill for the Customary Land Management (Am) Act No. of 2014
25. Bill for the Land Reform (Am) Act No. of 2014
26. Bill for the Vanuatu National Sports Council (Am) Act No. of 2014
27. Bill for the Supplementary Appropriation (2014) Act No. of 2014
28. Bill for the State Law Office (Amendment) Act No. of 2014
29. Bill for the Import Duties (Consolidation) (Amendment) Act No. of 2014
30. Bill for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act No. of 2014
31. Bill for the Foreign Service (Amendment) Act No. of 2014
32. Bill for the Strata Titles (Amendment) Act No.,,,of 2014
Be evri Bill ia bae i no save go long Palamen long Session ia – sam bae Gavman i witdroem bakagen.
3) PRES RILIS long saed blong RENT REVIEW long PORT VILA (29/4/14)
FIRST RENT REVIEW SINCE INDEPENDENCE TO BE UNDERTAKEN BY MINISTRY OF LANDS
“Today’s rents in Port Vila are less than 1% of the value of the land”
“Today I give notice that the Vanuatu Government will initiate the first ever rent review of state land leases in Port Vila since independence”, stated the Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu. “This rent review is urgently needed as we have data that shows that most rental payments are at less than 1 per cent of the value of urban state land. This is estimated to be a loss of around 200 million vatu income each year to the Government from Port Vila leases alone, and must be addressed.”
The Department of Lands on behalf of the Government is about to undertake the first-ever rent review undertaken by the Government as the lessor of public land since Independence in 1980, commencing in Port Vila. In accordance with section 39(1)(b) of the Land Leases Act [CAP 163], notices have to be served by 30th April 2014 on almost all 4,103 lessees of public land in Port Vila. Once the rent review in Port Vila is completed, the Department will undertake the rent review in Luganville, probably towards the end of this year or at the beginning of next year. As a result of the rent review in Port Vila alone, Government revenue from land rent is expected to increase by over 200 million vatu in 2015.
Today’s rents in Port Vila are less than 1% of the market value of the leased land. Since 1980, land values have consistently increased and capital gains have been very good for some land dealers who bought and sold land over the 33 years since independence. But the lessor of public land under the Constitution and the law – the government of Vanuatu – has not systematically reviewed the land rent being paid to it in all this time. As a result, the Vanuatu government has the lowest land rents on record. Across the Pacific, Solomon Islands has a range from 0.5% to 3% of the market value of the land as annual rent. At the high end in the Pacific, Fiji levies 2.5% to 6% depending on whether the land is native land or crown land. At most, the Vanuatu government charges 0.95% of the market value of the land as annual rent.
A recent study by the Former Governor of the Reserve Bank, Odo Tevi, has shown that compared to GDP, the governments of Vanuatu and Tonga are collecting the lowest revenue as a percentage of their respective GDP’s. Whereas Tuvalu’s revenue is over 80% of its GDP, the Vanuatu government only collects around 23% of its GDP in revenue from land rent.
The land rent review should not be confused with overdue land rent – lessees who have not paid their land rent to the government for many years must still pay their overdue rents, and the Government reserves the right to forfeit leases for which no land rent has been paid for many years.
The rent review notice will be sent to the lessees in Port Vila who have not had their rents reviewed in the last five years. This means in effect that any leases over public land issued in the last 5 years will not be subject to the rent review. Notices issued will include details for the new rental amount, which can they be accepted by lessees, or a counter-offer made in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Act. Where contested, all final determinations of rent will be made by the Valuer General and will be based on the market value of land. The new land rent invoices for Port Vila will be issued in July 2014.
The proposed new rents will use 65% of the market value as the base value. The rental rate will be increase from 0.95% to 1% of the base value. So if a piece of land is valued at 1,000,000 vatu, the base value for the purpose of calculating the new rent will be 650,000 vatu. One percent of the base value will be 6,500 vatu, which will be land rent payable. However, the final rent will be set by the Valuer General.
Later this year also, the Minister of Lands will be undertaking a rent review of all rural leases for which the Minister is acting as lessor on behalf of disputing parties. Almost all of these rural leases have also never had their rents reviewed since independence and as a result lessees on these titles could be paying considerably less into the Custom Owner Trust Account than they should be paying based on the real value of the land.
For further queries contact the Lands Department through the Acting Director Mr Paul Gambetta on telephone 5334540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4) YUMI KAREM BAK OL LIS BLONG STATE LAND WE FOMA MINISTA BLONG LANDS I BIN GIVIMAOT LONG OL STAF BLONG LANDS DIPATMEN
Mi hapi blong talemaot se naoia Ministri blong Lands i karembak kolosap evri state o pablik land long Port Vila mo Luganville we foma Minista Steven Kalsakau i bin givimaot long ol staf blong Dipatmen blong Lands mo sam staf blong ol narafala gavman dipatmen. Totel namba blong ol lis ia blong state land we yumi karembak kasem tede hemi 97, be i gat sam moa yet we bae yumi karembak.
Yu save ridim sam blong ol nyus we i kamaot long ovasi media abaot hemia long ol link ia:
Radio New Zealand International
Pacific Islands Report
Ta, Vanuatu Minister for Lands – Ralph Regenvanu.
4) Chairperson Of Vanuatu Investment Immigration Plan Removed
Dual citizenship for investment scheme brings controversy
By Jonas Cullwick
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 1, 2014) – It has been confirmed, the chairperson of the controversial Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP) task force, well known private solicitor and barrister, Bill Bani, has been removed from his position.
The confirmation has come from the Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, who said Bani has been “temporarily removed from his position as Chair of the CIIP task force and temporarily replaced” by the Director General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, George Bogiri.
Under the Capital Investment and Immigration Plan, the government is charging a fee for facilitating dual citizenship including a Vanuatu citizenship and passport for interested investors from abroad, particularly targeting investors wishing to enter the Hong Kong market.
The PM posted in the social media, in response to queries from the Parliamentary Opposition in the Facebook group Yumi Toktok Stret about allegations that Bani has been removed from his position of the Chair of the CIIP task force because of the way the task force has been promoting the program.
“I confirm that Mr Bani was temporarily removed from his position as the Chair of the CIIP task force simply because the Task force when going around to promote CIIP they have raised everyone’s expectations on the revenue derived from the program and also practically deciding how and where the money raised should be spent,” Prime Minister Carcasses wrote in his post.
“The Constitution clearly stipulates on article 25 sub article 2 that “No taxation shall be imposed or altered and no expenditure of public funds shall be incurred except by or under a law passed by Parliament”. So it is not for the CIIP task Force to decide how the money raised should be spent, there is a process – Ministerial Budget Committee then the Council of Ministers, then Parliament,” he continued.
The Prime Minister pointed out that CIIP is a Government of Vanuatu program and that “the legal advisor of the Government of Vanuatu is the Attorney General Mr Ishmael Kalsakau.”
Furthermore he announced that there is successful sale taking place from the CIIP and he was hopefully for more sales to take place.
To support the Government’s effort, a Bill for Capital Investment Immigration Plan and Consular Program Act No of 2014 is one of 30 bills listed for discussion by Parliament in the First Ordinary Session of Parliament which opened in Port Vila Monday.
Vanuatu Daily Post
5) Attorney Calls Samoa Citizenship Investment Bill ‘Extreme’
With $424,000 investment, new ‘Citizen’ could eventually own land
By Sophie Budvietas
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 1, 2014) – Samoa citizenship could soon be up “for sale” for as much as $1,000,000 tala [US$424,000].
What’s more, it appears that even this price tag is negotiable.
That’s what Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s government is proposing through a draft legislation titled “The Citizenship Investment Bill 2014.”
Through the bill, a citizen from any country who is willing to invest a million tala in Samoa – after a series of checks outlined in the Bill – could become a citizen three years after.
Eventually, he/she can own land.
This prospect – including the possibility of bringing in an investor’s spouse, children and immediate relatives – has raised the ire of prominent lawyer, Leota Raymond Schuster.
Contacted by the Samoa Observer for his views on the bill, Leota drilled a number of holes in what he called an “extreme” piece of legislation.
“It is unfortunate that the government is resorting to this in order to generate income,” he said.
“Because that is the only purpose for it, is to generate income for the government.”
“It is extreme – we don’t need it so long as government makes sure that its arms are efficient, which they are not.”
“If Inland Revenue and Customs are properly collecting revenue, then there is no reason why we need to rely on that (the Bill).”
“But (they) are probably only collecting 60 per cent of what they should be. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we just need to be efficient at it.”
Leota said the fact that the government thinks they need to resort to rich people to bail Samoa out of its financial woes was unfortunate.
“We are already held ransom by China and the ADB (Asian Development Bank) and the World Bank,” Leota said. “Soft loans they may be, but they are still loans.
“My kids’ kids will be paying for that and this is not going to bail us out. This is going to imprison them for another many more years because only the rich people will be able to buy everything up.”
So how much is the Government selling off pieces of Samoa for?
According to the Draft legislation, “For investment on freehold land or lease of Government land” the investor must invest a determined amount in buying or developing the freehold land or lease of government land over a period of five years from the date of application.
“The determined amount under subsection one is $1m if no amount is determined under subsection 23,” the Draft Act reads.
However, it appears this number of $1,000,000 can be adjusted at the “Minister’s” discretion.
While the Act states that the amount should not be less than one million, “A determined amount under section 6(1)(b) may specify different amount that applies to different types of qualifying investments”.
“In determining an amount under this section, the Minister may impose other conditions or take into account any prescribed requirements,” the Act reads.
“Minister may approve forms for this Act.”
Looking at the Bill, Leota said it must be tidied up if it is to achieve what it is meant to.
“For example, I suppose in terms of the government’s position the amount is important what amount that should be set is a minimum amount. In terms of the word investment that is added in there so obviously the government is looking for money but you know anyone can afford a million tala good and bad.”
“So the process for due diligence and ensuring that the right investors are attracted is important. There is nothing in here securing and identifying genuine investors that want to invest in a developing country.”
“And it could be tied in with this is one opportunity money laundering and that sort of thing might come in be concealed under this sort of an investment so there is more work to be done to ensure that that doesn’t happen.”
He said just briefly looking at the legislation on the face of it, the way the Draft Act is written, he does not believe there is enough in it to ensure that this happens.
“There certainly should be more identifying if you are doing due diligence, and obviously they are going to have to engage someone overseas to do the due diligence work, then you have got to do due diligence of the people who are going to do the due diligence, make sure that they are genuine there not easily bought as well in terms of doing their due diligence.”
“Ensuring that the correct information is achieved, to make sure that we don’t get the drug smugglers and the money launderers washing their money through this sort of investment.”
“So the process about due diligence is quite important and ensuring the persons doing the due diligence are credible and that they have a reputable reputation.”
“Otherwise anyone can be bought for a million – a million tala is what these people are now bought with just to provide credible information so they can get a foot into an area where (there are) maybe lucrative investments.”
He said the first thing he would do to the Draft Act, would be to take free hold land out all together.
“I would take freehold (land) out of it …lease (land) yes but not freehold,” said Leota.
“But I wouldn’t sell, I wouldn’t sell Samoan land in this sort of a manner.”
“If investment, then yes invest in the use of freehold land to encourage people who have freehold land to put it up for agriculture put it up for whatever useful purpose it could be used for.”
“I wouldn’t sell free hold land in this sort of a manner it’s dangerous.”
“We are talking about people with potentially a lot of power and a lot of money that can buy up acres and acres of free hold land.”
“But once you sell land that is it – that is the investment in itself.”
“So you cant get it back unless the person you sold it to decides to sell it back to you, and they are not going to sell it back to you for peanuts they want to recoup their money.”
“So we sell it to them for millions and they want to make an extra buck on top of that.” “I would take that (freehold land) off…its dangerous, dangerous ground.”
Leota also questioned the function of the Citizen Investment Committee, of which its functions are listed under Part 3 of the Draft Bill.
He said he could not understand the function of such a Committee when much of the legislation, such as how much money was to be invested, was left to the Minister.
“It is a contradiction,” he said. “The problem there is that there is a Committee, I don’t know,” he said.
“Why have a Committee and then have the Minister who has the discretion? That seems to be a contradiction in itself.”
“If you have a Committee then the Committee is supposed to be that body makes the determination.”
“But then they have the Committee and then they have a separate provision for the Minister to have a discretion, it doesn’t make sense.”
“So either you give the Committee the power or you take away the Committee and then the Minister has all the power, which is open to abuse.”
The way citizenship was handled was in the Draft Act also did not sit well with Leota.
According to the Act after three years of being a permanent resident the investor and family members are eligible to apply for citizenship.
“Within 3 months before the expiry of the investor’s permanent resident permit, the investor, including any family member, may apply in person or through the person’s agent for citizenship by permanent residence pursuant to section 8 of the Citizenship Act 2004, if the investor has resided in Samoa for at least 15 days a year during the 3-year period of the permanent resident permit,” the Draft Act reads.
“And has complied with the investment plan to the satisfaction of the Committee; “Has complied with any other prescribed requirement.” According to the Draft Bill Citizenship is conditional, subject to a five-year investment period, and can be cancelled.
Leota said the term of five years set out appears to be contradictory for the purpose of the investment.
“So if you want someone to invest and become a citizen you don’t place condition on that citizenship either you are a Samoan by virtue of your investment therefore you obtain citizenship or you are not,” he said.
“It says here that it is only five years. It expires after five years and then you have to reapply for it.”
“That might not be attractive that might not meet the purpose of the investment.”
“So it might not happen at all given that that might not be sufficient time for a person to invest.”
Looking at the provision to cancel citizenship, Leota said this was not an easy thing to do.
The Draft Act says that citizenship may be cancelled if the investor fails any one of seven clauses listed (see Draft Act below).
Leota said he found the provisions on the cancelation of citizenship interesting.
“If someone cancelled my Samoan citizenship and said you are not now a Samoan – what then becomes of that person, that person who is here in this country?” he asked. “You cancel the passport that person then can’t travel and that person remains here.”
“Unless that person claims their original citizenship which could be the U.S. or Russia or the Ukraine.”
“They might just tear up their other passports and throw them in the rubbish and therefore they become non status here.” “So it is not as easy as it sounds. When you cancel it…you are left with an undesirable immigrant.”
“So it is not covered properly, its messy as it is so that is interesting part about it.”
“They need to sort it out whether a person is going to be a citizen or not once they have made an investment.”
“That is the attractive part about it (investing in Samoa) is that they become citizens.”
“If they are met with conditions then obviously the investor might not be that attracted to come here if he is offered something more attractive somewhere else.” Leota said, at the end of the day if the Government has the support to pass the Bill, it does not matter what we say about it.
“I would rather see a tidying up of the legislation if it is going to happen,” he said.
“Making sure that it meets the purposes as you the selling of Samoa to the highest bidder.”
“(And) if that is where the Government is going then they had better make sure that the act is tight so that we don’t relinquish the control of it (Samoa) to the high powered rich that have all the money to buy anyone off.”
“It is interesting having just a brief look at the provisions just now, just on the face of it I think there is more to be done.”
“I think there are insufficient provisions in the legislation to meet what purpose the Government wants to achieve but also to ensure that it secures the rights of Samoan citizens and not open it up to abuse.”
“I wouldn’t put my name on it until I was satisfied it would meet somebody’s purposes its sufficient to ensure that there is a fair go for everyone.”
The Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai, was contacted via email for comment.
He had not responded to the questions put to him at press time last night.
6) Concerns Raised Over New Ownership Of Tahiti’s Daily Newspapers
Investment firm purchase of Medias Polynesie worries journalists
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 1, 2014) – A French Polynesian investment company has bought the media business Medias Polynesie, which owns the territory’s two daily newspapers.
The purchase by Papyrus has triggered concern among journalists about possible job losses for the 170 employees.
The new owner, Dominique Auroy, has left it open what he will be doing with the Nouvelles de Tahiti andLa Depeche, saying the options include turning them into weekly, monthly or online only publications.
Journalists have also said they expect a change in the editorial line, with it becoming favourable to the government of Gaston Flosse.
The Papyrus group also acquired magazines, radio stations and a publicity company.
Mr Auroy already owned two internet pay-TV stations for viewers in French overseas territories and Africa.
He also owns a vineyard on the atoll of Rangiroa.
Radio New Zealand International
7) PNG seasonal bosman itok emi no stilim moni
Updated 2 May 2014, 16:38 AEST
Wanpla man blong Papua New Guinea emi save kisim ol Melanesian wokas long kam wok long Australia itok emi no kisim moni blong ol wokas.
Odio: Emmanuel Bani itoktok wantem Paulus Kombo
Emmanuel Bani itoktok wantem Paulus Kombo (Credit: ABC)
Ol ripot ino tru olsem mi ronwe igo hait wantaim pe bilong ol seasonal woka.
Despela em toktok bilong Emmanuel Bani husait wanpela man isave recrutim oa kisim ol Pacific seasonal woka long Seasonal wok long Australia.
Planti long ol despla pipal em Mr Bani isave kisim ikam long Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea na Vanuatu isave wok long state blong Queensland.
Emmanuel Bani ibin mekim despela toktok bihain long wanpela Australian South Sea Islander na recruta tu insait long Queensland ibin tokim Vanuatu Daily Post olsem Emmanuel ibin ronwe na hait wantaim pe bilong ol seasonal woka.
Mr Bani igat tupla kampani we emi save kisim ol wokman-meri blong despla tripla kantri long wok long ol farms na tu long turisam sekta.
Emi tok as tingting blong statim despla tupla bisnis blong en em blong helpim ol wokas na ol femili blong ol bek long Melanesia.
8) Vanuatu Chif i hamamas gavman i rausim ol land lisas
Updated 3 May 2014, 18:28 AEST
Lands Minister blong Vanuatu i cancellim 33 long lease long graun we gavman ibin ounim we minister bipo i givim long ol ofisel blong lands department staff na ol famili blong ol.
Odio: Vanuatu Chif Carlo Titi Mormor itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman
Vanuatu Chif Carlo Titi Mormor itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman (Credit: ABC)
Wanpla chif blong Vanuatu itok emi hamamas tru wantem Minista blong Lands Ralph Regenvanua bihaen long emi bin rausim 33 land leases we lands minista bifo na sampla lands ofisa ibin kisim nating.
Ol despla hap graon gavman ibin papa long ol.
Vanuatu wankaen olsem Papua New Guinea igat bikipla wari blong graon we sampla bisnis laen na ol asples pipal isave faulim graon.
Planti graon long Efate, we biktaon Port Vila istap long en nau igo pinis long ol pipal blong ol narapla kantri husat i baem graon oa oli lisim ol despla graon inap long 70 yia.
Wanpla chif blong Efate Carlo Titi Mormor isave fait strong egensim ol laen isave kisim nating graon blong jol asples pipal..na mi askim em long despla pasin em minista Ralph Regenvanu i mekim.
9) Pacifique: ils ne coulent pas, ils se battent!
Mis à jour 2 May 2014, 15:25 AEST
La flottille des guerriers contre le changement climatique appareillera en septembre.
Les guerriers viendront de tout le Pacifique: PNG, Samoa, Samoa américain, Tonga, Îles Salomon, Vanuatu, Tokelau, Niue, Îles Cook, États Fédérés de Micronésie, Îles Marshall, Palau, Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati et Fidji.
Les guerriers en question sont originaires de 16 pays et territoires du Pacifique. Il n’y a aucun représentant des territoires francophones.
La flottille des guerriers contre le changement climatique mettra le cap sur l’Australie. Elle compte faire une entrée remarquée dans la baie de Sydney en octobre, annonce leur porte-parole samoane, Koreti Tiumalu:
« Nous invitons tous les habitants de Sydney et d’Australie, et particulièrement les insulaires du Pacifique qui vivent en Australie, à venir accueillir la flottille des guerriers contre le changement climatique. Ce sera un événement historique. C’est aussi très symbolique, parce que cela rappelle l’histoire du Pacifique, ces pirogues de guerriers qui naviguaient d’île en île en suivant les étoiles. Nous mettons en valeur la résilience et la fierté du Pacifique, qui a une longue histoire de navigation et de conservation de l’environnement. Cela fait des siècles que nous vivons de façon durable, mais tout cela est modifié par le changement climatique. Donc nous raconterons aux Australiens comment le réchauffement change nos vies. »
Koreti Tiumalu, est une militante de 350.org, un mouvement mondial de lutte contre le changement climatique. Or ces derniers mois le gouvernement australien a donné son feu vert à l’extension de certaines mines et au creusement de nouveaux ports dans le Queensland pour augmenter la production et les exportations de charbon.
« Quand la flottille débarquera en Australie, nous allons cibler en particulier l’industrie du charbon. Je ne peux pas trop entrer dans les détails, mais ce sera un événement marquant, bien que respectueux. Notre message est clair : soyez solidaires. Nous voulons que l’Australie revoie ses plans d’exporter encore plus de charbon depuis le Queensland. »
Koreti Tiumalu, la porte-parole samoane de la flottille des guerriers du climat, répondait aux questions de Richard Ewart sur Radio Australie. 350.org lance un appel aux dons, en argent, mais aussi en nature. L’appel vise en particulier tous ceux qui ont une pirogue à prêter. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
10) Pacifique: le duel des forums
Mis à jour 2 May 2014, 15:23 AEST
Samedi dernier, Franck Bainimarama a inauguré le siège du Forum du Développement des Îles du Pacifique, une organisation régionale qu’il a créée en 2012 et qui ressemble fort au Forum des Îles du Pacifique, fondé en 1971.
À la différence que le Forum du Développement des Îles du Pacifique (FDIP) accueille non seulement les gouvernements, mais également la société civile et le secteur privé. Une revendication de longue date, à laquelle le Forum des Îles du Pacifique a toujours fait la sourde oreille. Tess Newton Cain est chercheuse à l’Institut australien Lowy :
« Lors de la rédaction du dernier plan du Forum des Îles du Pacifique, de nombreux représentants du secteur privé et de la société civile ont demandé à être impliqués dans les consultations du Forum. Donc la création du Forum du Développement du Pacifique pourrait pousser le Forum du Pacifique à enfin se réformer. »
Autre différence de taille entre le FDIP et le Forum des Îles du Pacifique : l’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande ne sont pas les bienvenues au Forum du Développement des Îles du Pacifique. Selon Franck Bainimarama en effet, les deux poids lourds de la région écrasent les autres pays de leur pouvoir économique et politique.
Pour la même raison, le leader fidjien refuse de réintégrer le Forum des Îles du Pacifique tant que l’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande n’en n’auront pas démissionné.
Certains universitaires jugent aussi l’influence des deux pays disproportionnée. À l’instar de l’économiste Roman Grynberg, ancien responsable de la gouvernance économique au Forum des Îles du Pacifique, jusqu’en 2009 :
« Le Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance prend une importance croissante, un Forum des Leaders de Micronésie s’est aussi créé, un groupe polynésiens également, tous ces sous-groupes montrent que beaucoup d’États insulaires ne peuvent pas s’exprimer comme ils le veulent au sein du Forum. Quand j’ai quitté le Forum en 2009, il était complètement dominé par l’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande. Les intérêts des États insulaires n’étaient pas protégés et ne sont toujours pas protégés par l’administration actuelle. »
Radio Australie a contacté la direction du Forum des Îles du Pacifique, qui refuse pour l’instant de s’exprimer.
Quant au gouvernement australien, il maintient son cap. Lundi le secrétaire parlementaire du ministre des Affaires étrangères, Brett Mason, était à Suva. Il a signé un nouvel accord de partenariat de six ans entre l’Australie et le Forum des Îles du Pacifique. L’Australie financera le Forum à hauteur de 21 millions de dollars sur les 3 prochaines années. Brett Mason :
« L’Australie pense que le Forum des Îles du Pacifique reste l’organisation régionale la plus importante et le meilleur mécanisme pour gérer les questions régionales. »
Brett Mason, au micro de Campbell Cooney sur Radio Australie. Le secrétaire général du Forum, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, a salué cet accord: « L’Australie demeure un partenaire précieux pour le Pacifique », a-t-il déclaré. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
11) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – vendredi 2 mai 2014
Mis à jour 2 May 2014, 15:12 AEST
L’Australie se serre la ceinture. Le gouvernement veut revenir à l’excédent budgétaire. Et l’aide au développement est sur la sellette.
La Commission d’Audit des comptes publics a rendu 86 recommandations hier. Parmi elles, une refonte de l’aide au développement. La Commission estime qu’il faudrait limiter l’aide à moins de pays, et de préférence aux voisins de l’Australie. L’aide devrait aussi être indexée sur le taux d’inflation plutôt que sur le revenu national brut. L’inflation augmentant moins vite. Malgré cela, l’aide va atteindre des niveaux très élevés, historiques, d’après les membres de la Commission d’Audit.
L’enquête se poursuit sur les violences de février à Manus et sur la mort du demandeur d’asile Reza Berati, avec le témoignage crucial d’un ancien gardien australien du centre de rétention. Il tient à rester anonyme, mais a témoigné devant la commission d’enquête mise en place par le Sénat australien, une initiative des Verts. Selon ce témoin, les violences de février ont commencé quand 10 demandeurs d’asile ont tenté de s’évader en sautant par-dessus les clôtures. La répression des gardiens de G4S – la société privée chargée par le gouvernement australien de la sécurité du centre- a été violente. Le lendemain ils ont eu des renforts de la police papoue. Et le témoin australien affirme avoir entendu entre 20 et 40 coups de feu. Il a vau aussi les policiers papous tabasser Reza Berati au sol, à coup de pied, puis avec un gourdin.
À Fidji, le nouveau chef de la police est Sud-Africain. Bernadus Groenewald est retraité depuis 2010. Il a fait toute sa carrière – 42 ans de service – dans la police sud-africaine. Bernadus Groenewald a ainsi assuré la sécurité d’anciens Présidents sud-africains. Il a également participé à la planification du dispositif de sécurité pendant la coupe du monde de football au Brésil en juin. Le ministère fidjien de l’Information précise que la nomination d’un Sud-Africain à la tête de la police est tout à fait conforme à la Constitution de 2013.
14 personnes ont disparu en mer au large de Bougainville vendredi dernier. L’aviation australienne conduit des recherches au-dessus des îles situées à l’est de la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Les 14 passagers du bateau sont partis de l’île de Nissan, au nord de Bougainville, et vers Buka, la capitale. Leur embarcation de 7 mètres de long s’est retrouvée prise dans des vents forts de 30 nœuds. Les autorités bougainvillaises sont confiantes, et rappellent que les passagers peuvent survivre en mer plusieurs jours, voire plusieurs semaines.
Queensland: Alex Leapai reçoit les clés de Logan. Ce n’est pas une voiture Renault, mais une bourgade du Queensland. Le boxeur australo-samoan est rentré lundi d’Allemagne, où Vladimir Klitschko ne lui a laissé aucune chance. Le poids lourd ukrainien conserve ses titres de champion du monde. Alex Leapai rentre bredouille. Mais l’Australie réserve quand même un accueil triomphal à Alex Leapai, touchée par le parcours de ce “Cœur de Lion”, sorti de la délinquance grâce à la boxe.
Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: un nouvel accusé dans l’affaire du Rabaul Queen. Le ferry a coulé en février 2012. Il y a eu au moins 173 morts. Hier Michael Livinai, un officier de l’autorité des transports maritimes, a été est mis en examen. Les juges estiment qu’il n’a pas fait son travail. Il aurait du monter à bord du Rabaul Queen, et, constatant que le ferry était surpeuplé, l’empêcher de prendre la mer.
Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: un journaliste du quotidien “Post Courier” a été condamné pour avoir publié une photo du centre de rétention de Manus, sans flouter les visages. Todagia Kelola faisait partie du groupe de reporter qui a accompagné le juge David Cannings lors de sa visite du centre en mars. L’objectif était de s’assurer des conditions de vie des demandeurs d’asile. Le juge avait demandé à ce que les visages des migrants soient floutées.
À Tonga, la croissance devrait atteindre 3% en 2015. Le rebond est confirmé par un économiste du Fonds Monétaire International, Jookyung Ree. Tout cela grâce au secteur agricole, et aussi à la reconstruction après le passage du cyclone Ian, ainsi qu’à la préparation des Jeux du Pacifique Sud, que Tonga accueillera en 2019.
12) Pacific Island Leaders to meet to advance Pacific Regionalism
By Online Editor
4:13 pm GMT+12, 02/05/2014, Fiji
Pacific Leaders are convening in Rarotonga, Cook Islands on Monday to discuss their vision for advancing regionalism.
On the agenda will be their strategy for strong political leadership to drive collective policy positions, manage shared resources, and support initiatives that contribute to sustainable, equitable development.
The Special Leaders Retreat on 05 May will focus on the call by former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, to reinvigorate the current strategy—the Pacific Plan.
In his review of the Plan in 2013,Sir Mekere proposed a pathway towards increasing integration and a process for focusing efforts on the region’s top priorities. He emphasised the crucial role of Leaders in driving this process.
The review consulted widely around the region with Pacific Island governments, civil society, the private sector, and academia to hear their perspectives on regionalism.
Leaders will be considering the resulting Review recommendations, such as deepening the effective engagement and involvement of a broad range of actors in regional policy development and implementation.
13) Deadly virus hits US
Sunday, May 04, 2014
WASHINGTON, AFP – The first case of the deadly respiratory virus, MERS, has been confirmed in the United States.
The person infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a health care provider who had travelled to Riyadh for work, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The name, gender and location of the patient were not disclosed.
“New diseases can be just a plane ride away,” Anne Schuchat, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunisation and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters.
The patient is being cared for in an Indiana hospital and is “isolated in stable condition,” said Ms Schuchat, adding that lab tests confirmed the infection Friday.
There is no cure for MERS-CoV, no medicine for treating it and no vaccine to prevent it.
The virus causes fever, breathing difficulties and can lead to pneumonia and death in some patients.
According to the CDC, 401 people in 12 countries have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV, including the US patient.
The latest death toll announced by Saudi health authorities is 107.
Some cases have spread among family members and in a hospital setting, but sustained transmission among the general public is rare, the CDC said.
There appears to have been a rise in cases lately, but scientists have no indication that the virus is mutating or becoming more infectious, said Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York.
“It has not evolved to become more capable of human to human transmission.
“It is the same virus we see in camels,” he said.
14) Suspended Vanuatu health bureaucrats return
2 May 2014
Vanuatu’s Supreme Court has quashed the suspensions of three senior directors in the Department of Health.
The Director of Public Health Len Tarivonda, Director of Curative Services Dr. Hensley Garae and Director of Corporate Services Russel Tamata were suspended by the Acting Director General of Health, Dr. Santus Wari, for alleged incompetence eight months ago.
They have been receiving their full salaries.
The men have now returned to work but not to the directors’ post, because the Government abolished them last month.
The three say their lawyer has written to the Public Service giving its chairman one week to declare that their suspensions were unjustified.
They also plan to file for damages.Radio NZ
15) PNG lifestyle illnesses getting worse
By Online Editor
10:19 am GMT+12, 02/05/2014, Papua New Guinea
There is a sharp increase in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Port Moresby as of the first quarter of this year, says Sir Professor Isi Kevau.
Sir Isi Kevau is the professor of medicine of the University of Papua New Guinea Medical School and Health Sciences, Director of the Sir Buri Kidu Heart Institute and the consultant physician and cardiologist at the Port Moresby General Hospital.
He told Post-Courier that out of the 468 patients that were admitted to the Port Moresby General Hospital for the first quarter of this year, 27 per cent of them were admitted under non-communicable diseases.
The NCD’s include vascular diseases (arteries), Stroke, Coronary artery disease, Peripheral vascular disease, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, Chronic Lung Diseases, Cancers, Mental health and Injuries.
“The key attributes are affluence/urbanisation and the change in lifestyle. PNG will see an increase in these category of diseases due to the fact that nowadays there a lot of smokers, people living on unhealthy foods and heavy binge drinking and consumption of alcohol. Furthermore these diseases are caused also by the lack of proper exercise and fitness amongst other factors as well”
“The four leading causes of death globally by 2030 are projected to be ischaemic heart disease, cerbrovascular disease (stroke), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lower respiratory infections (mainly pneumonia). Total tobacco-attributable deaths are projected to rise from 5.4 million in 2004 to 8.3 million in 2030, at which they will represent almost 10 per cent of deaths globally.”
Sir Kevau said that for cardiovascular diseases, Cancers, Chronic respiratory diseases and Diabetes on a global scale these 4 are the world’s biggest killers.
“They represent approximately 35 million deaths each year and represents 60 per cent of all deaths globally of which 80 percent in low-and middle-income countries like PNG”
Sir Kevau said that since his medical school days around the 1980’s there was not a single case of a heart attack and a case of stroke. He added that high blood pressure cases were also with the exception of only being prevalent in certain people.
“In view of the increasing number of patients with coronary artery disease and with overseas referrals increasing with costs estimated at K80,000 – minimum amount for an individual in addition with visa issues and other difficulties; it is time PNG to have our own specialised heart facilities and at the same time, PNG can take preventative actions as well.”.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
16) National Front wants New Caledonia referendum
By Online Editor
12:39 pm GMT+12, 02/05/2014, New Caledonia
The National Front in New Caledonia has called for an independence referendum as soon as possible.
Campaigning for seats in this month’s election in the southern province, the party says a vote should go ahead quickly to reassure families and investors.
The Congress to formed after the provincial polls has a five -year window under the Noumea Accord to organise a self-determination vote.
The idea is opposed by a leading anti-independence party, describing it as a frontal vote because nothing is defined of what is behind the two options.
The Caledonia Together Party of Philippe Gomes says it would like roundtable discussions involving the rival sides and the French state to flesh out what the options entail for a vote.
Gomes says being with France, New Caledonia can protect itself against certain people inside the territory and be safe from what he calls external predators that could recolonise the territory economically.
17) Solomons MPs to vote for new Head of State on Tuesday
By Online Editor
4:05 pm GMT+12, 02/05/2014, Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands Parliament is to elect the country’s seventh Governor General next Tuesday.
The nomination period opened on Thursday and closes on Monday with one political party, the People’s Alliance Party, calling for a woman to be elected.
So far no nomination has been made public.
The Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says his government wants the election during the current sitting of Parliament because of the long process involved in making the appointment.
The new head of state will be installed on Independence Day, July the 7th, in a public ceremony.
18) PDP’s manifesto to focus on right to education
Sunday, May 04, 2014
THE People’s Democratic Party, as part of its manifesto to be released next month, revealed it will develop comprehensive policies on education to ensure that every person has the right to education.
Party leader Felix Anthony, in his address to party members yesterday, said every person had the right to and can access modern, effective, relevant and quality education.
The former unionist said the party would consider the reintroduction of examinations in secondary schools such as the Fiji School Leaving Certificate.
“The party will ensure that as far as possible, education from early childhood to primary and secondary school are free and compulsory,” Mr Anthony said.
“The party will also want to ensure that there is no discrimination against girls and children with special needs are mainstreamed.
“All tertiary education will be provided on a cost share basis with the student share to be paid back on finding work and reaching a reasonable income threshold after graduation.”
Mr Anthony said in keeping with its principles and values, the party would develop a comprehensive social welfare policy to take care of all its senior citizens and others who were physically or intellectually challenged.
Mr Anthony added that while ethnicity continued to be an important source of identity for Fiji, the party respects the rights of all communities to preserve their unique cultural heritage.Fijitimes
19) PNG journalist convicted of contempt over Manus story
By Online Editor
4:09 pm GMT+12, 02/05/2014, Papua New Guinea
A journalist found guilty of contempt of court in Papua New Guinea for revealing identities of six people at Australia’s asylum seeker detention centre in Manus says he never intended to defy the court.
Todagia Kelola and the publisher of the Post Courier newspaper were found guilty over a March article about the centre where some reporters had accompanied the National Court’s human rights inquiry inspection team.
Its leader, Justice David Cannings, had ordered that all images be frosted or published in a way that didn’t reveal identities of people at the centre.
Kelola confirms he and the other reporters were given the order orally.
“The National Court cited myself and… The National reporter also was cited for contempt. But the National newspaper pleaded guilty and they were convicted of contempt of court. Whereas the Post Courier pleaded not guilty and we went for a trial. I did not intend to defy or disobey the orders of the court at that time.”
Kelola says the failure to frost the image of the asylum seekers was an oversight.
Submission on penalty for the conviction will be made at the end of the month; the Post Courier’s lawyers are considering their legal options.
A journalist for The National Charles Moi, and the newspaper’s publisher Pacific Star Ltd, are to be told their penalties today.
20) Pacific journalists share their views on the issues facing women in the region
Updated 3 May 2014, 21:54 AEST
A group of Pacific journalists are in Melbourne to participate in a media fellowship and they spoke to about how far women have come in the region.
A group of women journalists from across the Pacific are in Melbourne for five weeks to participate in an Asia Pacific journalism fellowship.
Beverley O’Connor speaks with Serafina Silaitoga from Fiji, Grace Maina from Papua New Guinea, and Assumpta Buchanan from Solomon Islands about the issues facing women in their countries.
Watch the video here.
21) Chinese people in Vanuatu can re-apply for citizenship
2 May 2014
The Chinese embassy in Vanuatu says people who have forfeited their Chinese citizenship to become citizens of Vanuatu can apply to get their Chinese passport back.
Vanuatu introduced a Capital Investment Immigration Programme, based in Hong Kong, aimed to earn millions of dollars by selling fast-tracked citizenship to Chinese nationals.
But the Chinese embassy says China does not recognise dual citizenship and Chinese people who have obtained Vanuatu citizenship automatically lose their Chinese citizenship.
It says if a person no longer wants to be a citizen of Vanuatu, they can apply to have their Chinese passport restored and won’t be left in limbo.
Two individuals wanting to have both a Vanuatu and a Chinese passport stamped on departing Port Vila were not allowed to leave this week.Radio NZ
22) Applications open for Hawaii training
The National, Friday May 2nd, 2014
THE United States government, through its embassy in Port Moresby, is inviting applicants to be part of a training for Melanesian women entrepreneurs in Hawaii in July.
Ten women from the Pacific including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will be funded by the East-West Centre to attend the 12- day entrepreneurial training.
In a statement, the US Embassy said it was looking for a few good women entrepreneurs to participate in this prestigious training opportunity.
The 2014 Changing Faces Women’s Leadership Seminar will focus on the important role that innovation and entrepreneurship play in job creation and strong communities.
“Participants will grow their innovative and entrepreneurial skills. They will see how experience and knowledge generate value through the creation or expansion of economic activity, evidenced by job creation, economic growth and community development.
“In addition, participants will discuss the broader linkages between business and the community.”
23) Scheme successful, benefiting women
The National, Friday May 2nd, 2014
A credit scheme initiated by Madang MP and Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban has proven successful as most mothers are benefiting from it, National Development Bank (NDB) northern regional manager Maryanne Uraiwa said.
When making presentation on NDB’s micro finance community based organisations (CBO) during NDB Women In Business (WIB) roadshow in Madang recently, Uraiwa made special emphasis on Madang Liklik District Kredit Scheme which Duban initiated last year with funding of K1million.
“The CBO concept used for the members’ credit scheme has helped a lot of women groups in Madang venture into business activities to sustain themselves, their families, community and the province.
“Other women are encouraged to make use of the credit scheme offered by the member,” Uraiwa said.
Meanwhile, it was noted that women have been flocking into the Madang branch following the successful staging of the roadshow.
The roadshow was hosted simultaneously with the People’s Micro Bank Ltd (PMBL), a subsidiary of NDB at Laiwadan Oval.
NDB relationship manager Janet Kaule spoke about two loan products, starter and grower loan packages, which were specifically tailored for women.
She said whether it’s a WIB loan, commercial loan or general loan that one took from NDB, interest rate is same across the board.
“NDB offers the lowest interest rate of 6.5% … and it is applied to all types of loans that you obtain from us.” Kaule said.
People’s Micro Bank Limited (PMBL) made a presentation promoting savings culture which PMBL and NDB advocates to customers and especially to the unbanked people in villages.
PMBL branch manager Clara Lake said: “To open a savings account, you only have to pay a fee of K10.00.
“All other fees like monthly charges, withdrawals, deposits or dormancy fees are not charged.
“At the moment PMBL offers three types of savings products, regular savings, dream savings and skulfee savings accounts,” Lake added.
24) PM talks exports
The National, Friday May 2nd, 2014
By ELIZABETH MIAE
PROCEEDS from liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports will be parked in a trust account to be managed jointly by ExxonMobil and the Government, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
“All the monies will be parked there until we have the proper clan vetting process completed, that process is now starting to take place,” O’Neill told a media conference in Port Moresby yesterday.
“I want to assure the landowners that their funds are safe and it is with the government that is going to make sure that we deliver the benefits directly to them.”
O’Neill said the Government has some Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement commitments that were made in 2009 that needed to be fulfilled, including some major infrastructure developments in Southern Highlands and Hela.
“We are going to go to Southern Highlands to kick start some of those projects, including handing the Komo airport over to Government, the Komo camp site over to Defence Force to use, Komo-Tari road upgrade and sealing, Tari-Mendi road upgrade and sealing and Tari town sealing.”
“We are going to work on the
announcements about the gas to power generation from Hides-Tari. For almost 20 years they’ve been supplying Porgera and the real owners of the gas have been living in blackout.”
Finance Minister and Tari-Pori MP James Marape, who attended the media conference, commended O’Neill for the commitment to infrastructure development in the LNG provinces.
“While commending the early and historic completion of the LNG project, the Prime Minister acknowledged that Hela, Southern Highlands and Gulf still lack development yet they have been contributing to this country since oil and gas first flowed in 1990.
“I welcome the PM’s announcement of sealing of Koroba-Tari highway, Mendi-Tari and Komo-Tari road, Tari, Komo and Koroba town sealings, Komo international airport take over by State.”
Marape welcomed the announcement that the project developers would partner with PNG Power Ltd to provide electricity to Hela.
“This Government understands your views, knows your cries and plight. I call upon leaders and landowners to allow Government to tick off the big development items missing in Hela like sealed highways and airports, electricity and telecommunication,” he said.
Marape thanked O’Neill for his tireless efforts in the last two years preparing for this announcement of development packages for Hela.
He said as the leaders from these areas knowing past failures hence they would make sure sealed roads, electricity and other developments took shape.
“This is the answer to development people have been searching for so long despite being oil and gas provinces since 1990.”
25) PNG potential
Saturday, May 03, 2014
COMMUNICATIONS Fiji Limited (CFM) has reaffirmed its optimism about prospects in Papua New Guinea as it continues to monitor the fast-paced progress in the lead-up to the South Pacific Games next year.
CFM group chairman Matthew Wilson said this would include keeping close tabs on liquid natural gas revenues and its impact on the PNG economy.
He said a report and survey by ANZ Bank underscored the widespread positive sentiments internationally about the emergence of the PNG potential.
“There are development and business challenges but we are driven by our confidence over the long-term about the expanding opportunities in that country,” Mr Wilson said in the company’s 2013 annual report.
He said the company continued to closely address and develop the management, administrative and operational structure of their subsidiary company, PNG FM.
This was after its result affected the group’s earning in the first half of last year.
“Our objective is to ensure it is fully geared to respond to the demands created by a period of rapid growth,” Mr Wilson said.
“We invested particular effort in upgrading financial management, including centralisation of processes and approvals, with the PNG FM accounts team reporting directly to our Suva-based group financial controller.”
He said this new arrangement had enhanced accountability and tightened cost control.Fijitimes
26) No pay, tell us
Sunday, May 04, 2014
Responding to concerns raised by a group of hotel workers in Savusavu regarding their employer not issuing them their pay before sending them home, Mr Usamate said it was only proper that people informed officials on time.
“When you come across a case like this, come to us immediately so we can attend to your problem promptly,” he said.
“As soon as you know you are not being paid and are not given a satisfactory reason of the non-payment, let us know. The sooner you alert us, the easier it becomes for us to investigate your complaints.
“If you sleep on your complaints, it’s going to take quite a long time for us to act on it. Investigating these sorts of complaints take time because we have to go through certain channels in order to get to the bottom of it.”
Mr Usamate said the onus was on the workers to act efficiently.
“In some cases, if the employer finds out that he or she is under the spotlight, they travel overseas prior to the investigation,” he said.
“The whole investigation will be halted to await his or her return. That’s why it’s important for people to visit our offices as soon as they come across this problem or any labour-related issues for that matter.”Fijitimes.
27) 5-star resort opens
Sunday, May 04, 2014
A $35million investment by P.Meghji Trading Limited has resulted in the opening of the first branded five-star resort in the Mamanucas.
Managed by Starwood Properties, the Sheraton Resort and Spa Tokoriki Island Fiji has generated about 110 jobs for locals.
P. Meghji Trading Limited director Dinesh Meghji said this investment would bring revenue to the local community.
“Our initial budget for this was $25m,” he said.
“We surpassed that by $10m. We are very proud to invest in the hospitality sector.”
Mr Meghji said construction of this property began 13 months ago.
“We have a contract that Sheraton will manage this property for the next 15 years.”
Sheraton Fiji general manager Shane Cunning said this was the fourth property for Starwood in the country.
Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama was the chief guest at the event.
“Their investment of $35m in this 101-room resort signals not only an enormous vote of confidence in our tourism industry but also the Fijian economy,” he said.
“This expansion fuels economic growth and job creation, like the 110 jobs here on Tokoriki, 51 of which are for members of the local community.”Fijitimes
28) Direct link for travel
Saturday, May 03, 2014
FIJI Airways has re-introduced its Suva-Sydney flight services following its official launch at the Nausori International Airport yesterday.
Travellers on the fully booked inaugural flight were given the VIP treatment when Fiji Airways CEO and managing director Stefan Pichler went behind the check-in counter to serve passengers with their tickets.
Mr Pichler later escorted passengers and presented complimentary gifts before take-off.
He said the launch was a memorable one for the company because it boosted their business.
“The new flight attracts a different market segment for us and is a different segment from Nadi-Sydney where most are leisure passengers,” he said.
With relations improving between Fiji and Australia, Mr Pichler said there would be more business between the countries and this would mean more travelling.
“It is also good because this is a way for us to develop Suva as a business hub because Nadi is a leisure hub. There are more businesses in Fiji and the flight will reinforce Suva’s position as a dominant hub in the South Pacific.”
29) ICT sector is crucial in PNG
By Online Editor
10:34 am GMT+12, 02/05/2014, Papua New Guinea
The Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry in the country can play a diverse role in our economy, says a business expert.
Business Council of Papua New Guinea Executive Director Douveri Henao stated that there are different industries in our economy including the extractive, agriculture among others and ICT is one of them and is an emerging sector that can play an important part in the economy of our country.
He told Post Courier yesterday during the Regional Clusters Initiative in the Pacific Strategy Workshop held in Port Moresby. The theme of the workshop was developing PNG’s ICT Cluster of which the Business Council of PNG is immensely involved in.
Henao said that ICT brings a diversity in the economy by bringing in aspects such the innovation and creativity of the professionals that are skilled and working in the industry within the country.
“ICT is the information sector and they can be able to improve the capability of government departments and agencies by providing solutions to the systems that are in operation instead of PNG sourcing these services overseas. An example can be the Financial Systems that these ICT experts readiliy available in their cluster can be consulted and engaged.”
Furthermore, Henao said that the PNG ICT Cluster are working on exciting projects such as ICT-based solutions for supply chain and logistics issues in PNG agricultural commodities, creation of a PNG/Pacific Google Software Development club, application of ICT in government led development, development f computer based hospital medical records amongst other significant projects.
We at the Business Council of PNG are supporting this ICT cluster to promote the work they do, in terms of their operational and marketing strategies to ensure that there market in the country is accessible for them to be utilise accordingly in the country, he said.
Williams a clusters adviser to the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation said that there is always a mutual benefits from the collaborative approach that the PNG clusters is working towards.
“They can work together to share ideas for new business horizons and in 3-4 years they can double their turn over’s, start up businesses, number of ICT students and be recognized as an ICT regional hub in the pacific.”.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
30) European Union Names Sectors It Will Support In PNG
Entrepreneurship, investment, trade, sanitation, education EDF focus
By Elizabeth Miae
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 1, 2014) – Different sectors have been chosen by the European Union (EU) to support and develop in its next cycle of funding in Papua New Guinea.
These sectors will be funded under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and they include rural entrepreneurship, investment and trade, water and sanitation and education.
EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs announced this during the Europe Day celebrations in Port Moresby on Tuesday.
“Under the next cycle of cooperation, taking us up to 2020, the EU will support country reforms in areas with a strong multiplier effect in line with the principles set out in our agenda for change – the blueprint for a more effective higher impact EU development policy,” he said.
“This integrated approach involving three linked sectors should support your strategy. For instance, the availability of sound transport, energy, water and sanitation infrastructures should make for more private investment and job creation in the rural economy.”
Piebalgs commended the Government on maintaining political stability which he described as a pre-requisite for the country’s social and economic development.
He assured the Government of EU’s support to make a shift in the development model and to move towards responsible sustainable development.
“Its new strategy to move towards greener development and a more diverse economy is both timely and positive, and will see PNG take further important steps towards greener, inclusive sustainable development.”
31) Queensland bikies and Nigerian crime syndicates team up to run drugs out of PNG
By Online Editor
12:44 pm GMT+12, 02/05/2014, Australia
Bikkies teamed with Nigerian crime syndicates are laundering offshore money in real estate, shares, and bonds in an illicit drugs-for-cash racket out of Papua New Guinea.
Australian Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison has flagged talks with PNG on a fresh anti-corruption partnership to tackle transnational crime syndicates on our doorstep.
Morrison yesterday flew over Australia’s “blind spot” in the Torres Strait Islands up to Boigu and Saibai, 6km from the PNG mainland.
PNG has “become a magnet” to crime gangs in the AUD$2 billion-a-year ice market Down Under.
West African and Chinese organised crime gangs operating out of Port Moresby are behind the illicit drug trade using electronic business transfers, negotiable bearer bonds, and undeclared cash to pay for shipments.
Real estate investments in Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast have also been linked to the money trail.
Organised crime gangs were attracted to PNG because of the ready availability of bulk precursors used to cook crystal methamphetamine, or ice.
Gangs which have gone offshore under the bikie crackdown in Queensland, include Rebels, Bandidos, Odin’s Warriors and Outlaws, latest Customs intelligence shows.
In May and June last year, two undeclared cash remittances of AUD$140,000 were detected at Cairns airport.
Covert surveillance observed bikie kingpins, who have a presence in the state’s far north and facilitate trafficking, travelling to PNG before those remittances, Morrison said.
Meanwhile, crime syndicates are using high-powered boats to exploit Australia’s most porous border in a disturbing new trend of drugs, guns and human trafficking in Torres Strait.
West African gangs and criminal bikies have opened an illicit cross-border pipeline to smuggle methamphetamine into far north Queensland out of Papua New Guinea, latest intelligence shows.
Customs Minister Scott Morrison has exclusively told The Courier Mail he plans to “plug the gap” and match the criminals with “flying squads” in a fleet of new tactical boats for high-speed pursuits up rivers and over reef systems.
“This is Australia’s blind spot,” said Morrison, in the Torres Strait.
“It is our nation’s most porous border and we have identified it as highly vulnerable.
“We need smaller, faster, more-agile craft to match the speed, draft and ability of the vessels used by these gangs.”
He said that the Budget would include multimillion-dollar spending to combat the latest threat to border security.
Officials say the scenario is similar to that of Colombian cocaine cartels in Florida, Chinese triads in Hong Kong and Malacca Straits pirates using planes, helicopters and speedboats to evade the law.
Some powerboats used by drug traffickers have up to four outboard engines capable of speeds of up to 100 knots.
“It is a sinister and disturbing new trend, the connection of these gangs to global transnational crime groups is unparalleled,” Morrison said.
These international criminals are in the border-busting business and operate everything from human trafficking to the illicit trade in narcotics and firearms, he said.
“In such a tight budget, to invest in the capacity of the north Queensland border protection underscores its seriousness and priority.”
Customs detected eight drug shipments on our northernmost border, just 3km from the PNG mainland, last year.
Almost 500 suspected PNG Raskols were refused entry out of the 45,972 traditional movements through the islands.
Human trafficking and asylum seeker arrivals are still reportedly “low” but there are fears it may become a people-smuggling pipeline.
Customs chief Roman Quaedvlieg said: “These gangs, particularly the West Africans, are versatile, entrepreneurial, big risk-takers and extremely dangerous.”.
SOURCE: COURIER MAIL/PACNEWS
32) South African appointed as Fiji Police Comissioner
By Online Editor
12:45 pm GMT+12, 02/05/2014, Fiji
The Fijian Government has announced the appointment of Bernadus Groenewald to the position of Commissioner of the Fiji Police Force.
The decision to appoint Groenewald is line with the 2013 Constitution and in accordance with the appointment process by the Constitutional Offices Commission.
A South Africa national, Groenewald has served extensively in South Africa’s Defence and Security forces. He served 42 years in the South African Police Service and retired in 2010 at the rank of Major-General. He was also the commanding officer of the South African police academy.
As a senior police officer, he has also been responsible as the head of the security and safety of former Presidents of South Africa and has overseen the security detail of various global events, such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Fijian Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama has welcomed the appointment saying Groenewald brings with him a level of experience and professionalism that will serve the Fijian people well.
“The Fijian Government is confident that Groenewald’s track record will strengthen the work undertaken by the Fiji Police Force”.
Groenewald had also paid a courtesy call on Fiji’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Ben Salacakau.
“Yes indeed. He first came by for a courtesy call and to say that he had been offered the job. I then invited him back for another visit when he had accepted,” Salacakau said from South Africa.
After getting the clearance from the PM, his staff organised a small welcome ceremony at his residence followed by dinner last Friday. They introduced him to Fijian culture and talked through some issues he might be interested in regarding protocols and other related matters.
In an interview with The Witness newspaper, Groenewald told journalist Sonja Carstens: “Policing is something I do from the heart; it is a service I yearned to render since I retired. I believe I can make a difference in Fiji.”
He said the initial offer that was made to him was for five years.
“My wife, Louise, and I made it a matter of prayer and decided not to accept the offer. It was just too long.”
Fiji then made Groenewald a new offer of just two years which he accepted saying he might stay longer should the circumstances warrant it.
He said his biggest challenge would be to arrive as a stranger and adapt to the Fijian culture.
“Luckily, the Fijians are unbelievably friendly people and crazy about rugby,” he said.
“I believe it is a good practice to appoint as head of Police someone who has come through the ranks. The Police has its own sub-culture, which must be understood so that the officers can work as a family. It is sad that the same thing is not happening here in South Africa. The last three heads of Police were not appointed from the Police.”
He said Fiji did not have a lot of crime and was mainly a rural area that had to be policed.
Groenewald also wants to put in place a bilateral co-operation agreement between Fiji and South Africa’s Police services.
“The countries can mutually benefit from each other’s expertise,” he said.
The new police commissioner will begin work on 14 May, 2014.
SOURCE: MINFO/ FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
33) Amicale makes Oceania final
Sunday, May 04, 2014
BA crashed out of the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League after a scoreless second semi-final draw against Amicale at the Port Vila Municipal Stadium in Vanuatu yesterday.
The result meant the Vodafone 4R Electrical Men in Black finished the home and away series with a 1-2 loss on aggregate.
Ba needed to win by two clear goals in the fixture to claim a spot in the home and away semi-final.
However it wasn’t to be, as the hosts backed by more than 9000 fans kept a tight defence to keep the likes of strikers Osea Vakatalesau and Abbu Zahid Shaheed at bay.
Vakatalesau was a replaced by Maciu Dunadamu in the 31st minute after picking up an ankle injury.
Zahid was sent off in the fixture after copping two yellow cards in as many minutes in the final quarter.
Remueru Tekiate, Ronil Kumar and Mavileko Nakama were also cautioned in the fixture.
Today defending champions Auckland City will take on AS Pirae in Tahiti in the second leg semi-final.
Auckland City defeated AS Pirae 3-0 in the first semi-final in Tahiti last week.
Amicale: Chikau Mansale, David Talone, Shivan Swamy, Esava Naqeleca, Nikola Vasilic, Francois Sakama, Nelson Kilifa, Dominique Fred, Jack Wetney, Marko Ordevic, Colin Marshall.
Ba: Epeli Codro, Avinesh Suwamy, Meli Codro, Marika Madigi, Ronil Kumar, Jone Vesikula, Abbu Zahid Shaheed, Mavileko Nakama, Josefata Neibuli, Remueru Tekiate, Osea Vakatalesau, Laisenia Raura.Fijitimes
34) Oceania using social media tools to inform athletes
By Online Editor
1:10 pm GMT+12, 02/05/2014, Fiji
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes Commission representative Barbara Kendall of New Zealand says that Oceania is leading the way in the promotion of the Athletes Commission and its activities.
“We have a closed Facebook group and it’s a great success,” said the former surfing Olympic gold medalist who is in Guam for the ONOC General Assembly.
“Communication is extremely important because knowledge is power. It makes a big difference when they (referring to athletes) what’s a available to them.”
She said that Oceania is leading the way through their Facebook group.
The members of the Oceania Athletes Commission had a marathon (six hour) meeting finalizing their programme for 2014.
Kendall says they plan to roll out their Excellence for Life and Voices of the Athletes programmes in nine countries namely Palau, Guam, Cook Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Nauru.
The commission will also make its presence felt at major events such as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland, the Micronesian Games, Oceania Basketball, Tennis and Karate.
35) Phone company helps Netball Fiji
By Online Editor
1:01 pm GMT+12, 02/05/2014, Fiji
TELECOMMUNICATION company Digicel Fiji has stepped in to sponsor the Tri Series Plus One competition which will be hosted by Netball Fiji next week.
Yesterday, the company presented $15,000 in cash and promised in kind benefits at its Kadavu House office in Suva.
The Fiji Pearls will play Northern Ireland and Papua New Guinea in the series to be held from May 6-9 in Suva.
Netball Fiji president Wainikiti Bogidrau was thrilled with this partnership and said they were looking forward to the series.
She ensured the series would be a success adding they would try their best to ensure Digicel Fiji gets their “money’s worth”.
“Netball unfortunately does not attract the kind of sponsorship that our male sports get all the time but we believe this is a start of better things to come in netball and Digicel,” Bogidrau said.
Digicel Fiji’s commercial director Andrew Skelton said they were also delighted to sponsor the event.
“I’m pleased to support the largest women sport in the country.
“This sponsorship includes cash plus sims for all players, credit for Fiji Pearls team members, training tee-shirts for the Pearls and Fiji A and other support that Netball Fiji needs to host this week-long tournament.”.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
36) Fourth straight loss for Queensland Reds
Sunday, May 04, 2014
BRISBANE – The Queensland Reds’ castle has officially crumbled.
Ten games into their post-Ewen McKenzie era, the Reds have fallen from Super Rugby contenders to toothless, seemingly-clueless cellar-dwellers.
New coach Richard Graham’s first season in charge spiralled into a deep, dark hole with a 44-14 Eden Park massacre — picked apart by the Blues in Auckland.
It was Queensland’s fourth straight defeat, and with each they have progressively got worse.
They were so seriously off the mark on Friday night, it’s hard to see them digging their way out this season.
The Reds were outskilled, outsmarted and outpaced to be 34-0 down after 52 minutes before the Ma’a Nonu-inspired Blues started emptying their bench.
“I thought they played fantastic footy,” Graham told AAP in his praise of the home side.
Graham was at pains to be positive about the effort and commitment of his troops but they look a far cry from the team which took Super Rugby by storm with it’s scintillating attack in 2010, won the title in 2011 and made the play-offs in 2012 and ’13.
Most damning is the fact their defence — which let in only 23 tries in 16 matches last season — has now leaked 15 from the past four.
Graham was the savvy defence coach under McKenzie last year but the former Western Force mentor’s head coaching record is now 10 wins and two draws from 34 matches — a bare 30 per cent.
Queensland’s rugby chiefs have strongly backed the hand-picked replacement to stay for the long haul but their patience will be tested if the woes continue.
“The only thing you can do in this situation is continue to work hard,” Graham said. “There’s no magic formula.”
Queensland’s five-tries-to-two loss made for a horror New Zealand trip — two forgettable losses to “celebrate” milestones of loyal Queensland servants.
While captain James Horwill’s ton was ruined by the Hurricanes (35-21) in Wellington, Quade Cooper’s winless record at Eden Park continued in his 100th.
Overcoming an ankle injury to play in his halves partner’s milestone match, Will Genia was a stand-out in attack and defence, saving several times, but few others impressed.
37) Sharks on top in Super Rugby
Sunday, May 04, 2014
MELBOURNE – The Melbourne Rebels were their own worst enemy as they handed the Super Rugby front-running Sharks a 22-16 win at AAMI Park.
The Rebels dominated territory and possession but let themselves down with costly handling errors while penalties helped keep the visitors in the lead.
Melbourne’s defence held firm until the 63rd minute when they again turned over the ball and the Sharks counter-attacked and raced downfield, with winger JP Pietersen touching down.
That blew the lead out to 22-9 with their earlier points coming from South African sharp-shooter Frans Steyn, who booted five from five for a 15-6 halftime scoreline.
In their usual fashion, the Rebels, who have won six of their last seven games at home, refused to lay down.
They hammered the Sharks tryline and after repeated penalties five-eighth Bryce Hegarty took a quick tap and fired a long ball out to reserve hooker Pat Leafa who burrowed over the line.
Jason Woodward added the extras but the clock was against the Rebels, who ran out of time to find the necessary points.
They kept at it, even after full-time, and got to within 10 metres before a penalty for failing to release the ball.
Woodward made a superb break midway through the first half, beating six Sharks defenders and as the Rebels sent the ball across field they forced a penalty and their first points of the game.
The athletic fullback added a second penalty and although they came desperately close to scoring, with flanker Colby Fainga’a just centimetres away, couldn’t get across the tryline until Leafa’s effort.
No South African team had managed to win in Australia or New Zealand this season but the competition leaders broke the mould which followed a shock loss to the Highlanders last round.
The win will add a little more spice to their encounter next week with Australian conference leaders the Brumbies when coach Jake White returns to face his old team for the first time.
38) Samoa beats Fiji to book a place in Four Nations tournament
Posted 4 May 2014, 4:24 AEST
Samoa has booked a place at this year’s Four Nations rugby league tournament with a lively 32-16 win over Pacific rivals Fiji in Sydney on Saturday.
A surprise appearance from retired National Rugby League veteran prop forward Petero Civoniceva was not enough to get Fiji into the end-of-season tournament against Australia, England and New Zealand.
It is just the second time in seven encounters that Samoa has beaten Fiji, avenging last year’s 22-4 World Cup quarter-final loss in Warrington.
There was no shortage of bone-rattling tackles in the battle between the Pacific Islands’ best with Fiji’s Korbin Sims landing a thunderous shoulder on Samoan Isaac Lui among the best.
Penani Manumaleali’i scored a hat-trick of tries for Samoa with Krisnan Inu landing six goals.
Samoa’s first match at the Four Nations will be against England in Brisbane on October 25.
39) French link
The National, Thursday May 1st, 2014
A SIMBU product is plying the trade he knows best in France’s second tier rugby league competition with club Realmont.
Rahdly Brawa, 25, in his second stint in the mid-Pyrenees, southern France will lead his team into the semi-final against RC Baho this Sunday. The winner qualifies for a grand final of their Elite Two premiership.
The former TNA Simbu Lions player (2011- 2012) from Kundiawa, Simbu, already has a ‘cult like’ following with Realmont fans.
Brawa from Chuave (Simbu) and Wabag (Enga) has taken the competition by storm to lead the clubs tackle count and metres gained statistics so far this season.
Normally playing in the centres with the Lions or with his local Kundiawa club, Sula Brothers, Brawa has now made a home in the Realmont back-row.
Brawa, dubbed the ‘un Papou `a Realmont’ gave credit to the TNA franchise owner Gerard Philip and his son Daniel for giving him the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expose his home-grown talent on the other side of the world.
Brawa was drafted to the French league through former Lions coach Pierre Vandome, who Lions boss Gerard Philip had engaged for the 2012 season
The other former Lions player also is in France is 21-year-old Kuni Minga.
Minga currently plays either centre or wing for the Toulouse Olympique club in the French rugby league championship Elite One competition.
Minga has also created a stir with the local media as well being tagged ‘golden legs’ after scoring two tries in his opening match as well in his debut season in 2012.