Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 976


Autonomous Bougainville Islands.

By Aloysius Laukai

The ABG has finally signed the 60/40Editorial Content Agreement with the National Broadcasting Corporation of Papua New Guinea in Buka today.

This agreement will now make the ABG through its Communications Division provide the content that the NBC Radio Bougainville will air in its programs.

This was announced at the ABG Parliament recently by the ABG Minister for Communications, JOE NOPE.

The National Minister for Communications, JIMMY MIRINGTORO told the gathering in Buka that this arrangement is a start of a new era in the role of providing Communications throughout Bougainville.

He said information brings awareness, information, power, understanding, Peace and unity.

The Minister said that National Government aims to play its part in improving communication and awareness to the people.

Another agreement was signed with WATER PNG to improve the supply of Water in Arawa and the set up a water supply system for Buka town.


By Aloysius Laukai

The Famous MANGI LO PLES operating as Travel Air has been suspended from flying to Buka for an indefinite period.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority has suspended Travel air flights into Buka for not adhering to a notice of the airport’s closure due to landowner dispute last week.

The offence happened last week during the airline’s inaugural flight into Buka.

It is understood that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority will carry out investigation into this incident.

New Dawn FM who covered this ceremony also understands that all the three airlines still landed in Buka during the closer.

Two flights from Airlines PNG came earlier and Travel-Air came later with the Air Niugini cargo plane coming the next day.

Meanwhile, Passengers in Buka who were trying to fly to Rabaul and other Centres were shocked to get the news as they had already booked their travel with Travelair.

They had to dig deeper in their pockets to pay the extra fees to fly in the other airlines.

The price charged by TravelAir between Buka is only K338 compared to other carriers who charge double the price.

By Aloysius Laukai

Two Bougainville members of Parliament have made commitments to the new
TORBUIL Co-operative Society.

The member for North Bougainville, LAUTA ATOI and the Bougainville Regional member, JOE LERA both made commitments to support the TORBUIL Co-operative Society as they believed in team work and community participation.

The member for North Bougainville has already invested on the FISH AGGREVATED DEVICES to be set up in the sea at HAGOGOHE and the Regional member has already bou*ght three fishing boats including a mother boat that will purchase fish from the local fishermen for sale outside Bougainville.

And a big Ice Centre will be built in Buka town to supply ice to the fishermen.

According to the regional member the ships are expected to arrive into the region next month.


By Aloysius Laukai

The ABG member for Hagogohe, PETER SOHIA said that the Government will only assist organized groups and not individuals.

Speaking at the TORBUIL Co-operative Society launching last Saturday, MR. SOHIA said that the members will only look at people who are organized and ready to work and not people who just sit and request for support from the members.

The HAGOGOHE member said that he really supported the project as it was the only big project initiated on Buka island second only to the HAHALIS welfare society.

He also called on the members to support their leader, PIO BISIA to make sure the society operates according to its by laws.

MR. SOHIA promised to support the society with some funds from his allocation for Hagogohe.


By Aloysius Laukai

More than two thousand people of HAGOGOHE constituency are proud members of the  TORBUIL Co-operative Society that was launched at Pepes village last Saturday.

The launching was attended by the Member for North Bougainville, LAUTA ATOI, Regional member, JOE LERA and members of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Chairman of the Board of Directors and founder, PIO BISIA said that he had to start the Co-operative society to address poverty creeping into the area.

He said that the Co-operative will teach the members to learn how to save their hard earned cash so that they can grow it for later use.

MR BISIA said that over the years he has seen his people just spending money and go begging to members for funds to meet their family needs.

He said the Co-operative society will link with the Cocoa Project initiated by the North Bougainville member, LAUTA ATOI and the Fishing project initiated by the Regional member JOE LERA.

MR. BISIA said that the co-operative society was the way forward for Bougainville and will unite families to work together for bigger goals.

By Aloysius Laukai

A survivor of the overloaded Banana Boat that went missing between Nissan Island and Buka two weeks ago yesterday told NEW DAWN FM NEWS that the Boat skipper made a wrong start when they left Nissan island.
A Catholic nun, SR. ALBERTA TIMAKANDIO said that the boat left Nissan island with 14 passengers and only three Petrol containers for the trip to B uka and also came out of Nissan using a channel completely new to the sister who is also a Nissan islander.
She said that the skipper instead of turning towards HANPAN Point on Buka island, where they normally come into Buka island continued all the way towards Tinputz when they all realized that they have gone the wrong way.
So when they tried to turn back resulting in their Petrol running out in strong winds.
From then on they were at the mercy of the tides which tossed them back and forth into the ocean.
SR. ALBERTA recalls one night she had to paddle to try to get to what she saw as an island but could not reach it because of strong currents.
She said that many times she was trying to assist with the possible locations but was told to shut up as she was only frustrated and talking.
The Sister said that they were lucky they had bags of the local nut KALOK in the boat and they had to eat them for their survival.
She also had one month’s worth of smoked fish which she started giving to the hungry children who were crying with hunger.
SR. ALBERTA said that on Friday May 2nd they were spotted by a Royal Australian Air Force Plane which immediately dropped off food and water.
The plane then told rescue teams to go to the location and get to Fead island.
SR.ALBERTA said that one boat with extra petrol came and they refilled their boat and took some passengers to Fead island.
She said that their final trip back to Buka was made in only one day.
They left Fead island at 6.30 am on four boats, arrived Nissan island at 11 am and left Nissan for Buka arriving at 5.30 to Buka yesterday.

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 6 May 2014

by bobmakin

  • The Supplementary Budget approved by Parliament for this year amounts to VT 300 million. The Prime Minister has revealed that the additional funding is predicated upon the anticipated financial benefits to be derived from the Permanent Residence Programme based in Hong Kong and the Capital Investment Immigration Plan and Consular Programme (CIIP), Daily Post reveals this morning. CIIP has still to be debated in Parliament, item 23 on the MPs’ agenda. Additional budgetary concerns involve a payment of VT 135 million under the Interchange (bandwidth) project and VT 139 million for the government’s contribution to the European Union’s Electrification Facilities projects in Torba, Malampa and Penama, along with provisions for the 2017 Mini Games (VT 29 million). VBTC News had the Minister for Internal Affairs, Paul Telukluk, claiming the Ministry is becoming a major revenue collector for the government, after Finance, through the already initiated Permanent Residence Programme (PR). VT 363 million was collected in 2012, VT 859 million in 2013, and just for January this year VT 218 million was raised. Vanuatu Immigration has an officer based in Hong Kong to process the applicants.
  • The government is holding discussions relating to Vanuatu holding the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) Summit in 2017. Vanuatu’s European Union Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy was last week in London to discuss the questions with the Commonwealth Secretariat. A technical team of the Secretariat has been asked to visit Port Vila to consider questions of readiness. The Carcasses Government is committed to hosting the CHOGM Summit, VBTC News reported. The new head of the Secretariat’s Pacific Division will come to Vanuatu at the end of the month and the Secretariat team at the end of the year to assess progress, presumably on the new conference centre site alongside Parliament.
  • The boundaries of the Port Vila peri-urban villages (Pango, Ifira, Erakor, Eratap and Mele) are continuing as a discussion topic between the chiefs and leaders of the villages and the Lands Ministry and Home Affairs, Daily Post informs us today. Most seem to want to become municipalities. Until the village boundaries are properly established there can be no change to the Port Vila municipal boundary as foreseen to be necessary in the PM’s 100 Day List.
  • The Santo fish processing plant is planning to operate in the very near future. Containers of equipment have arrived. Live export of tuna is planned, it was revealed by VBTC. More details will be provided in the near future.
  • The Lapetasi wharf project in the vicinity of Star Wharf was launched by visiting JICA President Akihito Tanaka. PM Carcasses and the JICA president unveiled a plaque.


3) World Bank review of Tonga’s transport industry

The Tongan deputy prime minister is still confident a controversial plane gifted by China will survive an industry-wide review by the World Bank.

In March, the Tongan Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano and the New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, announced the transport sector safety review.

The MA-60 aircraft, that sparked a dilplomatic row between Mr McCully and the deputy Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu, would also be included in the review.

Samiu Vaipulu denied rumours the report was already with the Tongan government, and says World Bank managers in Canberra are finalising their draft report.

He says he has not heard from the International Civil Aviation Authority, whose rules he says were followed in the certification of the aircraft when it was gifted to the country by China in 2012.

New Zealand says the plane wasn’t certified correctly and is maintaining a travel advisory on its website until the review is complete.Radio NZ

4) Samoa Tops USA, Other Pacific Islands, In Press Freedom
Reporters Without Borders puts country at number 40

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, May 5, 2014) – Samoa tops Press Freedom in the Pacific islands and is ranked 40th ahead of the United States, Italy, South Korea and South Africa.

Press Freedom Day was celebrated in Samoa last Friday 2 May by UNESCO and the UN system in Samoa, the National University of Samoas Media & Journalism Programme and the Journalists Association of Samoa JAWS.

It is Samoa’s highest showing on the just-released 2014 World Press Freedom Index. Compiled by global group Reporters Without Borders, Samoa moves up eight notches from last year’s ranking to 40th of 180 countries surveyed. It is the highest ranked country in the Pacific Islands region.

Last weeks celebration included the Editors Forum that featured presentations by the Founder & Editor of Talamua Media, Apulu Lance Polu, the Editor of the Samoa Observer Group of Newspapers Mataafa Keni Lesa and the Chief Editor of the Iniini Newspaper Te’o Leulu Dr. Felise Vaa. They spoke about Media Freedom in Samoa’s visible development.

The keynote speaker was the Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma who is also the chairman of Samoa’s Human Rights Initiative.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said; “I’ve always said Samoa is the free-est in terms of press freedom in the region. Now this latest international publication has shown just that.”

Particularly impressive is the fact that Samoa is polled ahead of other beacons of democracy such as the United States (46th), South Africa (42nd), Italy (49th) and South Korea (57th).

Neighbors Papua New Guinea is ranked 44th, Tonga at 63rd and Fiji at 107th.

The Index, according to Reporters Without Borders, ‘reflects the degree of freedom that journalists, news organisations and netizens enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom’.

The information is sent through to Borders from NGOs, and the countries are scored in terms of;

Pluralism – measures the degree to which opinions are represented in the media,
Media Independence – measures the degree to which the media are able to function independently of the authorities,
Environment and self-censorship – analyses the environment in which journalists work,
Legislative framework – analyses the quality of the legislative framework and measures its effectiveness,
Transparency – measures the transparency of the institutions and procedures that affect the production of news and information,
Infrastructure – Measures the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.



5) WHO i diklearim pablik helt imejensi long sik polio

Updated 6 May 2014, 11:49 AEST
South Asia correspondent Michael Edwards, wires

World Health Organisation i tokaut long pablik helt imejensi long sait long sik polio bihain ol i lukim binatang blong poli long tenpela kantri wantaim Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan na Syria.

WHO i diklearim dispela pablik helt imejensi bihain ol i lukim planti long ol niupela keis blong sik polio long sampela kantri long wol.

WHO assistant director-general Bruce Aylward long Geneva itok ol ibin ting olsem dispela sik em bai pinis tasol em i kamap bikpela moa.

Em itok sapos ol ino dil wantaim dispela sik we ol i ken priventim, em bai had moa long pinisim.

WHO ibin holim wanpela imejensi toktok long Geneva long wik igo pinisbihain ol i lukim binatang blong popio long 10 pela kantri na em i bikpela long ol kantri olsem Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan na Syria.

NewsRadio speaks with WHO’s assistant director-general.

Polio em i wanpela sik we i save bagarapim lek blong pipol planti em ol pikinini aninit long 5 pela krismas long yar blong ol na em i save kilim dai tu.

I nogat marasin blong kiuren dispela sik tasol ol i gat marasin blong stopim long kisim polio.

Long 1988,  sik polio i stap long 125 kantri.

Ol helt otoriti i klostu long pinisim sik ia insait long 25 yar na ol naba ibin go daun long 350,000 long 1988 na i kam daun long 417 long 2013, WHO i tok.

Long dispela yar ol i lukim 74 keis pinis long wol, 59 long ol i kam long Pakistan.



6) Tasmania Diskusikan Kemungkinan Legalisasi Ganja

Diperbaharui 6 May 2014, 15:12 AEST

Penggolongan yang lebih rinci beberapa obat-obatan terlarang seperti ganja akan menjadi topik diskusi pada forum pertemuan Komisi Alkohol, Tembakau, dan Obat-obat lainnya (ATDC) di Hobart, Tasmania, Selasa (6/5/2014).

Tasmania mulai mendiskusikan kemungkinan legalisasi ganja.

CEO ATDC Tasmania, Jann Smith, mengatakan pentingnya untuk mendiskusikan penggunaan obat-obatan di masyarakat.

“Ganja merupakan salah satu obat terlarang yang populer di masyarakat. Maka kami pikir topik pembicaraan ini tidak seharusnya ditutup-tutupi,” ungkapnya.

Forum akan mengundang ahli dari seluruh Australia, termasuk permbicara tamu dari Amerika Serikat, untuk mendiskusikan “situasi pragmatis seperti apa yang bisa mempertimbangkan ulang dekriminalisasi ganja”.

Smith mengakui akan banyak sekali pertimbangan, sebelum undang-undang dirubah ia berpendapat dekriminalisasi ganja memiliki kisah sukses di banyak negara.

“Kita menyaksikan tanpa ragu bahwa di banyak negara, ada pengakuan atas nilai riil penggunaan ganja untuk keperluan medis bagi masyarakat,” katanya.

Di sisi lain, Smith mengatakan tentu saja hal ini bukan tanpa resiko.

“Tidak ada keraguan lagi bahwa setiap obat psikoaktif memiliki resiko. Diskusi ini bukan mengenai pengalihanfakta-fakta bahwa bila anda menggunakan obat-obatan, apakah ganja, tembakau, alkohol, atau obat terlarang lainnya, pasti ada resiko (di dalamnya),” tambahnya.

Diskusi seputar legalisasi obat-obat terlarang akan membantu orang-orang mendapat informasi untuk pengambilan keputusan dan mendapatkan rasa nyaman bila berbicara kepada profesional di bidang kesehatan.

Ia berharap forum ini bisa mendiskusikan lebih terbuka baik dengan dokter umum atau psikiater, ahli psikologi bagaimana perasaan mereka dan apa akibatnya bila mereka menggunakan obat-obatan.

Bagi Smith tujuan akhir forum ini adalah menghasilkan dasar argumen yang bisa dipertimbangkan oleh politisi di seluruh tingkatan.

“Kami sudah mulai untuk melihat diskusi ini lebih sering dilakukan, maka sekarang apa yang kami harapkan dari hasil diskusi hari ini adalah kita akan punya informasi yang berdasar dan perdebatan yang rasional,” pungkasnya.Radio Australia


7) La carte interactive des Provinciales 2014

En cliquant sur l’icône de chacune des 3 provinces, vous avez accès aux listes complètes des candidats qui se présentent aux élections provinciales 2014.

Par Karine Boppdupont
Publié le 06/05/2014 | 09:23, mis à jour le 06/05/2014 | 09:24

8) L’actu calédonienne en bref de ce mardi 6 mai

Steven Gnipate (avec Elif Kayi)
Publié le 06/05/2014 | 09:48, mis à jour le 06/05/2014 | 15:13

L’essentiel de l’actualité en Nouvelle-Calédonie de ce mardi 6 mai 2014.

Dernière chance pour les négociations dans le secteur de l’aviation civile

La semaine a débuté de manière mouvementée pour le secteur de l’aviation civile. Lundi, les discussions entre les syndicats, la direction et le gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie ont été houleuses. Ce mardi représente donc pour les négociations la dernière chance d’aboutir avant la mise en oeuvre de la grève annoncée. Les organisations syndicales protestent entre autres contre le plan stratégique de la Direction de l’aviation civile, qui a été adopté par le Congrès.

Le dispositif « permis pour l’emploi » au point mort

Le trésorier payeur de la Nouvelle-Calédonie a décidé de rembourser plusieurs auto-écoles. Celles-ci attendent depuis deux ans d’être financées dans le cadre du dispositif PPE, le permis pour l’emploi. Ce dispositif, censé aider les jeunes demandeurs d’emploi, et actuellement au point mort, est en effet victime d’un véritable casse-tête administratif.

Grève à l’école Louise Vergès de Lindu

Débrayage lundi matin à l’école Louise Vergès à Tindu pour protester contre les dégradations perpétrées le week-end dernier au sein de l’établissement. Des actes récurrents qui exaspèrent le personnel enseignant et les cantinières. Ces derniers demandent notamment la mise en place de vidéo-surveillance ou encore des rondes d’auxiliaires de proximité.

Rendez-vous politique à ne pas rater sur l’antenne de NC1ère en mi-journée 

Le magazine « C’est-à-dire » sera diffusé en direct depuis Lifou, en Province des Iles Loyautés. C’est le dernier débat avant le scrutin provincial de dimanche prochain. Angélique Souche sera entourée des 6 principales têtes de listes qui se présentent au scrutin. Au centre des débats : la desserte, l’exode des populations, le développement durable ou encore l’efficacité des interventions publiques.

Élections européennes les 24 et 25 mai prochains

Les 24 et 25 mai prochains, les ultramarins auront le choix entre 19 listes – et non une douzaine comme on pensait en fin de semaine dernière – pour élire leurs représentants au Parlement européen. Le Ministère de l’Intérieur a publié lundi les listes validées, qui seront en lice pour les trois sièges d’eurodéputés de la circonscription Outre-mer. Cinq calédoniens sont candidats : Maurice Ponga le député sortant sera confronté à Gérard Régnier, Marie Claude Tjibaou, Bianca Hénin, Sam Léonard et Stéphane Chipault.

Alikisio Fakate se retire de la compétition

Le rugbyman calédonien Alikisio Fakate a été contraint de raccrocher prématurément ses crampons en raison d’un problème médical. Le deuxième ligne de Bordeaux-Bègles souffre d’un rétrécissement du canal rachidien, un syndrome dont les conséquences peuvent entraîner une tétraplégie. Agé de 28 ans, Aliki Fakaté ne veut prendre aucun risque pour sa santé. C’est à l’issue du match contre Biarritz, samedi dernier, qu’il a annoncé la nouvelle à ses partenaires et à la presse. Aliki devrait rester à Bordeaux et envisage de devenir instituteur.

Concert au Centre d’Art de Nouméa

Pour les amateurs de musique locale, un concert gratuit est organisé ce mardi soir à partir de 18h30 au Centre D’art à Nouméa. Sur scène, le groupe Solydal, qui se revendique de l’héritage musical d’Ydal, chanteur musicien originaire de l’île de Lifou.

Le 23ème numéro de la revue juridique dans les kiosques

Au sommaire de la publication, l’articulation de la coutume kanak et du droit franco-calédonien, la création d’une Organisation des Pays Exportateurs de Nickel à l’échelle de la région, et surtout les élections 2014. Un focus particulier est proposé sur la situation des communes, entre réalités budgétaires et avenir institutionnel.

9) “Next goal wins”: l’homme qui a encaissé 31 buts

Mis à jour 6 May 2014, 13:27 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

C’est la pire défaite de l’histoire du football. Mais Nicky Salapu, le gardien de l’équipe du Samoa américain, est aujourd’hui le héros d’un documentaire.

Nicky Salapu est toujours le gardien de l’équipe du Samoa américain. Depuis la défaite de 2001, lui et son équipe ont remonté la pente et même enregistré une victoire contre Tonga.
En 2001, il n’a rien pu faire contre le rouleau compresseur australien, lors d’un match de qualification à la coupe du monde.

En 2014, le voilà star du grand écran, aux côtés de ses co-équipiers. Le documentaire « Next Goal Wins », des Britanniques Mike Brett et Steve Jamison, a été projeté en avant-première à New York la semaine dernière.

Il retrace la lente remontée de l’équipe samoane-américaine, de cette défaite devenue légendaire, jusqu’au retour à la dignité, avec la victoire contre Tonga, 1 à 0, en 2011. Un but assuré par Jaiyah Saelua, la transsexuelle de l’équipe, et que le gardien Nicky Salapu considère comme une sœur. Nicky Salapu a assisté à l’avant première du documentaire à New York :

« C’était génial de me voir sur le grand écran. Et à chaque fois que je réalisais un arrêt, la salle applaudissait, et m’acclamait. C’était le meilleur moment de ma vie. »

Mais avant cela, avant le documentaire, il y a eu un véritable chemin de croix pour le gardien samoan-américain:

« Je remercie l’équipe d’Australie de m’avoir fait vivre cette expérience. Mais en même temps, j’étais tellement embarrassé quand c’est arrivé. Et j’ai porté ce poids en moi pendant 13 ans. Mais cela ne m’a jamais découragé de jouer au foot, parce que j’adore ce sport. »

Nicky Salapu tient peut-être sa revanche. Car tous les protagonistes de l’histoire étaient dans la salle pour la projection du documentaire. Y compris le buteur australien, celui-là même qui a crucifié le Samoa américain et Nicky Salapu en 2001, marquant 13 des 31 buts :

« J’ai rencontré Tim Cahill à l’avant-première à New York. Il est l’homme le plus modeste que j’aie jamais rencontré. À la fin du film, il est venu me voir et m’a pris dans ses bras. Je lui ai dit un truc drôle du genre, qu’est-ce qu’on fait, on joue match retour ? Et nous avons convenu d’organiser un match revanche. J’espère que ça va se faire bientôt, avant que je prenne ma retraite. »

Nicky Salapu, ancien perdant devenu héros, au micro de Richard Ewart sur Radio Australie. Le documentaire « Next Goal Wins » est acclamé par la critique internationale. Il sort cette semaine en Australie et en Grande-Bretagne.


10) Australian scientists develop technology to diagnose early-stage malaria

Updated 6 May 2014, 18:37 AEST

Australian scientists develop a cheap and simple-to-use infrared technology that could diagnose malaria at the crucial early stages.

Video: Australian scientists helping end malaria

Australian scientists have developed a cheap and simple-to-use infrared technology that could diagnose malaria at the crucial early stages.

While malaria has been eradicated in most developed countries, the mosquito-borne virus still kills more than 600,000 people each year, mostly children.

Monash University’s Bayden Wood, who led the research team, says he hopes the new device will stop the disease spreading.

“If the parasites are only in very small numbers, it’s very hard for the clinician to pick the parasites up looking down a microscope” he told the ABC.

“So we looked at the very early stages, down at the single cell level, and by looking at those red blood cells that were affected, we saw that they had this specific fatty acid signature.

“Then we thought, maybe we can use this for our diagnosis.”

Malaria kills thousands each year

Although significant progress has been made in treating and preventing the spread of the disease, for many, access to life-saving treatment is not a reality.

Mr Wood said the importance of the new infrared technology is that it doesn’t need any scientists to operate it, it’s inexpensive and can be taken anywhere in the world.

“It’s a standard type of chemistry technique called Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) spectroscopy, and interestingly enough, these types of machines are available in most chemistry labs,” he said.

“The idea is to take these very portable spectrometers, put them on the back of a motorcycle and take them out into the remote community, do a diagnosis there.

“It’s all automated and that’s the other great advantage of this technique.”

Mr Wood and his team are hoping to carry out clinical tests of the ATR devices in a human trial in Thailand.

He’s hoping the new infrared test could be on the market within a few years.

“Having a technique that you can take out and actually save people’s lives will be very exciting,” Mr Wood said.

11) Free heart surgeries

Torika Tokalau
Tuesday, May 06, 2014

A SPECIAL cardiac team from the United States is in the country conducting free surgeries at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

The three-member team — cardiologist Avinash Mondkar, cardio technician Ken Valikai and Fijian-born Jyan Lal — began cardiac surgeries yesterday.

“We want to conduct as many surgeries as we can; we have enough equipment to install 20 pacemaker units,” Mr Lal said.

They first visited Fiji last year and conducted less than 20 surgeries, both pacemaker implementation and angiograms, on patients screened by the hospital.

This time around, and what they hope in their next visit, they hope to conduct more.

Mr Lal said this year they brought in pacemakers and a special pacemaker used for cardiac resynchronisation therapy on those with heart failure.

He said a pacemaker unit in the US costs between $7000 and $12,000.

“Back in the 60s I used to drive the ambulance at the CWM Hospital as a volunteer and I promised myself that if I ever settled in the US, I would give back to my people and this is how I am doing it.

“We hope to make this trip to Fiji twice a year if we get a lot of patients to perform surgeries on.”Fijitimes


12) Sir Frank Kabui re-elected for a second term as Solomon Islands GG

By Online Editor
4:45 pm GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Governor General Sir Frank Kabui has been re-elected for a second term today after four rounds of voting at the national parliament.

Sir Frank won by an absolute majority of 23 votes against his closest rival, Andrew Mua who polled 21 of the 44 votes cast by Members of Parliament.

The third candidate Archbishop David Vunagi of the Anglican Church of Melanesia was eliminated in the first round of voting.

Sir Frank was first elected on 15 June 2009 in a similar round of voting.

He is from Manakwai Village, Malu’u in North Malaita. He graduated with a law degree from Papua New Guinea in 1975 and became the first local Solomon Islander to be appointed Attorney General in 1980.

He held the position for 14 years and was elected Chairman of the Law Reform Commission in 1994. In 1998 he was appointed High Court Judge and retired in April 2006 when he turned 60. In the same year he was appointed Chairman of the Law Reform Commission and has held the position until his first election as Governor General in 2009.

The Governor General is the de facto Head of State representing Queen Elizabeth II. The Governor General is appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Parliament to a five year term.


13) Forming coalitions with other parties on the cards for SODELPA

By Online Editor
1:11 pm GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Fiji

Fiji’s Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) is now considering the possibility of forming a coalition with other parties should it win the elections.

The party says this is the only way forward for a better Fiji.

With the party’s supporters predominantly iTaukei, a coalition will ensure the party fairly represents issues from a wide spectrum.

“In terms of coalition, we have said it publicly, SODELPA will go for post election coalition. I think we have come to the conclusion that the way forward for this country is in fact the sharing of governance”, said Pio Tabaiwalu the General Secretary of the party.

SODELPA says anyone can put forward an application to join the party.

“We go through is we had about 100 candidates and as a general secretary, nothing says former coup makers are not allowed, everyone can apply. We respect every individual who apply.”

However, stringent criteria’s have been put in place to ensure the party has a credible selection of candidates.

“Then there is another where we look at specific issues and specific characteristics of candidates. Rabuka went through that process, the pre-selection process and the parties made its decision. Selection committee made its decision on that. There are others that are dropped. It’s just Mr Rabuka is a highly public figure that he’s been pin pointed.”

Meanwhile, United Front for a Democratic Fiji (UFDF) coordinator Mick Beddoes insists the movement is still very much united and pushing forward on its mandate despite comments made by newly appointed Peoples Democractic Party leader Felix Anthony.

Anthony reportedly said in media reports that the movement was no longer united and confusing.

He questioned the viability of the UFDF as the registered political parties would be contesting the election on their own.

Beddoes brushed off the comments saying Anthony was on a “high” having just been elected when he made those remarks.

“Firstly, I offer Anthony our congratulations on being elected Leader of the PDP and we wish him and his party well in their election bid for 2014,” Beddoes said.

“He was obviously on a ‘high’ having just been elected leader of a new party with an impressive majority, so I would rather let him enjoy his victory for now and once the excitement subsides, l will pay him a courtesy visit to discuss UFDF matters, but for now we should let him enjoy his success.”

Beddoes reiterates that the movement is not a political party, but one established to ensure democracy is restored in Fiji.

The movement made up and supported by three of the four registered political parties, only last week held a meeting with every party represented.

Beddoes further says the UFDF’s role will subside as the political parties increase their individual profiles and policies in the lead up to the elections.

“This is understood by our member parties as part of our strategy moving forward. There is no confusion or disunity in our approach.”.


14) Former Fiji Labour senator says coup was blessing in disguise

A former Labour Party senator says he wants to be a part of the proposed Fiji First party headed by regime leader Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama because the coup leader has brought about positive change.

Bijai Prasad, who had a falling out with the Labour party leader Mahendra Chaudhry in 2007, has been named in the party line-up as a vice president.

Mr Prasad says at first he was not in favour of Mr Bainimarama because he led the removal of a democratically elected government in 2006.

But he says over time he has seen the changes the prime minister has brought about.

“And changes that we had longed, long before you know ever since Fiji’s independence we wanted recognition. You know we were sort of treated like second class citizens here people of Indian origin but Bainimarama changed that perspective altogether.”

Bijai Prasad says the coup was a blessing in disguise and the regime has implemented good land policies, better access to education, and improved infrastructure.Radio NZ

15) Fiji’s foreign minister meets his UAE counterpart

By Online Editor
1:06 pm GMT+12, 06/05/2014, United Arab Emirates

Fiji’s  foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola  has met his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.

Both of them reviewed their bilateral relations and noted the rapid progress being made. His Highness told the Minister he was sorry that he had to cancel his bilateral visit to Fiji last February but he had rescheduled his visit to November. Minister Kubuabola welcomed the news.

The Fijian Foreign Minister acknowledged the personal invitation from Sheikh Abdullah for him to attend the Abu Dhabi Ascent – Climate Change Summit, as a lead up to the Climate Summit in New York in September 2014 .

Minister Kubuabola told His Highness that he was pleased to see the UAE establish a development partnership relationship with Fiji and he noted in particular the recent grant of USD$5m to develop solar energy for the islands of Kadavu, Lakeba and Rotuma.

“This is a very significant sector to develop, particularly in the outlying islands of the Fiji Group which depend entirely on the supply of fossil fuel to these remote islands for their electricity. The Fijian Government has prioritized developing the island communities for self-sufficiency in the energy sector, which will help them with 24 hour electricity for medical centres and schools and also help develop small industries.”

Minister Kubuabola also noted the completion of of a Memorandum of Understanding between the RFMF and the UAE Armed Forces and said that this cooperation would enhance the capacity of the RFMF and he looked forward to this relationship developing especially in view of the large number of Fijian soldiers deployed in the region as a contribution to international peace-keeping efforts in the Middle East.

Minister Abdullah acknowledged Fiji’s very significant contribution to peace-keeping in the region.

Minister Kubuabola also acknowledged the interest and support shown by the UAE to the development of the Pacific Islands Development Forum. His Highness informed the Minister that this interest will continue and the UAE will be again represented at the next Summit Meeting of the PIDF in June.

Both Ministers discussed the prospects of greater cooperation in the development of trade between the two countries and Minister Abudullah said that there could be much more done in the tourism sector.

Minister Kubuabola said that he hoped that the signing of a Double Taxation Agreement by the two countries would give an added impetus for investors to look at investment opportunities offered by his country.

Minister Abdullah welcomed the political developments in Fiji and the holding of general elections in September. He also noted the warming of relations between Fiji and ANZ as a significant development.

His Highness Sheik Abdullah informed the Minister that their soon to be appointed Ambassador to Canberra will also serve as UAE’s first Ambassador to Fiji.

He also noted that the Arab League’s commitment in 2010 to establish a representation in Fiji to serve the PSIDS region should again be revisited. He regretted that the Arab countries pre-occupation with crises in some of their member countries had delayed this. He said, “Fiji is the logical centre to host such an organisation for the region”.


16) Fiji Labour Party stands no chance in general elections: Ex-Labour senator

By Online Editor
10:02 am GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Fiji

Former Fiji Labour Party senator Bijai Prasad says his former party does not stand a chance in the forthcoming election.

Prasad who held the position of FLP Nadi branch manager between 1999 and 2007 claims a significant number of supporters lost faith in the party since their leader’s conviction over exchange control offences.

Speaking to FijiLive, Prasad who was personally approached to be one of the proposed FijiFirst party vice presidents and was part of the entourage to the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) Monday said supporters have grown increasingly “disenchanted with the party.”

“When we go in the streets and and into the farming communities, they have lost confidence in the party. This has affected their chances,” he said.

Prasad left the party voluntarily in 2007 following a disagreement with Chaudhry over leadership, trust and money issues. The monetary issue he says involves the $A1.5 million held by Chaudhry overseas, – money that the FLP leader was recently convicted and fined over for exchange control violations.

“I was not sure then what the amount was, all I had asked that the money is brought across so we can create a trust to look after our supporters who need assistance like our displaced farmers whose leases had expired,” Prasad said.

“I knew people had donated when he went abroad. I knew it was a large amount of money because my relatives abroad said they had attended functions including dinners where large amounts of money were donated. So, I knew there was money abroad.”

Prasad says his decision to step down also stemmed from comments he claims were made by Chaudhry when he followed up with his former leader about concerns raised by their members. “After the 2000 coup I would still pay visits to our supporters in rural areas and sometimes they would call me up for assistance or problems they may have.

“I would follow this up with the leader but nothing was forthcoming.

“And he actually said, that the problems they were facing were of their own doing and not to worry about it. And that’s when I realised and decided I could no longer be part of the party because we were no longer champions of the poor like we held ourselves out to be.”

Prasad also claims that Chaudhry tried to displace him as Nadi branch president, a move he said he did not expect from someone he considered as a friend.

“So, I called a branch meeting to relinquish my position as party branch president because I thought the leader has lost track. But, members who were close to him did not like that.

“So, at the subsequent council meeting in Ba. I was told to leave.” Prasad says given the mistrust that exists within the party, he does not expect the Fiji Labour Party to win the election. “If people had listened to me, than the FLP would have a chance.”

In contrast, he says the FijiFirst given the work that the government has done so far will win.

“People just have to look at the developments made by the government and can differentiate between the leadership.

“The PM has done wonderfully well. He would not stop to ask people what they needed, but rather he’d see what was lacking in any sector and do it.”

He said under Bainimarama’s leadership, the country would be free of old politics and see more positive changes for Fijians and the country.

“The PM is responsible for the change.” On his part, Prasad says he offers his full support to the proposed FijiFirst party. He says he also has a good connection with the grassroots.

“I’ve seen the progress and general development made by this government.

“I’ve joined the party and I will bring bulk of my supporters to back the Prime Minister and we work hand in hand to remove poverty and bring about general improvement in the livelihood of our people.”

Meanwhile, Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry’s lawyer, Anand Singh, has confirmed they will appeal against his conviction on exchange control violation charges.

Speaking to FijiLive, he says they hope to do so this week. In fact a previous appeal against his conviction that was filed in April will be amended to cover Chaudhry’s sentence.

“We are looking to file an amendment petition of apeal which will incorporate an appeal against sentence,” Singh said.

“We will also make an application in the near future for stay of the sentence pending the determination of the appeal.”

Singh says they are hopeful this is resolved prior to the opening of the nomination period for candidates for the September 17 election.

However Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde says “any appeals that are filed will be dealt with in the ordinary course.

“No special treatment will be given to Chaudhry.”

The attempt appears to indicate Chaudhry’s determination to qualify to contest the 2014 election, however, when contacted he only said a statement will be issued.

But according to the 2013 Constitution, once convicted, a person or persons cannot run as a candidate in the September 17 election.

Chaudhry was convicted in April for violating the Exchange Control Act with respect to $A1.5million he held offshore without the permission of the proper authorities.

In the High Court in Suva last Friday, he was told to pay a fine of $F2million (US$1.1 million) by June end or spend 15 months in prison with a 12-month parole period.


17) We must change: Fiji Military Land Force Commander

By Online Editor
09:55 am GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Fiji

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Commander Land Force, Colonel Jone Kalouniwai, Monday reminded senior officers, able seamen and other ranks that they must change.

This was the gist of his address during his first parade at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Nabua as RFMF Land Force Commander.

He said first and foremost they should try and change the perception of the society towards the institution by giving them the confidence that their responsibility to ensure the safety, wellbeing and security of the country was not just mere words but showed in their deeds and actions.

“For that to happen, we must change first,” he said. “Every single one of us must change in attitude, discipline and commitment.”

He reminded them that they must change by raising their individual bars of service within the RFMF.

“We must change because we are a reflection of the society we serve and the constitution we have all sworn to uphold.”

He added, “We must integrate in the way we work, train and operate and focus on working better together and being smarter in all we do, so that we are better able to win in every aspect of our professional and personal lives.”

Colonel Kalouniwai said he hoped they would take individual efforts to start making a commitment to change for the betterment of the institution and the society they served. He quoted Nelson Mandela – “The first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. Great leaders of change are all peope of integrity, of honesty, but most importantly, humility.”

The Commander Land Force had urged his men to start making a positive difference in the development of the RFMF and its responsibility to the society and the nation at large.

He reminded them that the RFMF Commander’s theme for 2014 provided three key requirements for the RFMF:

*Maintain a credible and professional force;

*Assist in cultivating a security landscape; and

*Promote harmonious co-existence of all Fijians under the new democratic platform.

He said given these requirements they needed to start focussing on how they could effectively deliver their capability as the Land Force based on their present and future requirements.

Given their large commitments both locally and internationally, he said they needed to start looking at improving their services through restructuring, conducting quality training and reviewing their personnel policies.

Concerning the September 2014 general elections, he said, the demands on their preparedness, commitment and credibility in being apolitical would continue to rise from their core roles to peace support operations.

Most importantly to state security, while they positively look towards a smooth transition to a fully democratic government through favourable and credible elections.

This year, he said, he would emphasise that training continued to be an integral part of their professional development at all leves of command.

Meanwhile, the commanding officer of the RFMF Logistics Support Unit (LSU) Major Isoa Loanakadavu has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He will lead the Fiji contingent that leaves for UN duties in Iraq this Thursday.


18) Fiji Labour Party Management Board to discuss leadership this week

By Online Editor
3:54 pm GMT+12, 05/05/2014, Fiji

The Fiji Labour Party (FLP) will meet this week discuss who will succeed outgoing leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.

Chaudhry’s political career seems over after he was convicted of exchange control violation charges on Friday.

Under the new electoral laws of Fiji, any convicted person is ineligible to contest national elections.

Section 56 subsection 2 (g) of the country’s Constitution also spells out that any convicted person is ineligible to stand in the national election.

Fiji Labour Party President, Lavenia Padarath said in a statement that the FLP Management Board is to meet later this week to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, the Party has been advised that Chaudhry has appealed against his conviction.

The appeal was filed in the Fiji Court of Appeal on Friday.

Former Prime Minister, Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) leader and one-time Chaudhry’s bitter rival, Laisenia Qarase was jailed on abuse of office charges in August 2012 for a year. He served eight months in prison before being released in April 2013.

Having been convicted and sentenced, Qarase is not able to contest the election.



19) Fiji Sun Newspaper Admits Support For Bainimarama’s Policies
Managing Editor says PM’s ‘policies have been positive’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 6, 2014) – A journalist at The Fiji Sun says the newspaper supports the policies of Prime Minister and regime leader Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama.

The managing editor of business, Rachna Lal, was speaking as a panelist at a University of the South Pacific discussion, to mark Media Freedom Day.

Ms Lal denied claims The Fiji Sun is a government newspaper but says Rear Admiral Bainimarama’s policies have been positive.

She says he has done a lot of work developing rural areas, which had been neglected by previous governments.

“What we are as a newspaper, and we make no apologies for this, is broadly supportive of the Bainimarama government’s policies. We believe these policies are building a better Fiji. We know these policies have strong, broad, public support.”

About two weeks ago, the chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority, Ashwin Raj, rejected claims the Fiji Sun is biased and in favour of the regime.

Radio New Zealand International


20) JICA President Tanaka arrives for launching of Lapetasi wharf project

Posted on May 6, 2014

Jonas Cullwick

The President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Dr. Akihiko Tanaka, arrived in Port Vila yesterday afternoon to participate in the launching of the Port Vila Lapetasi International Multi-purpose Wharf Development Project at the Star Wharf site in Port Vila today afternoon.
He was met at the airport by the Lord Mayor of Port Vila, Ulrich Sumpto, and the Resident Representative of the JICA Vanuatu Office, Moriya Tsutomu.
JICA is the official aid agency of the Government of Japan.
It is through JICA that the Japanese Government provides grant and loans assistance to the Government of Vanuatu for a number of major development projects in the country.

The visit of the President, who is accompanied by a 5-man entourage of senior JICA officials, reflects the importance of the projects with which the Government of Japan is assisting Vanuatu.

Accompanying the JICA President is: Mr. Yasuhiro Tojo — Chief Secretary, Office of the President, JICA; Mr. Hidetoshi Irigaki – Director General, Southeast Asia and Pacific Development, JICA; Mr. Takashi Toyama – Director, Pacific and Southeast Asia Division 6, Southeast Asia and Pacific Department, JICA; Mr. Shumon Yoshiara – Chief Representative, JICA Fiji Office; and Mr. Shinobu Nakai – First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Fiji.
Their two-day visit to Vanuatu will enable the President of JICA and his delegation to also inspect the project of redevelopment of the Vila Central Hospital and the Solid Waste Management at Buffa Landfill Project Site outside of Port Vila. Both projects are financed by the Government of Japan through JICA through grant aid.

First thing this morning, Dr. Akihiko Tanaka and his delegation will make courtesy calls on the Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Edward Natapei.
At 2.30 this afternoon, the delegation will participate in the official Launching Ceremony of the Lapetasi Wharf Construction Project.
A full program of activities has been finalized for the occasion including the participation of Vanuatu Government officials, local authorities, landowners, and Diplomatic Mission representatives and business houses.

A welcome remark to invited guests will be made by the Director of the Vanuatu Project Management Unit, Johnson Wabaiat followed by a remark by the Paramount Chief of Ifira Tenuku representing the landowners of the new wharf development site, Teriki Paunimanu Mantoi Kalsakau III, and one by the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Esmon Simon.
A speech will be given by the Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, before the Guest Speaker for the occasion, the President of JICA, Dr. Akihito Tanaka, will give his address and formally launch the Lapetasi Wharf Project.

Following that, the plaque commemorating the occasion will be unveiled jointly by Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, JICA President Dr. Akihito Tanaka, and Ifira Paramount Chief, Teriki Paunimanu Mantoi Kalsakau III.
A kava ceremony and toast for the Port Vila Lapetasi International Multi-purpose Wharf Development Project and refreshments for everyone will conclude the ceremony.

Authorities expect construction work on the project to start midyear and cost around Vt50 billion.
Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: [email protected] Cell # 678 5460922..

21) Vanuatu Chiefs Approve New Efate Airport, With Reservations
Vaturisu Council wants to ensure landowners benefit from 50-year lease

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 6, 2014) – The Government Ad Hoc Committee for the proposed $35 billion [US$370 million] International Airport Project on Efate has welcomed the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs’ confirmation that its 10th conference in Pango Village this week, has officially approved of the project to be built on Efate.

The main reason is that essential infrastructure including water, electricity, roads, telecommunication system and hotel rooms are already in place on Efate.

Ad Hoc Committee Acting Chairman, MP Joe Natuman, explains that the new airport document is still confidential until approved by parliament and that any issues with land will be dealt with strictly between the Government and the Singaporean company.

The Acting Chairman says it is clear from the document that the land will be compulsorily acquired and a 50-year lease handed over to the company.

“The Ad Hoc Committee does not go into detail on land matters surrounding the proposed airport site so it may become necessary for the Vaturisu to discuss any issues that it has with the Government at a time of its choice,” he says.

Chairman of Vaturisu Land Reform Commission, Levi Tarosa replies, “The Vaturisu has resolved for the new airport to be located on Efate and the next question is; okay the airport will be built on Efate but will the landowners and their chiefs reap the financial benefits for the use of their lands? Will they have access to direct financial benefits for their lands?

“The Commission’s fear is that compulsory acquisition of the land by the Government then transferring it to a private company to own for the next 50 years may result in obstacles because landowners may not go along with such an arrangement between the Government and the private company”.

[PIR editor’s note: Vanuatu Daily Post reported that ‘The Vaturisu Council of Chiefs’ 10th Conference in Pango Village last week, has rejected the Government’s emphasis to secure the land for the newly proposed International Airport on Efate through “compulsory acquisition”. … Vaturisu Secretary General, Chief Jimmy Meameadola as well as the Chairman of Vaturisu Land Commission, Levi Tarosa, say what the chiefs want to see is an agreement for an arrangement where the Government deals directly with the landowners to make sure that they (landowners) are not left out of potential financial benefits owing to them as well as their future generations’]

Chairman of South Efate Council of Chiefs Chief Andrew Kalpoilep says if one of the potential new airport sites at Eton is accepted, the concern is who is going to be responsible for any (aircraft) accident in the communities surrounding the airport?

Once the company is ready with the money, one of the conditions is that the $35 billion must be transferred to a local bank in Port Vila and it must be clean money and not dirty money. The conditions must be satisfied before work can proceed. But the suitable site for the airport must be approved of by the company.

MP Alfred Carlot says the Ad Hoc Committee has seven members comprised of four Government MPs and three Opposition MPs. The Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee is MP Robert Bohn (who is absent from the meeting).

“Let me assure this meeting that even though we come from two different camps, we work as a solid team in the best interest of the country. What the Government wants is an international airport and the focus is on the proposed site in the South East of Efate (in the Eton area),” MP Carlot says.

“We have consulted with technical persons and the two main obstacles in the area are cross-winds and swamps while they point out that Pekoa is the most suitable site except that it lacks the essential infrastructure which is in line with Vaturisu’s approval for it to be built on Efate. Even the Prime Minister is also of the same opinion.”

The Government wants the Ad Hoc Committee to report back on its findings on June 13 while any issues to do with land will be dealt with by the Government.

MP Carlot suggests for the Government Task Force on the new airport project to consider going down to the communities to listen to their views on it.

Ad Hoc Committee Opposition MP Charlot Salwai says, what the chiefs of Efate need to look closely at is how they plan to deal with the impacts of economic prosperity whereby one million tourists are likely to arrive by air every year to stay for more than one night.

“Tourists who arrive by boat for one day then leave again, arrive with their pockets already broken because they have already visited other countries so they spend their loose coins while here. But we are going for those visitors who arrive their pockets still filled with money to spend over many days during their stay in our hotels and bungalows while they go out to buy our products,” MP Salwai says.

“Chiefs, you are in charge of our customs and culture and what are you going to do and how are you going to help our people to cope with potential negative impacts of foreign influence on our young people?

“How are you going to help our people to continue to maintain our unique smiling faces while also practising our custom dances and songs and languages?”.

Government member MP Silas Yatan says as an MP from Tafea Province, economic development down South depends on economic development at the ‘gateway’ which is Efate. “My people therefore depend on Efate and a new international airport here will also benefit my people in the South. Efate’s economic prosperity is Tafea’s economic prosperity also”.

With the Government’s major economic development projects currently in the pipeline to be built on Efate, which includes the proposed International Airport, Wharf Project on Lelepa and Fish Processing Plant (which has already been built at Black Sands) and others, the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs knows it has a huge challenge on its shoulder to plan ahead how to deal with the impacts of those projects on its people and communities.

Vaturisu Chairman, Chief Henry Manlaewia says its 10th Conference which is currently on in Pango Village has to discuss the challenges to come up with relevant programmes to keep its natural environment intact and healthy while its people can benefit through employment opportunities without being trapped by possible negative impacts.

Vanuatu Daily Post

22) PNG lacks skilled workers

By Online Editor
10:06 am GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea lacks skilled workers to fully participate in major resource projects such as the $US19 billion (K57.7 billion) gas project.

The Korean company contracted to build the massive LNG plant outside Port Moresby said this last week during the inaugural PNG-Korea Trade and Investment Fair in Port Moresby last week.

Project Manager of Daewoo E & C, Young Hoo Kim said they couldn’t employ many locals because they do not have the necessary technical skills to work at the plant site.

He said human resource in terms of skilled workers was one of their main challenges hence they have to source labour from overseas.

He said at the peak of the construction of the LNG Plant, there were 4900 men working on site.

The largest workforce was from the Philippines with 60 per cent, followed by Thailand, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea with 10.5 percent.

He said they couldn’t utilise local workforce because they lack the skills needed to work at such huge projects.

He said there was not enough time to train locals but they did manage to train some on their own and others through the help of ExxonMobil PNG Ltd.

He said most jobs required mechanical and electrical work. Another challenge he said was the constant wet weather.

He said it took them 35 months to complete the LNG Plant site since July 2011. The company congratulated PNG for the successful completion of the significant gas project and the first shipment of gas in the coming weeks.


23) New mobile phone operator in PNG

By Online Editor
10:08 am GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea government has awarded a third mobile phone licence worth more than $US260 million (K790 million) to a Dubai-based multinational firm, Awal Telecommunications Corporation Ltd.

The presentation was done in a low key event early last month and was attended by the Communication and Information Minister Jimmy Miringtoro and the National Information and Communica-tion Technology Authority manager (international affairs) Jackson Kariko.

According to information on its website, Awal has a diversified business portfolio and operates in 26 countries from Africa to the Middle East and South East Asia. Their services include mobile operation, gateway operation, BTS ownership and leasing including broadcasting services.

The issuing of a network, gateway and content licence last month now enables them to enter the PNG market bringing to three the number of mobile phone operators in the country.

Currently, Bmobile and Digicel provide a mobile telephony service with Digicel reportedly having over 50 per cent of the market share. Awal’s three licences are for a 10-year period and will expire on March 13, 2024.

Awal CEO Sakib A R told the Post-Courier through social media yesterday they were not new to PNG as they proposed to set up a free trade zone in Manus and are now eyeing the oil and gas industry in PNG.

He said Awal was issued with an individual network (gateway) license to function as a telecom operator in PNG. The presentation ceremony was witnessed by businessmen, partners, investors, executive board members and staff of Awal attended the event at the Palace Hotel in Dubai.

Miringtoro and  Kariko addressed the guests before handing over the licenses to the Awal CEO Sakib, chairman Pradeep Kumar and managing director Muhammad Khan. It is understood the company’s executives are in PNG to oversee the rollout of their operations.

Miringtoro was elated when giving his speech last month and said the Government looked forward to welcoming them into the country. “It feels really wonderful to handover the licenses to Awal. We thank them for their interest in our country and we wish that they could do wonderful things to support the government in developing telecom sector of the country. We welcome them to Papua New Guinea,” he said.

The upgrading of PNG’s telecommunications infrastructure is Awal’s top priority according to  Sakib.

Awal will definitely be a catalyst in the development of the country’s infrastructure, especially the telecom sector. Awal’s top priority will primarily be at making the telecom facility available to the entire population of Papua New Guinea by improving the network coverage. Awal will make sure that Papua New Guinea’s telecom network is at par with the international telecom operators. Moving ahead, Awal has various infrastructural plans for the country which includes free trade zones, satellite towns, marine harvest and conservation etc…which will support the Government’s efforts to promote the country.

24) Third Mobile Carrier Awarded License In PNG
Dubai-based Awal Telecommunications brings competition to market

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 6, 2014) – The Government has awarded a third mobile phone licence worth more than $US260 million (K790 million) to a Dubai-based multinational firm, Awal Telecommunications Corporation Ltd.

The presentation was done in a low key event early last month and was attended by the Communication and Information Minister Jimmy Miringtoro and the National Information and Communication Technology Authority manager (international affairs) Jackson Kariko.

According to information on its website, Awal has a diversified business portfolio and operates in 26 countries from Africa to the Middle East and South East Asia. Their services include mobile operation, gateway operation, BTS ownership and leasing including broadcasting services.

The issuing of a network, gateway and content licence last month now enables them to enter the PNG market bringing to three the number of mobile phone operators in the country.

Currently, Bmobile and Digicel provide a mobile telephony service with Digicel reportedly having over 50 per cent of the market share. Awal’s three licences are for a 10-year period and will expire on March 13, 2024.

Awal CEO Sakib A R told the Post-Courier through social media yesterday they were not new to PNG as they proposed to set up a free trade zone in Manus and are now eyeing the oil and gas industry in PNG.

He said Awal was issued with an individual network (gateway) license to function as a telecom operator in PNG. The presentation ceremony was witnessed by businessmen, partners, investors, executive board members and staff of Awal attended the event at the Palace Hotel in Dubai.

Mr Miringtoro and Mr Kariko addressed the guests before handing over the licenses to the Awal CEO Sakib, chairman Pradeep Kumar and managing director Muhammad Khan. It is understood the company’s executives are in PNG to oversee the rollout of their operations.

Mr Miringtoro was elated when giving his speech last month and said the Government looked forward to welcoming them into the country. “It feels really wonderful to handover the licenses to Awal. We thank them for their interest in our country and we wish that they could do wonderful things to support the government in developing telecom sector of the country. We welcome them to Papua New Guinea,” he said.

The upgrading of PNG’s telecommunications infrastructure is Awal’s top priority according to Mr Sakib.

“Awal will definitely be a catalyst in the development of the country’s infrastructure, especially the telecom sector. Awal’s top priority will primarily be at making the telecom facility available to the entire population of Papua New Guinea by improving the network coverage. Awal will make sure that Papua New Guinea’s telecom network is at par with the international telecom operators. Moving ahead, Awal has various infrastructural plans for the country which includes free trade zones, satellite towns, marine harvest and conservation etc…which will support the Government’s efforts to promote the country.
PNG Post-Courier

25) PNG resources boom in coming years

By Online Editor
4:07 pm GMT+12, 05/05/2014, Papua New Guinea

Four large scale productions are primed for commercial production in the next 10 years, Papua New Guinea Mineral Resources Authority managing director Philip Samar said.

He said the country was focused on diversifying its minerals base with the Frieda River, Yandera (Madang), Mt Kare and Wafi Golpu projects between 2015- 2025.

Samar said: “PNG started with mining as its backbone, first copper mine out of Panguna.

“Of course we heralded the PNG LNG gas project that will now take off from here.

“On average PNG produces something like 60 tonnes of gold, similar amount of silver and just under 200 tonnes of copper. We have one copper mine currently producing and that is Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML.

“Looking over the horizon over the next 10 years to 2025, there’s about four to five large world-scale operations to be brought on for commercial production.

“With the coming on stream of the Ramu NiCo project last two years, we’ve added nickel and cobalt so we are and have a mandate to further diversify our mineral base.

PNG has challenging operating environments; however he added that miners have received significant returns from their investments.

“There is one mine currently under application with the Mineral Resources Authority and it’s the Woodlark gold project (Milne Bay). We hope to turn this project around in the next two months.”.


26) ADB to carry out upscaling operations in Fiji

By Online Editor
1:16 pm GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Kazakhstan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) stands ready to ‘Upscale its Operations in Fiji”.

This was the assurance conveyed to the Fijian delegation by the President and Management of the ADB.

As a shareholder of the Bank, the Bank is ready to work in partnership with Fiji in its development effort.

The delegation was led by the Permanent Secretary for Finance Filimone Waqabaca and accompanied by Permanent Secretary Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics Pita Wise and supported by senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of Fiji and Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development & Statistics.

The delegation had the opportunity to meet with the President and also senior officials of the Pacific Operations Department.

At the meeting, the President and Management were updated on the political and socio-economic developments in Fiji. The President commended the impressive progress made to date and assured the delegation of the Bank’s support.

The Bank is currently in the process of finalizing its Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) by end of October. The CPS will be prepared in consultation with the Fijian government on priority areas that can be considered for funding and supported by Technical Assistance (TA).

The 24th meeting between the Governors of the 14 Pacific Island Countries with the management of the Asian Development Bank was held last week.

The meeting was chaired by Tuvalu’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Maatia Toafa.

This was an opportunity for Pacific member countries to raise issues of common interest directly with the President, Takehiko Nakao, and senior management of the Bank.

In his opening remarks, Minister Toafa emphasized key areas requiring further support and partnership from the Bank including accessing climate change funds, exploring financing modalities for disaster rehabilitation and recovery, private sector development, and identifying and harnessing opportunities for regional integration and cooperation.

President Nakao acknowledged that issues raised are consistent with the findings from the Mid Term Review of the Bank’s 2020 Strategy. He reiterated the Bank’s commitment in supporting the development of Pacific member countries.

The Fijian delegation also had the opportunity to hold a bilateral meeting with representatives from the Bank of Montreal who made a presentation on the service they provide on reserve management. The delegation will be involved in Constituency Meetings in the weekend.


27) PANG supports demand for World Bank to end its support for resource grab

By Online Editor
4:22 pm GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Fiji

The Pacific Network on Globalization (PANG) supports the recent demand by non-governmental organisations for the World Bank to end its support for land and resources grab in Pacific communities under the pretext of making customary land more productive.

Over 180 organisations, including NGOs, unions, farmer and consumer groups from over 80 countries have demanded the World Bank use its recent meeting in Washington to end its concept of “Doing Business rankings” and its support of illegal resource grabbing by major foreign corporations.

PANG Coordinator, Maureen Penjueli says the World Bank is facilitating land grabs in the Pacific by putting the interests of foreign investors before those of the people.

“The concept of World Bank’s Doing Business rankings encourages Pacific Island Governments to ease processes for foreign investors with the so called aim of creating a sound and good environment for business.

What’s good for business however isn’t necessarily good for Pacific peoples, their land and their environments, in fact much of what the World Bank endorses as good for business comes at the expense of the Pacific people,” argues Penjueli.

We have seen how the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking is clearly linked to our own government’s policies of freeing up land for productive use.  It has pushed people further into poverty by taking away land and people’s way of life, she adds.

Doing Business ranks economies based on the regulatory environment that exists for establishing and operating businesses. The rankings include indexes on registering property, protecting investors, paying taxes and trading across borders amongst others. In most cases the fewer regulations that are in effect the higher the rank.

A total of 189 countries were ranked and the “Pacific is generally scoring badly, one of the reasons being our customary land tenure systems which is perceived as an impediment to economic development and a barrier to foreign investment.  For Pacific Island Governments to improve their rankings they have to “make land productive”, “make land work” and so governments are reforming customary land tenure to facilitate foreign investment and to ease foreign investors doing business in the Pacific.

Essentially land grabbing is then occurring when these systems are undermined and exploited by processes like Special Agriculture Business Lease in Papua New Guinea (SABL), and other land reform schemes enforced in the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu ,” says Penjueli.

PANG says the terrible outcomes of such business environments include the illegal land grab taking place in the Pacific. In Papua New Guinea over 5 million hectares of customary land has been taken from local people without people’s consent for commercial use.

“The PNG Government has used the concept of Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs) to free up customary land for commercial use, and foreign companies have unlawfully been given 99 year rights to an astonishing 12 percent of Papua New Guinea’s total landmass,” says Bismark Ramu Group Campaigner, Rosa Koian.

One of the signatories calling for the abolishment of the ranking, Amadou Kanoute, Director of CICODEV Africa commented that “Doing Business ranking is a sword of Damocles over the heads of our leaders who wait for their next score in the ranking to gain legitimacy before the international financial institutions, those who prescribe development schemes for our countries, instead of the citizens. We want our autonomy to decide the future of our land, agricultural and food policies.”.



28) Former Fiji PM To Appeal Currency Conviction, Sentence
Chaudhry faces $1 million fine, 15 month prison sentence

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 5, 2014) – Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry’s lawyer, Anand Singh, has confirmed they will appeal against his conviction on exchange control violation charges.

Speaking to FijiLive, he says they hope to do so this week.

In fact a previous appeal against his conviction that was filed in April will be amended to cover Chaudhry’s sentence.

“We are looking to file an amendment petition of appeal which will incorporate an appeal against sentence,” Singh said.

“We will also make an application in the near future for stay of the sentence pending the determination of the appeal.” Singh says they are hopeful this is resolved prior to the opening of the nomination period for candidates for the September 17 election.

However Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde says “any appeals that are filed will be dealt with in the ordinary course.

“No special treatment will be given to Chaudhry.” Meanwhile, the attempt appears to indicate Chaudhry’s determination to qualify to contest the 2014 election, however, when contacted he only said a statement will be issued.

But according to the 2013 Constitution, once convicted, a person or persons cannot run as a candidate in the September 17 election.

Chaudhry was convicted in April for violating the Exchange Control Act with respect to $A1.5 million [US$800,000] he held offshore without the permission of the proper authorities.

In the High Court in Suva last Friday, he was told to pay a fine of $F2 million [US$1.07 million] by June end or spend 15 months in prison with a 12-month parole period.



29) Emergency appeal for Solomons

The Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal for 1.4 million US dollars to help Solomon Islanders recover from the flash flooding one month ago.

The floods killed 22 people, destroyed homes and properties, and severely disrupted the lives of more than 50,000 people in the capital Honiara and Guadacanal Province.

People search the rubble left by flooding in the Solomon Islands.

Photo: Save the Children

The deputy secretary general of Red Cross Solomon Islands, Joanne Zoleveke, says more than 4,000 people remain in emergency shelters and face months of recovery efforts.

She says emergency support is needed to provide more clean water, sanitation, emergency shelter, and help victims re-build in the long term.

Ms Zoleveke says the Red Cross has so far delivered non-food items such as tools, jerry cans, cooking equipment, hygene materials and mosquito nets to 5,000 people, and provided assistance in evacuation centres.

She says the emergency appeal will enable the Red Cross to deliver safe drinking water, shelter kits and essential supplies to 21,000 people.Radio NZ

30) Vanuatu Lusi victims tired of aid delay

Victims of Cyclone Lusi in Vanuatu who urgently need food are frustrated at a delayed response from the government, one month after the storm.

Photo: RNZ

Affected populations were advised to use up left over crops damaged from the cyclone.

But after the crops ran out in some areas nearly two weeks ago, many have been forced to eat unripe crops.

Kensley Micah from the Provincial Disaster Committee in Sanma Province says locals are frustrated after assessments for food relief were done more than two weeks ago.

“There’s still no response from the government. The people urgently need food but I think it takes a while for the government to respond. And I think people are getting frustrated right now. And they were expecting some things from the government but right now they’re expectations just fade away.”

The National Disaster Management Office says it cannot help the families until it gets funds from the government.

Its director, Shadrack Welegtabit, who submitted the assessment for food relief over a week ago, initially expected to receive a response within a couple of days.

He now says he hopes to get a response this week.

“We are now waiting until the council of ministers have decided and allocated funds so…we cannot do anything until we have some funds made available to us.”Radio NZ

31) Survey to protect sea cucumbers

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, May 06, 2014

THE World Wide Pacific Fund for Nature in the South Pacific recently completed a two week research expedition on sea cucumbers in waters around Mali in Macuata.

Team leader Alfred Ralifo said the survey concentrated on whether sea cucumber populations were thriving or whether they were dwindling because of over-harvesting.

Mr Ralifo said the data gathered on the ‘deep sea’ treasures were being analysed and would influence the formation of a sea cucumber fisheries management plan for the district.

He added that the fresh data would then be contrasted with that collected in 2004 by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to determine the vitality of sea cucumber populations over a period of time.

“Thanks to advances in technology, the WWF survey was guided by the Global Positioning System position of the Secretariat Pacific Community survey points,” he said.

“Sea cucumbers are commercially known as bêche-de-mer, also referred to as reef filters, and have been a major source of livelihood in Pacific Island countries for generations.

“In Mali District, three of the four villages (Nakawaga, Vesi and Ligaulevu), stricken with land unavailability, are heavily reliant on marine resources to sustain and meet, food and income needs.”

Mr Ralifo said these included children’s education expenses, medical and daily household needs.

“Anecdotal evidence includes the testimonials of some divers in local media stating they make as much as $250 from a night of diving.

“For Mali, a management plan will protect future income and food security contributing to poverty alleviation.

“We need to see how much villagers have been extracting from the reef and should they continue at the current rate of extraction would there be a need to apply some management strategy.” Fijitimes

32) Australia risks ‘going backwards’ on climate change and straining Pacific ties

By Online Editor
09:57 am GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Marshall Islands

Australia risks going “backwards” on climate change, straining relations with small Pacific island states that are being hit by unusually powerful storms, floods, droughts and massive tides, according to the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands.

“Australia has always been our friend but the change in their government last year has resulted in problems,” said Tony de Brum on a visit to London to address British and other countries’ economic and political leaders about the physical plight that Pacific states such as the Marshall Islands find themselves in.

“We are having difficulty understanding Australia’s climate change policies and their new environmental regime. We don’t understand what they are thinking. We worry that the change in their policy may result in movement backwards.”

Australia’s Coalition government is trying to repeal carbon pricing in favour of a grants system for businesses to lower their emissions. Repeated independent analysis has shown its Direct Action plan is unlikely to achieve its target of a 5% cut on emissions by 2020, based on 2000 levels.

The Coalition has also set about abolishing climate change agencies, slashed staff numbers at the Department of the Environment and declined to send a minister to international climate talks.

Small island states around the Pacific are sending Australia the same message about climate change, according to De Brum.

“Australia has always been generous,” he said. “But it is as if our big brother doesn’t understand us. The same message is going to Australia from other countries in the Pacific forum. Little brother is saying, ‘Big brother should get up and smell the flowers.’”

Scattered across 2m square kilometres of ocean, the Marshalls have all experienced extremes linked to climate change in the past year, he said. “We have had major drought in the north, floods in the south, seawater intrusion of groundwater, and thousands of people displaced by a king tide. That is the reality. What does Australia not understand?”

Pacific states including Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshalls are suffering at the present level of emissions, he said, making the prospect of future sea level rises and more powerful cyclones frightening.

“Some islands and atolls are already disappearing. One, called Enebok … is now underwater. Yet 20 years ago it had coconut palms and houses. At the moment we are [able to move] people around the islands. But any prudent leader would always have evacuation at the back of their mind.”

Climate change and the lack of cash to invest in renewable energy technologies, such as ocean thermal energy conversion, is now putting a brake on development, he said.

“We are spending 30% of our income on petroleum products like diesel and jet fuel. We live by exporting fish, but we cannot add value to our raw produce because we lack energy and water. It spooks possible investors who say, ‘why should we invest in a country that cannot provide affordable water and power?’ ”

De Brum, who represents the atoll of Kwajalein, known for its large US missile base, last week announced that the Marshalls would sue nine nuclear weapons countries, including Britain, at the international court of justice in The Hague for not complying with their disarmament obligations.

The islands were the scene of US nuclear tests in the 1950s. One, in 1954, involved the detonation of a 15 megaton hydrogen bomb on Bikini atoll, producing an intense fireball followed by a 20-mile-high mushroom cloud and widespread radioactive fallout. The Marshalls government says the blast was 1,000 times more powerful than that at Hiroshima.

“Our people have suffered the catastrophic and irreparable damage of these weapons, and we vow to fight so that no one else on earth will ever again experience these atrocities,” de Brum said.

De Brum met Britain’s junior Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire in London, as well as former the chief scientist David King and Felipe Calderón, the former Mexican president and now chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate who is writing a major followup to the Stern report. Later this year he will go to Washington to meet the US secretary of state, John Kerry.

“It is important that we talk to the powers,” he said. “We are small. We fear our voice gets lost. We know we are knocking at a very hard wall.”.



33) World Cup qualifier pits Fiji against Cook Islands

Posted 6 May 2014, 15:41 AEST

Fiji and Cook Islands rugby teams focus on winner-take-all clash at the end of June
Audio: Cook Islands’ Rugby team prepares for Fiji test

The new coach of Fiji’s national rugby union team, the Flying Fijians, is facing a tough first few weeks with four big games coming up, culminating in the vital World Cup qualifier against Cook Islands at the end of June.

John McKee’s first match in charge will be against the touring Italian team on June 7, followed by two matches in the Pacific Nations Cup against local rivals Samoa and Tonga.

Even though Fiji Rugby Union continues to face financial issues, the new coach says they won’t be a distraction for him.

“There have been some problems with the IRB funding, that is very close to coming back on track so I’ll be hopeful that is all back to the normal situation very soon,” he said.

McKee won the job from a field of more than 20 candidates and told Pacific Beat he believes he was picked for his experience coaching in the Pacific since 2008 with the combined Pacific Islanders team and his experience with Tonga.

“As high performance manager (for the FRU), a lot of my job this year in particular has been around tracking the players form in different competitions around the world,” he said.

“So I’ve got a very good knowledge of our players. I travelled to Europe last month and visited about 30 of our top players at their clubs in France and the UK … so I think all those things have helped.”

McKee says that although the pressure is on from the start, the important thing is to get the team’s processes correct.

“I think for us the big upside is that all our games are in Fiji, so our preparation will be very good – we haven’t got to deal with all the issues of travel,” he said.

“I’ve got to be very wary of the Cook Islands game, I don’t want any sort of feeling through the squad or around the union that that game will be an easy game.

“It’ll be a very challenging game for us – so we must be very well prepared for a top performance on that day.”

Cooks has Super 15 talent to choose from

Meanwhile, rugby players with Cook Islands heritage are queuing up to represent the national side in their winner-takes-all clash with Fiji next month.

The victors in the one-off game will secure a place in the World Cup finals, where they’ll line up alongside Australia, Wales, and host nation England in Pool A next year.

The Cooks’ coaching team has just completed a scouting mission to Australia where team manager Cam Kilgour says they struck gold.

“A lot of professional players from around the world have put up their hands to be a part of this possibly history-making game,” he said.

Kilgour says he’s likely to have available a total of eight from Australian including former Super 15 players and current extended squad Super 15 players, with four coming from Brisbane, two from Perth, and one each from Sydney and Melbourne.

They include Joe Rapana, former Queensland Reds centre, who recently flagged his availability.

“His knowledge and his experience and skill in his position in the centre and what he can provide to our side, especially against the Fijian backline, is really vital for us,” Kilgour said.

From Melbourne, Joe Kamara, part of the Rebels extended squad has made himself available along with Steven Setephano who is currently playing in Japan and previously played for the Waikato Chiefs and the Highlanders.

“That’s huge for us – just to get those professional players around our captain Stan Wright is really important – the more professional players we have, we think, we’ll be a lot stronger,” Kilgour said.

“Stephen Setephano has put out from the outset that he wants to play for us and wants to be a part of history so his experience again is just vital for our side.

“So it’s great news for us and really good for the Cook Island community and we know that the Cook Island public are just so proud that he’s put up his hand and wants to be a part of it.”

Kilgour says his team will do its best to be ready for the Fiji game on June 28 but he says, Fiji have four test matches to prepare while Cook Islands has just two warm-up matches.

“This is the only preparation that we’ve been given but we think that we have the capability, within the coaching staff and especially now with the players, that we can put together a really good preparation, we can put together a really good camp and we can be as best prepared as we can possibly be to take on Fiji.”

34) PNG National Games providing a springboard to bigger success

By Online Editor
1:40 pm GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Papua New Guinea

Organisers of the Papua New Guinea National Games are hopeful the event will help launch athletes to bigger and better things.

More than 10 million kina, or about three and a half million US dollars, has been pledged to run this year’s games which will take place in November.

The newly-appointed head of the National Games Committee Phil Franklin hopes a more professional approach will help athletes achieve better results, particularly when PNG hosts the South Pacific Games in 2015.

“These games have been sitting in the shadow of the (South) Pacific Games,” he said.

“This is an opportunity for budding athletes and sports men and women, who are coming up through the ranks, to be identify by the talents scouts to move into that next level of competition and represent their country.”

The Papua New Guinea National Games will attract an estimated 9,000 athletes from 22 provinces, playing 28 different sports.

Franklin hope the competition will help develop a new sense of national pride throughout PNG.

“There is nothing like sport to promote national unity and bring people together,” he said.

“That’s largely what these games are about, bringing many cultures and native tongues together to participate against each other in a competitive and friendly manner.”

The 2014 PNG national games will take place from November 16-29.


35) Fiji Pearl attack

By Online Editor
1:38 pm GMT+12, 06/05/2014, Fiji

The desire to remain the Pacific queens on the court will be in the minds of the Fiji Pearls when they take on Papua New Guinea in the Digicel Tri-Series Netball opener in Suva tonight.

The Julie Hoornweg-coached Fiji takes on the Pepes at 7pm at the Vodafone Arena in Laucala Bay.

Fiji has proved to be a dominant side in the Pacific and wants to retain the status ahead of the Pacific Netball Series which will be held next month.

Coach Hoornweg had only a week with the national side but is confident of a good performance tonight.

“The girls have responded very well and we feel we have come a long way in a very short period of time,” the veteran Australian mentor said.

“From my past experience, PNG always gives us a very good match. It’s always a tight tussle, very fast and they use the ball well so we expecting them to come out with a really good team.”

PNG coach Annie Iamo said they have a plan to shut the Fijians down in the match.

“Fiji is first in the Pacific and they are very good so we will just try to better our performance from last year,” Iamo said.

“We got a good mix of young and experienced players in the team and we are hoping for a good game.”

Fiji, which is the defending champion of the PNS, needs a good result from this series to remain on track of playing in the World Netball Championship in Australia next year.

Captain Matila Waqanidrola said the players were ready for the challenge.

The tough defender has promised a great spectacle adding they will be ruthless against PNG.

Her PNG counterpart Winnie Mavara responded saying they would not give up easily.

“We are surprised they put Fiji first, we wanted to play others first but that’s ok. We will take whatever is there.”

Meanwhile in the curtain-raiser match, Fiji A will play Tonga at 4.30pm.

Tickets for the series will be sold at $3 for adults and $1 for children under the age of 12.

Northern Ireland is also part of the series and will play Fiji tomorrow.

Fiji Pearls – Afa Rusivakula, Alesi Waqa, Debra Delana, Jane Dikini, Lusi Robanakadavu, Maria Lutua, Matila Waqanidrola (C), Nina Cirikisuva, Sera Dakuitoga, Teimumu Vukinavanua, Vaiti Waqatabu, Vilisi Tavui.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea netball captain Winnie Mavara says bringing in young players for the Digicel Tri Series Plus One competition will be good for the Pepes.

“We have a handful of young players in our team and we want them to experience playing in such competition,” Mavara said. “I must say that they are learning fast because we have good coaches.”

“We went to Singapore last year and have been training since January for upcoming events,” Mavara said.

Kate Carpenter says the Northern Ireland netball team is in the country to prepare for the Commonwealth Games in July.

The team of 10 players arrived in the country on Sunday and will take part in the Digicel Tri Series-Plus One tournament, which starts in Suva today.

This is the first time for Northern Ireland to tour Fiji and Carpenter believes this is a great opportunity for them.
Northern Ireland is ranked 11th in the world while Fiji is seventh.

“This is a good opportunity for us to prepare for the Commonwealth Games and the World Netball Championship qualifier. We are competing against Fiji which is in the top 10 in the world ranking,” Carpenter said. “We will go out there to give our best shot.”

Carpenter says today’s game between the Papua New Guinea Pepes and the Fiji Pearls will be tough.


36) NZ taking first steps to outlaw match-fixing

By Online Editor
1:41 pm GMT+12, 06/05/2014, New Zealand

Match-fixing will become a crime in New Zealand.

Sport and Recreation Minister Murray McCully announced yesterday that an amendment would be made to the Crimes Act to ensure serious forms of match-fixing would be subject to criminal sanctions.

“New Zealand is not immune to the international risks of match-fixing and we are taking pre-emptive steps to protect our well-deserved reputation for playing fair and the integrity of New Zealand sport,” McCully said.

“We have released the New Zealand Policy on Sports Match-Fixing and Related Corruption and announced plans to amend the Crimes Act 1961 to ensure the most serious form of match-fixing is a criminal offence.

“The national match-fixing policy provides a comprehensive framework for collaboration across Government, the sport sector and the betting industry to address match-fixing risks to New Zealand sport,” he said.

“An important component of the policy is ensuring we have a strong legal framework around match-fixing, and ensuring it is subject to criminal sanctions.”

Match or spot-fixing, where specific actions in a game are rigged for the benefit of blackmarket bookmakers and betting gangs, is not a criminal offence in many countries, which has thrust the emphasis on investigations on to sporting bodies who often do not have the resources to deal with the problem.

In December, it was revealed that three New Zealand cricketers – Chris Cairns, Lou Vincent and Daryl Tuffey – were being investigated by the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit.

More recently, investigators from the Metropolitan Police in London have been here collecting information on allegations of match-fixing.

Cairns has vehemently denied any involvement in match-fixing.

The investigations into the Cairns, Tuffey and Vincent allegations involve police in more than one country and the ICC sharing information.


37) Auckland City in Oceania final

Zanzeer Singh
Tuesday, May 06, 2014

AUCKLAND City qualified for the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Champions League final despite going down 1-2 to AS Pirae in the second semi-final in Tahiti on Sunday.

The defending champions won the home and away semi-final 4-2 on aggregate.

In the first leg, Auckland City beat AS Pirae 3-0.

Jimmy Tepa opened the scoring for AS Pirae in the fourth minute.

The Tahitians doubled their lead in the 40th minute through striker Naea Bennett.

Auckland City’s Portuguese striker Joao Moreira pulled a goal back on the stroke of halftime.

Darren White of Auckland City was sent off late in the game.

Auckland City FC will now face Amicale in the two-legged final.

This will be the second time the teams will contest in the finals, the first back in 2011.

Amicale have won their last two encounters with Auckland City FC.

The first semi-final will be held at the PVM Stadium in Port Vila this Saturday.

The second leg will be played at Kiwitea Street in Sandringham, Auckland on May 18.

The winner of the OFC Champions League will qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco in December.Fijitimes

38) Chelsea fails title bid

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

LONDON – Chelsea missed the chance to go top of the Premier League after being held to a goalless draw at home to strugglers Norwich yesterday.

The stalemate at Stamford Bridge all but ended Chelsea’s title bid, with Jose Mourinho’s men now a point behind both leaders Manchester City and second-placed Liverpool with just one match of their league season remaining.

Liverpool will return to the summit if they win away to Crystal Palace on Monday.

However, City will still have a game in hand on both Liverpool and Chelsea after Monday’s match at Selhurst Park.

Norwich’s battling effort left them on 33 points with one game remaining and on the brink of relegation.

Sunderland are also in danger on 35 points but the north-east side have two games still to play as do West Bromwich Albion, who have 36 points.

Earlier, Arsenal celebrated their qualification for next season’s Champions League with a 1-0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

France striker Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the game when he headed in a 14th-minute corner.

Everton’s 3-2 defeat by Manchester City on Saturday meant Arsenal kicked-off at the Emirates Stadium knowing they could not be caught in the race for fourth place in the Premier League and a spot in next term’s Champions League.

“I believe the mentality of the team was outstanding (in reaching the Champions League),” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side will look to end a nine-year spell without a major trophy when they face Hull in this month’s FA Cup final at Wembley.

“We still have games in front of us. You can be pleased of the attitude, but frustrated because we were top of the league (for 128 days) then we dropped off.”

The veteran French boss added: “We had injures — three or four players who missed too many games.

“And in some games, at the start away from home, we were caught by surprise.

“We were perhaps too cautious and not confident enough. We paid a heavy price for it.”

This result left West Brom three points above the relegation zone, but still with two games to play.

Although Sunderland and Norwich are still below his side in the table, Baggies manager Pepe Mel refused to accept the Midlands side had beaten the drop.

“No, an extra point we need, we have two matches and one point to get,” he said.

“Now our only focus is on Sunderland. I think the players are very good professionals and every day and every week work on the pitch and there is a good atmosphere. I enjoy West Brom,” the Spaniard added.


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