Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 977



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Phil Wantok.

1) Sam nyus


Hemia wan narafala artikol we i kamaot long Daily Post konsenem isiu blong ol lis blong ol state lan i go long ol staf blong Dipatmen blong Land long 2012: luk long ples ia.

Palemen i stap gohed long ful wik ia – yu save luk laev long intanet long ples ia.

Ating tumoro (Tasde) o Fraede bae mi prisentem tufala bil blong mi: Custom Land Management (Amendment) Act, mo Land Reform (Amendment) Act.

Ta, Vanuatu Minister for Lands – Ralph Regenvanu.

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 7 May 2014

by bobmakin

The establishment of a National Scholarship and Training Board is an important part of the new Bill for the Education Act of 2014. The Board’s functions and membership are prescribed. This is to avoid political interference in the decisions of the Board as has been blamed for the present unjustifiable number of scholarships. Suchinterference would become an offence under the law. The Bill was tabled last evening in Parliament in detail by Education Minister Bob Loughman and reported today by Radio Vanuatu News.

VBTC News also reported impending changes to the Representation of the People Act -changes which will considerably tighten the requirements for proxy voting. The Electoral Office has assisted the State Law Office in trying to revise the Act in such a manner that mis-use of the proxy privilege is avoided. Inability to vote owing to sickness, disability, advanced age or absence overseas are to be the only valid reasons for proxy voting, Electoral Office Adviser Martin Tete explained to VBTC.

Opposition MP Kalvau Moli in Daily Post today questions whether the ad hoc committee for a new airport has sought the advice of local experts and specialistsin aviation and tourism matters concerning the location of the airport on which the committee is preparing a report. He points out the long-discussed and well-known greater suitability of Pekoa, Santo, for such development. He denigrates the action of the Prime Minister in committing the country to the present Singaporean company without local advice.

There are to be thirty-three new police recruits this year, their appointments on merit, based on USP literacy and numeracy tests. This is mentioned in Post in order to dispel the rumour going round that the children of police officers are favoured in the appointment process.

The creator of the ugliness at the junction of the Devil’s Point, Mele and Cascades roads, adjacent to the Mele cemetry, is again taken to task in Daily Post today. He is using the same building permit number as was previously disallowed. He is questioned as to what permission has now been given by Shefa Council, and for what purpose.

Joining Vanuatu as “visa exempt” for crossing any of the European Union’s Schengen borders, RNZI advises, are 9 other countries: Kiribati, Marshall Islands, FSM, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu. Failing the achieve such status: PNG and Fiji.


3) Global warming will stress Hawaii’s fresh water
By Online Editor
12:34 pm GMT+12, 07/05/2014, United States

Global warming will likely stress fresh water supplies in Hawaii and other Pacific islands, a national report on climate change said Tuesday.

In Hawaii, rising sea levels are expected to push salt water into aquifers that store the state’s drinking water. A drop in rainfall, meanwhile, will also mean less recharging of these aquifers, said Victoria Keener, an East-West Center research fellow.

The drought that parts of Hawaii have experienced in recent years could become more intense, she said. This would be more of a slow-moving disaster than a dramatic giant storm.

This is one scenario for the Pacific mentioned in the new National Climate Assessment. The report also mentions threats to coral reefs, fisheries, coastal ecosystems and agriculture.

“What the climate assessment is trying to say is that we have to start taking adaptation action now to be able to combat this so we aren’t too negatively impacted by effects of sea level rise and precipitation changes and storm patterns,” Keener said.

The Pacific tuna fishery is one industry predicted to suffer as temperatures rise.

Satellite observations of chlorophyll in the ocean indicate tuna will have less favorable conditions for growth, the report said. While skipjack tuna catch might initially increase nearly 20 percent by 2035, skipjack catch would drop 8 percent by 2100 and bigeye catch would decline by 27 percent, the report said.

A panel of experts will be discussing the report’s findings at the East-West Center in Honolulu on Tuesday.

4) Samoa Women’s Group Pushes For Half Of MPs To Be Women
Ala Mai Samoa has strategy to get women elected

By Sophie Budvietas

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 6, 2014) – Women will make up half of Parliament following the 2016 General Election, if one group gets their way.

Called Ala Mai Samoa, which literally means “Samoa Wake Up,” their goal is to have female candidates occupy at least 50 per cent of the seats at the Maota Fono.

Speaking during a recent United Nations event held in Samoa, group member, Lemalu Nele Leilua, said their project intends to achieve this through a sequence of well thought out activities to be implemented incrementally, taking into account the diversity of village governance systems as well as other sociocultural sub systems and personal values and principles.

“We are committed to ensuring that 50 per cent of Parliament seats shall be occupied by woman candidates at the conclusion of the 2016 General Election,” she said. “Our team will work towards achieving this honourable goal by mobilising support of village fonos and every voter, men, women and youth alike through supporting potential women candidates.

More : Samoa Observer


5) Australia’s Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands cost $2.6 billion: report

Updated 8 May 2014, 17:12 AEST
By Jemima Garrett

Australia’s share of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands was ‘massive and disproportionate’, according to a new report by the Lowy Institute.

Audio: Jenny Hayward Jones speaks to Pacific Beat (ABC News)

A new report has found that Australia’s decade-long assistance mission to Solomon Islands achieved some results but at a ‘massive and disproportionate’ cost to Australia.

The Lowy Institute’s report on the country’s Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) says the whole operation cost Australia $A2.6 billion.

Launched on Thursday, its report is the first to put a price tag on the whole operation.

The report’s author and director of the Myer Melanesia Program, Jenny Hayward Jones, says the costs built up largely because there was no clearly defined exit strategy at the beginning of the mission.

“(This) could have enabled the mission to draw down after some early successes,” she told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beatprogram.

“There was also a bit of a sense of ‘mission drift’ as the mission took on more and more tasks the longer it stayed.”

Ms Hayward Jones says that before she started her research, there was no breakdown of expenditure across RAMSI’s three main areas – law and justice, economic governance and the machinery of government.

“The breakdown that I publish in my paper is something that I asked for from the government,” she said.

“This in itself is problematic because it shows the Australian Government was probably not doing the best job it could have of measuring its performance over the decade.”

The research shows that the bulk of funds were spent on law and justice, which consumed just over $A2.1 billion or 83 per cent of the total cost.

The Australian Federal Police alone spent $A1.5 billion over the decade.

Australia also paid for the cost of defence forces of three countries and for police representatives from all the Pacific Island Forum Island countries. New Zealand paid for its forces.

Costs ‘out of control’

Ms Hayward Jones says that, given Australia’s interests in Solomon Islands and the rest of the Pacific at the time, the price tag was “massive and disproportionate”.

“Australia’s interests in Solomon Islands before the time of the conflict were really similar to that of its interests in Vanuatu or other small Pacific Island countries,” she said.

“We saw a massive increase with RAMSI, with the average spend per year during the RAMSI decade being the equivalent of the total Australian aid expenditure in Solomon Islands in the decade prior to RAMSI.

“So the cost did really get out of control mainly because there was no clear objective or exit strategy at the beginning.”

Ms Hayward Jones says future missions should have an exit strategy based on limited and defined criteria.

“Without an effective exit strategy, or just as importantly a means of measuring the impact and measuring performance, it is very hard to get to a point where you can make those hard political decisions about when it is time to leave and whether we have achieved our objectives,” she said.

“That is the critical lesson here, defining an exit strategy at the outset and determining a way of measuring performance and impact.”

However, she says this could be difficult to achieve.

“It is very difficult for planners at the outset of a large-scale mission like this to predict when exactly RAMSI might achieve its objectives,” she said.

“Of course, it wasn’t just up to Australia – Australia was working with a number of regional partners and there was also a sizable New Zealand contribution, as well as contributions from other Pacific Island countries, so it was difficult to predict.”

RAMSI was a regional Pacific response to five years of deadly ethnic tension from the late 1990s. It was a partnership between 15 Pacific countries and Solomon Islands, running for 10 years from 2003.Radio Australia


6) America i givim ol skolasip long ol PNG, Solomon Islands na Vanuatu sumatin

Updated 8 May 2014, 11:47 AEST
Paulus Kombo

Despla skolasip ikam aninit long 2015 J. William Fulbright Graduate scholarship progrem.

Odio: America i givim skolasip long ol PNG, Solomon Islands na Vanuatu sumatin long skul long America

Ofis bilong America long Papua New Guinea  i askim long appplication long  2015 J. William Fulbright Graduate scholarship programme long ol citizen bilong  PNG,  Solomon Islands na Vanuatu.

Despela ofis isave givim scholarship na askim aplication long long mun Februray long olgeta yar tasol long despela yar oli sukurim ikam long mun May bikos pipol nau mas aplai long on line long internet.

Gloria William cultural afairs assistant na Education US Advisor na Alumna Co ordinator long Embassy bilong Ameria long Port Moresby itok olsem despela scholarship is bilong ol lain usait pinisim pinis degree program na igat tupela yar experience long wok.

Ms William itok olsem embasi blong America isave givim despla skolasip long wan wan yiar, na despla skul i karamapim tasol ol sumatin husat i laik mekim master stadi blong ol.Radio Australia ( Phils Note: Thank you America ( USA)


7) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – jeudi 8 mai 2014

Mis à jour 8 May 2014, 16:45 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Les paramilitaires indonésiens auraient tiré sur trois Papous à Moanemani, dans l’ouest de la Papouasie indonésienne. 

Moanemani est situé dans l’ouest de la Papouasie indonésienne.
Les trois hommes sont dans un état critique, selon l’Institut Papou de Promotion des Droits de l’Homme. Les violences ont éclaté après un accident de la route : un chauffeur de camion a écrasé deux jeunes Papous. Les habitants ont demandé une compensation, les paramilitaires ont ouvert le feu. Et après leur départ, les habitants se sont vengés en tuant un Indonésien non Papou.

« L’Australie pourrait être accusée de trafic de migrants », selon l’universitaire australien William Maley, directeur du Collège d’Asie et du Pacifique de l’Université Nationale Australienne. Les Verts australiens ont écrit au chef de la police australienne pour qu’il ouvre une enquête. La marine australienne aurait en effet rajouté 3 personnes sur un bateau de migrants qu’elle a expulsé vers l’Indonésie la semaine dernière. On en sait peu sur ces 3 passagers supplémentaires, il s’agirait d’un Indonésien et de deux Albanais. Mais le motif de leur expulsion en Indonésie est inconnu. Julie Bishop a affirmé hier que l’Australie respectait toutes les lois, australiennes et internationales.

Il a loué une voiture, embarqué d’autres saisonniers et ils sont allés à Auckland prendre du bon temps. Ce cueilleur vanuatais cristallise le mécontentement grandissant des producteurs de fruits et légumes néo-zélandais. Ils constatent une détérioration du comportement de leurs saisonniers. Le Commissaire vanuatais du Travail rappelle donc à l’ordre ces travailleurs. Lionel Kaluat dénonce la consommation d’alcool, et l’indiscipline de certains, qui ternissent la réputation de tous les Vanuatais en Nouvelle-Zélande.

Samoa: le procès de Muliagatele Brian Lima se poursuit. L’ex star du rugby samoan et international en France et en Nouvelle-Zélande, est accusé de violences sur son ex-femme, Lemalu Sina Retzlaff, et le nouveau compagnon de celle-ci, Sialofi. Le procès fait grand bruit au Samoa, où les femmes battues portent rarement plainte. Brian Lima a demandé à Sialofi si c’était lui qui prenait désormais soin de ses enfants. Sialofi aurait répondu : c’est pas ton problème. Et Brian Lima a commencé à frapper. Il affirme avoir atteint son ex-femme par erreur, il visait Sialofi. Mais Lemalu Sina Retzlaff a le visage bien amoché sur la photo publiée dans tous les medias samoans.

Samoa américain:  l’équipement frigorifique de la morgue de l’île de Ta’u est en panne. Un cadavre a du être transféré à l’hôpital de l’île voisine, Tutuila, ce week-end. Les liaisons en ferry entre les deux îles sont suspendues, et il n’y a pas de liaison aérienne. Le Département de la Sécurité publique a du envoyer un patrouilleur de la marine pour récupérer le corps.

Palau investit dans les compétences locales. Le Parlement a voté une loi la semaine dernière, pour créer un centre d’apprentissage. L’idée étant de former des palauans à des métiers actuellement occupés par des étrangers. La loi prévoit aussi un avantage fiscal pour les entreprises qui embaucheront des Palauans dans les 15 prochaines années. Le Président Remengesau espère que les Palauans seront majoritaires dans le secteur privé d’ici 2025.

L’UNICEF s’attèle à la prévention de la polio dans le Pacifique, en réponse à l’alerte lancée par l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, qui constate un retour du virus dans le monde. Les deux organisations travaillent ensemble pour immuniser les enfants, non pas par voix orale, mais par des injections. Elles investissent également dans le dépistage de la polio, bien que pour l’instant aucun cas n’ait été diagnostiqué dans le Pacifique depuis des années.

Une bombe non explosée de la Seconde guerre mondiale découverte sur une plage tout au nord du Queensland. Des habitants ont trouvé l’objet cylindrique rouillé de 50 cm de diamètre au milieu de la mangrove. La zone a été bouclée. On ne sait pas encore comment la bombe a pu arriver dans cet endroit. Les démineurs australiens ne savent pas encore s’ils vont la transporter ou la faire exploser sur place.

C’est signé. Le gouvernement du Queensland donne son accord  l’agrandissement d’une mine de charbon du Bassin de Galilée, dans le centre de l’État. La mine de Carmichael deviendra la plus grande d’Australie. Elle produira 60 millions de tonnes de charbon par an. Une ligne de chemin de fer spécifique, de 190 km de  long, sera construite pour transporter le minerai.

Australie: le rappel de 121 000 jeans et articles de literie cancérigènes. La commission de la consommation et de la concurrence lance une alerte sur les jeans de 5 marques qui contiennent une teinture toxique, plus précisément un colorant azoïque. La même substance dangereuse a été découverte dans des draps et des housses d’oreillers. Radio Australia


8) Pacific Leaders commit to reinvigorate regionalism
By Online Editor
09:42 am GMT+12, 07/05/2014, Cook Islands

Leaders of Forum member countries meeting in the Cook Islands agreed to reinvigorate their efforts towards regional cooperation and integration under the Pacific Plan.

Attending the Special Leaders Retreat Monday, Leaders considered the 2013 review of the Pacific Plan, led by the Sir Mekere Morauta, former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. Leaders also expressed their appreciation for the comprehensive work of Sir Mekere Morauta and his review team.

The current Chair of the Forum, President Loeak of  Marshall Islands, welcomed the productive discussions and outcomes of the meeting.

“It is clear from the Morauta Review and our discussions today that business as usual has not been delivering the benefits Leaders had hoped for when they endorsed the Pacific Plan in 2005,” explained the President. “The decisions we have made will sharpen the focus for Leaders and give us space to discuss how we move forward on the continuum towards integration.”

Speaking after the meeting, Prime Minister Puna of the Cook Islands emphasised the importance of political leadership discussing the challenges and opportunities for region.

“We need strong political leadership and clear decisions if we are to make regional integration work,” stated the Prime Minister. “It requires Leaders to have a serious discussion on a handful of high priority issues that will take us forward and carefully consider the benefits that will accrue to the region.”

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, welcomed the outcomes of the meeting.

“This is an important moment for the region. Once again, Leaders have demonstrated their commitment to regionalism and to working closely together,” he stated.

Leaders agreed to a number of ways to strengthen regionalism and priority setting, including further consultations with countries on the development of a Framework for Pacific Regionalism, replacing the Pacific Plan Action Committee with a small, specialised sub-committee of the Forum Officials Committee – the governing body of the Forum Secretariat – and looking at how to rationalise the range of Ministerial meetings.

Leaders’ are expected to make final decisions on taking the regional agenda forward at the 45th Pacific Islands Forum to be held in Palau from 29 July to 1 August 2014.


9) 10 Pacific Nations May Soon Have Visa Free Access To Europe
EU amends regulations, bilateral agreements needed to facilitate entry

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 7, 2014) – The European Union Ambassador for the Pacific says a plan to lift visa requirements for travellers from 10 Pacific nations still needs to be negotiated with each country before it comes into effect.

The EU has amended a regulation, which means nationals from Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu will not need a visa when entering the Schengen zone.

Andrew Jacobs says Fiji and Papua New Guinea have been left off the list because the EU wanted to focus on smaller Pacific nations first, and then consider larger countries.

He says negotiations for bilateral agreements still need to take place.

“The European Union member states have agreed to lifting visa requirements, but this needs to be negotiated on a country-by-country basis. So the groundwork is done, but it does require negotiation.”

Andrew Jacobs says it is not known how many Pacific Islanders apply for visas, because many applications are made outside of the Pacific region.

He says the Schengen visa usually costs 60 Euro [US$83].

Radio New Zealand International


10) White House calls for action on climate change after release of new report

Posted 7 May 2014, 15:13 AEST
By Michael Vincent, wires

US president Barack Obama says a new report on climate change underscores the need for “bold actions”.

Developed over four years, the White House says the latest US climate assessment is the “most comprehensive scientific assessment” of the impacts of climate change on the US economy.

The assessment reiterates the finding that climate change is real, and “driven primarily by human activity.”

It warns of higher temperatures, crop losses, water and energy shortages that are already causing stress to communities and billions of dollars in damage.

However Mr Obama says the situation can still be remedied.

“We also have a chance to turn back these rising temperatures if we take some bold actions now,” he said.

The president wants to reduce power-plant emissions, increase solar and wind energy, as well as increase the fuel efficiency of trucks.

Report hailed “a game changer”

Unlike a major United Nations report on climate change released earlier this year, which looked at North America as a whole, the vast US report outlines in detail the effects on different geographic regions and segments of the economy.

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” it said.

Audio: US climate assessment gets personal (AM)

Some environmental and public health groups hailed the report as a possible “game changer” in building support for efforts to address climate change, in part because it makes the outcomes less abstract to many Americans.

While residents of the coastal north-east could face bigger storm surges, and coastal areas around the country risk more flooding, the south-west is likely to see more wildfires and severe water shortages.

“It will help put their own experiences in context and we think that is important in generating interest and action on the issue,” said Lyndsay Moseley, director of the American Lung Association’s Healthy Air campaign.

Wide-ranging impacts

The report, more than 800 pages long, detailed how consequences of climate change could play out on several fronts, including infrastructure, water supplies, and agriculture.

Severe weather and other impacts of climate change also increase the risk of disease transmission, decrease air quality, and increase mental health problems, the report said.

That could mean that over time the demand for certain medications could rise and it could lead to more severe seasonal allergies.

The essential reality of this report is that no country, powerful or poor, will escape unchecked climate change.

Christiana Figueres, United Nations climate chief

A changing climate that thrusts US corn production further northward could alter the transportation patterns needed to move agricultural products to market, boosting road and rail construction.

Thirteen government departments and agencies, from the Agriculture Department to NASA, were part of the committee that compiled the report, which also included academics, businesses, non-profit organisations and others.

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said the report could lend a hand to UN efforts to strike a global deal in 2015 on tackling climate change, by issuing a clarion call to other countries.

“The essential reality of this report is that no country, powerful or poor, will escape unchecked climate change,” Ms Figueres said.


11) Fish rain down on Sri Lanka village

Thursday, May 08, 2014

VILLAGERS in west Sri Lanka have said they were surprised and delighted by an unusual rainfall of small fish.

The edible fish fell during a storm and are believed to have been lifted out of a river during a strong wind.

Villagers in the district of Chilaw said they heard something heavy falling and found scores of fish with a total weight of 50kg (110lbs).

It is not the first such incident in Sri Lanka — in 2012, a case of “prawn rain” was recorded in the south.

The most likely cause of this unusual event probably relates to the formation of a tornado.

Tornadoes tend to form in areas where large differences in both temperature, humidity and wind speed and direction occur.

This is the third time this has happened in Sri Lanka, but not from the same area.


12) Asthma worry

Ana Madigibuli
Thursday, May 08, 2014

ASTHMA continues to kill Fijians. As the country celebrated World Asthma Day yesterday, the Health Ministry revealed there were a total of 1755 asthma-related deaths from the year 2000 to 2013.

The highest number of asthma deaths recorded in the country was back in 2004 with 216 cases and for last year, there were 75 deaths compared with 173 in 2012.

This was revealed by prevalence and cause specific mortality statistics presented by director epidemiology of the Health Information Unit Dr Devina Nand during the celebrations at the Fiji National University’s Pasifika Campus in Suva yesterday. The statistics showed that the total inpatient asthma cases recorded for 2013 stood at 807 compared with 999 in 2012.

Dr Nand said asthma was widely distributed in Fiji with an average number of cases seen as inpatients between the years 2000 to 2013 that stood at 417 cases per year.

“Most cases were seen at Ba Mission Hospital followed by Rakiraki, Sigatoka, Nadi and Tavua Hospital,” Dr Nand revealed.

“Looking at the greatest number of deaths that occurred in a divisional hospital, CWM Hospital recorded 352 cases, whereas Lautoka recorded 215 cases and Labasa 197 cases within those 14 years.”

Dr Nand said health information and research needs to be collected and initiated to establish the true burden of the disease.

“A well managed and well co-ordinated public health system is crucial in ensuring that decisions that impact on the provision of lifesaving interventions and disease reducing public health intervention are made on the basis of accurate, timely and quality evidence,” Dr Nand said.



13) Uni inks deal

Dawn Gibson
Thursday, May 08, 2014

JAPAN’s oldest university — Mie University of Japan — formalised an MOU with the Fiji National University on Monday in an attempt to strengthen ties between the two universities through diverse educational projects.

And one of the projects will be something FNU has never shared with a Japanese university — a student cultural exchange program.

FNU vice-chancellor Dr Ganesh Chand said an agreement would also be signed between Mie and FNU’s College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

“Also with the Japanese exchange program, it will allow for our students to travel to experience Japan and students from Mie would come here and experience Fiji,” Dr Chand said.

“This is a very important element in generating exposure of students to different environments, different curriculums, different ways of learning and a different lifestyle.”

Dr Chand said the two universities would also work jointly on research projects, the joint-hosting of seminars and conferences and on the publication of journals as part of the MOU.

He said the fact that Mie was Japan’s oldest university was important for FNU given that they had also signed an MOU with India’s oldest university.

Mie University president Dr Atsumasa Uchida said this was an important step for Mie as they tried to establish a number of university exchange programs to generate interest in the Japanese way of life and vice versa for Japanese students visiting Fiji.

“I hope this corroboration becomes stronger in the near future,” Dr Uchida said.Fijitimes


14) Violence in Papua leaves 1 dead, 3 others injured

8 May 2014
Indonesian BRIMOB para-military police are reported to have shot 3 Papuan men in Moanemani in Papua province.

The Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights, which says the 3 are now in a critical condition, reports that the shooting occurred after local people tried to negotiate an outcome from an incident where a truck driver ran over and killed two Papuan youths.

After the shooting a non-Papua resident has been killed, apparently to avenge the Police action.

The Institute’s Paula Makabory says the series of incidents in Moanemani highlights how military-style policing perpetuates an endless cycle of violence in the 50 year Indonesian occupation of West Papua.

Ms Makabory says the Police escalated the incident by ignoring local custom and quickly resorting to shooting local people rather than pursuing negotiation.Radio NZ

15) Vanuatu Parliament approves Vt300 million supplementary budget approved

By Online Editor
3:27 pm GMT+12, 07/05/2014, Vanuatu

Vanuatu Parliament Monday, approved a total supplementary budget of Vt303,523,118 (US$320 million)in what is arguably a first for a supplementary budget to be introduced within the first six months of the year.

But this, said Prime Minister (PM) Moana Carcasses and same time acting Minister of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) after tabling the Bill and responding to a question from MP for Santo Rural, Marcellino Pipite, will be countered with revenue generated from the Permanent Resident (PR) visa program in Hong Kong.

PM Carcasses further revealed there will be another Supplementary in September drawing on the success of revenue channeled through the Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP).

“I understand when the Ministerial Budget Committee (MBC) initially met; the total sum requested by every government ministries and departments exceeded Vt3 billion,” he said.

“However the MBC approved Vt303,523,118 calculated on the basis of potential revenue.”

Of this figure Vt29, 250, 000 is allocated to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as Vanuatu’s preparation budget towards the 2017 Mini Games.

The second allocation of Vt135, 020, 294 is the Government’s last payment under the PM’s office to Interchange (bandwidth) and Vt139, 252,824 which is the government’s contribution to the European Union (EU) funded Electrification Facilities program for Torba, Penama and Malampa brings the total to Vt303, 523,118.

A concerned leader of Opposition, Ham Lini, voiced his worry over the figure appropriated to rural electrification in the provinces.

“This issue has been pending for a long time, six or ten years,” he said. “The first project was launched in Port Olry, now Parliament is approving more funds for the same purpose. But what happened to the original funds?”

Deputy Leader of Opposition, Sato Kilman, with reference to the program on Malekula said, “My concern is the government continues to inject money to bail out but not address the problem, for instance on the existing electrification project on Malekula, issues and allegations are that the program cannot advance because the funds allocated is not enough –the government or province diverted and spend the money elsewhere so there is a shortfall.

“If so, the government needs to make a full investigation into the matter, if it was misused the people must be prosecuted, the government cannot bail out blindly because the problems will continue if not curbed.”

PM Carcasses agreed with the Deputy Leader of Opposition that there will be a full investigation in the matter.

However a further comment on the subject from MP for Ambae James Bule, prompted incumbent Minister for Lands and Energy, Ralph Regenvanu, to give a supplementary answer to clear the air on the root of the Rural Electrification program problem.

“It is true there is possible misuse of the funds, possibly by the provinces and there must be an investigation. But the core of the problem is in 2007 under the prime ministership of the Leader of Opposition and the MP for Ambae was a minister then.

“The project came in and they implemented the spending of funds outside the Public Finance and Management Act, outside the Tenders Act, so EU gave the funds directly to the provinces. It bypassed the law and process so inevitably there were bound to be problems

“So this government had to correct this problem. Last year the Council had to approve this supplementary. COM decision no.121 of 2013 states, ‘Any other energy facility or similar project like this must adhere to the laws of the Public Finance Management Act and Contracts and Tenders Act.’

“Another point in this COM decision states, ‘Provincial governments must not find any project of this nature in the future which commits the central government but does not adhere to the normal (legal) procedure of the central government.

“This, is the root of the problem”.


16) Vanuatu Prime Minister adamant on sovereignty over Matthew and Hunter
By Online Editor
12:45 pm GMT+12, 07/05/2014, Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, has told Parliament he planned to lead a Vanuatu Government delegation to Paris in June in the next step to resolving the maritime boundary dispute between Vanuatu and France over the southern islands of Matthew and Hunter.

Speaking in Parliament Friday, the Prime Minister said his Government was concerned about the unilateral decision by the New Caledonia Government on April 23, 2014 to establish what it called a Natural Park that covered the French territory’s entire Exclusive Economic Zone and included Matthew and Hunter, south of Tafea Province.

He insisted the maritime boundary dispute with France must be resolved and he announced he planned to lead a Government delegation to Paris next month to discuss the issue.

“If the matter is not resolved after our trip to Paris, we must take the issue to the international courts,” Carcasses stressed.

On Friday, a protest note from the Vanuatu Government to the French Government, over the decision by the New Caledonia Government to establishment a marine natural park, that also covers Matthew and Hunter, was lodged with the French Ambassador to Vanuatu, Michel Djokovic.

In the letter, the deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Edward Natapei, said the Vanuatu Government fully objected to the decision by the New Caledonia Government.

He called the decision to unilaterally establish a Natural Park of the Coral Sea within its maritime jurisdictions, when the New Caledonia Government knew full well that part of the jurisdiction in question was currently under dispute, particularly over Matthew and Hunter Islands of Vanuatu’s Tafea Province, “an irresponsible act”.

“The decision does not promote respect for Vanuatu’s national sovereignty and its traditional heritage and cultural rights, which is deeply revered by the indigenous people of Vanuatu and the Kanak people of New Caledonia,” Natapei said in his letter.

He reminded the French Government of the existence of a maritime boundary dispute between the two countries and called on the French Government as a major player in maintaining peace in the region and an important promoter of cultural rights to resolve the same.

17) Proposed Fiji First VP steps down

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Update: 1:58PM BIJAI Prasad, the proposed vice president of the proposed Fiji First Party has stepped down from the position citing a criminal charge and conviction as the reason.

“I have last night submitted the withdrawal of my name as the vice president of the proposed Fiji First Party to the proposed leader and to the proposed general secretary,” he said in a press conference in Nadi this morning.

“I have done so because when I accepted the position, I did not disclose the fact that over 30 years ago, I was convicted on a criminal charge and served a prison term.”

Mr Prasad said he did not disclose the information earlier because under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Irrelevant Act 1997, records after 10 years are expunged.

“The proposed Fiji First Party and proposed leader Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama, who I have very high regard for, has insisted in the highest standards of personal conduct and my non-disclosure has fallen short of those standards.”

Mr Prasad was convicted of larceny by servant and sentenced to three years imprisonment in 1982 in relation to the theft of $20,000 during his tenure as a movement controller with Air Terminal Services.Fijitimes

18) Fiji AG won’t resign over proposed FijiFirst job
By Online Editor
09:42 am GMT+12, 08/05/2014, Fiji

Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will not resign from his post as Elections Minister despite calls from political parties to do so following his appointment as general secretary for the proposed FijiFirst party.

The National Federation Party joined the chorus saying the AG compromised his position as Elections Minister when he accepted the post with the proposed party, demanding that he steps down if the September 17 election is to be perceived as free and fair.

No comments could be obtained from the Minister concerned.

However, when enquired Fijian Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama referred to the 2013 Fiji Constition.

The 2013 Constitution does not contain any provision that requires ministers to resign should they join a political party.

This is only required for public office holders as set out in Section 57 (1) of the 2013 Constitution.

Subsection (4) four of the same section points out that ministers are not defined as public office holders which means that the Election Minister Sayed-Khaiyum and Social Welfare and Women Minister Dr Jiko Luveni or any other minister that may be invited to join the proposed FijiFirst party will not need to relinquish their ministerial portfolios to contest the 2014 Election.

NFP general secretary Kamal Iyer in his statement had said “the September 17 elections will lose all semblance of being free, fair and credible, if Sayed-Khaiyum chooses to deliberately ignore the fundamental principle of declaring his interest in the preparatory work and conduct of elections, and continue holding both positions of Minister responsible for Elections and General Secretary of the proposed FijiFirst Party”.

Meanwhile, the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) will incorporate the handling of disabled people in the training of polling officers ahead of the September 17 election.

Speaking to FijiLive, Supervisor of Elections (SEO) Mohammed Saneem said officers should be able to handle situations involving voters with limited abilities.

To do this, the FEO has held discussions with the different disabled groups and the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons (FNCDP) to determine special needs and concerns they may have and needed assistance on come election day.

“As our work is to provide every eligible voter sufficient access to participate in the elections; it’s a participatory process and we came back with some very good suggestions,” Saneem said.

Saneem added they have also plans to engage a consultant who would work with the forum and office in assisting with the voter education materials.

He further says people with disabilities will be assisted by presiding officer in the presence of an elections officer when they cast their


19) Fiji polls shaping up to be battle of personalities

By Online Editor
1:42 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2014, Fiji

An observer of Fiji politics says the Fiji election will mostly be a battle of personalities and leadership.

Three parties and one proposed party have now confirmed who will lead them in the September polls and the Labour Party is still to confirm Mahendra Chaudhry after his conviction last week.

Auckland University’s Steven Ratuva says despite Labour being in a leadership crisis, there is now a core line-up of capable leaders for people to choose from who could be described as superstars in their own field.

Dr Ratuva says the new electoral system puts even more pressure on leaders to perform than in the past.

“First of all you only have one constituency and secondly voters will have to vote for only one person and that’s where the party leader’s popularity comes in so in terms of just attracting voters to a particular party you need somebody to be a superstar to solicit the votes. That’s the whole psychology behind this electoral system.”

The People’s Democratic Party has elected former union chief Felix Anthony as its leader, former economics professor Biman Prasad is the leader of the National Federation Party, the indigenous chief Ro Temumu Kepa heads Sodelpa and the incumbent prime minister Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama leads the Fiji First party, which is awaiting registration.

Meanwhile, Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama refuses to be drawn into discussion of how the 2014 Election will play out in view of the absence of seasoned and veteran politicians Laisenia Qarase and Mahendra Chaudhry.

Chaudhry and Qarase, both former prime ministers having done terms in office – 19 May 1999 – 19 May 2000 for the former and 2000 till 2006 for the latter – are out of the running to contest the September 17 election after being convicted of exchange control violation and abuse of office respectively.

When FijiLive brought up the subject, the head of government said, “I don’t want to touch that area. I want to touch only on my development not somebody else.”

Bainimarama said his prerogative is to attend to the needs of the Fijian people and focus on plans to move the country forward. He highlighted the commissioning of the second government ship, `Vunilagi` in Suva yesterday as indicative of the government’s committment to serve ordinary Fijians and in this instance the maritime areas.

“And I’m extremely proud that my government is finally making the investment needed to improve our ability to serve our maritime communities and finally give them what they deserve,” Bainimarama said.

“They deserved more resources to empower them and give them the things they needed to improve their lives and those of their families.”

His government he says is determined to provide maritime people with those resources, whether it is access to telecommunications, free education, and better health or in this instance, better transport links.

Bainimarama also told FijiLive in an earlier interview that they expect huge support from people who are happy with the changes they have done through their policies and “what we will do.”.



20) Call for PNG to develop agriculture

8 May 2014
A Papua New Guinea agriculture official says proceeds from the country’s LNG gas project and other big resource developments should be invested in agriculture.

Ofara Petilani, the Research and Development Coordinator of the National Agricultural Research Institute’s Islands Regional Centre, says agriculture remains the source of sustainable livelihoods for the vast majority of Papua New Guineans.

Mr Petilani says as such governments should direct more resources to capitalise on the country’s agriculture potential.

But he says the national focus tends more towards mining and petroleum projects which are not sustainable industries.

“Gold, oil and all these others like gas, all those are non-renewable resources. Tomorrow they will go but we can see from past experiences like gold mines in the country, when the miners left, what happened to them, people resorted back to agriculture.”

Ofara Petilani…Radio NZ

21) Telco left in the dark

The National, Wednesday May 7th, 2014

Bmobile, which is 85% owned by the government, is unaware that there is another mobile operator in the country’s mobile market, group CEO Sundar Ramamurthy said.
Ramamurthy said Bmobile was recently injected with a capital of US$87m (K245.6m).
However, he said, “We do not have any details on the new entrant so it would be premature to comment on this at the moment.”
Ramamurthy added that the market in PNG has been open to competition since October 2010.
“The market today has three mobile carrier/operators in Bmobile, Telikom PNG and Digicel.”
“There is no detail on the roll out plans of the fourth entrant into the market,” Ramamurthy said yesterday in an email.
However, Ramamurthy said it was hard to speculate on the commercial success of a fourth entrant into the market.
“This is probably best placed to be answered by NICTA (National Information and Communication Technology Authority) the regulatory agency that approves telecommunications licenses.”
Meanwhile, Digicel which is said to have a significant market power on the wholesale mobile access and call origination market in the country, said it welcomes the arrival of a new mobile license operator.
“The arrival of a third mobile license operator in Papua New Guinea is greatly received by Digicel. For a country governed by an open regime, Digicel welcomes competition as a means to ensure that the customer gets value and best outcome for the services provided.”
The new telco, Awal Telecommunications Corporation Ltd, a Dubai company, was awarded three telecom operator licenses; gateway operator, individual application operator and individual mobile operator by Communications and Information Minister Jimmy Miringtoro, last month in Dubai.
Awal Telecommunications Corporation Ltd is the telecom brand of Awal International Holdings Ltd, a Dubai based multi-national company.

22) Dubai firm eyes PNG

The National, Thursday May 8th, 2014

DUBAI based company AWAL Impex International (Holding Ltd) has earlier announced its plans to invest US$1 billion in telecommunication, oil and gas sector, and construction and infrastructure development projects in Manus.
Company secretary Ashwini Bharadwaj said Awal had proposed to the national Government to develop Manus as an international free trade zone.
She said from Dubai in January that the company has a vast interest to invest in Papua New Guinea and not only in Manus.
“Our investment analyst is working on some research and development and our investment can range between US$1 billion to US$10 billion based on the research findings on the investment needs.
“We will be able to allocate specific projects investment allocation once we get the investment requirement from our research and development team,” Bharadwaj said.
“We have plans to invest on telecommunication, oil and gas sector, construction and infrastructure development, food and hospitality, healthcare services and children’s education.
“Apart from this we have proposed to the government to develop Manus province as an international free trade zone.
“Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and all political leaders and local Manus community welcomed our intention towards the development of Manus province.
“Our Investment Plans is towards all the provinces of Papua New Guinea, Awal International Holdings; do not restrict itself to only invest in Manus.
“Manus being province of PNG it was declared once as a Free Zone by the Government, and has opportunities to flourish as Free Zone; Awal showed its intention to develop Manus into International Standard as free zone.”

23) China invests K318m in major road projects

The National, Thursday May 8th, 2014

CHINA is providing K318 million to complete  two major roads in Port Moresby before the 2015 Pacific Games.
Chinese Ambassador Lee Yoo Tung said China was and would always be a development partner of PNG and assured Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of his country’s continuous support.
The signing and groundbreaking ceremony was attended by O’Neill, some Cabinet ministers and government officials.
It includes the construction of the 13km Baruni Road from the Poreporena Highway to the Kasio roundabout (Gerehu-Rainbow main roundabout).
It will cost K196 million and will have four lanes.
It will be built by the China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd over 78 weeks.
The construction of the Gerehu to 9-Mile  Road will cost K122 million.
It will have four lanes and to be completed in 78 weeks.
Both road projects are expected to be completed before the 2015 Pacific Games.
China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd president Bai Yin Zhun said it was not the first time for the company to be involved in major infrastructure development in PNG.
Bai said it was almost completing the K700 million Lae Tidal Basin construction.
O’Neill thanked the Chinese government and CHEC for believing in the potential of the country.

24) Biofuel powers homes

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, May 07, 2014

VILLAGERS on Koro Island are making use of the abundance of coconut trees and using their copra-making skills to produce enough energy to light up their homes and power alliances.

Nacamaki Village was host to the Koro biofuel mill, one of the first biofuel project sites in Fiji which opened on March 10, 2010 at a total cost of $435,856.

Other trial project sites are Taveuni and Vanuabalavu.

The mill produces an average of 520 litres of filtered oil per day from 1.2 tonnes of copra and operating for 240 days a year.

According to mill manager Iowane Bale, 10 men were employed when the mill opened and were trained on how to use the equipment.

However, this had since reduced to five men, one from each of Nacamaki Village’s five tokatoka (small village units).

According to a statement, the mill produces enough biodiesel to meet the island’s demands. The biodiesel is retailed within Koro only at $2.45 a litre.

Coconut oil is sold at $2 a litre and copra meal, which is used for animal feed and manure, is sold at $0.50 a kilogram. The coconut oil and copra meal are sold to buyers outside Koro.

“When we first opened, all villages in Koro bought the biodiesel. But now we have three villages (Nacamaki, Mudu and Nakodu) regularly buying biodiesel while another village, Nasau buys biodiesel occasionally. Biodiesel costs $2.45 a litre compared to 2.80 a litre for diesel.”

For the some 283 residents of Nacamaki Village, regular access to electricity for four to five hours a night allows the 73 homes to own and operate appliances like a television, mobile phones, an iron and for some, even a washing machine.

Under Fiji’s rural electrification policy, the standard for each household is one power point and two lights. The biofuel can be used to power these appliances.

Turaga ni Koro Malakai Salabula said each household paid $3.50 a week (equivalent to $0.50 a day) to have access to electricity and power all year round.

“This is sufficient for the village. If there is a function in the village, I have the authority to extend the hours.

“We are very fortunate to have the biofuel mill in Koro because it (biodiesel) is cheaper than regular diesel and if the boats do not come from Suva, we still have access to fuel and electricity,” he said.

Koro Island is one of three biofuel project sites (including Rotuma and Cicia) in operation across Fiji producing biofuel from copra.

Sites in Gau, Vanuabalavu, Rabi and Lakeba had been commissioned but were awaiting start-up capital while Matuku and Moala project sites were under construction.

At A Glance

By Ropate Valemei

* The biodiesel or renewable diesel (R20) is made up of 80 per cent diesel and 20 per cent coconut oil;

* The Nacamaki Cooperative, which also operates the village’s only shop, buys coconuts from villagers and produces copra using the two copra driers it owns. The copra is sold to the mill for $500 per tonne and to another local buyer in Savusavu for $650 per tonne;

* The mill is designed to operate five days a week for eight hours (240 days per year) and produces 240,000 litres of biodiesel per annum and 86 tonnes per annum of protein meal. In 2013, technical and financial issues faced in the overall running of the mill had negative impacts. As a result, the mill was only able to operate for 60 days throughout the entire year; and

* Not all villages are buying biodiesel from the Koro Biofuel Mill. Only three villages (Mudu, Nakodu and Nacamaki) regularly buy biodiesel while Nasau Village buys biodiesel occasionally.

25) Operations At New Caledonia Nickel Plant Suspended

26,400 gallons of effluent from Vale processing plant ends up in creek

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 8, 2014) – The president of New Caledonia’s Southern Province Cynthia Ligeard has ordered immediate suspension of operations at the Vale nickel processing plant at Goro after an estimated 100,000 litres [26,400 gallons] of effluent ended up in a creek.

The spill contained some acid but it is not immediately clear how strong the concentration was.

The provincial government has sent a joint mission with the environmental authority to the six-billion US dollar plant for an evaluation of the spill.

It’s the fifth such spill in five years at the Goro plant.

Vale has confirmed that there’s been an incident but has given no details yet.

The French High Commissioner, the President of the territorial government of New Caledonia, as well as the mayors of the municipalities of Mont-Dore and Yate have been advised of the spill.

The Southern Province president has activated a crisis unit to evaluate the impact of this industrial accident and to put in place urgent measures to limit its effect.

In February, five New Caledonian environmental groups won nearly half a million US dollars in compensation from the Vale nickel company over a major acid spill at its plant five years ago.

Radio New Zealand International

26) Solomon Islands hoteliers to form association
By Online Editor
1:48 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2014, Solomon Islands

Hotel and resort operators in the Solomon Islands are planning to form a new industry association.

Following a meeting with the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB), several hoteliers on the island have already formed a committee to drive the project.

“We felt it was high time for our local accommodation providers to form an association that has the ability to form a strong voice and can raise and tackle pertinent issues affecting the accommodation sector,” said SIVB’s CEO, Jo Tuamoto.

“This voice in sync with both the national tourist office and Solomon Airlines will enable us all to drive what is shaping up to be a very powerful industry lobby and one which can take key agendas directly to the government and other stakeholders.

“More to the point this initiative will play a major part in helping us to achieve our common objectives,” he added.

The GM of the Heritage Park Hotel Honiara, Sanjay Bhargava, has been named as interim chair of the new association, while committee members include representatives from the King Solomon Hotel, Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel and Pacific Casino Hotel.

The committee will now work to develop the association’s constitution and focus, membership policy and structure and initiate a recruitment drive.


27) Ni-Vanuatu workers in NZ told behave better

8 May 2014
Vanuatu’s Commissioner of Labour says the country must weed out bad behaviour among ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers employed on farms in New Zealand

This comes as the number of ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers in New Zealand this year is set to pass 3,000 by June.

The Commissioner, Lionel Kaluat, says he is disappointed to learn of recent behavioural issues by a Vanuatu worker.

Mr Kaluat says his Office is treating the report very seriously as the worker’s behaviour does not reflect the pre-departure training all workers take before leaving for New Zealand.

The Commissioner says the Seasonal Employment Act is being reviewed in order to address issues of selection and recruitment of workers so that in future, all workers must meet a prescribed criteria set out by the Act before being selected.Radio NZ


28) Network support calls to stop land grabbing deals

The National, Wednesday May 7th, 2014

The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) is backing non-government organisations in demanding for the World Bank to end its support for land and resources grabbing in Pacific communities, under the pretext of making customary land more productive.
PANG said the terrible outcomes of such business environments include the illegal land grab taking place in the country, with over five million hectares of customary land taken from local people without their consent for commercial use.
Over 180 organisations, including NGOs, unions, farmers and consumer groups from over 80 countries have demanded the World Bank to 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 said the World Bank was 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 aren’t necessarily good for the Pacific people, their land and their environment. In fact much of what the World Bank endorses as good for business comes at the expense of the Pacific people.
“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 said.
Penjueli said: “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”.


29) PNG ranked among world’s worst countries to be a mother
By Online Editor
4:06 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2014, Papua New Guinea

A new report by aid agency Save the Children estimates that five women die each day during childbirth in Papua New Guinea.

The London-based charity released its annual “State of the World’s Mothers” report this week, revealing the best and worst countries for mothers.

The report found PNG was one of the toughest places to be a mother – ranking 164 out of 173 countries.

The figures go against an international trend where the number of women dying of complications during pregnancy have dropped, including in East Timor.

Dr Barry Kirby, an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat one of the most common causes of death during childbirth is severe blood loss.

“A mother can lose 600 millilitres a minute – if the uterus doesn’t contract – so she’s only got about 3 or 4 minutes and she’ll be passing away on you,” he said.

“So you must act very quickly; You realise there’s danger and you’ll have to act.”

Dr Kirby has spent years addressing the problem of maternal mortality in Milne Bay in PNG’s north-east.

“Where I’m working, it’s actually a lot worse, because it must be around the 700 mark or even higher,” he said.

“Because there’s a lot of places that are still isolated and I know for sure there are women passing away, but they’re never registered.”

While remoteness and distance are reasons women don’t go to health centres, Dr Kirby says there are other significant factors at play.

“One of the reasons was that they didn’t have anything, they didn’t have any clothes, nice clothes for themselves or nice clothes for the babies,” he said.

“So they felt very embarrassed, embarrassed of their poverty.

“They’re no different to any other mother who wants everything right for the birth of the child.”

For its 15th report, Save the Children ranked countries based on risk of maternal death, educational status, economic achievement, political status and under-five mortality rate.



30) PNG Singing Sensation Competes On Australia’s ‘The Voice’
Samantha Clark’s exceptional talent to be seen by more than 1,000,000

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 8, 2014) – Papua New Guinean’s sensation and music star Samantha Clarke will appear in Australia’s reality talent show – The Voice tonight. The Voice will be aired by Imparja live tonight including local TV station EMTV.

The reality show which has seen stars rise from nothing to making million dollars of albums sales has proved match maker for many talented Australian singers. And now PNG’s very own talented Ms Clarke is just about to stand into The Voice.

The 21-year-old beautiful is from Australia mix Trobriand Islands. Ms Clarke will become the first Papua New Guinean singer to compete in a highly rated reality TV show. This is history in the making.

Ms Clarke is not new in singing. She has won the local Digicel Stars because her voice was exceptional. Tonight she will stand in front of a much different crowd and much bigger crowd than she is used to. More than 1,000,000 viewers around Australia get to watch this popular show.

The reality competition show sees celebrity artists chose paired up with teams of singers that they will coach and mentor until the very best of best remains standing in the end.

The first series of the The Voice, premiered on 15 April 2012 and concluded on 18 June 2012, with Karise Eden being crowned as the winner. The series consists of three phases: a blind audition, a battle phase, and live performance shows.

Four coaches, all noteworthy recording artists, choose teams of artists through a blind audition process. Each judge has the length of the artist’s performance (about one minute) to decide if he or she wants that artist on his or her team; if two or more coaches want the same artist (as happens frequently), the artist has the final choice of coach.

Each team of artists is mentored and developed by its respective coach. In the second stage, called the battle phase, coaches have two of their team members battle against each other directly by singing the same song together, with the coach choosing which team member to advance from each of six individual “battles” into the first live round.

Within that first live round, the surviving four artists from each team again compete head-to-head, with public votes determining one of two artists from each team that will advance to the final eight, while the coach chooses which of the remaining three artists is saved.

In the final phase, the remaining artists (Final 8) compete against each other in live broadcasts. The television audience and the coaches have equal say 50/50 in deciding who moves on to the final 4 phase. With one artists remaining for each coach, the (final 4) artists compete against each other in the finale with the outcome decided solely by public vote.

PNG Post-Courier


31) PNG rugby league set for games on the world stage
By Online Editor
2:17 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2014, Papua New Guinea

Rugby league in Papua New Guinea has achieved a significant boost with the number of international matches involving the Kumuls set to rise significantly over the next few years.

The PNG delegation to the recent Rugby League International Federation meeting in Sydney also pushed for a much larger slice of the action at the 2017 World Cup.

Instead of staging just one or two matches, they want hosting rights for a complete group.

Brad Tassell, the Chief Executive of the PNG Rugby Football League, told Pacific Beat the RLIF is also very keen for PNG to host a pool.

“We put a really strong case in regards to it which is still being assessed but we’re pretty confident we will get the nod to do that with all the development that’s happening particularly the rugby league programs and all the facilities up here,” he said.

“I think there is a real groundswell of support – at the meeting we had delegates from all around the world and they’ve heard a lot of things about what’s happening in Papua New Guinea, the rejuvenation on the game, everyone knew about the PNG Hunters as well from around the world.

“So there’s a real focus on Papua New Guinea at the moment and being a nation of seven million people and having rugby league as a national sport, its vital that PNG are strong on the international scene.”

The PNG delegation also called for the revival of the Pacific Cup as a four-nation, biannual event between PNG, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. PNG wants to host the first tournament in the off-season in October next year .

“We need to get up regular international games between the Pacific nations,” Mr Tassell said.

“It’s after the end of the NRL season, the end of the Queensland Cup season when players will be available and we’ll be expecting the release of those players to compete in that tournament.”

PNG also wants the go ahead for a one-off international this year and Mr Tassell said it would be against either Samoa or Italy on October 19.

Mr Tassell says the RLIF meeting was vital for Pacific nations to impress on the world body that they need to play regular test matches.

It’s proposed that in the year when the Pacific Cup isn’t played, Pacific nations would hold a test series – PNG versus Fiji and Samoa versus Tonga.

“We need to play more test matches, we need to give our players more international exposure and that’s the only way that we’re going to improve,” he said.

Meanwhile, the vice-president of the Papua New Guinea Football Association, Linda Wonuhali, has criticised the PNG government for failing to come to the aid of the Women’s National League.

The competition has been cancelled for 2014 after the FA failed to find a new sponsor.

It’s a blow for the women’s game in the run-up to the Pacific Games in Port Moresby next year, where PNG will be the defending champions.

While the government’s focus is on rugby league, Ms Wonuhali argues that soccer has far greater potential on the international stage.

She told Pacific Beat that they will battle on, with or without the government’s assistance.

“It does not discourage us – in August, we have the girls under 15 (team) that is leaving for the Youth Olympics in China and then we are hosting the Four Nations Cup so that will keep us fit and also these are internationally-recognised games that we are participating for this year – we’re not going to give up,” she said.

Ms Wonuhali says she’s very disappointed that there’s significant sponsorship for the men’s game and sports like rugby league get government funding as well but women’s soccer misses out on government help.

“I am very, very upset. To me, honestly, if you are looking at performance based on money, I think soccer is doing much, much better than rugby but even the men’s competition in soccer does not seem to get a lot of support from the government.

“It is really frustrating to see that the government is not fair in contributing to other sports.

“Everyone of us are playing the same game here trying to promote sports and have our young people stay out of trouble.”.


32) PNG Hopes To Host Pool Play For Rugby League World Cup
International status of Kumuls on the rise

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 7, 2014) – PNG Rugby Football League “fairly confident” of hosting a pool group at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Rugby league in Papua New Guinea has achieved a significant boost with the number of international matches involving the Kumuls set to rise significantly over the next few years.

The PNG delegation to the recent Rugby League International Federation meeting in Sydney also pushed for a much larger slice of the action at the 2017 World Cup.

Instead of staging just one or two matches, they want hosting rights for a complete group.

Brad Tassell, the Chief Executive of the PNG Rugby Football League, told Pacific Beat the RLIF is also very keen for PNG to host a pool.

“We put a really strong case in regards to it which is still being assessed but we’re pretty confident we will get the nod to do that with all the development that’s happening particularly the rugby league programs and all the facilities up here,” he said.

“I think there is a real groundswell of support – at the meeting we had delegates from all around the world and they’ve heard a lot of things about what’s happening in Papua New Guinea, the rejuvenation on the game, everyone knew about the PNG Hunters as well from around the world.

“So there’s a real focus on Papua New Guinea at the moment and being a nation of seven million people and having rugby league as a national sport, its vital that PNG are strong on the international scene.”

The PNG delegation also called for the revival of the Pacific Cup as a four-nation, biannual event between PNG, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. PNG wants to host the first tournament in the off-season in October next year .

“We need to get up regular international games between the Pacific nations,” Mr Tassell said.

“It’s after the end of the NRL season, the end of the Queensland Cup season when players will be available and we’ll be expecting the release of those players to compete in that tournament.”

PNG also wants the go ahead for a one-off international this year and Mr Tassell said it would be against either Samoa or Italy on October 19.

Mr Tassell says the RLIF meeting was vital for Pacific nations to impress on the world body that they need to play regular test matches.

It’s proposed that in the year when the Pacific Cup isn’t played, Pacific nations would hold a test series – PNG versus Fiji and Samoa versus Tonga.

“We need to play more test matches, we need to give our players more international exposure and that’s the only way that we’re going to improve,” he said.

Women’s soccer misses out on money

Meanwhile, the vice-president of the Papua New Guinea Football Association, Linda Wonuhali, has criticised the PNG government for failing to come to the aid of the Women’s National League.

The competition has been cancelled for 2014 after the FA failed to find a new sponsor.

It’s a blow for the women’s game in the run-up to the Pacific Games in Port Moresby next year, where PNG will be the defending champions.

While the government’s focus is on rugby league, Ms Wonuhali argues that soccer has far greater potential on the international stage.

She told Pacific Beat that they will battle on, with or without the government’s assistance.

“It does not discourage us – in August, we have the girls under 15 (team) that is leaving for the Youth Olympics in China and then we are hosting the Four Nations Cup so that will keep us fit and also these are internationally-recognised games that we are participating for this year – we’re not going to give up,” she said.

Ms Wonuhali says she’s very disappointed that there’s significant sponsorship for the men’s game and sports like rugby league get government funding as well but women’s soccer misses out on government help.

“I am very, very upset. To me, honestly, if you are looking at performance based on money, I think soccer is doing much, much better than rugby but even the men’s competition in soccer does not seem to get a lot of support from the government.

“It is really frustrating to see that the government is not fair in contributing to other sports.

“Everyone of us are playing the same game here trying to promote sports and have our young people stay out of trouble.”

Radio Australia

33) Fiji A dominates
By Online Editor
2:15 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2014, Fiji

The shadow Fiji netball team continued to dominate the Tongan national team with another impressive 43-32 victory at the Vodafone Arena Wednesday

The side playing as Fiji A pulled a 42-36 victory in their opening clash on Tuesday afternoon and followed up with another victory heading into the final clash tomorrow. Laced with former national reps such as Taufa Taga and Asilika Sevutia, the Fiji A side, coached by former national rep Filo Korovulavula, showed they were also putting their hands up for selection into the Fiji Pearl national team.

Team manager Sera Vakaloloma said her troop played outstandingly during the past two games.

“It’s good to come out with victories and I believe the girls are putting their hands up for selection in the national team but that will be decided by our Fiji coach (Julie Hoornweg) alone,” she said.

“Most of the experienced players who have already played for the national team performed really well.”

She said players were advised to give their best shot as the selection door was still open.

“I told the girls that this is their opportunity to give their best because our Fiji coach will be watching. They need to show their talent and start pushing for a spot in the national team.”

Vakaloloma added that changes might be expected in the final game Friday.


34) AFL PNG get invite from Queensland comp

The National, Thursday May 8th, 2014

AFL PNG is on the verge of inclusion in the AFL Queensland competition.
In what will be an historical move for the Papua New Guinean Aussie rules, from 2016 onwards AFL PNG will have a team in the Queensland state competition.
This would be the second foray of a PNG side in an Australian competition with the PNG Hunters inclusion in the Queensland Cup being the first.
This was revealed at a media conference with AFL Queensland’s chief executive officer Michael Conlan.
Conlan’s visit to PNG was to hold talks with the AFL PNG and the national government through its Sports Ministry to broker a way for the state to assist in Queensland AFL plans. “We want to include a Papua New Guinea team in the QAFL restructure. This means that by 2016, PNG will host nine home games of the 18 matches of the competition in a home and away arrangement,” Conlan said.
“Its a two-hour trip from Mackay to play a match at Morningside so what is the difference of having PNG traveling three hours to play a match over here in Queensland?”
“We are very excited about the possibilities. PNG AFL players are well respected by the Queensland community due to the success of the juniors Under-14 and U16 Binatangs.
“AFL is the number one sport in Australia and has around 100,000 participants nationally and could you imagine the excitement of having a PNG team play in a Queensland state match?” Conlan asked.
The Queensland State competition is referred to as a “second tier” competition which is equivalent to the state’s Intrust Super Cup (ISC).
The Q-Cup is the second tier competition to the Australian NRL while the Queensland State Cup follows the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) in New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory in Australia.
It is a second tier league, sitting below the national Australian Football League (AFL) and features the reserve teams of the region’s four AFL clubs – Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns, Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney Giants.

35) Vanuatu hopeful of a chance in EAP Women’s Trophy

7 May 2014
Vanuatu women’s cricket coach Chris Moran says his squad has improved significantly since competing in their first international tournament two years ago and believes they’re in with a chance at this week’s East Asia Pacific Women’s Cricket Trophy in Sano, Japan.

The winner will compete at next year’s Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier, which will determine the final spots at the Women’s World Twenty20 in India the following year.

Vanuatu has been preparing for the past eight months and Moran says the chance to test their progress on the world stage is crucial.

“Some of these girls haven’t travelled outside their country before so it’s not just the cricket, it’s the whole life experience for them as well. It only comes around every two years and if they’re in that window of opportunity they’ve got to take it so all their energies rise and interest and they’re critical tournaments to be playing in.”

Vanuatu play Papua New Guinea in Wednesday’s opening round, with Samoa up against the Cook Islands and hosts Japan to play invitational side Cricket Without Borders.Radio NZ


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