Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 978

MELANESIA

1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 10 May 2014

by bobmakin

Parliament will debate The Motion next Thursday. Reasons given: (1) Forcing Exim Bank loans. (2) CIIP – and the real estate option – and the Enam unwanted airport. (3) Lies concerning the CIIP projections of wealth. (4) Deteriorating rural health services owing to mis-reading of the demographics of population (on which subject Jenny Ligo of Women Against Corruption has quite a lot to say today), plus PM control of NISCOL, VCMB, AVL, the Police and other key institutions. (5) Interference with the Public Service Commission promoting PM supporters. Quite a lot compares with others in recent years. The Motion is in order and will be debated at 4 pm next Thursday.

Prime Minister Carcasses has refused to resign over the scam (Enam airport) that could have bankrupted Vanuatu according to the Opposition. However the PM does not say as much himself: he leaves it to his PRO.

VBTC News could not tell us of The Motion this morning, but did have a lead item onthe European Union requiring Vanuatu to cut down on the number of convenience flagged ships it permits. This is necessary for the lifting of the EU warning (yellow flag) against the country. The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries said a new Fisheries Law will go before Parliament. The Bill for the Fisheries Act is early on the list of Bills before the present Parliament, but this writer is unaware of it having been debated yet.

Ishmael Kalsakau is again appointed Attorney General according to Daily Post.

Local airfares are going up 5%, necessary to keep services to remote islands going.

An Anglican Synod takes place in Port Vila starting today.

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 9 May 2014

by bobmakin

The increasingly schizoid Vanuaaku Pati last thing this morning was still sitting on the Motion. The big one, of course, is whether that party’s leader agreeing to the USD 350 million ill-advised national promissory notes (or whatever they are) conforms to VP type policy. Which it doesn’t. One wonders what has happened to the VP elections which were scheduled for May on Ifira. VP DPM Natapei having nominated GC Carcasses for PM, seconded by Vohor of UMP, as Daily Post pointed out yesterday, may well serve some form of stability, even if Carcasses was part of the government they all agreed to over-turn a year ago, but the Natapei degree of loyalty will surely soon be seen as going a bit far. There certainly is a Motion. It depends on the VP as Ricky Binihi points out.

Will the arrivals back from Singapore kindly learn to properly declare their heavy gold and silver jewelry? This is having Customs somewhat perplexed.

Meantime yesterday Daily Post was also headlining the first PR recipients getting ityesterday. Since their total investment is only “intended to be” VT 22 million, it doesn’t seem any different from what anyone from anywhere, worth-the-money, would have paid to come here and invest since whenever – about 1990 onwards. The story didn’t get a by-line, so supposedly it was written by VIPA in their attempt to boost the shares of their minister. Hardly anything to trumpet. And what’s with the Acting Finance Minister being the Prime Minister himself as he signed himself in the budget notice in the paper earlier this week? We also have him (PM Carcasses) having to tout Finance’s CIIP pitch when it seems unlikely it is even open yet. CIIP is No. 23 on the agenda for Parliament this sitting. Will they get to it? Parliament is closing very, very soon I am told. Why? It would be so good to get the Right to Information (RTI) Bill passed.

Most importantly, Eton is saying NO to the airport as of today. It took Len Garae to ask them. With land definitely going back to the custom owners it certainly is important our governments learn to ask custom owners first of all before signing us up for huge promissory notes. Eton saying NO is the good news for the weekend.

POLYNESIA


3) Future of Tonga Defence Services questioned
By Online Editor
11:56 am GMT+12, 09/05/2014, Tonga

The Tonga Defence Services today marks the end of a nearly four-year deployment to Afghanistan but questions are being asked about what the army will do now.

Tonga provided sentry duty, mostly at Britain’s Camp Bastion, and the last of the five contingents of 55 arrived home last week.

Radio Tonga reports that today King Tupou the 6th will attend a special ceremony to mark the end of peace keeping operations.

Political scientist Malakai Koloamatangi says the government now has to decided what to do with the hundreds of soldiers.

“Do they go back to playing civilian roles, what do you do with them because there is a problem, not only in Tonga but in other parts of the Pacific, particularly with standing armies such as [in] Fiji.

In fact there was some claim in Tonga made by the pro-democracy movement some time ago that the [budget] vote for the military was actually too big and it should be better spent on social reforms and so forth. That debate I think will carry on, will continue.”.

MAJSOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

4) Framework For Regional Approach To Sexual Health Endorsed
Sexual health services to be extended to all, including vulnerable groups

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 8, 2014) –A Pacific Sexual Health and Well-being Shared Agenda is to be rolled out in the Pacific region with a framework to extend the accessibility of sexual health care services to all people.

Endorsed by the Pacific Directors of Health last week in Fiji, the shared agenda will be tabled for consideration at the Pacific Ministers of Health meeting in the Solomon Islands in July 2014.

Michelle O’Connor the Sexual Reproductive Health Policy and Planning Adviser of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) said the agenda provides Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT) with a guiding framework for extending access to sexual health services to all people, including vulnerable groups such as homosexuals, young people, women, seafarers and sex workers.

She said the shared agenda advocates for a comprehensive rights-based approach to sexual health where all people have the knowledge, skills and tools within a supportive environment to protect and promote their sexual health wellbeing and human rights.

The shared agenda is a regional framework but is flexible enough to meet PICTs unique and diverse needs. It was developed in partnership with the PICTs after extensive consultation with Pacific Ministries of Health, civil society organizations and development partners, she said.

Tim Rwabuhemba the UNAIDS Country Director for the Pacific said the agenda captured current thinking and aligned with the post-2015 development agenda.

“With this innovative document, the Pacific is ahead of the rest of the world paving in the way for integrating HIV and other STIs into sexual and reproductive health.”

The agenda was developed in recognition to the fact that the Pacific region faces a number of complex issues that cannot be effectively addressed by a single focus on disease areas, but include alarmingly high rates of gender based violence and sexual assault, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

The development of the agenda was led by SPC in partnership with the United Nations, the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, the International Federation of the Red Cross, the Oceania Society for Sexual Health and HIV Medicine. Its supported by the Pacific Islands HIV and STI Respond Fund and the Global Fund to fight aids, tuberculosis and malaria.

Matangi Tonga Magazine

5a) In Samoa, Healthy Eating Advise Seen As Being ‘European’
Study: Messages against obesity, for exercise considered not Fa‘a Samoa

By Jason Brown

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 7, 2014) – Samoans who try and insist on healthy, fresh foods are often criticised for being “fiapalagi” (trying to be European).

That’s what an American health researcher, Jessica Hardin, has found in her study titled “Everyday translation: Health practitioners’ perspectives on obesity and metabolic disorders in Samoa.”

The American is from the Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA.

In her study, she found that fa’asamoa was often used as a reason or explanation for obesity, poor diet, not exercising and failing to seek or follow medical advice.

One leading example were health workers themselves.

“Most health practitioners reported struggling with their weight; they shyly laughed about how they shared these problems with their patients,” said Ms. Hardin.

Four of the interviewees each said “Look at me!”, indicating their own obesity.

They often framed themselves as “hypocrites”, said Ms. Hardin, which they felt made it difficult to advise patients about weight loss.

More : Samoa Observer

MICRONESIA

5b) Marshall Islands Immigration Director, Family Threatened
Jacklick has instituted deportations against visa over-stayers

By Giff Johnson

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, May 9, 2014) – The Marshall Islands immigration director and his family were threatened with harm this week in Majuro. But immigration chief Damien Jacklick said Wednesday threats will not interfere with aggressive work to protect Marshall Islands borders.

A vandal spray-painted a warning to Jacklick and his family at the family residence in Majuro early Wednesday morning. In big, bold white paint lettering on a red wooden wall at their home was the following threat: “Director lieve immigration now. For family safety. We warn you.”

Jacklick took over as head of Marshall Islands Immigration last year and has instituted a series of deportation actions against aliens who over-stayed their visas.

Officials with the Attorney General’s Office and national police were taking the threat seriously and launched an investigation just hours after the threat was made Wednesday.

“(I) woke up this morning to find this sick message and they, whoever it was, made it personal by including my family,” said Jacklick when he notified law enforcement officials about the threat. “This is something we are only accustomed to seeing in movies but not here. This is very sick and serious.”

Assistant Attorney General Yolanda Lodge-Ned confirmed that acting Attorney General Jack Jorbon has instructed police to begin an immediate investigation and said that once suspects are identified the government will prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

“This is a very aggressive act,” said Lodge-Ned. “Threats against persons acting in their official capacity are a matter we will not take lightly.”

Marshall Islands Police Department Commissioner George Lanwi said police are taking the threat seriously and will be working with local police to expand their resources to identify the culprits.

Jacklick said he will not be deterred by the threat. It’s a “sign that people aren’t happy with the level of scrutiny that the division is undertaking to protect our borders,” Jacklick said. “This stupid act will not change the hard work my team has been doing since (I took) over.”

Marianas Variety

6) Typhoon Displaced Palauans Hope To Go Home Soon
Vice President: Rebuilding of homes, schools, infrastructure underway

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 8, 2014) – Before it hit the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan also devastated the small island of Kayangal in Palau.

While there were no deaths in Kayangal, all of the homes on the island were destroyed, forcing those who lived there to be moved out.

But Palau’s vice president, Antonio Bells, says it’s hoped the typhoon survivors will soon be able to return to their island.

Mr Bells, who’s also the head of the national emergency committee, says houses, schools and infrastructure are being rebuilt.

“We have been able now to begin the rebuilding of the homes in the northern island of Kayangal where all the homes were completely destroyed,” he told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.

“(We are) also rebuilding the power generators, the water supply and maybe in good time shortly, the people will be able to start moving back.”

The typhoon has displaced about 80 people on the island.

Mr Bells says efforts are being made to ensure the island’s residents are protected from the effects of severe storms in the future.

“The homes, I understand, were to be elevated in anticipation that we would have typhoons in the future, at least a little bit elevated so that the water doesn’t wash into the homes,” he said.

“The structures are being made to withstand the winds.

“But I guess there’s only so much you can do on a very low level island.”

He says schools are also on the restoration list and will be reopened soon.

“The children moved to the capital of Palau, Koror. Most of them are going to schools in Koror,” he said.

“They all say they are keen to return … They just want to go back home.”

However, Mr Bells says the government may have to consider permanently relocating the residents if there are any more disasters.

Radio Australia

AUSTRALIA

7) Total Cost Of RAMSI To Australia Was $2.4 Billion
Lowy Institute report calls this ‘massive and disproportionate’

By Jemima Garrett

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 8, 2014) – Australia’s share of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands was ‘massive and disproportionate’, according to a new report by the Lowy Institute.

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 [US$2.4 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 Beat program.

“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

8) Qantas says it is on track to axe 2200 jobs by the end of June 2015
By Online Editor
12:00 pm GMT+12, 09/05/2014, Australia

Qantas Airways is on track to complete 4000 of its planned 5000 job cuts by June next year, with management, engineering, catering, freight, cabin crew, airport and flight operations among those affected.

In a presentation to the Macquarie Australia Conference in Sydney on Thursday, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce provided fresh details of the airline’s cost-cutting plan.

He said the airline was aiming to achieve $800 million of cost savings and reduce its debt by AUD$1 billion by June next year as part of its three-year plan to get the airline back to profitability.

He also revealed the airline would cut its capital spending by a further $200 million this year, bringing the net capital spending down to AUD$800 million.

The airline’s goal is to reduce its costs, excluding fuel, by 10 per cent over the next three years and to lower the cost gap with rival Virgin Australia Holdings to about 5 per cent in a move that would increase Qantas’ margin advantage.

Joyce said challenges for the business included high competitive intensity in all markets and an elevated Australian dollar fuel price.

But he said he expected international capacity growth into Australia would go down from about 9 per cent this financial year to 4 to 5 per cent in the first half of the 2015 financial year.

“That is more in line with underlying market growth, which means there is less pressure on yield when capacity gets in line with traffic.”

Joyce said domestic market growth in the current half was expected to be about 3.5 per cent and could moderate further into the next financial year.

“But we have to assume the intensity continues and our plan to reduce costs, reduce debt, that plan can work under intense competition,” he said.

Qantas expects to reduce its number of full-time employees by 2200 by the end of next month and another 1800 by the end of June next year. That will mean only 1000 reductions will be left to be made in the 2016 and 2017 financial years.

Other cost-saving initiatives include plans to simplify its fleet by retiring its fleet of ageing 767s and some of its older 747s, which will have a combined annual cost benefit of $155 million.

Joyce said the focus was on debt reduction and reducing capital spending rather than asset sales.

“We are still working through the pros and cons of selling the frequent-flyer business,” he said, referring to the potential to sell a minority stake in its $2.5 billion loyalty arm. “It is a complex issue.”

Joyce said the airline was also continuing its talks with the government about amending the Qantas Sale Act to allow for greater foreign ownership of the airline. The Senate is not expected to look at the issue until after July.

“We continue to talk to all parties about that process and we are committed to the repeal of the Qantas Sale Act and working with the government on that,” he said.

SOURCE: SMH/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN

9) PNG LNG i kamapim senis long PNG

Updated 9 May 2014, 17:27 AEST
Paulus Kombo

Bikpela multi-billion dollar LNG Project i stat pinis long kamapim planti kainkain senis long Papua New Guinea.

Odio: Samuel Koyama, Sinia Advisor long Land na komuniti Affairs department wantaim ExxonMobil PNG Ltd long PNG i toktok
Despla i min olsem oli stat long prodiusim Gas faifpla mun pastem long taem em oli bin makim long mun October 2014.

PNG LNG Projek istap aninit long wok lukaut blong Oil Search na ExxonMobil PNG Ltd, na em i stat long prodiusim Gas faifpla mun pastem long taem em oli bin makim long mun October 2014.

Planti ol kainkain senis ibin kamap long long laif na sidaun bilong ol pipol, gavman na ol wokbisnis long Papua New Guinea .

Despela em toktok bilong Samuel Koyama, Sinia Advisor long Land na komuniti Affairs department wantaim ExxonMobil PNG Ltd long PNG.Radio Australia

FRENCH

10) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – vendredi 9 mai 2014

Mis à jour 9 May 2014, 15:41 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Le dernier contingent de militaires tongiens a quitté l’Afghanistan. Leur retour clôt quatre ans de présence dans le pays. L’armée tongienne se cherche désormais un avenir.

Ils sont rentrés à Tonga la semaine dernière. C’est la fin de quatre années de service, pendant lesquelles les soldats tongiens ont assuré un travail de sentinelles à la base britannique Camp Bastion. Les autorités se demandent aujourd’hui que faire de ces centaines de soldats. Ils pourraient être démobilisé et rendus à la vie civile, pour redistribuer le budget de l’armée à d’autres ministères. Mais le débat est loin d’être tranché.

Australie: plus d’un millier de victimes d’agressions sexuelles attendent de pouvoir raconter leur calvaire. La Commission Royale d’Enquête créée en avril 2013 recueille les témoignages des victimes d’adultes dans les organisations religieuses, les associations caritatives, les services de l’aide sociale à l’enfance. D’autres ont été violés par des policiers. 1500 Australiens ont fait leur déposition jusqu’à présent, 1000 autres sont sur liste d’attente. 40 nouvelles victimes se manifestent chaque semaine. Dans la plupart des cas les faits qui prescrits. Mais 156 informations judiciaires ont été ouvertes.

Îles Marshall: le directeur du département de l’immigration reçoit des menaces. Un message a été tagué sur sa maison à Majuro. Damien Jacklick a récemment fait expulser un certain nombre d’étrangers en situation irrégulière. En janvier, c’est un  Sud-Coréen recherché par Interpol qui a ouvert le bal. Il avait monté un trafic illicite de ferraille.

Vanuatu: les victimes de Lusi sont toujours à court de nourriture dans certains villages. Les habitants survivent en mangeant des fruits et légumes pas mûrs. Comme il n’existe pas de budget de secours en cas de catastrophe naturelle, le gouvernement est obligé de transférer des fonds d’autres budgets, c’est ce qui explique le retard de l’aide alimentaire, explique le ministère du Changement climatique.

Fidji envisage de faire une deuxième demande d’extradition de Ratu Tevita Mara. Cet ancien haut-gradé de l’armée fidjienne est mis en examen pour sédition et tentative de putsch depuis 2011. Mais il a fui Fidji en mai 2011, avec l’aide de la marine royale tongienne. Depuis, il est réfugié à Tonga, qui a refusé une première demande d’extradition. Jeudi, le parquet a demandé l’ouverture d’un procès par contumace, au cas où Tonga refuserait de nouveau la demande d’extradition de Ratu Tevita Mara.

Samoa américain: enquête sur un atterrissage raté. Un avion de la Polynesian airlines, la compagnie aérienne du Samoa voisin, a du couper court à ses manœuvres d’atterrissage vendredi dernier et reprendre de l’altitude. Un hélicoptère était en effet sur sa route. La collision a été évité de justesse, car le pilote de l’hélicoptère n’a pas répondu aux appels du pilote de l’avion. Les compétences des aiguilleurs du ciel de l’aéroport de Pago Pago sont également mises en cause.

Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: c’est désormais le deuxième cancer le plus courant: 15% des cancéreux admis à l’hôpital souffrent d’un cancer de la bouche. Un Papou sur dix succombe à cette maladie, due principalement au mâchage de la noix de betel.

Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée:  l’exploitation minière des fonds marins inquiète Gary Juffa. Le gouverneur d’Oro est en première ligne, c’est dans sa province que la compagnie canadienne Nautilus pourrait ouvrir la première exploitation minière sous-marine du monde – Solwara 1. Mais Gary Juffa exige une étude approfondie et indépendante de l’impact environnemental de l’exploitation sur la faune et la flore marines. Le gouvernement s’est déjà engagé à autoriser l’exploitation.

L’Australie investit 2.5 millions de dollars américains dans la rénovation de l’école des sages femmes de Port-Moresby, qui dépend de l’université adventiste en partenariat avec le gouvernement papou. Cela permettra de former plus de sages-femmes, et mieux. 1500 femmes meurent en couches chaque année dans le pays. La plupart accouchent sans sages-femmes. Radio Australia

PASIFIK

11) Strong El Niño forecast in north Pacific

9 May 2014

Weather officials tracking El Nino weather patterns say the north Pacific should brace itself for drought, coral bleaching and an increase in the likelihood of typhoons.

The Pacific Climate Centre on Guam says the atmosphere and ocean are already exhibiting features that indicate the early stages of a strong El Nino event starting mid-year.

It says a major Micronesia-wide drought is likely to begin as the El Nino reaches maturity, beginning in western Micronesia late this year and spreading to all islands by early 2015.

It says the risk of a typhoon affecting nearly all islands and atolls will increase dramatically, and very warm temperatures under conditions of blue skies could lead to coral bleaching.

It says the developing El Nino could be the strongest since 1998.

That event caused almost six months of drought in the Marshall Islands, resulting in a government declaration of disaster and provision of emergency water and food aid.Radio NZ

WORLD

12) BRIEFLY

Agencies
Sunday, May 11, 2014

Code anger

BERLIN – Detergent manufacturer Procter and Gamble has prompted anger in Germany after unintentionally placing a neo-Nazi code on promotional packages for Ariel washing powder.

Outraged shoppers have posted pictures online of Ariel boxes featuring a large number 88 on a white soccer jersey.

The use of Nazi slogans in public is banned in Germany, which neo-Nazis often try to circumvent by using codes. They use 88 to represent the phrase Heil Hitler, because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

Similarly, 18 is used to stand for AH or Adolf Hitler.

Legal fees

PRETORIA – Oscar Pistorius has sold the upmarket Pretoria home where he shot dead his girlfriend, as legal fees mounted from his lengthy murder trial that continued Friday.

The $US480,000 ($F878,400) house was put on the market earlier this year as the athlete struggled to pay a small army of lawyers who are fighting the murder charges on his behalf.

They include three of South Africa’s leading defence attorneys, a raft of ballistics and forensic experts and a US crime scene reconstruction company.

Immunotherapy

WASHINGTON – An experimental therapy that helps retrain a patient’s own immune system to attack tumours may work in a wide range of common cancers, according to a preliminary US study.

Until now, the greatest successes for a technique known as adoptive cell therapy have been seen in melanoma, but researchers are curious to find out if the approach could work in cancers of the digestive tract, lung, pancreas, breast or bladder.

The journal Science published an article on Friday describing how the technique was able to shrink tumours in a 43-year-old woman with advanced cholangiocarcinoma.

Sacrifice

OSLO – Norway’s government says its decision not to meet the Dalai Lama during a three-day trip to Oslo was a “necessary sacrifice” to normalise its relations with China.

Oslo has faced public criticism for its decision to snub the Tibetan spiritual leader, who was in Norway to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize.

Instead, the spiritual leader was received in parliament by several members of the cross-parliamentary committee for Tibet.

Extra funds

CANBERRA – Ahead of the budget, the federal government is handing money to top athletes regarded as good prospects to win medals.

Sports Minister Peter Dutton said 650 of Australia’s best athletes would benefit from a newly designed program that reallocates $1.6 million ($F2.75m) directly to the best medal hopes and emerging talent.

Mr Dutton said this would come from a re-designed Direct Athlete Support (DAS) program of $48 $F82m) million over four years.

Four arrested

SYDNEY – Three men and a teenage girl have been arrested after a stabbing at a NSW train station.

Policy say an 18-year-old man was found with a stab wound to his back at Sutherland Railway Station early on Saturday.

He was taken to St George Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Three men, 19, 23 and 26, and a 17-year-old girl were arrested less than an hour later at Engadine.

HEALTH


13) Australian open new midwifery training facilities in PNG
By Online Editor
3:43 pm GMT+12, 09/05/2014, Australia

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop has opened new midwifery training facilities in Port Moresby to boost the number and quality of midwives in Papua New Guinea.

The K7.5 million (AUD$2.8 million) upgrade to the Pacific Adventist University Midwifery School will help Australia and PNG to train 500 additional midwives for PNG by 2015.

In partnership with this private university and the PNG Government, Australia is increasing the number of skilled supervised births and the use of family planning – the two proven methods to save mothers’ and babies’ lives.

Up to 500 women and men are receiving Australian scholarships from 2011 to 2015 to study midwifery in PNG. Nineteen are currently studying at the Pacific Adventist University.

The new facilities at the Pacific Adventist University Midwifery School include new classrooms, computer laboratories and student and staff accommodation.

Throughout Papua New Guinea, Australia is refurbishing four midwifery schools and building a fifth school to expand capacity to train midwives in quality conditions. Australia also supports midwifery facilitators who work with teachers and students at the schools to improve teaching quality and produce confident graduates.

Up to 1,500 Papua New Guinean women are estimated to die during childbirth every year. Our greatest chance of reversing the number of maternal deaths in PNG is to encourage women to give birth in the presence of a trained midwife.

Meanwhile, Bishop paid a courtesy call to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at Parliament house Thursday.

Foreign Minister Julia Bishop flew into Port Moresby yesterday to confirm Australia’s commitment to tackling education she says they will work with the Government of PNG to improve children’s education and health by harnessing the power of PNG’s national passion – rugby league.

“League Bilong Laif or League for Life complements PNG’s education priorities by using rugby league to encourage school attendance, self-discipline, respect and social responsibility,” Bishop says.

“I will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with PNG’s National Department of Education and the Australian Rugby League Commission which commits to expanding this successful initiative to the Eastern Highlands of PNG and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to extend the number of children who can participate.”

The $4 million, (K8 million) three year initiative is part of the Government’s Pacific Sports Partnerships which deliver sports training and equipment to Pacific communities. More than 3000 children and 50 teachers have participated in the program to date in the National Capital District and East New Britain.

“League Bilong Laif trains teachers to deliver clinics and classroom exercises that boost physical, reading and maths skills and encourage healthy lifestyles. “Equal numbers of girls and boys participate in League Bilong Laif and more than 70 per cent of teachers trained are women. By appointing female development officers, the program is providing new opportunities for women and girls,” she says.

The program is delivered through a partnership between the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian National Rugby League and the PNG National Department of Education. The PNG Rugby Football League and the University of PNG are key supporters of the program.

SOURCE: DFAT/PACNEWS

POLITIC

14) Democratic Party comes out tops in elections in Papua

9 May 2014
Indonesia’s Democratic Party has won the most votes of any one party in elections for the House of Representatives in Papua region.

The Jakarta Post reports that the Democratic Party garnered a total of 700,150 votes out of more than 2.9 million valid votes.

As a result, the Democrats gained two seats at the House of Representatives out of the 10 Papua-assigned seats, which is one less than the 2009-2014 period.

The Papua chapter of the Democratic Party is headed by the Governor of Papua Province, Lukas Enembe.

The Papua General Elections Commission says that votes were evenly distributed among the 12 political parties and that eight won seats.Radio NZ

15) Another no confidence motion in Vanuatu

10 May 2014

In Vanuatu a motion for a vote of no confidence in the Government of Moana Carcasses has been lodged.

The Speaker of Parliament, Philip Boedoro, told MPs Friday afternoon that a motion had been deposited and that it is in order and will be debated on Thursday next week.

The Opposition Office is not yet making any comment on the motion, except to say it had been initiated by government backbenchers.

It will be the third motion brought against Mr Carcasses who came to power in March last year.

The more recent attempt to remove him, in February, was withdrawn before it could be debated after six MPs who had defected returned to the government side.Radio NZ

16) New Caledonia election campaign ends

10 May 2014

Campaigning has ended in New Caledonia for tomorrow’s provincial elections.

A total of 76 seats will have to be filled in the three provincial assemblies, with 54 of these members also sitting in the new Congress.

17 lists are contesting the poll and according to French law, the parties have alternate men and women on their lists.

The focus is on the southern province, which is dominated by the anti-independence camp but where the rival pro-independence side is standing with a unitary list.

Observers say with the splits among the loyalists, the pro-independence side is likely to make gains.

The next Congress will be tasked with organising a referendum on possible independence during its five-year term as stipulated in he 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy, which has been the territory’s decolonisation road map.Radio NZ

17) Fiji’s Qarase – AG must quit as Elections Minister

10 May 2014

A former Fiji prime minister has taken issue with the angry reaction by the attorney-general against criticisms on his dual roles as minister for elections and general secretary of the proposed Fiji First Party.

In a statement, Laisenia Qarase, who was ousted in the 2006 coup, says the issue is a serious conflict of interest, and the people of Fiji have a right to insist that this is not acceptable in a free and fair election.

There’s mounting criticism for Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to resign as minister for elections.

On Fiji TV, Mr Sayed Khaiyum described the resignation calls as gutter politics and a side circus show.

He also said in previous governments, ministers have been responsible for the Election Office.

But Mr Qarase says when he was prime minister and was also leader of the SDL Party, he was never Minister for Elections.

He says in a parliamentary democracy, all government agencies must come under a ministerial portfolio.

He says both the Electoral Commission and the Office of the Supervisor of Elections have always come under the Prime Minister’s portfolio.

And he says as Prime Minister from 2000-2006, his role was two-fold in relation to the two agencies.

He says firstly, he was expected to deal with their submissions for budgetary allocations and, secondly, he had a duty to respond to parliamentary questions as they arose.

Mr Qarase stressed that in no way did he influence or interfere in the work of the Electoral Commission or the Supervisor of Elections, and he is aware that the Prime Ministers who preceded him played a similar role.

He also added that since Independence in 1970, there has never been a Minister for Elections.

Mr Qarase says the reason for this is that both the Electoral Commission and the Office of the Supervisor of Elections must carry out their functions within the laws regulating their operations, with complete independence and without interference from the Government in power.

He says this golden rule has been broken for the first time by the Bainimarama-Sayed-Khaiyum regime with the appointment of the Attorney-General as minister responsible for elections.

Mr Qarase says Mr Sayed-Khaiyum must do the right thing and step down from the position of Minister for Elections.Radio NZ

18) Proposed Fiji First to campaign after registration

By Online Editor
11:52 am GMT+12, 09/05/2014, Fiji

The proposed Fiji First political organisation will start its campaign once the party is registered with the Elections Office.

The proposed association’s newly-appointed president and Minister for Women Doctor Jiko Luveni said in Savusavu Thursday they were yet to launch the party and they had been given about a month to do so.

“Right now, we have only lodged our application to be registered and we are working on registering our party,” she said.

“Once the whole process of registration is completed and when our application is accepted, we will then plan our campaign nationwide.

“At the moment, we are just waiting to be registered before we move on with our campaign.”

Dr Luveni said she would surely apply to stand as a candidate for the proposed party.

“I have started a lot of reforms, especially with my ministry and I would like to continue pursuing more changes for the benefit of ordinary Fijians.

“Hopefully, people will now be politically matured and not to be swayed by mere talks on the streets.

“They need to see those people who have progressively worked and made things happen in this country and cast their votes for these people.

“I believe this proposed party has these kinds of people who have the same vision of improving the livelihoods of all Fijians.”

Meanwhile, statements made by the National Federation Party and the Fiji Labour Party about his involvement in the political process as the Minister for Elections and his position as the general secretary for the proposed Fiji First political organisation encapsulates gutter politics, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He said the onus was on the media to study previous constitutions and elections processes and to get the correct information out to the public.

“Ministers have been responsible for the Elections Office,” he said.

“Who was responsible for the 2006 elections?

Laisenia Qarase. He was the leader of the SDL party.

“Did the NFP say it was a conflict of interest? Did the Labour Party then say it was a conflict of interest? Who was the minister responsible for elections for the 2001 elections? Laisenia Qarase. Did the NFP or Labour say it was a conflict of interest?

“Who was minister responsible for elections in 1999? Sitiveni Rabuka. He was the leader of the SVT. Did NFP and Labour say it was a conflict of interest? No.

“So why are they saying it now.”

Sayed-Khaiyum said the role of the media in the lead-up to the September polls was critical.

“The media needs to also smarten up about this.

“We’re not going to be in the process of responding to every single press statement they issue because 99 per cent of that is not even worth responding to.

“The media can make up its own mind, the media has all the facts available, please refer to Hansard reports, look at the previous constitutions.”.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

19) Former Fiji Judge To Be UN Permanent Representative In Geneva
Fiji to open mission in Switzerland next month

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 8, 2014) – Former High Court judge Nazhat Shameem has been appointed Fiji’s first permanent representative to the United Nations office in Geneva.

“Ms Shameem’s wide experience in the civil service, her extensive legal background and expertise makes her a suitable candidate for the type of work and advocacy required of Fiji’s representative in Geneva,” the Ministry of Information said in a statement this morning.

She is expected to begin her new posting in Geneva, Switzerland later this month.

Fiji’s mission in Geneva is expected to be officially opened in June.

Fiji Times Online.

20) Proposed Fiji First Vice President Steps Down
Prasad’s criminal conviction 30 years ago leads to resignation

By Felix Chaudhary

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 8, 2014) – 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.”

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.

Fiji Times Online.

BUSINESS

21) Chamber to stage forum for women

Source:
The National, Thursday May 8th, 2014

THE Papua New Guinea Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PNGWCCI) will hold a seminar for women on “How to access Finance” tomorrow.
Representatives from commercial banks and microfinance institutions will be at the seminar at the National Library in Port Moresby to talk to women about how to go about in accessing finance.
Small and medium enterprises (SME) are encouraged to attend for the benefit of their businesses.
PNGWCCI is a non-profit organization therefore, a minimal fee of K20 is being charged for non-members.
“PNGWCCI seeks to empower and strengthen women entrepreneurs and leaders by building capacity, creating business networking, advocating innovatively, and creating wealth and prosperity in an enabling environment,” interim president Avia Koisen said.
“Our partnership with CIPE will help us realise this vision.”
She said PNGWCCI was aimed to give less fortunate women the idea, chance and expertise to make money for themselves.
“We want to help them get out of poverty and out of being moneyless so that they can become money earning, people…and that gives them a sense of self-esteem and confidence, having a bit of money in your pocket means everything – independence”.

22) New Caledonia nickel plant suspended
By Online Editor
09:50 am GMT+12, 08/05/2014, New Caledonia

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 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….

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

23) Japan launches US$50m Vanuatu wharf project
By Online Editor
3:57 pm GMT+12, 09/05/2014, Vanuatu

The Japanese government has launched a 50 million US dollars project to expand Lapetasi Wharf in Vanuatu to improve the archipelago’s international shipping capabilities.

The president of Japan International Coorporation Agency, Akihiko Takana, says Vanuatu depends on maritime transport to sustain its economy.

Dr Takana says because the volume of international cargos is increasing, Vanuatu urgently needs to improve its handling capacity and expand the wharf.

He says a new multi-purpose wharf, a container yard and more facilities will be constructed.

“Countries like Japan, which continues to prosper with the help of greater interconnectedness of trade. That means, for us, the Pacific is very, very important.”

The Lapetasi Wharf project is expected to be completed in 2016.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

24) China To Build Two Major Roads In Port Moresby
Construction of $111 million projects to be done by Chinese firms

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 8, 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 [US$68.4 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 [US$244 million] Lae Tidal Basin construction.

O’Neill thanked the Chinese government and CHEC for believing in the potential of the country.

The National

25) Potential investors eye Fiji cocoa

Geraldine Panapasa
Friday, May 09, 2014

THERE is hope yet to take Fiji’s cocoa industry to new heights following a recent visit by two US-based investors to explore home-grown cocoa beans.

The visit by San Francisco-based Dandelion Chocolate owner Greg D’alesandre and Portland-based Meridian Cacao Company founder Gino Dalla Gasperina was facilitated by Pacific Island Trade & Invest export services manager Jeremy Grennell, who is based at the Sydney office in Australia. The pair met proprietors of different companies including Adi Chocolate Fiji proprietor.

“The US-based companies were looking to source cocoa beans, one for their premium craft chocolate brand, Dandelion Chocolate, and the other to source cocoa beans to sell to US-based craft chocolate makers,” Mr Grennell said.Fijitimes

LAW&ORDER

26) Lawyers warned not to waste time

Source:
The National, Friday 09th of May, 2014

A JUDGE has warned lawyers to come prepared for their cases so that they do not waste the court’s time.
Justice Bernard  Sakora sounded the warning yesterday in the National Court in Waigani after two lawyers failed to properly prepare themselves for a trial which he was forced to adjourn to next month.
Two cases filed against the State by Jerry Baniyamai and Dickson Opa were adjourned because the defence lawyers failed to prepare themselves for the trial.
Sakora said the continuing problem of lawyers attending court without proper preparation and lacking information breached court procedures.
He warned lawyers to always prepare themselves when a trial date was given, be fair and to act in the best interest of citizens.
Justice Sakora advised lawyers to avoid taking shortcuts on procedures in court.
Sakora urged lawyers to uphold the terms of their oaths to help enforce the laws of the country.
He said they must not be told what to do by those in authorities but “take the initiative to do things ourselves”.
“We must try to avoid being in a nannies state as this virus has landed on the shores of PNG,” he said.

27) Witchcraft claims case

Felix Chaudhary
Sunday, May 11, 2014

FOUR men who allegedly killed a man because of claims that he practised witchcraft appeared at the High Court in Lautoka on Friday.

Rakesh Kumar, Vinod Segran, Mataiyasi Ului and Maikeli Loko appeared before Justice Sudharshan De Silva charged with the murder of Nadi carpenter Arun Vasudewan.

Justice De Silva will decide on bail application on May 12.Fijitimes

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT


28) UN helps PNG to deal with climate change
By Online Editor
09:39 am GMT+12, 09/05/2014, Papua New Guinea

The United Nations continues to assist the government to prepare the country for REDD plus, an environmental initiative focused on reducing greenhouse gases.

Arthur Neher, the UN-REDD program manager, explained that the aim is to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through a set of steps designed to use market and financial incentives.

In an interview with Post Courier newspaper, Neher said the recent New Guinea Islands and Autonomous Region of Bougainville workshop was the first of a series. Its object was to introduce local communities to the goals of the program and to encourage them to take part in it.

He explained that in order for the program to be successful, communities needed to understand it and give their informed consent to it.

“What we need to do is look into the institutional and management arrangements and technical components of REDD Plus. There are a lot of things that need to be done and one of them is to at least involve stakeholders at the regional and provincial level to raise more awareness on what REDD Plus is.”

REDD Plus aims to appoint ‘local champions’ who understand the different levels of government and what each level expects from the project. These on-the-ground people, he said, will be spearheading the project, informing others of initiatives like sustainable forest management practices to mitigate climate change.

Neher said: “UN REDD is a unique program that looks at forestry and carbon rights. Basically it is finance based system whereas other programs look more into maybe adaptation measures to make sure that people are addressing the effects of climate change.”

Neher said that running alongside the UN’s program is one from the World Bank called the Forest Carbon Platform Facility which is also putting money into PNG. The World Bank will eventually take over the activities of REDD Plus and the UN program will be phased out.

“They also want to put in money, they have slightly different ideas and criteria so there is discrepancy between the two but basically we all want the same thing,” Neher said.

He said PNG has committed internationally to address climate change and will make sure that greenhouse gases are reduced.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

29) Dreaded El Nino looms in the Pacific
By Online Editor
3:49 pm GMT+12, 09/05/2014, Australia

Australia remains on course for its first El Nino in more than four years, a weather event that typically brings a drier-than-average winter and spring to much of southern Australia including NSW, and active bushfire seasons by summer.

Warm sub-seawater temperatures – in places as much as 6 degrees above normal – continue to spread eastwards in the tropical Pacific, a key precursor to an El Nino forming, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

The bureau rates the likelihood of an El Nino at more than 70 per cent, with confirmation possible in the next month or so, manager of the bureau’s climate prediction services, Andrew Watkins said.

“We’re waiting to see the response from the atmosphere,” Dr Watkins said, adding that that signal might take months to become clear.

Normally, trade winds blow from east to west along the equatorial Pacific. As warm waters spread eastwards, as they are now, sea temperature differences narrow, causing those winds to weaken and clouds to build up near the dateline.

The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is seen as having the greatest single influence on the global climate of any weather phenomenon and the hottest years on record – 2010, 2005 and 1998 – have all followed the start of El Ninos.

For Australia, such years are associated with below-average rainfall, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin, and fewer than normal cyclones. The snow season also tends to be a poor one, while the frost season is extended, adding to farmers’ woes, Dr Watkins said. However, countries on the eastern Pacific fringe  tend to get wetter-than-usual years – a shift that drought-hit California might welcome.

A so-called predictability barrier exists each autumn as El Nino Southern Oscillation conditions naturally reset. That also makes it difficult to tell how severe the El Nino – and its impact on rainfall and temperatures – will be.

“It’s too early to say what the strength of the event will be,” Dr Watkins said.

Senior research associate at the University of NSW’s Climate Change Research Centre, Agus Santoso agrees that an El Nino is likely this year.

“Given what we’ve seen in recent months, it’s likely to be strong but it’s not certain,” Dr Santoso said.

El Nino patterns tend to lift global temperatures by 0.1-0.2 degrees, increasing the prospects of a record year, given climate change is steadily increasing background conditions.

“When you have an El Nino, you are more likely going to exceed the record in global warming,” Dr Santoso said.

SOURCE: SMH/PACNEWS

WOMAN,YOUTH&CHILD

30) Youths out of work

Ropate Valemei
Saturday, May 10, 2014

MORE than half of Pacific islanders are under the age of 24, the highest population for any region in the world.

In some countries, about 58 per cent of young people were estimated to be out of work, which increased risks of poverty and social unrest.

According to a report launched by the World Bank in Suva yesterday, new approaches would be needed for Pacific island economies to generate sufficient jobs, especially for women and youths.

The report, titled Wellbeing from Work in the Pacific Island Countries, was part of a global research program that examined how policies could support better development outcomes from employment.

“Employment matters for development. Globally, employment is the largest source of household income, and employment-related changes drive most transitions out of poverty,” said World Bank Pacific Department’s poverty reduction and economic management economist Tobias Haque.

“Not all jobs are as good as each other. The best employment opportunities are those that contribute to higher living standards, deliver increased productivity, and build social cohesion.”

He said Pacific island countries were unique and required unique solutions.

“There is little sign of the structural transformations that have generated better work in the East Asia region.”

The said the working age population would grow rapidly in Pacific island countries in the coming decades.http://www.fijitimes.com/

EVENTS

31) PNG ready to host Melanesian Festival
By Online Editor
09:40 am GMT+12, 09/05/2014, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is ready to play host to the 5th Melanesian Festival of arts in 50 days time, culture and Tourism Minister Boka Kondra told Parliament Thursday.

Delegations from Indonesia – West Papua, Timor-Leste and Thursday Islands will join Melanesian nations Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and the FLNKS in Port Moresby to showcase their culture and tradition as Papua New Guinea plays host in Post Moresby and other centres of Kokopo, Wewak, Mt Hagen and Alotau.

Kondra said although only two out of 22 provinces have set up their traditional and cultural houses at the 5th Melanesian Arts Festival site at Waigani, and 15 provinces responded positively to send their groups, all operations will be ready by May 29, when the site will be commissioned and ready for use.

He said the facilities at the satellite towns of Kokopo, Mt Hagen, Wewak and Milne Bay would also be ready by end of this month.

“We are ready for accommodation, we are ready for transport, we are ready for security, we are ready for this international event. I would like to assure the House that by end of this month we would have completed all facilities on the 28th of this month and on the 29th we ill commission and ready for delivery,” he said.

“I will make sure that this program is delivered on time. We must not fail, we must deliver.”.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

32) Minister: We’re ready for arts festival

Source:
The National, Friday 09th of May, 2014

WABAG MP Robert Ganim yesterday expressed serious doubt about Papua New Guinea’s preparation to host the 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture from June 28-July 11.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Boka Kondra, told the MP that he could rest assured the festival would be delivered on time.
Ganim said PNG would have a definite problem and asked that the event be deferred to later in the year,
He asked why PNG did not prepare over the last four years for the event, whether buildings at Waigani were cleared by the Physical Planning Board, why there was little corporate sector participation, and why the organising committee was not holding regular meetings.
Kondra said PNG made a commitment after the last festival in New Caledonia in 2010 to host the event in 2014.
“When I took up the ministry, I said we must host this festival, despite time limitations,” he said.
“We had to do it.
“When the submission was brought to NEC in late 2013, it approved K34 million.”
Kondra said there was no need to build permanent structures for an event that would only last for a few days.
“We don’t need Physical Planning Board approval for temporary structures,” he said.
Kondra said the event was not a commercial one and that the organising committee held regular meetings.
“Regarding sponsorship, I believe this festival is different from other events,” he said.
“In events such as the Pacific Games, the main aim of sponsors is to promote and sell their products.
“The Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture is an event for simple people to showcase their cultures.
“We have other organisations working with us like Immigration, National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA), Police – everybody’s working together to deliver this event effectively and on time.
“The committee has had regular meetings. We are confident that we will deliver it. We are ready in terms of accommodation, transportation, security – almost everything.”
“By the end of this month, we would have completed all the facilities in the festival village.
“We also have other selected sites around Port Moresby.
“I will make sure that this programme is delivered on time and I would not like to see this country not fail despite having time limitations.
“If you have a lot of doubts, let us all work together, despite the time limitations.”

 (Phils Note: Thank You Papua NiuGini for hosting OUR Melanesian Festival for 2014)

SPORTS

33) Cricket showdown between PNG and Japan

10 May 2014

The two main contenders at the East Asia-Pacific Women’s Cricket Trophy in Japan will showdown today.

Papua New Guinea and Japan are the only unbeaten sides in the Twenty20 tournament and the winner of today’s match will be the first nation into the final.

The PNG all-rounder Kila Leka-Amini says they are feeling good after surviving a scare by Samoa yesterday and are looking forward to meeting Japan.

“Feeling good, we just need to do the right things, the basics, get the basics right, yeah nothing fancy just do the right things.”

Kila Leka-Amini.

The other matches today see the Cook Islands play Vanuatu and Samoa verses the Cricket Without Borders team.

The third place playoff and final are being held tomorrow.Radio NZ

34) Well-rested Amicale ready for O-League decider

10 May 2014

Amicale football coach Nathan Hall says their opponent’s heavy travel schedule plays into their favour for this afternoon’s Oceania Champions League final first leg in Port Vila.

The Vanuatu club drew with Fiji’s Ba on home soil last Saturday to advance to the final 2-1 on aggregate.

Auckland City sealed a 4-2 aggregate win in the other semi final a day later, against Tahitian champions AS Pirae, in Papeete.

The New Zealand club then had to fly home before leaving again for Vanuatu.

Nathan Hall says such a tight turnaround takes its toll.

“I mean they’ve travelled a lot obviously in recent days. They’ll be tired, they’ll be drained and they have to come to Vanuatu, and I can assure you our pitch is a little bit different to their one. I think they will find it hard here but they’re a good team and we respect them but we don’t fear them. We know if we play well that we can beat any team in this region and we need to ensure that we do that this coming weekend and try and have some advantage leading into the return leg in Auckland.”

The overall winner to advance to the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco in December.Radio NZ

35) Cricket Fiji to host inaugural Pasifika U17 Tri-Series
By Online Editor
12:21 pm GMT+12, 09/05/2014, Fiji

Cricket Fiji is excited to announce it will be hosting the inaugural Pasifika Under-17 Tri-Series in Suva next month.

In the first tournament of it’s kind, the U17 representative sides from Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga will play each other in a series of round-robin Twenty20 matches, with the top two sides at the end of the week playing off for the inaugural Pasifika title.

With no regional U17 championships being help in 2014, the participating nations expressed interest in holding their own international tournament, to ensure the continual development of elite young cricketers through gaining vital competition experience.

Tonga will also be bringing their national Under-19 side to Fiji, which will compete against Cricket Fiji’s High Performance Unit U19 side in a series of 50- and 20-over tour matches.

The Pasifika U17 Tri-Series will run from June 23-27, with the series of tour matches against Tonga to continue from June 28 until July 4.

All matches will be played at Cricket Fiji’s new home, Burkust Park.

SOURCE: CRICKET FIJI /PACNEWS

36) 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.”.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

37) South Sydney Rabbitohs post 40-18 NRL win over Gold Coast Titans with Dylan Walker scoring four tries

Updated 10 May 2014, 19:48 AEST

South Sydney flexed its muscle with a comprehensive 40-18 defeat of Gold Coast at Robina.

A four-try blitz in the opening 20 minutes was the platform for South Sydney’s 40-18 win over Gold Coast at Robina on Saturday evening.

SCOREBOARD: GCST 18-40 SOU

View full stats sheet
Interview: Michael Maguire
Interview: John Cartwright
Interview: Dylan Walker
Interview: Adam Reynolds

The Rabbitohs ran in four unanswered tries before the Titans had completed four sets, going on to claim a comprehensive victory.

Young centre Dylan Walker picked up four tries and had another disallowed, beginning his scoring just 80 seconds after the match kicked off in a horror start for the home side.

Kirisome Auva’a scored the second just two sets later although there did seem to be a hint of double movement about his lunge for the line.

Walker and winger Alex Johnston then added more tries as the Rabbitohs ran rampant, racing to a 22-0 lead.

Titans winger Anthony Don managed a brace of his own to reduce the margin to 10 at the break before Walker snared his first NRL hat-trick three minutes into the second half.

Titans’ co-captain Greg Bird will have a nervous wait ahead of the New South Wales State of Origin team being named after he was placed on report in the 60th minute for a dangerous tackle on Bryson Goodwin.

Walker, who had been denied a fourth try by the video referee, completed his great day with 13 minutes to go before Johnston’s second capped the victory.

Luke Burgess was placed on report late in the match for a shoulder charge which left Titans’ forward Ashley Harrison groggy in an almost solitary bad moment for the Rabbitohs.

The win is the Rabbitohs’ fifth in a row against the Titans and keeps them in the top eight with five wins and four losses this season.

The Titans, who travel to rivals Brisbane next weekend, have six wins and three losses.

AAP

38) Western Bulldogs outlasts Melbourne to win by 16 points at the MCG

Updated 10 May 2014, 23:01 AEST

Stewart Crameri kicked four goals as the Western Bulldogs won a tight struggle against Melbourne by 16 points.

Western Bulldogs won their third game of the season, earning a 16-point victory over Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday night.

SCOREBOARD: MEL v WB

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Interview: Western Bulldogs’ Adam Cooney

Watched on by thousands of pink poncho-wearing supporters from the pre-game ‘Field of Women’ breast cancer awareness event, the Bulldogs were powered home by Stewart Crameri, who kicked two late goals to give his side a 15.9 (99) to 12.11 (83) win.

The Demons had the lead with less than 10 minutes remaining, and will rue indecision in their forward 50.

They had a dozen more entries into their forward line, with Matt Jones missing two gilt-edged changes to kick final-term goals.

But when the game needed a key forward to take the game by the scruff of the neck, it was Crameri who stood tall.

His four-goal haul helped deny a spirited Melbourne back-to-back wins for the first time in three seasons, and snaps the Bulldogs’ three-match losing streak.

The key concern for coach Brendan McCartney will be interest on hits by Liam Jones and Shaun Higgins.

The Bulldogs led for the first half without kicking away, keeping the Demons scoreless for the opening 17 minutes.

The impressive James Frawley got the Demons rolling, with fellow big man Chris Dawes finding the middle in a scrappy first term.

When Crameri had his second goal within a minute of the re-start, the Bulldogs had a 14-point lead.

But Melbourne responded, with former Whitten Oval favourite Daniel Cross leading the charge.

Tom Williams then sold Colin Garland a dummy, wheeling round and kicking truly to restore the margin to eight.

The two sides were going goal for goal when a pair of injuries threatened the Bulldogs.

Bulldogs cope with injuries

Tory Dickson was substituted after failing to shake a shoulder injury incurred in the first quarter, before Williams called for a trainer in the quarter’s dying minutes.

He returned for a frenetic third quarter, with five lead-changes, and appeared to recover from a calf complaint by kicking three for the night.

The intensity had lifted, which Dean Terlich felt acutely when he was laid out by Jones.

But no side was able to kick away until the game’s final minutes.

With six minutes remaining, Lynden Dunn shook his head in disbelief as Crameri converted from a dicey hands in the back free kick to give the Bulldogs a five point lead.

From there, the Bulldogs never looked back, with Jason Tutt giving the Bulldogs a 16-point lead on the siren – the biggest margin of the match.

AAP

39) Highlanders get home against fast-finishing Lions 23-22 in Super Rugby encounter

Updated 10 May 2014, 21:01 AEST

The Highlanders survived a major scare to hold off the Lions for a 23-22 win in Dunedin.

The fast-flagging Highlanders escaped with the narrowest of victories to put their season back on track with a 23-22 victory over the Lions in their Super Rugby clash in Dunedin on Saturday evening.

SCOREBOARD: HIG 23-22 LIO

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The Highlanders led 23-0 at half-time but failed to score a point in the second half as the Lions stormed back with the outcome hinging on a conversion attempt by replacement fly half Elton Jantjies after the final whistle.

The ball hit the posts and bounced back onto the field, and an appeal by Lions captain Warren Whiteley for the kick to be taken again because the Highlanders had charged too soon was turned down by Australian referee Angus Gardiner.

The victory put the Highlanders, who lost last week in South Africa to the lowly Stormers, just five points behind the New Zealand conference leaders the Chiefs but with a game in hand.

But for the Lions the wafer-thin loss meant further misery.

After starting the season strongly, they have now lost five in a row although they still remain third in the South African conference behind the Sharks and Bulls.

In the high-paced game, the Highlanders were immediately on the board when Richard Buckman scored the first of his two tries by wrong-footing the defence down the right wing.

The Lions had enough possession to be threatening and produced every variation in their playbook only to be constantly stalled by the well-drilled Highlanders who gradually edged away with a penalty and drop goal by Hayden Parker.

The Highlanders broadened the buffer in the last four minutes of the half when they punished the Lions with two quick tries.

The first, from turnover ball, produced Buckman’s second try when he outsprinted the Lions defence after Phil Burleigh had booted the ball 50 metres downfield.

Then on the stroke of half-time, replacement Gareth Evans scored in the corner after Ben Smith had shredded the Lions’ defensive line.

But the short turn around after the journey back from South Africa during the week began to take its toll on the Highlanders from the moment play resumed.

Two minutes after the re-start Francois de Klerk drove over to cap a series of pick-and-goes by a Lions pack able to find holes where the Highlanders tight five should have been.

Marnitz Boshoff landed the conversion but then crucially, the normally reliable kicker, missed his next two shots at goal when Lionel Mapoe and Armand van der Merwe scored to leave the Lions six points down at 23-17.

On the stroke of full-time, Courtnall Skosan scored in the corner but Boshoff’s replacement Jantjies was unable to seal the game.

AFP

40) Essendon beats Brisbane by eight points in dramatic finish at the Gabba

Updated 10 May 2014, 20:36 AEST

Essendon kicked the sealer with less than a minute left as the Bombers beat Brisbane by eight points at the Gabba.

Essendon lapsed again but still had the experience and composure to sink a gallant Brisbane on Saturday night in an AFL thriller at the Gabba.

SCOREBOARD: BRI v ESS

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Interview: Essendon’s Brent Stanton

Guilty of going missing at vital stages in recent weeks, the Bombers faded badly in the third term before a final-quarter revival for a 9.11 (65) to 8.9 (57) win to jump into the top eight.

Youngster Jackson Merrett and Paddy Ryder kicked the only two goals of the fourth term after the Lions shot themselves in the foot with a series of late attacking chances.

Merrett’s check-side goal on the run seven minutes into the final term was the seventh lead change of a tense clash in front of 26,432 fans.

In a week when the embattled Lions’ woes were highlighted, the club’s cubs threatened to lift the doom and gloom with a thrilling comeback.

Wearing a throwback Brisbane Bears guernsey, James Aish and Marco Paparone were prominent as the last-placed Lions quelled a second-quarter Bombers blitz.

Club leaders Jed Adcock and Tom Rockliff were also inspirational for Brisbane but the home side failed to find the polish and deliver the finishing touches required.

With red-headed goalsneak Josh Green a spark, Brisbane came roaring back after an uninspiring first half with four straight goals to snatch the lead back in the third term.

With fallout from Jack Viney tribunal visits dominating headlines, two incidents within two minutes of each other in the second term ensured more debate about the bump.

Paul Chapman raised his elbow in a collision with Jack Redden just before Andrew Raines’ shoulder collected Brendon Goddard high as they both lunged for the loose ball.

Lions defender Matt Maguire finished as the only man reported, booked for tripping Joe Daniher in the third term.

The Lions were the more aggressive outfit in a scrappy opening to win the contested footy and kick three of the first four goals.

But a Zach Merrett major on the quarter-time siren gave the Bombers the momentum and they controlled the second term and finally were able to get some run through the middle of the Gabba to grab a 20-point lead with five straight majors.

AAP

41) All Blacks’ coach Gordon Tietjens wants more despite Sevens title triumph

Updated 11 May 2014, 13:23 AEST

New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens says his side’s job is only half done after taking out the overall IRB Sevens World Series title at Twickenham on Saturday.

By qualifying for Sunday’s knockout stage of the final leg of the series, the All Blacks cannot be caught by nearest pursuers, South Africa, in the overall standings.

The All Blacks proved too strong for Argentina and Wales in their opening two clashes, with New Zealand’s Tomasi Cama becoming the second man to break the 2,000-point barrier in series history.

The two wins guarantee them a quarter-final berth and their 12th overall title.

However, in the final match of a dramatic first day, New Zealand lost to England, who are aiming to win their home leg for the first time since 1999.

England came from behind to claim an impressive 15-12 victory and top Pool A, meaning New Zealand will face South Africa in their quarter-final.

“We are delighted to have won the world series and we won’t let that last result hinder our celebrations,” Tietjens said.

“We will turn up against South Africa wanting to win with the same desire as always.”

England will face France in their quarter-final after Tom Mitchell’s late penalty helped them overcome the All Blacks. The England captain said his side’s confidence was sky high after the win.

“I am really pleased,” Mitchell said.

“New Zealand have been really good this season staying at the top. They’re never an easy game and the boys did well.”

Elsewhere, Samoa won Pool B by beating the United States 27-5.

This was after they defeated Canada 12-19 and Kenya 19-12, lining up a quarter-final tie with Fiji.

Kenya’s opponents will be Australia, who were the winners of Pool C after beating second-placed Fiji 24-12 in their final game.

South Africa topped Pool D after dominating all their opponents, beating Portugal 47-3, France 47-7 and Scotland 26-12.

Scotland missed out on qualifying for the Cup event after losing to both South Africa and going down 14-10 to France, who sealed second place with a 59-14 win over Portugal.

AFP

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