Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 983
1) PNG Government moves to register population
By Online Editor
4:57 pm GMT+12, 19/05/2014, Papua New Guinea
About 80% of Papua New Guinea’s population remains unregistered and moves are underway to address that, Parliament was told last week.
National Planning and Monitoring Minister Charles Abel said accurate and reliable population information was the basis for development in many countries.
“Every country needs to know the identity and civil status of its citizens, a characteristic of the trend and changes in its population,” he said.
“And the global lessons are that countries with accurate and reliable population information are progressing in development and those countries that are lacking in quality and quantitative population information suffers the opposite.”
Abel made the remarks when tabling the Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill 2014 in Parliament on Thursday.
He said last year the Government recognised the need to record and account for every citizen.
He said a decision was made to introduce the national identification programme.
“The Government subsequently directed the formulation of the policy and legislative development of the national register to capture a citizen’s identity, civil status and produce reliable and up to date population information and trustworthy registration and identification system,” he said.
“A formal registration and identity system was introduced in 1963 through the enactment of the Civil Registration Act to cater for births, deaths and marriages.”
Abel said 50 years later, 80% of the total population of PNG remained unregistered.
He informed the House that in the last decade, birth registration and certification has gained prominence as a result of increasing and user demand for identity verification.
“However, it lacks reach and coverage due to organisational and institutional capacity of the current registration system, Abel said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 19 May 2014
- The issue of the promissory notes has caused the review of the airport project said new Prime Minister Joe Natuman in an early press conference. The promissory notes were intended to ensure a change of government would not cause any loss of money to the contractors, Natuman revealed. There are many benefits to such an airport project says Natuman, but Parliament will need to hear the report of the ad hoc parliamentary committee which is to be sent by a June deadline.
- Government will also review the finance raising measures of the previous government, such as the PR and CIIP programmes and establish if there is a need for their continuance. Passports or citizenship should not be used for fund-raising activities, he added. There is always “money in the background”. Government might increase taxes or sell off government assets, or could privatise certain costly elements of government, he suggested. Government might invest more in tourism.
3) Vanuatu daily news digest | Bills withdrawn
Bills before the First Ordinary Sitting of the Vanuatu Parliament, May 2014
This listing attempts to show the Bills debated (and likely passed) and those which were withdrawn. Whilst withdrawal was acknowledged for those designated thus by the Leader of Government Business at the end of the sitting, it has not been possible for this Digest to monitor passage, or otherwise, of the majority of the Bills.
1. Bill for the Vanuatu Qualifications Authority Act
2. Bill for the Education Act
3. Bill for the Right to Information Act WITHDRAWN
4. Bill for the Waste Management Act
5. Bill for the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act
6. Bill for the Fisheries Act
7. Bill for the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act
8. Bill for the Customs (Am) Act
9. Bill for the Shipping (Am) Act
10. Bill for the Sale of Medicine (Am) Act
11. Bill for the Control of Pharmacists (Am) Act
12. Bill for the Municipalities (Am) Act WITHDRAWN
13. Bill for the Agreement on Strengthening Implementation of the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the South Pacific Region (Ratification) Act
14. Bill for the Industrial Development Act
15. Bill for the Ozone Layer Protection (Am) Act
16. Bill for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Stockholm, 22 May 2001 (Adoption of an amendment to Annex A) (Ratification) Act
17. Bill for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Stockholm, 22 May 2001 (Adoption of an amendment to Annex A, B and C) (Ratification) Act
18. Bill for the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization to the convention on biological diversity (Ratification) Act
19. Bill for the Passport (Am) Act
20. Bill for the Representation of the People (Am) Act WITHDRAWN
21. Bill for the Decentralization (Am) Act WITHDRAWN
22. Bill for the Public Land Transport Act WITHDRAWN
23. Bill for the Capital Investment Immigration Plan and Consular Program ActWITHDRAWN
24. Bill for the Customary Land Management (Am) Act
25. Bill for the Land Reform (Am) Act
26. Bill for the Vanuatu National Sports Council (Am) Act
27. Bill for the Supplementary Appropriation (2014) Act
28. Bill for the State Law Office (Amendment) Act WITHDRAWN
29. Bill for the Import Duties (Consolidation) (Amendment) Act
30. Bill for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act
31. Bill for the Foreign Service (Amendment) Act
32. Bill for the Strata Titles (Amendment) Act WITHDRAWN
Bill for the Reserve Bank (Amendment) Act, not originally listed
4) Court convicts Deputy Prime Minister and discharges the Associate Minister
By Online Editor
4:59 pm GMT+12, 19/05/2014, Samoa
Samoa’s deputy Prime Minister, Fonotoe Pierre Meredith has been convicted of interfering with police work and ordered to pay WST$200 (US$88) police costs, reports Talamua Online.
His Associate Minister Muagututagata Pita Ah Him was discharged without conviction of obstruction and ordered to pay WST$250 (US$110).
Sentencing the to ministers on Thursday last week, District Court Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Va’ai said the real victims of the Deputy Prime Minister’s offense were the police constables who were on duty.
“They were left stunned and professionally deflated after the two parliamentarians left. Neither of the officers affected has since received an apology (formal or otherwise) from Meredith to convey his remorse. Furthermore, I fail to see the relevance or significance of the public apology he apparently made, because the conduct he was found guilty of was not directly against the public he apologized to but against the police officers whom he has not.”
“Ah Him who complied with everything the police asked of him except perhaps breathing correctly into the breathalyzer machine would probably not have left the scene when he did, without Meredith’s intervention.
“In the specific circumstances of Ah Him offending under this charge, the consequences of a conviction against him would in my opinion be out of proportion to the gravity of his offending. In the circumstances under which he was found guilty on this charge, he is also discharged without conviction for Obstruction Constable Isitolo in the execution of his duty but orders to pay prosecution costs in the sum of $200.00.
The total sum ordered of $250 is to be paid forthwith, in default, 10 days imprisonment.
Outside Court, Associate Minister, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him told Talamua, Beach Road must have U-Turn signs and the police must give have given him a ticket when they pulled over his car, but he is happy with the decision as right and fair for him.
SOURCE: TALAMUA ONLINE
5) Suspended Nauru MPs want independent legal opinion
The three Nauru MPs suspended from Parliament last week say they are yet to hear from the Speaker on their challenge to the validity of the expulsion.
The Government had the three MPs, Mathew Batsiua, Dr Kieren Keke and Roland Kun, removed on Tuesday, claiming they had brought disrepute on Nauru by speaking to the international media.
The three MPs reject the claims and the Speaker, Ludwig Scotty, has agreed to their request that he seek a legal opinion.
Mr Batsiua says they aim speak with Mr Scotty early this week and hope he goes outside of the Nauru Ministry of Justice.
“Because you know it needs to independent so that everybody can be satisfied that the outcome or the legal opinion being give is truly independent. Maybe from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, which is a body that is recognised and we are a part of, and we engage in many activities that are organised by the CPA.”
Mathew Batsiua.Radio NZ
7) New Zealand forecasts 2014-15 surplus in budget that bears striking difference to Australia’s
Updated 18 May 2014, 12:21 AEST
By New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz
It is hard to imagine the contained New Zealand finance minister bopping in his office ahead of delivering the nation’s budget, as Joe Hockey apparently did.
But the Australian Treasurer’s dance song Best Day of My Life would have been more appropriate for his New Zealand counterpart Bill English, who has served up one of the rarest of economic dishes: a forecast budget surplus of $NZ372 million ($340 million) in 2014-15, after a $NZ2.4 billion ($2.2 billion) deficit this financial year.
Also on the menu were election year sweeteners including extended parental leave, and free doctor’s visits and prescriptions for children up to 13 years old.
By contrast, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey delivered a hard-to-swallow $50 billion deficit accompanied by a collection of bitter pills, among them, co-payments for GP visits and cuts to welfare, family benefits and the public service.
“I don’t think it’s a tale of two different economies, I think it’s a tale of two different policy choices,” PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) New Zealand partner and corporate tax leader Geof Nightingale said.
“The fundamentals of each country are quite similar. Australia’s forecasting economic growth of 2.5 to 3 per cent. New Zealand is much the same.
“Australia is forecasting to get unemployment down to about 4 per cent, New Zealand’s much the same.
“I think the difference really is that Australia’s policy pain has come last Tuesday night. Ours came a few years ago and we’re enjoying a modest relief from budget pain.”
Mr Nightingale says Australian politicians have ridden the mineral boom and failed to address the country’s deficits.
“What’s happened is corporate tax revenue has fallen off but structural spending has increased and so the deficit got wider,” he said.
“I think Joe Hockey’s budget on Tuesday night was the first step in trying to bring it back into balance.”
New Zealand prime minister John Key says his government has kept spending at about the same levels for five or six years as the country claws its way back from the global financial crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes.
The partial sale of state-owned energy assets and high global prices for New Zealand’s dairy exports have helped bring the budget back into the black.
“We’ll be racking up $NZ7.5 billion worth of surpluses in the next three or four years; Australia will have amassed about $100 billion in debt,” Mr Key said.
Mr Key says the Australian economy is still reasonably robust and is not in crisis, but he warns the economy could face a crisis of confidence.
Kiwis living in Australia moving back home
Certainly, a growing number of New Zealanders living in Australia are choosing to return to the greener pastures of home, and fewer are crossing the Tasman in the first place.
Prior to his National Party taking office, Mr Key says 3,000 Kiwis each month packed up and moved to Australia. He says that number is now 350 and falling.
“So what people are responding to is that they see a strong growing economy in New Zealand,” he said.
Business is also making the move, according to Johnny Weiss, the founder of the Trans-Tasman Business Circle, which hosted a lunch in Auckland this week where the NZ prime minister delivered his post-budget address.
“We’ve seen quite a bit of relocation of Australian business to New Zealand,” Mr Weiss said.
Abbott’s message to mums: get to work
The stay-at-home mum had quite the heyday for a while, but Tony Abbott has turned his back on the band of women his party once championed, writes Annabel Crabb.
“As New Zealand maintains a competitive edge [regarding] pricing, costing and scalability it will be a very attractive place.
“Business confidence is much stronger here than in Australia, so companies that want to move quickly find in New Zealand very good talent and quick decision making.”
But the Key government has failed to make any quick or hard decision on lifting the age at which workers can retire and access their superannuation, according to PwC’s Mr Nightingale.
“Australia leads us heavily here. You already means test your pension, you’re now stretching out eligibility to 70 and you have enormous superannuation funding. New Zealand still has to grasp that nettle and face that reality,” Mr Nightingale said.
He says there is also no direct provision in the New Zealand budget to pay down net government debt, which is expected to peak at $NZ66 billion ($57 billion) in 2016-17, or 26 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
“The net debt gets smaller as a percentage of GDP [only] as the economy grows past it.
“I think if there were bigger surpluses in later years that should first go to debt repayment. We need to rebuild the balance sheet in case there’s another Christchurch, in case there’s another global financial crisis, in case something happens with demand in China.”
Australia is another of New Zealand’s major trading partners, accounting for 40 per cent of all Kiwi exports.
So no matter how much Mr Key enjoys talking up New Zealand’s rockstar economy at the expense of Australia, he knows his nation’s fortunes will rise or fall along with those across the Tasman.
And he says he sees no storm clouds on the horizon. At least none that he is admitting to before the September 20 election. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
8) PNG Lawyer itok PNG Gavman imas luksave long ol West Papua pipal
Updated 17 May 2014, 17:51 AEST
PNG imas helpim pastem ol West Papua pipal na bihaen emi ken kisim ol narapla pipal igo insaet long kantri.
Odio: PNG Lawyer Chrisopher Jaminan itoktok wantem Jessy Pendene
Wanpela Lawyer man blong Papua New Guinea Chrisopher Jaminan i tok out long gavman imas givim luksave long ol West Papua refugees pastaim, behain long emi ken lukluk long ol arapela lain.
Mr Jaminan i tok gavman i nid long kamapim wanpela foreign policy pastaim long lukluk long halivim ol refugee.
Em i tok sapos gavaman i soim strong long kisim ol refugee blong Australia long stap long Manus Island, na emi askim olsem wanem long ol dispela lain Wes Papua usait ol hap lain blong yumi.
Mr Jaminan i tok gavaman mas lukluk long stretim gut ol infrastructure blong em olsem gutpela road, skul na haus sik pastaim behain long em i ken wari long kisim ol arapela lain kam long kantri.Radio Australia
9) Aboriginal artist skelim conservation stori insait long Hong Kong
Updated 19 May 2014, 10:50 AEST
Wanpela Aboriginal artist Billy Doolan skelim ol tubuna we bilong lukautim gut ol samting long graun bush na wara long taim bilong art show bilongen insait long Hong Kong.
Inogat ol tingting wari long Billy Doolan insait long Hong Kong. Em igat hap blut bilong China istap insiat longen tu.
Lain bilong tubuna bilongen i bilong China na ikam long Australia long taim ol painim Gold or gold rush insait long Australia long namel bilong yar nineteenth century.
Gupela tru na sampela long ol paintings bilongen ol bilong bipo yet igat ol stori tubuna pasin i pas long em we em ibin lainim long ol lapun bilong bipo antap long Palm Island,we mama ibin karim em insait long North Queensland.
Ol wok bilongen i soim ol tingting wari bilongen long o, bagarap iwok long kamap long environment na skelim ol tingting wari bilongen na ol kain save bilong tubuna wantaim ol skul pikinini insait long Hong Kong.Strongpela tingting bilong Billy Doolan em bilong putim ol stori long piksa we isave had long skulim ol pipol long ol toktok longen.
Em itok ol sumatin insait long Hong Kong ibin hamamas tru long painim aut moa long ol pasin tubuna bilong Aboriginal na long ol tingting bilgongen long conservation.
Desepal istap bilong Billy Doolan igo insait wantaim UNESCO International Arts Education Week na events em ol lain bilong International Arts for Peace Festival ibin rerem.
Insait long wanpela mun istap bilongen insait long Hong Kong Institute of Education, Billy Doolan bai wokim kamap samting olsem nainpela (9) ol piksa long wanem ol samting emi luksave long hap.
Painim aut moa long ol wok bilong Billy Doolan long http://billydoolan.com.au/.
10) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – vendredi 16 mai 2014
Mis à jour 16 May 2014, 13:35 AEST
Le nouveau Premier ministre vanuatai Joe Natuman veut reprendre en main les finances du pays.
Le député du parti de gauche Vanua’aku Pati a été élu par le Parlement jeudi à une large majorité, 40 voix sur les 52 députés. Juste avant, le désormais ex Premier ministre, Moana Carcasses, avait été vaincu par une motion de censure. Joe Natuman veut reprendre en main les finances du pays. Il commencera par revoir l’accord passé avec une entreprise singapourienne pour la construction d’un nouvel aéroport à Vila. Et il pourrait aussi réformer le système de vente des passeports vanuatais instauré il y a quelques mois.
Australie: l’opposition contre-attaque. Les Travaillistes voteront contre de nombreuses mesures du nouveau budget, contre l’augmentation des taxes sur l’essence, contre la baisse des retraites, des allocations familiales, le paiement obligatoire de 7 dollars à chaque visite chez le médecin, et surtout, contre l’instauration d’un délai de 6 mois imposé aux jeunes de moins de 30 ans avant de toucher le chômage. Face à l’opposition des Verts et des Travaillistes, le gouvernement aura du mal à faire passer son budget au Sénat. Bill Shorten, le chef des Travaillistes, réclame la dissolution du Parlement et de nouvelles élections.
Melbourne, première ville au monde 100% non-fumeuse? Interdiction de fumer devant les restaurants, sur les trottoirs, à l’air libre, bref, partout, dans le centre-ville. Le projet est réel. Pour le moment la cigarette est interdite dans 7 espaces en plein air. L’interdiction totale pourrait intervenir dans deux ans. Le conseil municipal est majoritairement pour. Mais les vendeurs de tabac sont évidemment contre. Et ils estiment que la mesure est inapplicable, à moins de créer une brigade de police spéciale anti-fumeurs.
Les États Fédérés de Micronésie secoués par un puissant séisme jeudi après-midi, de magnitude 6.6 sur l’échelle de Richter. Par chance, l’épicentre était dans une zone très isolée, à 100 kilomètres d’Ifalik, dans l’archipel des Caroline. Plus de 500 personnes vivent sur cet atoll. Mais le tremblement de terre n’a fait ni dégâts ni victimes. Mercredi un autre séisme a touché les États Fédérés de Micronésie, de magnitude 6.5.
Queensland: une énorme boule de feu tombe du ciel. Voilà ce qu’ont vu les habitants du centre et du nord du Queensland jeudi soir. « C’était comme une explosion, mais sans le son », témoigne une habitante, Kim Vega. Heureusement l’objet non identifié est tombé dans le bush, et pas sur une maison. « Ce n’est sûrement pas une météorite, mais ça peut être un morceau de satellite qui a brûlé en rentrant dans l’atmosphère terrestre », explique l’astronome Owen Bennedick, de l’observatoire de Wappa Falls.
Samoa: le gouvernement envisage d’autoriser des gros bateaux-usines à venir pêcher dans sa zone économique exclusive. Les premiers bénéficiaires seraient des flottes de gros navires taïwanais. Un comité parlementaire s’y oppose. La mesure risquerait de condamner l’industrie locale de la pêche, déjà mal en point, et particulièrement l’usine de conditionnement pour l’exportation, l’Apia Export Fish Packers.
11a) Pacific Churches Call On Leaders To Support West Papua
Conference of Churches attends UN decolonization meeting in Fiji
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 19, 2014) – The Pacific Conference of Churches is calling on leaders attending a United Nations meeting on decolonisation this week in Fiji to advocate for West Papua to be added to the UN list of non self-governing territories.
A spokesman for the conference, Netani Rika, says when the church leaders met last year in Solomon Islands they reiterated their stand that the people of the Pacific should be free to choose self-determination.
The Pacific Regional Seminar for the Eradication of Colonialism is being hosted by the committee in charge of implementing the UN’s declaration on the granting of independence to colonial territories in Nadi.
But Netani Rika says West Papua isn’t even on that list.
“What we’re calling for at the moment is for Pacific Island countries and their representatives on the C24 to take initiatives which will see that the voices of the West Papuan people can be heard and that West Papua can be placed on this list also,” says Rika.
Radio New Zealand International
11b) 28-year term for Polynesian hunter
Monday, May 19, 2014
PAPEETE – A French Polynesian hunter has been sentenced to 28 years in jail for the murder of a German tourist, whose death in 2011 had raised unfounded suspicions of cannibalism.
Arihano Haiti was found guilty of murdering 40-year-old Stefan Ramin, whose charred remains were found days after he went missing on the island of Nuku Hiva during a round-the-world sailing trip with his girlfriend, Heike Dorsch, 37.
The 33-year-old was also convicted of sexually assaulting Dorsch, and ordered to serve 28 years in jail, with no possibility of parole for 18 years.
Arihano Haiti had surrendered to military police after seven weeks on the run.
He admitted shooting Ramin in the head, although his motive remained unclear throughout the trial.
Dorsch had told investigators Ramin headed for the interior of the island on a hunting trip with Haiti, who returned alone to the couple’s boat hours later to tell her that her partner had been injured and needed help.
She claimed she followed the guide, who tried to assault her after tying her to a tree, but she managed to escape.
Haiti claimed in his defence that Ramin had plied him with drug-laced rum before attempting to rape him. But investigators found no evidence to support his claim.
Ramin’s remains were found in a charred pit on the island.
His killing led to media speculation that he had been the victim of cannibalism, but the prosecution quashed the rumours.
12) PNG protests ambush
By Online Editor
02:18 am GMT+12, 17/05/2014, Papua New Guinea
A protest note has been sent to the Indonesian government by the Papua New Guinea Foreign Affairs to try to prevent future incidents along the Wutung border in West Sepik.
According to a report sent to The National, four PNG soldiers were ambushed by the Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) soldiers last month when they were conducting a clearance patrol along the PNG side of the border.
PNGDF Commander Brig-Gen Gilbert Toropo said it was normal duty for any military to do clearance patrol along the border. Unfortunately, the TNI mistakenly fired shot at the officers thinking they were Organisai Papua Merdeka (OPM) militants.
A clearing patrol of four men was sent out from the new border office complex at Wutung but copped gun shots from TNI.
Toropo confirmed the report and said that a protest note had been sent to the Indonesian government to prevent such incidents.
“This protest note is a very serious note between two governments and following on that, a team of the national security advisory committee (NSAC) and some PNGDF officers were sent to Indonesia to address the issue,” Toropo said.
He said it could not have been a mistake because the visibility of the scene was already cleared when the four-man team received shots.
Meanwhile, the two countries have decided to carry out an investigation into five Indonesian fishermen, reportedly missing earlier, who had K180, 000 (US$64,150) in their possession.
PNG Defence Force Commander Brig-Gen Gilbert Toropo said a delegation from the two countries met last week and came up with verifications to carry out the investigation.
“The decision was made for both countries to do a joint investigation into this incident and it will be carried out as soon as both sides identified a team for the investigation,” Toropo said.
The five Indonesians were reportedly missing in Western after the PNGDF soldiers reported that they had confiscated their boat and burnt it on Feb 6 about 5km along the coastline from an Indonesian navy post in Torasi.
The names of the Indonesians were revealed and three of them were said to be of Java origin and two local PNG men.
The five were reportedly to be in possession of about K180, 000 in cash believed to be used for buying sea cucumbers.
From reports obtained by The National, a villager from near the border speaking in anonymity, said it was strange for the West Papuans to survive and arrive in Merauke to tell their side of the story.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
13) Papuan separatists hail new Vanuatu leader
By Online Editor
02:35 am GMT+12, 17/05/2014, Vanuatu
The West Papua Coalition for Liberation says the new Vanuatu Prime Minister Joe Natuman will continue the good work of his predecessor in supporting the West Papuan self-determination cause.
Natuman has replaced Moana Carcasses who was yesterday removed in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence.
During his 13 and a half months as Prime Minister, Carcasses took significant steps to advance the West Papua cause in international fora and raise issues over human rights abuses by Indonesia’s security forces.
This included a landmark speech at the United Nations general assembly.
The Coalition for Liberation says Joe Natuman is very much a supporter of West Papuan rights and was instrumental in the former government’s policy.
The Coalition has also played down concerns that the new Foreign Minister Sato Kilman could try and strengthen ties with Indonesia again as he did previously when Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Vanuatu’s new council of ministers has an experienced look to it, following the election of veteran MP Joe Natuman as Prime Minister.
The change of leadership comes after a block from the government of Moana Carcasses yesterday joined the opposition to remove him in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence.
The new cabinet configuration retains a number from the government headed by Moana Carcasses for almost fourteen months. It’s still based around a block led by Parliament’s largest political party, the Vanua’aku Pati.
The VP’s leader Edward Natapei has stepped back to allow VP’s Joe Natuman to take up the Prime Minister’s role.
The Finance Minister remains Maki Simelum, also of the VP, while the Graon Mo Jastis Pati leader Ralph Regenvanu retains the Lands portfolio in which he has been driving major reforms.
Coming in from opposition as new deputy Prime Minister is the National United Party leader Ham Lini, while another former Prime Minister Sato Kilman takes up the Foreign Affairs portfolio.
Also back in government from a spell in the cold is Alfred Carlot as Justice Minister, George Wells as Health Minister and Charlot Salwai for Internal Affairs.
The parliament session has now ended, although the position of Speaker is still to be decided.
14) Ousted Vanuatu PM Organizing No Confidence Motion Against Natuman
Carcasses was removed in no confidence vote last week
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 18, 2014) – Reports from Vanuatu indicate moves are underway to organise a motion of no-confidence against the new Prime Minister Joe Natuman.
Mr Natuman was elected by forty of the country’s 52 MPs on Thursday after a successful motion of no-confidence to remove Moana Carcasses as Prime Minister.
The Vanuatu Daily Digest reports that Mr Carcasses is organising a motion against Mr Natuman and has seventeen signatures in support of it.
15) Back to basics for Vanuatu Government
Monday, May 19, 2014
PORT VILA – Vanuatu’s new prime minister is promising a back-to-basics approach to running the country.
Veteran Vanuatu politician Joe Natuman has been elected as new prime minister, after Moana Carcasses Kalosil lost a vote of no confidence in parliament.
He won 40 of the 52 votes cast by members of parliament and was the only nominee for the post of prime minister.
Mr Natuman has told Pacific Beat many people in the country were concerned about the government’s spending.
“In my view, we are doing things which have not been what people expected of our founding fathers,” he said.
“Basically, I want us to go back to our roots and redirect the country and ensure that we live within our means.”
Mr Natuman says unnecessary spending has seen the government selling its citizenship and passports, something he wants to review.
He also says he wants to review the funding of a new airport.
Last year, the government signed a deal with a Singapore-based company to build a new international airport and upgrade several regional airports.
16) French HC in New Caledonia accused of defamation
New Caledonia’s outgoing vice-president has accused the French high commissioner, Jean-Jacques Brot, of defamation.
The local daily newspaper says that in an unprecedented move, Gilbert Tyuienon wants Mr Brot to be summoned in Noumea’s criminal court.
The dispute goes back to February when Mr Brot cancelled a visit to Canala, whose mayor is Mr Tyueinon.
The visit was called off after Mr Brot was asked to lay a wreath on the grave of a Kanak pro-independence leader, Eloi Machoro, killed by a French anti-terror unit in 1985.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Brot walked out of a sitting of the territory’s collegial government after allegedly being provoked by Mr Tyuienon.
In late February, Mr Brot suddenly cancelled public engagements for a week, prompting a storm on social media in his support as there was speculation he would be recalled to France.
At the time, Paris denied any plans to terminate his tenure.
However, a fresh report is circulating on social media that Mr Brot has now been recalled and could be replaced this month.Radio NZ
Radio New Zealand International
17) 14,000 staff for September poll
By NASIK SWAMI
Monday, May 19, 2014
Update: 12:34PM THE Fijian Elections Office has announced it will recruit 14,000 polling staff for the September 17 general election.
In a press conference today, Elections Supervisor Mohammed Saneem said the officers will be recruited from various parts of the country.
A total of $5million has been budgeted for this exercise.Fijitimes
18) Fiji Women’s Group Calls On Minister For Women To Resign
Dr Luveni under fire for comments on women’s dress, rape
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, May 16, 2014) – A Fiji women’s advocacy group has launched a campaign calling for Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni’s resignation over her reported comments in a daily newspaper apparently blaming rape victims.
The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) issued a statement today urging protests to be sent to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama seeking her resignation.
Executive director Virisila Buadromo said in the statement Dr Luveni’s comments “shamed” and “further violated” victimised women rather than denouncing rapists.
Dr Luveni was quoted in today’s Fiji Sun as saying: “If a girl is going out to drink with guys in an isolated area wearing shorts or clothes showing off her body, she is inviting trouble.”
The FWRM statement said Dr Luveni’s comments had moved the focus of rape away from the rapist and aimed it directly at the victim. It said:
Luveni’s comments insinuate that rape victims are to blame for the violent crime because they were not dressed modestly.
Why should Luveni’s comment make us all angry?
Firstly, it shames and further violates against the already victimised individuals rather than denouncing the aggressive actions of rape and the rapists.
Insult to men
Secondly, it is an insult to men because it assumes that ALL men are rapists because they cannot control their sexual urges and will rape women if they are not dressed modestly.
Comments such as these from nationally prominent figures need to be based on credible evidence and not on wild accusations without hard data to back them up.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, the global lifetime prevalence of non-partner sexual violence is 7.2 percent. What is also really revealing is the hard data from countries in which women dress very conservatively – the sexual assault data still shows comparable rates of sexual assault. For example WHO data records Bangladesh at 49 percent in the provinces for rape/sexual assault, 37 percent in the cities and 18 percent nationally, Tajikistan at 42 pecent, and Turkey at 15 percent.
In these regions women are strongly encouraged to dress and behave conservatively. For example, they are encouraged to wear loose fitting clothing that covers themselves from head to toe and many are discouraged from going out in public without a male relative.
This data illustrates that asking women and girls to change their behavior and dress is not going to protect them fromsexual violence. Tragically it is comments such as what was printed in today’s Fiji Sun that lead to the entrenchment of mainstream thinking that women are at fault for being raped rather than on the real criminals, men who rape women.
What can we do to show our outrage? Write letters to Frank Bainimarama asking for Jiko Luveni’s resignation as Minister of Women and the president of his proposed “Fiji First Party”.
The minister’s office later issued a statement claiming that her comments had been “distorted” in media reports.
“I have never, nor has the Bainimarama government ever said that victims of rape are to be blamed,” Dr Luveni said. “Rape is a despicable act and we must all condemn it.”
All editorial and news content produced under the principles of Creative Commons. Permission to republish with attribution may be obtained from the Pacific Media Centre – firstname.lastname@example.org
19) Australian government cuts to ABC send ‘chilling message’ to the Pacific
Updated 18 May 2014, 17:06 AEST
The Pacific Freedom Forum group says Australian government budget cuts to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation sends a chilling message to the region.
The cuts to the ABC were announced last week in the government’s latest budget, including the termination of a contract to run the Asia Pacific television service Australia Network.
“This sends a chilling message to the people of the region – their access to independent news and information does not matter to Australia anymore,” said PFF Chair Titi Gabi.
The Pacific media freedom advocacy group says the axing of Australia Network is evidence that Australia’s ruling party placed little value in a free media
“Their campaign promise not to cut funding for the ABC, now broken, represents a failure of imagination in what is supposed to be an information age,” said Titi Gabi.
Concerns have also been raised about possible cuts to ABC Radio Australia’s services in the Pacific.
PFF co-chair Monica Miller says that despite increased access to the internet, radio remains the most widely used media source, especially for remote Pacific Islands.
With news from public broadcasters across the Pacific Islands, mostly controlled or censored by their governments, Ms Miller said that the ABC was a rare source of news that could be relied upon.
“Australia’s government is basically saying we don’t need independent facts to make wise choices about our future choices.”
“This leaves our islands increasingly isolated and vulnerable to potential mismanagement and corruption that stems from a lack of scrutiny.”
She said there was also a danger that island governments would take the cuts in Australia to reduce what little support there was for their own public broadcasters. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
20) Solomons Gold Mine Company Agrees With UN Assessment
Gold Ridge: Professional intervention needed to manage tailings dam
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 18, 2014) – Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) says it concurs with the findings of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team that the tailings dam requires timely professional management.
GRLM director Mr Lehany said the Site Stabilisation Plan they previously provided to the national government includes action items regarding the tailings dam.
“GRML agrees with the view in the UNDAC draft report that only those with the necessary technical skill and sufficient mining experience should undertake work at the tailings dam,” Lehany said.
“We believe that GRLM is best placed to stabilise the tailings dam, and its technical team has plans ready to stabilise the mine and the tailings dam.”
He said they are actively seeking to engage with the Solomon Islands Government in an effort to return to the mine, as soon as the restriction placed upon their employees is lifted, and key logistics and related items are addressed.
The government had banned all expatriate GRML workers from returning after they hurriedly left the country last month as a result of the flooding.
The ban is still in place and GRML is yet to resume operations.
Lehany said all GRML permanent employees remain on ‘special leave’ and continue to be paid in full, however, this cannot continue indefinitely.
“Suppliers continue to be paid in full for contracted supplies.
“The company acknowledges the calls from landowner and community groups to return to site as reported in the media.
“We continue to engage with the Government on an increasingly urgent basis to allow for our personnel to return to site as soon as possible and undertake the works described above,” Lehany said.
21) Islanders benefit from biodiesel technology
Monday, May 19, 2014
KORO islanders 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 appliances all year round.
This project has now made them energy independent, saving on fossil fuel usage.
Iowane Bale, the mill manager at the Koro Biofuel Mill located in Nacamaki Village, said theirs was one of the first biofuel project sites in Fiji, which cost $435,856 to establish in 2010.
“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,” Mr Bale said.
He said the mill produced enough biodiesel to meet the island’s demands.
The biodiesel is retailed within Koro at $2.45 a litre.
Other products from the coconut tree such as 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.
“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 with $2.80 a litre for diesel.”
For about 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 such as television, mobile phones, electric iron and even washing machine.
Village headman Malakai Salabula said each household paid $3.50 a week to have access to electricity and power all year round.
“We are very fortunate to have the Biofuel Mill in Koro because biodiesel is cheaper than regular diesel and if the boats do not come from Suva, we still have access to fuel and electricity,” Mr Salabula said.Fijitimes
22) Riot rattles city
Monday, May 19, 2014
HONIARA – Extra police have patrolled the streets in the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, to stop a second night of rioting after civil unrest and looting overnight on Friday.
Acting Police Commissioner Juanita Matanga says she has launched a major security operation, sending a number of police units to reinforce patrols in Honiara and surrounding communities.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has upgraded its travel advice, saying that after disturbances and looting this weekend, Australians should exercise a high degree of caution in Honiara because of the risk of further disturbances. It recommends against travelling at night.
In a statement to the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Mrs Matanga said police were now more prepared to tackle civil disorder.
She said they were using all available resources and were not taking any chances.
Mrs Matanga called on people to stay at home and said the police operation would continue during the weekend.
CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT
23) New Caledonia/NZ science links explored
A scientific delegation from New Caledonia says it hopes to build greater collaboration by visiting environmental agencies in New Zealand.
The Director of the South Pacific Integrated Observatory for Environment and Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity says his agency shares many concerns with organisations in New Zealand and it makes sense to share expertise on mutual challenges.
Bernard Pelletier says he hopes the idea of a Pacific-based environmental observatory will gain support.
“One of the objectives is to follow the evolution of climate and the impact of the climate on biodiversity. For example one important thing is the acidification of the ocean. We know very little about that. We are here to discuss the possibility of putting an observatory a long term observatory, in the South West Pacific to follow these kind of processes.”
Bernard Pelletier- Radio NZ
24) Heavy Rains Hit Fiji Sugarcane Farmers Hard
Roads, bridges closed stranding thousands of commuters
By Avinesh Gopal And Felix Chaudhary
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 19, 2014) – Heavy rain experienced in Fiji over the past three days damaged infrastructure, agriculture and stranded thousands of commuters.
Worst hit were farmers, especially sugarcane growers with recently-planted fields and harvest-ready farms that remained waterlogged.
Last night, the authorities were waiting for floodwaters to recede at some places before assessing the cost of damage to infrastructure and farms.
Krishna Chand, a canefarmer of Colasi in Rakiraki, woke up yesterday to find his newly-planted farm washed out by floodwaters.
Mr Chand, who planted the cane seedlings four days ago, said it was a big loss for him considering the hard work and money spent on it.
The crushing season at Penang mill starts on June 17.
In the Fiji Roads Authority’s update at 4pm yesterday, some roads and bridges remained closed.
Weather forecasters last night cancelled a heavy rain warning previously in force for Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands and the Lau Group.
The National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi said the active trough of low pressure lying to the east of Fiji was moving away from the group.
Fiji Times Online
25) Farmers need to prepare themselves should disaster strikes
By Online Editor
6:29 pm GMT+12, 17/05/2014, Ethiopia
Reports by PACNEWS Journalist, Pita Ligaiula in Addis Ababa
Pacific Island Countries have encouraged to plant crops that are resilient to impacts of climate change and natural disasters.
Women in Business Development Executive Director, Adi Maimalaga Tafuna’I says farmers should ensure there is food to eat if disaster strikes.
“What we are trying to do is make sure our farmers have enough food to eat and enough surplus they can sell.
“Where we live there aren’t any markets because everybody grows the same crops, and the populations are smaller in the villages. Food security is important for us in the region,” said Tafuna’i.
She said the Pacific participation at the International Conference on Building Resilience on Nutrition and Food Security in Ethiopia this week raised the profile of the region, although more could be done.
Tafunai supported the idea of exchanges between the Caribbean and the Pacific on food security because they face similar problems.
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27) Pacific Games associations to visit Port Moresby in July
By Online Editor
5:12 pm GMT+12, 19/05/2014, Papua New Guinea
The 22 Pacific Games Associations are expected to tour Port Moresby’s sporting venues for next year’s Pacific Games in July during the annual general assembly of the Pacific Games Council.
Pacific Games Council executive director Andrew Minogue said the meeting which from July 3-5 in Port Moresby would allow for tours around venues included in the Games programme.
It would be an opportunity for members to see firsthand the progress on work on the facilities for the games.
Twenty-eight sports have been confirmed for next year’s event. They are Athletics, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bodybuilding, Boxing, Cricket, Soccer, Golf, Hockey, Karate, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Powerlifting, Rugby League 9s, Rugby 7s, Sailing, Shooting, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Touch Rugby, Triathlon, Va’a, Volleyball, Weightlifting
There would be at least one representative attending from each of the 22 PGAs as the PGC will pay for costs of the tour.
Minogue said some PGAs could bring a second delegate at their own cost. Minogue said the main agenda for the meeting would to review overall preparations for future games which includes next years games, 2017 Pacific Mini Games and 2019 Pacific Games.
He said the awarding of the 2012 mini games hosting rights would be announced at the general meeting.
“The main agenda for the meeting will be to review overall preparations for our future Games: 2015, 2017, 2019 and award the hosting rights for the 2017 Mini Games,” Minogue said in an email.
Minogue said there will also be some reforms proposed to our PGC Constitution in terms of governance and finances. He said also on discussion was the possibility of inviting athletes from non-member countries like Australia and New Zealand to future Games.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
28) Miller remains as Athletics Fiji President
By Online Editor
5:05 pm GMT+12, 19/05/2014, Fiji
The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has finally come out to clear the air on the current saga facing Athletics Fiji.
An official letter from the IAAF General Secretary Essar Gabriel confirms its recognition of Albert Miller as the President of Athletics Fiji.
The news is confirmed on the IAAF official April Newsletter on the Member Federation’s recent Election’s.
The Newsletter clearly did not include the Office bearers Elected in the Nadi AGM.
Gabriel mentioned that as Miller’s term of office expires on June 6th 2014, he will have to convene an Annual General Meeting in compliance with the 2008 Constitution of the Federation.
The letter also states that prior to the AGM, all court cases, criminal charges and other ongoing litigations should be withdrawn.
IAAF has also warned Athletics Fiji that they should adhere to their objectives and to the code of ethics.
Athletics Fiji President Albert Miller in his response said they will adhere to the IAAF statement and move forward to resolve the current saga that has plagued the sport for the last five months.
SOURCE: FIJI TV/PACNEWS
29) Arsenal comes from 2-0 down against Hull City to win FA Cup in extra time
Updated 18 May 2014, 8:32 AEST
Arsenal recovered from going two goals down in the opening eight minutes to beat Hull City 3-2 after extra time in the FA Cup final and end a nine-year trophy drought at Wembley on Sunday (AEST).
The winning goal from Aaron Ramsey came after 108 minutes of a sensational match which began with Hull, in their first Cup final, scoring two early goals.
The first came after James Chester put the ball wide of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski after only four minutes before captain Curtis Davies scored from a tight angle to make it 2-0 four minutes later.
Arsenal halved the lead after 17 minutes when Santi Cazorla scored with a superb free kick.
Despite dominating possession for long periods Arsenal had to wait until the 71st minute before Laurent Koscielny equalised when he turned and scored from close range after Hull failed to clear a corner.
The winner came when Ramsey scored off the outside of his right boot to give Arsenal an 11th FA Cup win, equalling Manchester United’s all-time record.
“We wanted to make history and win the game. It was the turning point in the life span of this team,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.
“If we hadn’t come back it would have been terrible. I praised the spirit many times of this team. Congratulations to Hull they played very well.”
Ramsey winner caps remarkable comeback
Photo: Arsenal players mob Aaron Ramsey (obscured) after he scored the winning goal. (AFP: Adrian Dennis)
The start of the match defied logic given recent form as well as the two teams’ hugely contrasting histories.
In some ways the goals came too early for Hull as Arsenal had plenty of time to get back into the match, which is how it panned out.
Chester, returning from injury, made the early breakthrough after Arsenal failed to clear a corner and the Hull defender planted the ball past Fabianski’s despairing lunge.
Total FA Cup wins
11: Man United, Arsenal
7: Liverpool, Chelsea, Aston Villa
6: Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers
5: Everton, West Brom, Man City, Wanderers
4: Wolverhampton, Bolton, Sheffield United
3: Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham
2: Preston North End, Old Etonians, Portsmouth, Sunderland, Nottingham, Bury
1: Wigan, Huddersfield, Southampton, Leeds, Derby County, Royal Engineers, Oxford, Blackpool, Cardiff, Burnley, Charlton Athletic, Barnsley, Notts County, Clapham, Wimbledon, Coventry, Ipswich, Bradford, Blackburn Olympic, Old Carthusians
Hull got its second when Arsenal failed to clear another set-piece and although Fabianski got a hand to a header from Alex Bruce to palm the ball on to the left post, Davies lashed it in from the tightest of angles.
Hull almost went three up four minutes later when a looping header from Bruce, the son of manager Steve, was headed clear by Kieran Gibbs as it dropped just under the crossbar.
Arsenal got back in the game after Bruce fouled Santi Cazorla about 25 metres from the Hull goal.
The Spaniard took the free kick himself and his brilliant effort dipped and swerved into the back of the net, giving Hull ‘keeper Allan McGregor no chance.
After dominating for most of the match, Arsenal’s equaliser came when they got a couple of lucky deflections at a corner with the ball falling to Koscielny, who turned and scored from close range.
Gibbs then had a superb chance to win it for Arsenal eight minutes later but missed the target when he looked certain to score.
With neither team able to score again the match moved into extra time and Olivier Giroud had another golden opportunity to put Arsenal ahead in the 94th minute but thundered a header against the bar.
Ramsey found the net for the winner but there was still time for Hull substitute Sone Aluko to go close with an ambitious angled effort that went wide after Fabianski raced out of goal but failed to make contact.
“It’s such a great feeling right now, I’m quite emotional thinking about it,” match-winner Ramsey said.
“We have conceded early a few times this season but we showed great strength and character today.
“That’s up there with the most important goals I’ve scored and hopefully this is the first of many to come.”
30) Hayne set to bag NSW fullback spot
Monday, May 19, 2014
Update: 7:40PM Jarryd Hayne’s scintillating recent form has secured his spot as the NSW fullback for next week’s State of Origin opener in Brisbane.
Hayne has been outstanding for a rejuvenated Parramatta this season, scoring six tries in his last four games and Blues coach Laurie Daley is set to resist the temptation to name him in the centres when he names his side on Tuesday with Josh Dugan losing the No.1 shirt he wore in games two and three last year.
“I think Jarryd’s shown everyone what he’s capable of doing he’s playing in really good form and fullback is his best position,” Daley told AAP.
“At this stage, if everyone is right then I expect Jarryd to be fullback.”
Dugan assumed the Blues No.1 jumper for games two and three last year after Hayne succumbed to a hamstring injury.
Hayne’s recent performances have been up there with his displays in the second half of the 2009 season when he inspired the Eels to the grand final and claimed the Dally M Medal.
The Blues are looking to win their first series in nine years and the build up to game one has been plagued with injuries and suspensions to key players.
This has been in addition to the disruption created by the spat between Daley and high-profile media identity Ray Hadley.
Daley said the furore caused by the relationship between his assistant coach Matt Parish and Hadley’s estranged wife has been put behind them, and the mood around the camp lifted by how well Hayne is playing,
“It’s been a difficult week but one we have put behind us and we are moving forward,” he said,
“Jarryd’s playing outstanding football which is great for us and gives all of us real confidence.
“That’s been real good, we just need to make sure everyone else does their job.
Daley and his selectors will on Monday evening finalise their side for the May 28 series opener at Suncorp Stadium.
Top of the agenda will be the decision on whether James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce will keep their spots as the halves pairing.
31) Atletico reigns in Spain
Monday, May 19, 2014
BARCELONA, Spain, May – Atletico Madrid claimed their 10th Spanish league crown on Saturday but first in 18 years after coming from behind to draw 1-1 at title rivals Barcelona.
Alexis Sanchez’s stunning strike fired Barca into the lead on 33 minutes, but Diego Godin’s header four minutes into the second-half was enough to give Atletico the point they needed to become the first side other than Barca and Real Madrid to win La Liga in 10 years.
A point for both sides means that Barca finish the season ahead of third-placed Real Madrid thanks to a better head-to-head record, three points adrift of Atletico.
Real Madrid enjoyed a 3-1 defeat of Espanyol earlier Saturday.
“We have fought all year and the work we have done is amazing. To last 38 games against two great teams Real Madrid and Barcelona is incredibly difficult,” Godin told Canal Plus.
“The boss told us at half-time that we were going to score a goal. In the end football has been fair to us.”
Barca, meanwhile, finish a disappointing season without a major trophy for the first time in six years.
“Congratulations to Atletico. They are deserving champions,” said Barca captain for the day Andres Iniesta.
“We had our chances until the final game but they have been better and there is nothing more to say. We are hurt to lose the league in the final game.
“We depended on ourselves to win and we haven’t done, so there is great disappointment because if we had managed to do it the feeling would be very different.”
The visitors had started brightly but were dealt a huge blow after just 15 minutes when top scorer Diego Costa pulled up with the recurrence of a hamstring injury that will also make him a huge doubt for the Champions League final against Real Madrid next weekend.
Arda Turan was then also forced off with a hip injury.