Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 987

MELANESIA

1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 29 May 2014

by bobmakin

  • The Natuman Government has announced its strong support for the struggle of the people of West Papua and those of Kanaky for their freedom. PM Natuman made the position clear when he appointed former PM and DPM Edward Nipake Natapei to spearhead the work of de-colonisation on behalf of the Vanuatu Government, Radio Vanuatu News reported this morning.
  • Vanuatu is described as the second biggest Pacific tourist destination after New Caledonia, according to the executive director of Cruise Lines International Association Neil Linwood, in Daily Post today. He sees the hydrographic surveys being undertaken and electronic charts of island ports as important but stresses the need for Vanuatu’s infrastructure to be able to handle the frequency and size of the ships visiting. He recently ran a workshop for stakeholders at the Reserve Bank.
  • A VIPA Office for Luganville will be set up in the Customs Department offices in the Millennium Building in a move for a “one stop shop” for foreign investors in the northern town. They are said to be appreciative of the proposal which will save them trips to Port Vila.
  • The biggest garage sale ever is on at Saralana, all day today, with all sorts of second hand household goods on sale. Fund raising will help purchase of equipment for the disabled. Today is also heralded as a family fun day and there are stalls for food and drink sales. Epauto School has planned a family day to raise school funds today. Food and drink are available and there will be superb SDA singing on Ascension Day today.

POLYNESIA

2) Cook Islands Petrol Shortage Leads To Panic Buying
Long queues, rationing, abound in Rarotonga

By Emmanuel Samoglou

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, May 29, 2014) – A petrol shortage in Rarotonga forced residents searching for fuel to wait in long queues yesterday.

With supplies nearing on empty or running low amongst wholesalers, motorists were seen lining up at an outlet in Avarua, which stretched a couple hundred metres at one point in the afternoon.

A number of retailers around the island have already sold out of petrol – including Oasis Energy in Nikao, Super Brown in Tupapa, and Wigmore’s Super Store in Vaimaanga – forcing them to turn away potential customers.

Others have been forced to ration fuel by imposing limits on car and motorbike owners in order to stretch supplies as much as possible.

A Toa tanker truck could be seen re-supplying a petrol outlet in Avarua, with some of the company’s remaining stock of the fuel. Yesterday, Toa General Manager Alan Heironymus confirmed the company is poised to run out at some point today.

Rival firm Triad ran out of petrol last week.

Over the previous 24 hours, a couple of developments have changed the schedules of two vessels that are expected to bring in relief supplies.

The Tiare Moana – which is carrying a shipment for Triad – was scheduled to depart the Port of Auckland yesterday at 12:30pm, however after a slight delay, the vessel eventually left harbour later in the afternoon according to one shipping traffic website.

Another vessel, the Olomona, has had its schedule pushed forward two days and is now scheduled to arrive next Wednesday in Rarotonga.

Notwithstanding any additional shipping changes, new stocks of petrol are still expected to arrive at some point in the middle of next week at the earliest.

Diesel supplies should carry through and be available until the arrival of the vessels, said a Toa company official.

Emergency services in Rarotonga have set up contingency plans and are prepared for short-term shortages, officials said.

Although the company has said it is unable to supply its retail customers, Manager Graeme Wiig said Triad is storing an unspecified quantity of fuel for emergency situations.

Cook Islands News

MICRONESIA

3) U.S. Military Promises Master Plan For Guam Buildup
Plan required for Senate to unfreeze funds

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 29, 2014) – The Department of Defense is expected to submit its buildup master plan before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives begin to reconcile their versions of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill later this year, Guam Del. Madeleine Bordallo’s office said yesterday.

The creation of at least 1,800 Guam jobs related to the military buildup may be at stake as Congress awaits the master plan submission.

The military plans to relocate about 5,000 Marines and 1,300 dependents from Okinawa, Japan, to a new Marine Corps base on Guam as part of a larger realignment of U.S. forces.

The Senate has cited the lack of a master plan as the reason for the ongoing freeze on spending $1.4 billion in government of Japan funds for buildup projects on Guam. At issue is the potential cost.

Japan gave the U.S. government a total of $1.5 billion, of which $89.7 million has been spent, leaving a balance of about $1.4 billion in frozen funds.

The Japan money was supposed to be spent during fiscal 2009 through fiscal 2012, but the buildup timeline has been pushed back.

Japan has committed to pay a total of $3 billion of the estimated $8.6 billion to build a Marine base and related facilities here.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., recently issued a summary of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill, which “extends the prohibition on the use of U.S. and Japanese funds for the realignment of Marine Corps’ forces from Okinawa to Guam or other Pacific locations until several conditions are met, including the completion of a master plan for military construction necessary to support such a move.”

Bordallo’s office yesterday said she expects the master plan “will be submitted to Congress in the next few months” before the Senate and House representatives meet — in a conference committee later this year — to reconcile the differences between their respective versions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015.

“Historically, the conference committee occurs at the end of the year, with the House and Senate passing a single bill shortly before the holidays,” Bordallo’s office stated.

On May 22, the House passed its version of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill, which removes all restrictions on the use of government of Japan funds for the buildup.

The $89.7 million in Japan funding already spent was for a contract awarded in 2011, according to Guam Labor Department data.

If even $1 billion of the Japan funding is unfrozen, it would sustain about 1,800 construction jobs on Guam for a five-year period, Guam Department of Labor Chief Economist Gary Hiles said.

Buses, cultural repository

The defense spending bill that’s working its way through the Senate also proposes to cut $80.6 million from the Office of Economic Adjustment for projects related to the transfer of Marines to Guam.

It’s unclear which OEA projects on Guam may be affected by the Senate version.

The Defense Department in the past has proposed using OEA funds to pay for $10 million worth of school buses and other transportation support for Guam’s civilian community.

The proposed $12 million cultural repository for Guam artifacts also was to be funded with OEA funds for the buildup, Department of the Interior records show.

Pacific Daily News

AUSTRALIA

4) Darwin flights cancelled after volcanic eruption in Indonesia sends ash plume south

Updated 31 May 2014, 17:43 AEST

The majority of flights in and out of Darwin have been cancelled today because of a volcanic eruption in Indonesia.

A spokesperson for Darwin Airport says all international and domestic Jetstar services, and all domestic Virgin and Qantas flights have been cancelled.

The Sangeang Api volcano, which is located off the north east coast of Sumbawa island, erupted yesterday evening.

The Bureau of Meteorology says it has caused a volcanic ash cloud that is moving in a south-easterly direction, affecting the Kimberley and Top End.

A spokesperson for the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre says the ash is moving further south and dispersing.

“As it begins to move away from the volcano, it begins to dissipate so we see less and less of a signatory in the satellite imagery,” the spokesperson said.

“We expect over the next 24 hours it should gradually fade out so it’s no longer a significant threat to the area.

“It’s been almost a continuous eruption since about, I think it would’ve been about 6:30pm last night local time in Indonesia.

“There’s been three high level eruptions during that period. However, right now we can still see a significant eruption going on at the volcano.”

External Link: Tweet

Virginia Sanders from Darwin International Airport says it is not yet known when flights will resume.

“At this stage it’s speculation … from what I can tell, as the ash moves it dissipates so it could be good news for tomorrow.”

“But going on past experience, this is usually [a] 24-hour type event.”

In a statement on their website, Qantas says they are closely monitoring weather conditions and will release updates as they become available.

“Due to the overnight eruption of a volcano on the southern Indonesian island of Sangeang, volcanic ash plume has drifted over the Australian Northern Territory coastline,” the statement said.

“As a result, all Qantas flights to and from Darwin have been cancelled for Saturday 31 May 2014.”

Virgin Australia also released a travel alert, saying they will recommence normal operations as soon as the volcanic ash safely allows it.

“Our team of meteorologists are continuing to monitor the situation, in consultation with the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin,” the alert said.

Regional airline Air North is advising customers to check with the airline.

Passenger hopeful Jetstar flight will leave tonight

How does volcanic ash affect aircraft?

Volcanic ash is made up of fine pulverised rock and gases which transform into droplets of sulphuric acid and other substances.
If ash melts in the hot section of a plane’s engine, it can form a glass-like coating which can cause loss of thrust and possible “flame out” (engine failure).
Ash can also cause abrasion of engine parts, and the body of the aircraft, as well as possibly clog the fuel and cooling systems.
Ash can cause costly damage to aircraft, prompting many airlines to undergo expensive re-routing to avoid ash on their regular routes.
It is estimated that volcanic ash has cost the aviation industry more than $250 million since 1982.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre

Hundreds of passengers are sitting around Darwin airport, and some are confused as to whether their flights have been cancelled.

Jetstar passenger Paul Gallagher was scheduled to fly home to Sydney tonight.

He says a Jetstar spokeswoman told him his flight has not been cancelled.

“She said that the flight’s still confirmed but she says … they’re still collecting information and they would ring me if they heard anything more.”

The Bureau of Meteorology is expected to provide airlines with an update on the size of the ash cloud later this afternoon.

Jarrod Bowditch says he is trying to get to Broome for a friend’s wedding.

“The wedding isn’t until next weekend but the bucks starts tomorrow, so hopefully we get there in time,” he said.

The first recorded eruption of Mount Sengeang Api was in 1512, with several eruptions recorded in the 1990s and only weak steam plumes in the last few years.

The island is now largely uninhabited, but it is still used by locals for farming.

It is understood more than 200 families who work on the island’s plantations have been evacuated following yesterday’s eruption.Radio Australia

TOK PISIN

5) Solar pawa bringim sans bilong bisnis long Solomon Islands women

Updated 1 June 2014, 18:19 AEST

Insait long  Solomon Islands,wankain olsem long sampela hap bilong Pacific, solar pawa  i wok long kamap wanpela bigpela samting bilong bringim pawa bilong halavim ol komuniti.

Piksa: Ol member bilong West ‘Are ‘are komuniti kisim certificate bilong ol bihain long ol pinisim trening (Photo courtesy of ADB)
Odio: Vijaya Nagarajan i tok klia long hauo solar trening project bai halavim komuniti bilong ol

Solar pawa i stretim sidaun bilong pipol  long planti rot olsem long health , sasim mobile phone na sevim moni em pipol isve lusim long  petrol, diesel na kerosin.

Tasol taim Solar pawa kamap planti nau, ol narapela sans bilong pipol long wokim bisnis tu igo bigpela na planti, na long antap long island bilong Malaita,

wanpela tingting nau iwok long halavim ol meri  long technical sait  bilong girapim solar pawa bilong ol yet bilong halavim ol long bisnis bilong ol.

Long yar igo pinis ol ibin bringim ol solar panels igo long ol  komuniti long ol hap bilong  Malaita.

Tasol ol ibin bungim heve long stretim ol masin taim ol igo bagarap, olsem long despela eria ol skulim ol pipol long lukautim na stretim ol na ol despela lain ibin istap insait long ol bigpela taun olsem long Auki na  Honiara, na  ino long ol ples we pipol i nidim ol halavim longen.

Ol despela lain ino save igo insait long ol ples planti taim,olsem na ol inosave stretim ol masin hariap we despela isave mekim pipol lusim pawa na ol samting long haus.

Olsem na  Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative aninit long Asian Development Bank ibin lonsim wanpela traim project bilong stretim ol despela heve na tu bilong rereim halavim moni long ol women.

Ol bai skulim ol  hasples pipol insait long south west Malaita long we bilong lukautim na stretim ol  solar pawa,na ol bai askim ol women long kamap hap bilong despela tu.Despela progarme bai inoken stretim tasol ol heve long solar pawa ,tasol em bai ol women bilong Solomon Islands  bai kisim save long technical sait bilongen  na ol rot bilong ronim gut ol bisnis.

Bihain long holim ol toktok wantaim ol lain long komuniti  na  NGO insait long  West Are’are Rokotanikeni Association,  ol ibin makim na  skulim 12-pela ol meri na  7-pela ol man sevenpela ol man.

Ol ibin bungim olgeta ol despela lain insait long tupela de bilong trening insait long Honiara.Ol ibin skulim ol long bisnis na tu long ol information long we bilong registerim bisnis.

Tasol namba wan bigpela tingting i bilong skulim ol lain ikam long trening long we bilong lukautim ol solar pawa systems -long sait long  panel na batteries -na bigpela tru long we bilong ratim daun wanem ol wok oli wokim bilong stretim ol or keepim record  bihainim agreement ikam wantaim longen.
Presenter:   Heather Jarvis
Speakers:    Vijaya Nagarajan, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Pacific Gender Adviser.
Radio Australia

FRENCH

6) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – vendredi 30 mai 2014

Mis à jour 30 May 2014, 15:37 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Bougainville: Philip Miriori, le chef du groupe indépendantiste Me’ekamui, s’oppose à la réouverture de la mine de Panguna avant l’indépendance. 
C’est pourtant le projet du Président John Momis, qui veut relever l’économie de la région autonome. Philip Miriori n’a rien contre l’exploitation minière, mais elle doit être relancée après l’indépendance. Car, selon lui, c’est le seul moyen de s’assurer que les profits de la mine ne seront pas siphonnés par le gouvernement papou, et resteront bien à Bougainville. Le référendum d’autodétermination peut être organisé à partir de 2015. La répartition des profits de la mine a été l’un des déclencheurs de la guerre civile. Elle assurait 17% des revenus du gouvernement papou. Tandis que les propriétaires coutumiers se sentaient spoliés.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono n’y va pas que par amitié pour Franck Bainimarama. Le Président indonésien est attendu à Fidji le mois prochain. Il participera au deuxième sommet du Forum du Développement économique des Îles du Pacifique. Mais « le véritable objectif de l’Indonésie est d’empêcher le Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance d’intégrer un nouveau membre – la Papouasie occidentale », affirme Richard Chauvel, spécialiste de l’histoire et de la politique indonésiennes, interrogé par la radio néo-zélandaise internationale.

Le tabac n’est pas assez cher dans le Pacifique. Le Secrétariat de la Communauté du Pacifique demande aux Etats d’augmenter les taxes sur les cigarettes pour faire baisser la mortalité liée au tabac dans la région. « Si le prix du paquet augmente de 10%, la demande va baisser de 4 à 5%, donc c’est une stratégie vraiment très efficace », souligne Jeanie Mc Kenzie, chargée des maladies non transmissibles à la CPS. Le tabac tue 6 millions de personnes dans le monde chaque année.

L’ONU débloque 1.8 million de dollars américains pour les Îles Salomon, durement touchées par des inondations début avril.  L’argent sera employé par l’UNICEF, l’OMS et le Fonds des Nations unies pour la population pour soigner, nourrir, vacciner les Salomonais, et leur fournir de l’eau potable. Selon l’UNICEF, 24 000 enfants de moins de 5 ans risquent la malnutrition et sont vulnérables aux épidémies.

Hawaï: les hôtels vont payer pour les SDF. Le maire de Honolulu impose une hausse de la taxe foncière des hôtels. Kirk Caldwell veut augmenter la taxe de 1 dollar, ce qui porte la taxe à 13.40 sur 1000 dollars. Le maire de Honolulu compte réunir ainsi 4 millions de dollars pour aider les sans abris de Waikiki. Les hôteliers s’opposent à la hausse des impôts fonciers, car, disent-ils, le tourisme est déjà en berne.

Îles Salomon: la police a arrêté l’un des meneurs des émeutes d’il y a deux semaines. Une centaine de personnes, principalement des victimes des inondations, ont pillé plusieurs magasins et brûlé une boutique. Jeffrey Leni est désormais sous les barreaux. Il était le porte-parole d’un groupe de victimes des inondations. Jeffrey Leni, interviewé par la radio néo-zélandaise internationale, avait d’ailleurs affirmé peu après que les déplacés n’avaient pas participé aux pillages.

Samoa: l’ancienne super star du rugby Muli’agatele Brian Lima risque la prison. Le tribunal l’a jugé coupable de coups et blessures, de port d’arme illégal, et de menaces. Le rugbyman, connu pour ses plaquages dévastateurs, a agressé son ex-femme et le nouveau compagnon de celle-ci sur le parking d’une discothèque d’Apia en décembre dernier. Brian Lima, libéré sous caution, connaîtra le détail de sa condamnation le 20 juin prochain. Son ex-épouse, Lemalu Sina Retzlaff, est une femme d’affaires connue au Samoa. Brian Lima l’a battue pendant des années.  Radio Australia

7)  L’Australie va devoir faire plus pour se protéger »

Mis à jour 30 May 2014, 15:48 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Les experts australiens de la défense observent avec inquiétude les tensions grandissantes en Mer de Chine.

Des bateaux de pêche chinois au large du récif de Meiji, que se disputent la Chine et les Philippines.
Il y a bien sûr la querelle territoriale entre le Vietnam et la Chine, mais aussi les relations très tendues entre la Corée du Sud et le Japon. Mark Thomson est le principal expert de la politique et du budget de la défense australienne. Il est chercheur à l’Institut australien de Politique stratégique :

« Il y a un nouvel incident presque chaque semaine: un bateau de pêche coulé par le fond, ou une querelle territoriale parce que tel pays veut prendre possession de telle île. Tôt ou tard, ces provocations vont devenir de vraies agressions, et là on aura un sérieux problème, nous serons dans une vraie crise. »

Le gouvernement Abbott l’a bien compris. Il a présenté un budget d’austérité le 13 mai dernier. Mais il a augmenté le budget de la défense de 6%. Sauf que pour les spécialistes de la défense, il y a un problème de priorités.

Actuellement la majeure partie du budget de la défense australienne passe dans le financement de missions de maintien de la paix type RAMSI aux Salomon. Hugh White, professeur à l’Université Nationale Australienne, et auteur d’un livre sur la rivalité entre la Chine et les États-Unis dans notre région :

« L’Australie va devoir faire plus pour se protéger, ou pour prêter main forte aux États-Unis, quel que soit le choix du gouvernement. Et pour cela, il faut investir différemment dans la défense nationale, et investir plus. »

Hugh White, au micro de Catherine Mc Grath sur l’ABC. L’Australie va investir 12 milliards de dollars dans l’achat d’une flotte d’avions de chasse F35 aux États-Unis. Radio Austra

EDUCATION

8) Scholarship future worries student activist

Torika Tokalau
Sunday, June 01, 2014

TAMANIRARAMA Jone hopes his iTaukei Affairs Board scholarship will be reinstated so he can sit for his final exams for semester one this month.

The 21-year-old second year Bachelor of Commerce student of the University of the South Pacific had his scholarship terminated for what he says is his involvement in a political activity.

He said he was only exercising his political right when he joined Roshiko Deo’s political activity.

“I don’t see any violation or any wrong doing of my involvement in Roshika Deo’s ‘Be the Change Campaign’ as I was clearly just exercising my political right,” Mr Jone said.

“All I ask at this moment is for the re-instating of my scholarship.”

He said he decided to reveal his identity because he had just finished sitting for a test for one of his compulsory units.

“I have just finished a test paper and I wanted to concentrate on that.

“I feared that if I had revealed my identity up-front I would be victimised.

“I have no idea whether I will be able to sit for my finals in June since my termination letter mentioned that I had been terminated as from semester one.”

Mr Jone, who is from Ra, said he was frustrated with the development, adding it had affected his studies greatly.

“This termination has affected my studies and my concentration at the moment. However with all the support I am getting, I am trying to lift my head up high and I am just trying to take each day as it comes.”

TSLB chairman Dixon Seeto said once a scholarship was handed out, the board and the student signed a confidentiality agreement that prevented each party from discussing the issue with other people.

However, he added the board would administer all rules and requirements that were outlined by a contract signed by each party.

The board chairman said if one of the parties was found to be in breach of the contract then action would be taken.Fijitimes

POLITIC

9) Bougainville must keep forging unity – writer

31 May 2014
One of the speakers at this week’s PNG New Voices conference in Port Moresby says Bougainville’s prospects for independence do not hinge on the potential reopening of the Panguna mine.

An emerging writer from Bougainville, Leonard Fong Roka says young Bougainvilleans are increasingly preoccupied with shaping a better, self-reliant future.

He says Bougainville must keep forging unity despite the various divisions over the mine.

“It’s not a crucial part of getting Bougainville forward. The crucial part of getting Bougainville forward is the unity: unity and a creative leadership, a leadership that is relevant, up to date and a leadership that has a better relationship with the people, a relationship that is not divided.”

Leonard Fong Roka says bitter internal politics and factionalism among Bougainville’s leaders should be kept aside as it detracts from Bougainville’s path towards independence.Radio NZ

10) Transparency Solomon Islands Alleges Vote Buying Scheme
Group calls on government to prohibit collecting voter ID cards

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 29, 2014) – Transparency Solomon Islands has heard allegations that the new biometric registration system designed to reduce election fraud is being abused by candidates.

The group is calling on the government to make it illegal for anyone to buy or collect voter registration cards.

Transparency chief executive Daniel Fenua has received reports of one candidate buying official voter registration cards and exchanging them for his own ‘supporter cards’.

He then intends to return the official cards to voters with a cash incentive to vote his way.

“Just before the polling date, their card will be given back with some cash, some influence for people to vote for them,” Fenua told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.

“Given we have this Melanesian culture of reciprocity, if someone gives you money just during that day, you feel obligated to support that person’s candidacy by voting for him or her.”

But Solomon Islands’ chief electoral officer Polycarp Haununu argues there is no guarantee that buying votes yields results, given there is no way of knowing which candidate a voter chose.

“The rumour has it that some have bought cards but that doesn’t mean that whoever’s card has been held, will vote for that political candidate,” Haununu said.

“It’s up to the electors to choose to vote for that person or otherwise.”

Haununu says he has not yet received any formal complaint against candidates buying voter registration cards.

He says the electoral commission and police will only be able to investigate the allegations if a formal complaint is made.

“If candidates are buying votes, people have to report such cases to the police and the police will investigate,” he said.

“Unless I receive any formal complaint, I can’t take the case to the police to investigate.”

Fenua has voiced concerns to the electoral commission over electoral fraud allegations but cannot register a formal complaint until the rumours are confirmed and more claimants come forward.

“A lot of people are too afraid to come forward and report these allegations,” he said.

“They are not really brave enough to come forward and they’re in fear that something will happen to them.”

So far, only one “client” has come forward with a complaint to Transparency Solomon Islands.

“We are trying to get in touch with the client, [to find out] if it is OK with him for us to take that matter forward,” Fenua said.

“I encourage others to come in and support those kinds of similar cases.”

Solomon Star

11) Fiji First party registration decried

31 May 2014
A group, which claimed the name Fiji 1st as a political party years before the Fiji regime took the party name this year, says the election authority was wrong to say that its registration was incomplete.

The Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, approved the application of the Prime Minister Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama’s new party hours after rejecting a total of six objections for alleged breaches of regime decrees.

The alleged breaches of the Political Parties Decree put the regime party at risk of large fines and of jail sentences for its members.

One of the alleged breaches was the regime’s use of the name of a previous or wound-up party.

Fiji 1st Party, which in 2009 was invited to a political party dialogue forum by the Bainimarama government, was wound up by the regime last year.

Mr Saneem found that while there was evidence that the former party’s application for registration was gazetted, there was no gazetted notice of approval.

He also said the letter of objection by Fiji 1st’s Anit Singh from last week was not signed.

However, Mr Singh and Fiji 1st claim that receipt of his signed letter was acknowledged before Mr Saneem threw out the objection.

The police, meanwhile, are still investigating the regime’s party for alleged breaches of the Political Parties Decree.Radio NZ

LAND:

12) Ombudsman finds discrepancies in land deals

Source:
The National, Friday May 30th, 2014

The Lands Department  and Physical Planning is not complying with proper processes to license land titles, Ombudsman Phoebe Sangetari says.
She said senior officers in the department were exercising powers that were vested only in the minister for lands.
Speaking on an investigation by the Ombudsman Commission on improper licensing of a piece of public institutional land by the Lands Department in Kimbe, West New Britain, Sangetari said only the minister had the power  to exempt land.
“Senior officers in the Lands Department have been found to have breached the code of ethics of the public service by receiving payment to lease land,” she said.
Chief Ombudsman Rigo Lua explained that due to capacity problems, investigations were taking much longer to be completed.

MEDIA

13) Journalist in contempt

Source:
The National, Friday May 30th, 2014

A NEWSPAPER journalist who has been found guilty of contempt yesterday apologised to the court and asked for a fine instead of a jail term.
Lawyer Ian Molloy representing Todagia Kelola told the court that the Post-Courier did not intend to disobey a court order issued by the National Court in Manus.
Justice David Cannings will hand down a decision on June 10 in the Waigani National Court.
The National Court during a sitting in Manus ordered that five media personnel including Kelola who joined a court party visiting the detention centre should not take pictures of the asylum seekers or the workers.

14) Public, Media Banned From PNG Parliament During Finance Hearing
Inquiry in Parliamentary finances closed to scrutiny

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 30, 2014) – The public and the media were banned from Parliament House yesterday when the Public Accounts Committee sat down to scrutinise the finances of the National Parliament.

The parliamentary committee was to investigate several controversial financial deals, recent and past. But as the session was about to start, the committee chairman, John Hickey, announced that proceedings were not going to be open to the public.

“Before we commence our inquiry into parliament, we have decided on information that I have received very recently it would be in the best interest of Parliament that we hold this inquiry today in-camera, that means the inquiry will not be open to the public,” he said.

In camera is a legal expression meaning “in private”.

Mr Hickey said he was concerned about the sensitivity of the issues that were to be discussed and that the public, especially the media, would misrepresent what was said.

But the Deputy Opposition Leader, Sam Basil, slammed Mr Hickey’s announcement: “We condemn your decision of barring the press to cover today’s hearing over parliament’s finances,” Mr Basil said.

The Bulolo MP said that there is no question over whether the discussion of parliamentary affairs should be heard in public:

“The three arms of government are the people’s office; their conduct in office must be scrutinised and enquiries into their handling of finances must be transparent and accessible by the media for the benefit of the 7.5 million citizens,” he said.

Mr Basil also took a swipe at the Speaker, Theodore Zurenuoc: “Now that all the carvings and spirits have been laid to rest it is time to turn our attention to the living beings that exist in Parliament from the tea boy right up to the Speaker’s office,” he said.

Mr Hickey however believes the media won’t do a fair job in reporting the procedures of the committee:

“That’s the decision I took this morning, and I think it’s in the best interest of everyone.

“I must be very careful that my committee does not compromise staff and that misrepresentation of proceedings or what’s said in this inquiry is not misrepresented,” Mr Hickey said. The PAC hearings are continuing.

PNG Post-Courier

BUSINESS

15) Provincial government subsidises airfares

Source:
The National, Thursday May 29th, 2014

A TOTAL of K1 million has been paid to Air Niugini to subsidise costs of flights into Enga, Governor Peter Ipatas said.
Ipatas said the subsidy was for village people who did not have the resources to travel to Western Highlands to get on the plane.
He recently gave a cheque of K300,000 tow the national flag carrier.
Of the K300,000, K250,000 will be used for travels for the second quarter of this year while the other K50,000 will cover last year’s outstanding balance.
Under the terms of an agreement between the parties, the Enga provincial government was expected to pay K250,000 quarterly for flights into Wapenamanda.
He said the service would benefit locals from Enga, who travelled more than two hours to Mt Hagen, to get on the Air Niugini flights.
“It gives our small village people, people who don’t have access to vehicles and money to fly out of their own province and so we see this service as important.
“If we look at the economic side of things, you could see that it can save time for public servants, politicians and business man who travel up into Mt Hagen in two and a half hours drive.
“We are pleased with this service that Air Niugini has been providing for us for many years.
“We want to show that as a government we are consistent with what we have been doing over the years. The national PNG.

16) Commission warns retailers over product labels

Source:
The National, Friday May 30th, 2014

RETAILERS have been warned to tell their suppliers to ensure there have English labels on their products.
The Independent Consumer Competition Commission issued the warning after some retailers queried whether they were allowed to re-label the imported products in English.
Some traders in Port Moresby were seen labelling products on the shelves in English.
They claimed that they got the information from their suppliers and did the labelling themselves to comply with the interim ban set by the commission.
But a commission spokesman said the labelling must be done by the supplier before the product reached the country.
The commission wants all food items with non-English labels to be removed from the shelves by Sunday.

17) PNG revenue to rocket, says Treasurer

31 May 2014
Papua New Guinea’s Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch has stated that the nation’s revenue will grow by around 3 to 4 billion US dollars in a full calendar year.

Mr Pruaitch says that PNG’s economy is anticipated to grow by a record 21%, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Construction of the ExxonMobil-led LNG project, which has just begun production, has been credited with underpinning PNG’s significant economic growth in the past four years.

Mr Pruaitch says the expected revenue flows from the project in the coming years will greatly boost PNG’s balance of trade with the inflow of US dollars from LNG exports contributing to the strengthening of the kina.

The kina has been in decline since late last year as the construction phase of the project wound down.Radio NZ

18) Labour minister refutes claims, affirms workers rights

Luke Rawalai
Sunday, June 01, 2014

TWENTY-EIGHT per cent of workers in the formal labour sector around the country are affiliated with worker union groups

Speaking during a labour workshop in Labasa on Thursday Minister for Labour Jone Usamate rubbished claims from political campaigners that workers in the country were not allowed to voice their concerns and grievances through union representatives.

He said workers in Fiji were allowed to join unions of their choice.

Mr Usamate added that even workers covered under the National Industries Employment Decree had a right to join any union they wanted to affiliate themselves with.

“Government wants to ensure that any negotiation that takes place between a private industry and the worker is done with the rightful parties concerned,” he said.

“Workers in Fiji have and can fully exercise their right of joining the union group of their choice.

“More so unions still have the power to negotiate issues raised by their members.”

Mr Usamate also said 78 per cent of workers were not represented by unions.

“These percentages of people are those that come directly to us to lodge their complaints and grievances.

“In the past it was workers who approached the ministry through their unions but this has however changed.

“Currently anybody with any grievance at their workplace can approach the labour office and lodge their grievance.”

Mr Usamate has also encouraged workers with grievances to lodge their complaints at their nearest labour office.Fijitimes

19) Localization policy questioned

May 21, 2014

Labour Commissioner Lionel Kaluat

A civic leader who asked to remain anonymous has questioned the effectiveness of the national localization policy.
He said it appears that the localization policy is no longer effective, especially with Chinese retail shop owners and some other businesses.
“I am particularly concerned with the Chinese retail shops where Chinese nationals occupy such positions as cashiers while many Ni-Vans who have been trained and experienced in the same field are unemployed wandering around in Port Vila or Luganville hunting for jobs,” the concerned civic leader told the Daily Post.

“We have a number of Institutes running courses in Accounting and Financial Management almost all year round and are certified to do exactly the jobs that the Chinese nationals are doing. So to me, the national localization policy, in particular in these and a number of other fields of professions appear to be no longer effective” he said.

He also raised his concern over more and more Chinese retail shops being established throughout the capital Port Vila.
“While some people say they appreciate two factors with more and more Chinese retail shops and takeaway shops being established throughout Port Vila and,providing more employment for young Ni-Vanuatu men and women, but my concern is twofold. First, from what I learn is that they are poorly paid or in other words receiving wages below the national minimum wage level.
Secondly, these Chinese Business families are now running business categories which were supposed to have been reserved for local Ni-Vanuatu only,” the concern civic leader said.

“The Chinese retail shops are pushing Ni-Vanuatu retail shops out of business and our mothers and women are forced to sell Vt20 kakae at the kava nakamals or even out in the makeshift shelters in the dusty areas of our nation’s capital Port Vila,” the civic leader voiced with concern.
In his response, the Commissioner of Labour Lionel Kaluat, said the core matter of the subject is that foreign nationals occupy certain skilled occupations due to the fact that the locals do not take their responsibilities seriously which prevent the Employers from recruiting the locals into such positions.
“It’s mainly related to trust and confidence in all sectors of employment mainly in the private sector in semi skilled and skilled employment undertakings. In order to be able to manage and control these issues,the locals must demonstrate their abilities and competency and trust so as to gain the respect and confidence from their Employers, “ said Kaluat.

He added that, in 2013 the former Minister of Internal Affairs, late Patrick Crowby signed an order of declaration of reserved occupations that only Ni-Vanuatu Nationals can occupy and must not be occupied by foreigners. The list of reserved occupations includes; Typist, clerical supervisor, receptionist,hotel receptionist,waiter/waitress/bartender/street vendor, dock worker, freight handler, earth moving and related machinery operator, driver,Bus driver,lorry and van driver, boatsman, able seaman/ordinary seaman, carpenter, joiner, cashier, construction site foreman, general mechanic, general electrician, general plumber, hairdresser, engineer.

The Labour Commissioner further confirmed that the Department of Labor is already enforcing the order since it was signed by the former and the late Minister of Internal Affairs, Patrick Crowby in 2013.
He re-emphasized what he termed the importance of Ni-Vanuatu employees proving to their employers, their competency, loyalty and trust all fields of semi-skilled and skilled employment positions mainly in the private sector.http://www.dailypost.vu/

LAW&ORDER

20) 7 High Risk Inmates Escape From Vanuatu Jail
Security guard assaulted, key taken

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 30, 2014) – In Vanuatu, seven high risk inmates have escaped after assaulting the security guard with an iron pin, then locking the officer in the cell and escaping with the key.

The Correctional Services Director Johnny Marango says the inmates made their escape when they were released into the yard to take in fresh air.

Mr Marango is appealing for women and girls to take extra care, saying three of the inmates are serving time for rape, one for intentional assault causing death and the others for breaching parole and theft.

Radio New Zealand International

SPORTS

21) Simple style works

Source:
The National, Friday May 30th, 2014

THE Queensland Cup’s Round 14 clash between the Papua New Guinea Hunters and the Souths Logan Magpies at Kalabond Oval tomorrow will show whether Michael Marum’s men have the professional ruthlessness needed to be a force in the competition.
Sitting fourth on the ladder with 17 points, the Hunters are coming off a morale-boosting 16-12 win over the Central Queensland Capras in Gladstone, and are expected to be even more formidable on home turf against the ninth-placed Magpies.
The Hunters have recorded seven wins, four losses and a draw in their debut season using a simple formula and Marum, pictured, is unlikely to deviate from what has worked.
“Some people have complained that we’re using a very simple plan of one up, one up, but if they watched the games closely they’ll see we have a plan, so we’ll stick to what works for us,” Marum said.
“We’ve got spots in the field where we work towards so it’s not just a one out style.
“The guys have been together for 12 games so far and they know each other’s game and we’re just going to concentrate on getting the basics right especially on defence.”  Marum confirmed that fullback Adex Wera and centre Thompson Teteh unlikely to play and the backline would have a new look with centre  Albert Patak shifting to fullback while Tiger Emere would come into the  centres alongside ‘Mr Fix It’ Noel Zeming. “It’s not looking good for Thompson (Teteh) and Adex (Wera). They didn’t train today. They only went through a light warm-up before sitting out the rest of training.
“Tiger (Emere) will start at centre. He’s a good one to bring on. He’s big and strong and he can cover wing, centre and the backrow so he’ll do well for us,” Marum said.
Prop Timothy Lomai has recovered from a hip flexor complaint to be named on the bench while Dion Aiye remains on the bench despite having a niggling back injury.
Marum said he expected the Magpies to be competitive with a similar style to other teams. The visitors boast some National Rugby League experience with Canberra Raiders squad members Jack Ahearn (five-eighth) and Sam Mataora (prop) playing alongside Brisbane Broncos utility Kurt Baptiste (hooker).   “They have some big guys and I’m sure they’ll use their size up the middle against us like other teams have. We just have to concentrate on our defence in the middle and make sure they don’t get on top of us.
“They’ve been watching our games so they’ll have an idea of how we play but we’re not worried. We will just focus on doing our jobs well. At this stage of the season we’re not worried about wins and losses. We just want to concentrate on playing well.”
Marum, who spent most of yesterday organising his team’s relocation to the Queen Emma Lodge in Kokopo said the Hunters were grateful to the Bomana Police College and the community for having them there for the last six months.
“I’d just like to say thank you on behalf of the Hunters players and management to the Bomana Police College community for having us for the past six months. We’re really grateful for their support.”

22) Japan beat Manu Samoa

31 May 2014
In rugby, Yoshikazu Fujita scored two first-half tries as Japan erased a 7-0 deficit to beat Manu Samoa 33-14 yesterday for a record seventh straight test-match win.

Fujita ran in to reduce Samoa’s lead to 7-5 in the 10th minute and widened the advantage to 15-7 midway through the first half.

A conversion and a penalty by Ayumu Goromaru allowed Japan to take a 20-7 lead at the break.

Brando Vaaulu gave Samoa a glimmer of hope with a try in the second half that cut Japan’s lead to 23-12 but another penalty by Goromaru and a try by Kotaru Matsushima gave the hosts a comfortable 31-14 lead with three minutes remaining.

Both Japan and Samoa have already qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup where they will compete in Pool B against South Africa, Scotland and the United States.Radio NZ

23) Brumbies score six tries to one win over Rebels in 37-10 thrashing at Canberra Stadium

Updated 31 May 2014, 21:52 AEST

The Brumbies have had an easy 37-10 bonus point win over the Rebels at Canberra Stadium.

The Brumbies kept their Super Rugby season alive with a 37-10 bonus point win over the Melbourne Rebels in Canberra.

SCOREBOARD: BRU 37-10 REB

Interview: Laurie Fisher
Interview: Stephen Moore
Interview: Pat McCabe
Interview: Colby Faingaa
View full stats sheet

The six try victory was a stark contrast to their last win against the Sharks three weeks ago, the Brumbies kicking far less and running with intent in front of 11,071 fans at Canberra Stadium.

Brumbies fly half Matt Toomua staked his claim for a Wallabies inside backs spot for the upcoming Tests against France with a two-try effort.

Half-back Nic White was equally brilliant, his crisp passing and sniping linebreaks setting up several tries in a performance that would have sent Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie a loud message.

Pat McCabe, Clyde Rathbone and Fotu Auelua were brought into the starting side to bend the line and they did just that with a brutal display of direct running.

The Brumbies’ willingness to run the ball from their own half was rewarded with a four try bonus point at just the 30th minute mark.

The foundations for their attack was built on the back of ruthless defence, constantly driving the Rebels backwards and forcing errors.

It took the Brumbies just three minutes to get on the board, Toomua slipping under Tom English out wide after more than a dozen phases.

The Rebels replied with a penalty, before Brumbies full-back McCabe burst over for a 12-3 lead in the 14th minute.

Toomua picked up his second two minutes later courtesy of a White linebreak, before prop Scott Sio scored his first try of the season in the 30th minute to secure the bonus point.

The Brumbies picked up where they left off after half-time, lock Sam Carter burrowing over for a 32-3 lead.

The Rebels finally got the upper hand in an epic scrum battle, and Brumbies prop Ben Alexander was yellow carded with 13 minutes to go.

The Rebels made the most of their numerical advantage with a try to captain Scott Higginbotham, but the Brumbies would cap off a great night with a try to Leon Power.

Goalkicker Christian Lealiifano continued to struggle with the boot, only managing three from seven, while captain Ben Mowen went off with a cut under his eye in the 50th minute.

The win moves the Brumbies up to fourth spot on the log, and three points behind the Australian conference leading Waratahs.

The Rebels on the other hand have slipped back to 13th spot going into the break for the June Tests.

AAP

24) Blues beat Hurricanes 37-24 in Super Rugby clash at Eden Park

Posted 31 May 2014, 20:06 AEST

The Blues dealt the Hurricanes’ Super Rugby play-off hopes a blow with a 37-24 win in Auckland.

Maa Nonu takes a run for the Blues. (Credit: Getty Images)

Jerome Kaino boomed out his All Blacks credentials as the Blues dealt the Hurricanes’ Super Rugby play-off hopes a blow with a 37-24 win in Auckland.

SCOREBOARD: BLU 37-24 HUR

View full stats sheet

The 10th-placed Blues made it six from six at Eden Park, with Kaino scoring one of five tries in arguably their best performance of the season.

A Hurricanes side coming off a 45-8 humbling of the Chiefs climbed one place to fifth courtesy of a bonus point for scoring four tries.

However, they could be passed by both the Brumbies and Bulls this weekend and, having played one more game than most of their rivals, may be hard-pressed to reach the playoffs when Super Rugby resumes after the international break.

Kaino is pushing hard for a Test starting spot against England at the same venue next week.

The 31-year-old produced another powerhouse performance at number eight just two months after making his return from Japanese club rugby.

He led a physical defensive line and made consistent metres with defenders hanging onto his back, most notably when scoring soon after half-time.

Not far behind in the industry stakes was captain and flanker Luke Braid who helped give rookie five-eighth Ihaia West a memorable starting debut.

West kicked 12 points while the other Blues tryscorers were full-back Lolagi Visinia, winger George Moala and impressive lock Patrick Tuipulotu, who should be named in the All Blacks squad unveiled on Sunday for the three-Test England series.

Their first try was a penalty try, awarded when Hurricanes full-back Matt Proctor was deemed to have deliberately knocked down a pass in the 15th minute. Proctor was also shown a yellow card.

Hurricanes flanker Faifile Levave scored from an early rolling maul and bagged his second in the dying minutes as his team finished strongly.

Brothers Julian and Ardie Savea both scored sweeping tries after their team had trailed 27-7 midway through the second spell but the visitors never threatened a win to back up their 39-20 defeat of the Blues earlier in the season.

The All Blacks selectors will be concerned at apparent injuries which forced two All Blacks first-choice players from the ground in the second half – Blues prop Tony Woodcock and Hurricanes winger Julian Savea.

AAP

www.voiceofmelanesia.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *