Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 992

 

MELANESIA

1) Vanuatu Chiefs Meet To Discuss Sustainable Development Plan
Council of Chiefs to review government policies, talk social well-being

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 6, 2014) – The Chairman of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs, Chief Henry Manlaewia is asking all 100 plus registered members of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs of Efate and its Offshore Islands to attend an urgent meeting in the Chiefs Nakamal in Port Vila on June 11 at 8.30 in the morning.

Chief Manlaewia says it is essential that all members of the Vaturisu attend the meeting to be briefs of the imminent National Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2030, the Government plans to organise in the Chiefs Nakamal from June 16-20.

Vaturisu Secretary General Chief Jimmy Meameadola explains, “The main purpose of this important meeting on June 11 is for the chiefs to also hear first hand from a member of the National Sustainable Development Programme Core Group, Jamie Tanguay who will present the various topics to be covered in the four-day presentations and discussions

“For example in the NSDP Programme, it talks about the economic well-being (of the nation). When we talk about economy, people immediately think in terms of money in the western context but we in Vanuatu also have custom economy. We the chiefs therefore have a duty to also present our views to help the Government to incorporate it in its national policy to guide the development of our country for the next fifteen years”.

Chief Meameadola says the second topic is social well-being, which brings about social issues at custom level that are not recognised and this is an opportunity to discuss the issues faced by chiefs in custom governance. “Another issue is environment. Environment laws are in place but where do the chiefs come in to contribute towards the protection of our environment?”, he asks.

“Culture and well-being is also another issue the chiefs need to address to contribute towards National Government Policy on the subject to promote as well as protect it”.

Vanuatu Daily Post

2) The Vanuatu airports contract

by bobmakin

Airport rights & profits given to company of unknowns – and at cost of USD 350 million …

  • Four months after the formation of their government last year, former PM Carcasses and DPM Natapei signed a fifty year Agreement with the company called Vanuatu Trade Development Pte Ltd – VTDPL (incorporated in Singapore) to build, own and operate an international airport for Port Vila. It was agreed that four unconditional and on-demand promissory notes for a total of three hundred and fifty million United States dollars would be issued to VTDPL whose membership is unknown.
  • Daily Post has obtained a copy of this first major development Agreement of the Carcasses Government, achieved without any recourse to a tendering process. The document clearly lacks any advice of the State Law Office. It is simply signed by the former PM and DPM and Mak Kum Hoong David and Eric Ong Kok Eng who had presumably set up the company VTDPL, the seal of which was attached.
  • Daily Post has been advised that changes were made to the Agreement, possibly following the huge public outcry when the existence of such an agreement previously became known. However, these changes have not been made publicly known. The document was continually kept secret by the former government and still is effectively ‘secret’ whilst the ad hoc committee investigates and whilst its enquiries continue. Criminal investigation after the Committee reports to Parliament on 13 June may well be needed. The scam cannot simply be the work of the four signatories. And public opinion is likely to invoke effective use of the here-to-fore often sidelined Leadership Code
  • There had not been any aviation or tourism industry pressure for a new airport of any kind for the capital – only demands by the airport managing authority (Airports Vanuatu Limited – AVL) and airline users of Bauerfield. This was for funding of urgently needed runway repairs and taxi-way and plane parking extensions. Indeed the concessionary company (VTDPL) was requiring the termination of AVL in the Agreement. (AVL, it should be noted, also has responsibilities for outer island airfields.) VTDPL was to be given the operator status for Bauerfield immediately commercial operations under the Agreement were to begin.
  • The Agreement contains a variety of ‘conditions precedent’, such as the promissory notes already mentioned. If these were not met by either side it seems the Vanuatu Government would be required to pay for the Bauerfield works.
  • The Agreement signed on 27 July last year was to give VTDPL the exclusive right to “develop, finance, design, construct, modernise, operate, maintain, use andregulate the use by any Person of the Airports in any manner it deems appropriate and without any interruption or intervention by the Government or any Government Authority.” State authority and responsibility were in this manner to be assigned to the already contracted company.
  • In addition, VTDPL would “determine, adjust, demand, collect, retain and appropriate the Aeronautical Charges and Non-Aeronautical Charges and such other revenue and income as may be generated from the operation of the airports.” It could also sub-lease or license any part of the airports to anyone. VTDPL, initiating the Agreement, effectively put itself in a position to collect any and all profits for the fifty year term of the Agreement. The government agreed.
  • VTDPL was to be given precedence in any new Vanuatu airport development. One wonders whether this meant even Sola and Motalava. All current projects were to be likely to stoppage for 6 months to give VTDPL the chance to consider whether their precedence right would operate. Overflight Agreements with Fiji, already operating, were similarly to be suspended to give VTDPL the chance to consider purchase of the necessary equipment. VTDPL is required to take over Tanna and Norsup re-development with no compensation required to AVL for work possibly already undertaken.
  • One of the requirements of the Agreement is for the Vanuatu Government to assist VTDPL bring into the country free-of-charge any persons VTDPL might require visas or entry permits for. Ni-Vanuatu may well wonder whether the company intends to bring its membership to a less crowded island than Singapore, where certainly some reside.

This week is to see an ad hoc committee report to Parliament on the matter of the airport contract.

3) Vanuatu’s method of choosing PPP partners

by bobmakin

Fiji and PNG both extending int’l airports, but by public tender.

  • The two biggest independent Melanesian countries are both entering into contracts for extension and improvement to their international airports. They both see the need for a Public – Private – Partnership (PPP). However, unlike the former government of Vanuatu, they are intending this to be achieved by calling for tenders to bring experienced operators in. They are advertising for bids from leading advisers worldwide with the intention of choosing the most competent.
  • The Fiji Government has been the most recent to advertise, about 2 months ago. Nadi Airport averages 30 international flights per day and 20 airlines connect Fiji to 14 international cities. Nadi handles over 90% of Fiji’s aviation needs. However, Nausori, serving the capital, was also needing upgrading.
  • An increase in efficiency, productivity and profitability for government at each Fiji airport is sought. Successful tenderers would have to show they would apply internationally accepted and certified airport management practices and technology. Furthermore, preference was to be given to a publicly listed company and / or manager of at least one major international airport hub. The successful tenderer would also have to demonstrate financial capacity.
  • In Vanuatu the whole process was undertaken in secrecy and without any global call for expressions of interest. This led to investors interested in tobacco growing originally being contracted for the work and the employment of a company which the Government of the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean was suing. The secrecy scheme also required huge government guarantees of an order Vanuatu cannot afford.
  • The PNG Government was also seeking a PPP arrangement, but was not prepared to accept any Tom, Dick or Harry to own and run the airport for 50 years as the Vanuatu Government at the time was allowing. Unlike in Vanuatu with AVL, in PNG no-one saw any need to replace the PNG National Airports Corporation (NAC). Indeed the NAC saw the need for greater capacity, to increase from handling 300,000 passengers a year to 1.5 million. Bigger and better facilities were accepted to be necessary to cope with both the 2015 Pacific Games and the 2018 APEC Summit. Their PPP arrangement was to be with the ANZ Banking Corporation, and through a commercial loan, and the Canadian company Jacobs Consultancy had already established a master plan two years ago for the operations of the two (international and domestic) terminals whilst expansion work was going on.
  • The PNG Government and NAC are certainly not selling, buying or leasing any new land for the developments they have in mind. Vanuatu, on the other hand, has seen a need to acquire or lease a particular stretch of land without there being any professional aviation planning advice sought. Nor was any market research ever undertaken, nor any dialogue begun with land owners and lessees.
  • NAC is presently recruiting an independent Strategic Advisor to look at the long-term development and operating model for Port Moresby which will see domestic and international airports joined under a potential PPP scheme. Applications are expected at the latest by this weekend. However, the NAC’s Joseph Tupiri (Managing Director) says: “We are going to engage an internationally reputable Strategic Adviser with sell-side experience to carry out market sounding for reputable companies that would finance, develop and operate airports under a Public – Private – Partnership model.” Now that certainly never happened for Vanuatu’s airport advancement as proposed by the Carcasses Government in 2013.

One wonders how the process for reporting by the Ad Hoc Committee examining the Rentabau Airport Project is progressing and whether there are still plans for a 13 June sitting of Parliament to learn what has been kept secret.

4) Vanuatu daily news digest | 9 June 2014

by bobmakin

  • Much of the news of the last week has concerned high risk prisoners on the run. They are, however, all now back in custody.
  • September 2 is the last day in office for Head of State President Abbil. The Electoral College must then decide on his successor.
  • The nation farewelled the Vanua’aku Pati strategist Willie Nakat who died in China. His body was brought back to Port Vila where leaders paid tribute, and was later forwarded to Tanna for burial.
  • The coffee season on Tanna and Efate has begun well and prices are being maintained despite a world drop in price. More Efate growers are reporting success.
  • The Vanua’aku Pati has announced its next congress will be held in the school holidays in August in Port Vila.
  • Government has announced its intention to review the water concession contract for the capital, presently held by Unelco, there being provision to do so in the contract.
  • Port Vila Municipality has been at pains to point out that garbage collection has nor been affected by the seizure of municipal vehicles by the sheriff.
  • Three executive of the INIK Co-operative on Tanna are being investigated over missing cooperative funds.
  • New bank notes have been launched by the Reserve Bank to values of VT 2,000, VT 1,000 and VT 200. They are on polymer printing paper and more durable.
  • Eight newly graduated nurses, after three years of training, have complained to the press after not receiving any pay two months into their jobs. They have been working at Northern District Hospital. Their VCH colleagues have been paid.
  • Over VT 3 million worth of contraband cigarettes was seized and destroyed by Customs.

POLYNESIA


5) CIP pledges internet in schools

By Online Editor
5:11 pm GMT+12, 09/06/2014, Cook Islands

The ruling Cook Islands Party (CIP) is looking to head into July’s general elections riding on advances made over the last three and half years, hoping voters allow the party to carry through on initiatives already underway.

The party released its 2014 campaign document – titled, “Aere Ki Mua – Go Forward” two weeks ago, outlining pledges to be undertaken should voters give the CIP another mandate for a second term.

Compared to the party’s comprehensive 24-page 2010 manifesto, the nine-page document represents the tight circumstances that have resulted due to last month’s snap election announcement that kicked political hopefuls into high gear.

Described as their social priorities, the CIP is pledging to allocate more funds towards the health and education sectors. In education, the party is promising to implement free wifi internet in every school in the country and expand tertiary education opportunities in the outer islands.

As previously reported, the CIP has pencilled in a $75 a month increase in pension payments to $700 for seniors over the age of 70, and taking them closer to the stated target of $800 per month.

As well, the Party has written in a promise to remove two years of back taxes on New Zealand government-paid pensions, while giving seniors who have already paid taxes credits to be used towards future years.

Welfare payments will also be increased, following boosts made in the party’s first term.

The Party says “steady” growth in annual GDP will help pay for the pledges, however, projections released by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management show finding available funds may prove to be difficult.

MFEM is projecting a deficit of $112,000 for the 2013-14 fiscal year, and deficits are forecasted for the next two financial years.

Despite the projected constraints, the party is also making regular, subsidised shipping for the outer islands – particularly for the Northern group – one of its main priorities.

The Pa Enua would also be the main beneficiary under a CIP government with regards to infrastructure commitments through the additional allocation of resources, the document says.

In Rarotonga, the CIP says it will be following through with ongoing upgrades to the water supply system, including a household leakage repair program and continuation of the water tank subsidy scheme.

Hoped-for savings of half a million dollars from the conversion of outer islands electricity to renewable sources will allow for re-investment in infrastructure, the Party says.

In telecommunications, the CIP says it is committed to their 2010 pledge of de-regulating the sector and establishing a competitive market.

SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS NEWS/PACNEWS

6) Reported Split In Tonga Opposition Democratic Party Denied
With elections looming, MP candidates uncertain

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 9, 2014) – There are reports in Tonga of a split in the Opposition Democratic Party with suggestions 4 MPs will be dropped from the Party’s line up for the November election.

Radio Tonga says the Party’s deputy, Dr Sitiveni Halapua, Semisi Tapueluelu, Falisi Tupou and Sione Tione, all holders of seats on Tongatapu, could be dumped.

But the leader Akilisi Pohiva says that is not necessarily the case.

He says a decision on who will stand for the Party is still to be made by an independent committee with a decision likely next week.

“They have to come out with justification of why did they push one or two candidates, current members, and get people from outside to replace the seats in Parliament.”

Akilisi Pohiva says it is important that MPs are committed to the Party and are people he can work with.

Radio New Zealand International

7) New Zealand Funds Major Solar Power Projects In Tuvalu, Cooks
$28 million project to provide 95% of electricity needs

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 9, 2014) – Construction is to start in September on solar generation systems in Tuvalu and the Cook islands which are expected to meet 95 percent of the islands’ electricity needs.

The US$28 million project is funded by the New Zealand government.

Richard Cullwick of PowerShop, the New Zealand-based company in charge of the project, says six islands in the Cooks and four islands in Tuvalu will get the new solar power systems.

He says all of the islands are reliant on diesel for generating power, and switching to solar makes environmental and economic sense.

Mr Cullwick says the islands’ residents will be trained to run the solar systems.

“We will be working with locals where we can. That’s both in the construction and also in the ongoing looking after it. The teams also do train locals and how the systems run, what they need to do, how they need to keep them running to their optimal performance.”

Richard Cullwick says construction is expected to be completed in early 2015.

Radio New Zealand International

8) Niue premier reiterates Forum stance on Fiji
By Online Editor
5:09 pm GMT+12, 09/06/2014, Niue

Niue’s Premier Toke Talagi says leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum would like to see Fiji back in the group.

The Pacific Islands Forum suspended Fiji in 2009 after the regime reneged on an earlier promise to return the country to an elected government five years ago.

Premier Talagi says he doesn’t know enough about Fiji’s electoral system but the only information he has is what has been reported in media.

He says he isn’t in a position to determine what is true.

“Our position bilaterally is that we’d like Fiji to come back in the Forum. Hold democratic elections and come back in to the Forum. My view at the present moment is that we’ll talk in the Forum. We’ll get a report from the group that is tasked to work with the Fijian government on this and we’ll make a decision, Premier Talagi told Radio New Zealand International.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

MICRONESIA

9) FSM signature kicks off Trade and Development Facility

9 june 2014

The Federated States of Micronesia is the 10th country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat says with 10 countries now signed up, the facility can enter into force and provide Pacific nations with greater ownership of their trade-related development needs.

The Forum’s Deputy Secretary General, Cristelle Pratt, says the memorandum of understanding will enable an historic development of trade and development in the region.

Ms Pratt says the facility allows for a regional approach that will promote better co-ordination and more effective Aid for Trade programmes in the Pacific.

Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have already signed the document.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

10) Saipan’s First Woman Mayor Sworn In
Tudela appointed by Governor after death of Flores


By Mark Rabago

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, June 9, 2014) – Surrounded by family and friends, Marian Deleon Guerrero Tudela became Saipan’s first female mayor after being sworn in yesterday at the Coral Ocean Point Resort.

The 69-year-old was appointed by Gov. Eloy S. Inos to serve as mayor of the island for the remainder of the late Donald P. Flores’ unexpired term.

Marian Deleon Guerrero Tudela is sworn in by Gov. Eloy S. Inos during a short and simple ceremony yesterday at the Double Eagle Restaurant of the Coral Ocean Point Resort. Tudela becomes the first ever woman to ascend a mayoralty post in the CNMI.

Flores passed away from a massive stroke on June 2. Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council chair Ramon B. Camacho served as acting mayor while awaiting Tudela’s return to Saipan from Arizona.

“Thank you for joining me this morning in my swearing in as mayor. I really appreciate and happy that you all came here today, but at the same time I’m very sad because Mayor Flores left us. Mayor Flores left me six months to finish his work and I promise you that I will do my very best to serve the community and continue whatever [job] he left for me [to do]… Seven months is too short but I will try,” she said inside the crowded Double Eagle Restaurant.

After the short swearing-in ceremony administered by Inos, Tudela reiterated that she will continue Flores’ programs and will retain all the staff at the Saipan Mayor’s Office, including adviser Henry Hofshneider.

She also asked everyone in attendance to observe a minute of silence to honor Flores’ memory and to continue to pray for him and his family.

Among the well-known programs of the late mayor are the dog control program and beautification campaigns like the planting of flowers and plants on the road medians of the islands’ main thoroughfares.

Inos said that seven months is indeed a short period of time to do anything right off the bat. “I think continuing the program Mayor Flores has established is probably the best bet here. Basically it’s a transitional thing.”

Tudela also announced that she has no intention of running for Saipan mayor after her inherited term expires in January 2015.

“I’m not going to run for mayor. I want to give to the younger generation and the younger people the chance to serve as mayor for the next four years. I’m only going to serve the next six months,” she said.

She’s also honored to be the first ever woman to occupy the position of mayor on Saipan—and possibly the entire history of the CNMI.

Inos acknowledged that Tudela’s acension as Saipan’s chief executive is both “historic and very significant.”

Tudela had been living in the U.S. mainland in Arizona where she was taking care of her great-granddaughter. She used to work for the CNMI Medical Referral Program in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In a statement, Tudela said her first task is to meet with her staff and review current projects along with daily activities. She added that all services currently provided to Saipan residents will continue without interruption.

Even though her term as mayor will only be up to January 2015, Tudela said she plans to ensure all relevant laws and regulations are followed as she fulfills her duties and responsibilities to the residents of Saipan.

Saipan Tribune

AUSTRALIA

11) Breeding Nemo: hopes the PNG community will benefit from moves towards sustainable aquarium trade

Updated 9 June 2014, 10:51 AEST
Brian Abbott, Pacific Beat

An Australian researcher has been looking into how to develop tropical fish stocks, like clownfish, to create a sustainable aquarium trade.

A project between Australian and Papua New Guinea scientists to preserve marine life is turning its sights towards the demand for aquarium fish.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) mariculture development in PNG’s New Ireland province has been developing hatcheries for sea cucumbers and oysters, among other species, as part of its training facility for PNG fisheries workers.

Other components of the New Ireland project are looking at coral propagation and giant clam culture to improve the livelihoods of PNG communities by promoting a long-term, sustainable aquarium industry.

Researcher Thane Militz, from James Cook University in far north Queensland, is doing his PhD thesis on enhancing culture techniques for marine ornamental fishes to sustainably supply the aquarium trade

He’s focusing on clownfish, for which he says demand has sky-rocketed since the release of the animated film Finding Nemo.

Mr Militz has told Pacific Beat quite a few clownfish species are in demand, not just the common “Nemo” clownfish.

He says the rarest species, the White Bonnet clownfish, is found only in the reefs of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands and so are in real need of protection.

“Following the release of that movie, the retail demand for clownfish rose 25 per cent overnight,” he said.

“This represents a huge demand on wild fisheries.

“My research is looking at ways we can break away from harvesting fish in the wild … and possibly actually breeding them in captivity to make a more sustainable source for these fish for the trade.”

Mr Militz says it’s quite easy to breed and raise such fish in captivity.

“So in the wild we picture this fish living in harmony with the sea anenome,” he said.

“When you actually bring them into captivity, because there’s no predators within the aquarium, you don’t actually have to have that sea anenome there.

“And so simply providing that clownfish, a pair of them, with possibly an upturned flowerpot and a terracotta tile, they’ll quite happily lay eggs on these substances, which you can then take into a smaller aquarium and raise the babies from.”

Mr Militz says the work is still in the research stage, developing low technology techniques for breeding the clownfish in Papua New Guinea, and also looking at sustainable ways to harvest fish from the wild.

“Once we get the, I guess, the crux of that nailed out of the research we can then approach more private investors and suggest sustainable ways to establish an industry there,” he said.

Mr Militz says other ornamental species, like butterfly and angel fish, may also be bred at the New Ireland facility.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

NEW ZEALAND

12) NZ Labour Party says Key should attend Forum
By Online Editor
5:05 pm GMT+12, 09/06/2014, New Zealand

New Zealand’s Labour Party says if the Prime Minister John Key skips the Pacific Islands Forum it will leave a bad impression with other members.

Prime Minister Key has announced he will not be attending the Forum Leaders meeting in Palau at the end of July, as it is too close to New Zealand’s general election in September.

His foreign minister Murray McCully will attend in his place.

This year’s meeting is expected to discuss lifting Fiji’s suspension, in light of its elections scheduled for later this year.

Labour’s spokesperson for foreign affairs, David Shearer, says as New Zealand’s leader should be there.

“We have had a pretty tough time with Fiji over the last few years. This is a make or break election coming up with Fiji. It is going to be a very very important conversation about what should happen to Fiji and New Zealand needs to be represented at the highest level, said Shearer.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN

13) Skelim Pacific music pasin insait long Mozambique

Updated 8 June 2014, 20:27 AEST

Wanpela lain music man na meri bilong Vanuatu na New Caledonia ikam bek  bihain long wanpela  music development workshop insait long  Mozambique.

Natano Pasifika (Courtesy of Sarah Doyle, Further Arts Vanuatu)
Odio: Sarah Doyle bilong Further Arts Vanuatu na musician Marcel Meltherorong i stori long tingting bilong ol bihain long Music Crossroad kemp insait long Mozambique
Sarah Doyle bilong Further Arts Vanuatu na musician Marcel Meltherorong i stori long tingting bilong ol bihain long Music Crossroad kemp insait long Mozambique (Credit: ABC)

Natano Pasifika, wanpela lain music grup igat sikispela man/meri longen ibin sanap makim Vanuatu na New Caledonia,ibin ikam bek bihain long tupela wik bilong music development kemp insait long Mozambique.

Ol ibin holim Music Crossroads  kemp insait long kapitol  Maputo  olsem hap bilong  Music Bridges,em EU ibin erem moni longen wantaim bigpela tingting bilong mekim pipol holim strong culture bilong ol na to bilong promotim exchange namel long African, Carribean na Pacific  kantri.

Despela tupela wik bilong music workshop ibin kamapim ol niupela tingting bilong wokbung.

Wanpela artist bilong Vanuatu  Marcel Meltherorong itok , em soim olsem island igat bigpela strong  maski  em liklik tumas makim wantaim bigpela continent olsem Africa.

“Culture na tubuna pasin bilong mipela i bingim moa samting ” em itok na em toktok em bai bringim igo bek long Vanuatu.

Yu ken harim na save moa long Natano Pasifika’s performance  insait long  Mozambique na insait long Australia  long  Pacific Break, Radio Australia Pacific music exchange.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacific/pacific-break

FRENCH

14) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – lundi 9 juin 2014

Mis à jour 9 June 2014, 10:25 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

  • En Australie, un homme a été happé samedi par un crocodile. Le sexagénaire était sur un bateau dans le parc national de Kakadu, dans le nord du Territoire du Nord.

Dimanche, la police a abattu deux crocodiles, à 1,5 kilomètre du lieu de l’attaque. Elle a découvert des restes humains dans l’estomac d’un des sauriens
Sa femme, sa fille et son gendre ont vu un crocodile de 4.70 mètres l’entraîner vers le fond du billabong. Dimanche, la police a abattu deux crocodiles, à 1,5 kilomètre du lieu de l’attaque. Elle a découvert des restes humains dans l’estomac d’un des sauriens. « C’est inhabituel, les attaques de crocodiles sont rares en hiver », affirme l’expert Graeme Webb. Un garçon de 12 ans a été mangé par un crocodile en janvier, également dans le parc de Kakadu.

  • Australie: la poste devrait annoncer 900 suppressions d’emplois mardi. La cause : la baisse du volume des lettres, à l’heure du numérique. La poste tente de limiter ses pertes en misant sur les livraisons expresses le samedi et le soir et le matin tôt en semaine. Autre projet : les facteurs ne feraient plus que deux ou trois tournées par semaine à partir de l’année prochaine. Le gouvernement voulait privatiser la poste, mais a renoncé in extremis avant l’annonce du budget à la mi-mai.
  • Fidji: après des semaines de polémique, le ministère des affaires fidjiennes a finalement rétabli la bourse d’un étudiant engagé politiquement. Tamani Seruiraduvatu, étudie le commerce à l’Université du Pacifique Sud. Il est en deuxième année. Et en marge de ses cours, il a réuni des signatures de soutien à la candidate indépendante et féministe Roshika Deo, en vue des législatives du 17 septembre prochain. En représailles, la semaine dernière, le ministère avait donc supprimé la bourse de Tamani Seruiraduvatu. Mais Roshika Deo s’est saisie de l’affaire,  et la campagne médiatique a forcé le gouvernement à faire marche arrière.
  • Indonésie: Joko Widodo promet d’ouvrir les deux provinces papoues aux journalistes étrangers et aux ONG, en cas de victoire. Le candidat est le favori à la présidentielle du 9 juillet prochain, et pourrait succéder à Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. En octobre dernier, trois indépendantistes papous ont escaladé le mur du consulat australien à Bali, pour attirer l’attention de l’Australie et demander à ce qu’elle fasse pression sur l’Indonésie pour autoriser les journalistes dans les provinces papoues. Tony Abbott avait répondu en réaffirmant la souveraineté indonésienne sur la Papouasie.
  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: ils sont arrivés lundi dernier. Patrick Hutton et Richard Johnson ont traversé la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée du nord au sud, sur 1000 km, en 83 jours, à pied et en canoë. Les deux aventuriers britanniques ont descendu des cours d’eau infestés de crocodiles, et fait du rappel le long des falaises en utilisant les lianes de la jungle.  Patrick Hutton et Richard Johnson ont mangé du riz et du poisson en conserve. Objectif de l’expédition : lever des fonds pour l’ONG ChildFund. Pour l’instant ils ont collecté 4600 dollars australiens. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

HEALTH

15) NZ to fund Fred Hollows eye clinic in Honiara

9 June 2014

New Zealand is to pay 3.2 million US dollars to build a new regional eye care centre in Solomon Islands for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

The New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully says about 80 thousand Pacific people are blind, but 80 percent of them could have their sight restored through an operation.

He says the new regional eye care centre will deliver 1,900 eye surgeries a year and allow 11,000 people to have their eyes treated for a range of conditions.

The centre will also provide regional support and training for eye health professionals to help develop the Pacific workforce.

Construction of the new centre, which incorporates solar panels to generate most of its electricity needs, begins in Honiara later this month.

It should open within a year.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

16) Fake drugs alarm

Torika Tokalau
Monday, June 09, 2014

FIJI should be on high alert for counterfeit goods, which includes pharmaceutical drugs.

Jeremy Douglas, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime regional representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said Fiji should be on alert for counterfeit goods, which was as much an issue as drug trafficking in the region.

In an exclusive interview with The Fiji Times, Mr Douglas said organised crime groups targeted vulnerable countries and regions that had markets that could be tapped into for selling drugs.

Countries with lower capacity and weak regulations were also vulnerable, and the counterfeit practice even went all the way to medicines, he said.

“For example, on the pharmaceutical side, if fake pharmaceuticals are a big issue, how are the governments in the Pacific able to check if something’s fake or not? Do they even have that capacity? So they (organised crime groups) might be dumping fake products which can be dangerous fake products,” he said.

Mr Douglas said counterfeit goods and smuggling were other kinds of transnational crimes on the rise as seen in other parts of the world.

He said the danger with counterfeit goods, especially counterfeit medicines, were the unsafe ingredients used.

“For example, counterfeit medicines which can be quite dangerous, are also worth a lot of money to organised crimes,” he said.

“People who go into pharmacies may not know they are buying fake pharmaceuticals, even the pharmacists may not know they are selling fake pharmaceuticals because they are very well faked with good packaging but the ingredients may not be safe.”

Fiji Medical Association (FMA) president Dr James Fong said while he couldn’t verify if counterfeit medicines had crossed Fiji’s borders, Fiji was indeed vulnerable to counterfeit medicines and this concern had been raised several times by FMA members in past forums.

“I, as FMA president, am a member of the Medicines and Products Board which is a unit within the Fiji Pharmaceutical and Bio-medical Service,” Dr Fong said.

“This unit has the role of monitoring medicines in the country to deal with the issue of counterfeit drugs. We also have strong regulations that ensure medicinal drugs can only be sold by certified pharmacies.

“However whilst we may have these basic structure, I believe a lot more work is needed to improve our capacity to ensure transparency in the quality of medicines received in the country.”

Health Ministry’s media officer Sunil Chandra yesterday said they had drafted a response but it was yet to be approved by the permanent secretary for Health.

The ministry was yet to respond when this edition went to press last night.http://www.fijitimes.com/

EDUCATION 

17) Politically Active Fiji Student Has USP Scholarship Reinstated
Board investigates incident, determines suspension unwarranted

By Torika Tokalau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 9, 2014) – Tamanirarama Jone’s iTaukei Affairs scholarship will be reinstated.

This was confirmed by Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board chairman Dixon Seeto yesterday.

Mr Jone, according to his termination of scholarship letter from TSLB, was required to abide by his institution’s rules and regulations following his association in political agenda.

Mr Seeto said upon further investigation, TSLB found that basis of information which resulted in the termination were incorrect.

“The TSLB had terminated his scholarship on the basis of information given to it by the education institution involved with the student,” he said. “There is a clear document trail on this case which led to the TSLB decision.

“Meanwhile, the TSLB came to be aware of certain information and decided to further investigate this matter. The investigations showed that the initial information and the resulting recommendation from the education institution were incorrect.

“The education institution later confirmed our findings on further investigation.”

Mr Seeto said the TSLB relied on institutions for advice and feedback on students’ performance as per their scholarship conditions.

“In this case, after its investigation, TSLB found that the information provided by the education institution was incorrect. As such, TSLB has decided to reinstate the scholarship of the student.

“The board expects all scholarship students to adhere to the conditions of their contract and follow their study program. This means that they must attend all and instructional classes as required by the institution. After all, the scholarship which is funded by government is intended for this purpose.”

Mr Seeto said the board in no way restricted the activities of scholarship holders outside of their study program.

Questions sent to University of the South Pacific two weeks ago on the issue remain unanswered yesterday.

Fiji Times Online.

18) Thirty more scholarships

Luke Rawalai
Monday, June 09, 2014

THE Indian High Commission has increased its scholarships from 25 to 30.

Speaking during a tour in the North, Indian High Commissioner Vinod Kumar said the Indian Government had announced the increase while receiving Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola during his recent tour.

Mr Kumar said last year, 24 Fijian students benefited from the scholarship and travelled to India under the program.

“When Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola was in India on a visit in February, the government of India announced that its scholarship sponsorships for Fijian students will be increased from 25 to 30,” he said.

“Therefore, this year there will be 30 scholarships and we hope that 30 students from here will utilise these scholarships well. Fourteen students have already been selected and they will be travelling to India depending on the schedule of their various courses in the institutions they have applied to.”

Mr Kumar said the scholarship program with Fiji was going well.

“Those interested in applying for the scholarship should have completed Form 6 education which is 12 years of schooling.

“The scholarship is often advertised during the month of December where we advertise for the next year’s scholarship offers.

“Students need to keep a look-out in the local media or check with the Indian High Commission web site.”http://www.fijitimes.com/

POLITIC

19) Planned PNG constitutional changes called draconian

9 june 2014

A former Supreme Court judge in Papua New Guinea, Nemo Yalo, has described as draconian more proposed constitutional amendments relating to the position of Prime Minister and motions of no-confidence.

The amendments further restrict the opportunity for parliamentarians to remove a Prime Minister.

One of the amendments holds that, in the event of a prime minister being voted out, the nominee for replacement comes from the party that had been invited to form a government after the last election.

Another amendment extends the minimum notice period for any motion of no-confidence from one month to three and also increases the minimum support for the motion by 21 to 37 MPs.

Last year MPs extended the grace period for such motions to thirty months after an election, in addition to the twelve month period before an election.

Mr Yalo says he fears that the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is entrenching himself for a very long haul.

“The practical effect of these amendments provides for, and they institutionalise, dictatorial government in the end. Nothing will stop that sort of eventuality.”

Nemo Yalo….http://www.radionz.co.nz/

20) China Joins PNG To Provide Monetary Support For Fiji Elections
100 days remain until polling takes place

By Shalveen Chand

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 9, 2014) – Only 100 days remain for the general election, a historic event which will be closely monitored by foreign donor countries and organisations.

The Fijian Elections Office would need about $40million [US$21.7 million] to hold the one-day event, and help has already started coming in.

Papua New Guinea started with their promise to provide funding for the poll and the People’s Republic of China has now committed $1.46m [US$791,000] towards preparations of the 2014 General Election.

This follows the signing of a memorandum of agreement with the Fijian Government last week.

The MOA was signed by the Acting Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Huang Yong.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the assistance from China reflected the strong bilateral relations between the two countries.

On the other hand, Mr Huang said China was happy to see the progress Fiji was making in its preparations towards elections in September. Other donors have talked about providing booths, indelible ink and even observers to ensure a free and fair election process.

Fiji Times Online.

BUSINESS

21) Joint agency

Atasa Moceituba
Saturday, June 07, 2014

FIJI and Papua New Guinea will concentrate on fulfilling their roles and obligations in making sure that consumer protection policies and laws are implemented effectively.

United Nations competition and consumers policy branch head Hassan Qaqaya said this was a joint agency between the two countries that had a lot in common.

“The dimension is to re-enforce regional co-operation because many of the challenges that the Commerce Commission faces,” he said. Mr Qaqaya said the two countries would review their law agencies and improve on their weaknesses.http://www.fijitimes.com/

22) ATR 72-600 adds value to brand

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, June 09, 2014

FIJI Airways created another flying billboard with the official rebranding of Pacific Sun as Fiji Link in Suva last week.

During the launch of Fiji Link at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Fiji Airways CEO and managing director Stefan Pichler said this boost signalled that Fiji was the hub and heart of South Pacific aviation.

“We will take the lead, Fiji Airways and Fiji Link will take the lead, others might join our efforts.

“Our friends in the Pacific will see how a commercially well-managed national airline is able to boost a country’s economic growth.”

He said the recent addition of its flagship ATR 72-600 aircraft to the Fiji Link fleet signified the airline’s intention to add value to the brand Fiji, to the tourist market and to the economy.

“Everything we do is about helping to build the Fiji brand, and to put Fiji on the global map,” he said.

“When we decided to invest into our regional airline and in our domestic and regional network, we determined that it was the right time for us to rebrand and relaunch Pacific Sun.

“Pacific Sun served its purpose from 2007 when it started commercial flights, but after the rebrand of the parent company to Fiji Airways, we determined that our little daughter company needed to come closer to the family.”

He said an internal design process was carried out followed by testing potential names with their staff members and the public before the name Fiji Link emerged as the clear favourite brand name.http://www.fijitimes.com/

LAW&ORDER

23) PNG group head to Israel for military training

9 june 2014

15 security personnel from Papua New Guinea have departed for Israel to undergo a month’s training with Israeli soldiers.

EM TV reports that the personnel include members of the PNG Defence Force, Police Force and the Protocol office.

Among the trainees is former Police Commissioner, Gary Baki.

The training programme has been made possible by a co-operation agreement signed late last year by PNG’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill and his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

24) Court sentences two for trafficking girls
By Online Editor
5:13 pm GMT+12, 09/06/2014, Fiji

Two Fijian men have been sentenced to more than ten years imprisonment by the Suva High Court for domestic trafficking of women and children.

Inoke Raikadroka was convicted of five counts of domestic trafficking of children and two counts of slavery and sentenced to 16-years imprisonment.

His colleague, Mohammad Sagaitu was sentenced to 12-years imprisonment for domestic trafficking of a 15-year old girl and her 17-year old sister on two occasions in 2012.

During the trial, evidence given revealed Sagaitu paid transport for the two girls to go to Nadi to have sex with clients at a hotel.

Raikadroka also arranged his taxi driver friend to take the girls to Nadi to meet clients who paid them for sex.

He also threatened the 17-year old girl to enter into sexual slavery.

Raikadroka kept the proceeds of the girl’s work for his own.

The court was told that Raikadroka met the girls in a nightclub in Suva, and offered to take them in to work for him.

The girls had previously worked for a man named “Darren”.

Raikadroka kept the four girls in an apartment in Suva, and later moved them to a house in Raiwai, from where they operated.

Raikadroka and Sagaitu kept all of the earnings and used it to buy food and clothing’s for the girls.

While sentencing the pair, Judge Justice Paul said this is the first time in Fiji where a slavery-related case came to light.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

25) Police intel for airports

Luke Rawalai
Monday, June 09, 2014

THE Attorney-General and Civil Aviation Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the security of airstrips on islands will rest on police intelligence.

Responding to passengers concerns over the lack of security measures at the Labasa airport, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the police through its intelligence were aware of criminal activities that could be carried out through air transport.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the level of security in airports such as Labasa, Savusavu and Taveuni would be different compared with the international airports in Nadi and Nausori.

“The type of security checks in Labasa and Savusavu obviously would be different to what they have in Suva and Nadi because these are not international airports,” he said.

“There are different levels of border control issues and security needs that are to be imposed in international gateways as such.

“The police force, through their intelligence is aware of any criminal activities that could be carried out through air transport.”

Earlier on, a few passengers of a local air carrier raised their concern on the need for security at the Labasa airport.

According to Siteri Manainaceva, people could easily smuggle drugs to Labasa because there were no checks made at the terminal compared with Nausori.

Mrs Manainaceva said the authorities should look into the issue.

Gerald Naicker said he was shocked at how people walked freely from the plane to the terminal and vice-versa without being examined, saying it was a risky situation.http://www.fijitimes.com/

26) Theft raises security concern

Atasa Moceituba
Monday, June 09, 2014

LOCAL supermarkets need to strengthen their security services to avoid theft, says Fiji Islands Security Employers Association president Vili Raqio.

He made the comment after a recent incident where a woman was robbed of her handbag while shopping at a supermarket in Suva.

Mr Raqio urged supermarket owners to ensure they hired the right officers as security guards to avoid such incidents.

He said such incidents often portrayed a bad reputation of all security officers in the country.

“I think the best thing is for all the supermarkets in Fiji to hire security officers who are well-trained and qualified for the job,” he said.

He said this would ensure supermarkets and consumers were protected.

“We run our own association with assistance from the Ministry of Defence for registration and setting standards for individual trainers.”http://www.fijitimes.com/

REFUGEE

27) Australia ‘Cruel’ For Sending Pregnant Woman To Nauru: Advocate
Refugee Action Coalition says no facilities to care for her in camp

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 9, 2014) – The Refugee Action Coalition is accusing the Australian Government of being callous for sending a pregnant asylum seeker and her family back to Nauru.

The family of four was brought to Darwin from Nauru in early May in order for the woman to have a termination.

A spokesperson for the refugee watchdog, Ian Rintoul, says days after their arrival, the woman changed her mind about the termination and decided to have the baby.

Mr Rintoul says sending the family back to Nauru is cruel, expensive and pointless.

“What the government has done is taken a family that has already been through the trauma and difficulty of working out whether they will be able to go ahead with their pregnancy, bringing them to Australia, where there has been some change of heart, some reappraisal and willingness to go ahead with the pregnancy only for that family group to be dumped back on Nauru.”

Ian Rintoul says the government has sent the family back to a place that cannot adequately care for pregnant women.

Radio New Zealand International

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

28) REDD+ allows for forest inventory in Vanuatu

9 june 2014

A regional advisor on the UN’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation programme says Vanuatu is already benefitting from REDD+ through projects such as an inventory of Santo’s forest.

Bjoern Hecht from the German agency for International Co-operation is in Vanuatu to train Department of Forestry staff on how to conduct a forest inventory on the country’s biggest island

Direct carbon funding has not yet kicked in under the REDD+ programme.

But Mr Hecht says the inventory is a direct result of climate change funding provided through the German environment ministry which wouldn’t be available without the funding for preparing for REDD+.

“So we have a methodology for measuring the forest resources, for climate change, and that’s how we use the funding. The funding will already benefit Vanuatu by improving the forest management. If the credits come later on or not, doesn’t even matter as long as you implement the current preparation funding really well.”

Bjoern Hecht….http://www.radionz.co.nz/

29) Let the fish breed

Dawn Gibson
Monday, June 09, 2014

BREEDING season for grouper fish such as kawakawa and donu is particularly important because of the way they breed.

Males and females capable of breeding group together and travel through the ocean for months waiting for the perfect current, at the perfect time before the breeding takes place — and this bit usually only takes a couple of minutes.

If this process is disrupted by fishermen, or by commercial fishing vessels — a large portion of the breeding male and female populations are removed from the ecosystem before they’ve had a chance to reproduce any further.

This impacts the ocean environment, but it also directly affects us as consumers.

A 2013 publication from the Fisheries Ministry, Reef Explorer Fiji and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation explains that alternatives to consume include mangrove or mud crabs, qari dina (at a recommended size of at least 15cm), mangrove red snappers, damu (at a recommended size of at least 30cm) and emperor fish, kabatia (at a recommended size of at least 25cm).

Recommended size limits are of particular importance because they protect juvenile fish still growing from being caught before they have had the chance to breed.

Too often, people sell undersized crabs, lobsters, and other fish at marketplaces. This needs to stop, so take into account these recommended size limits when you’re next at the market looking for fish.

The yellowtail emperor, or sabutu, is another fish to consider at a recommended size of at least 30cm, the parrotfish, ulavi, which are common at markets (at a recommended size of at least 25cm) and trevallies, saqa, at a recommended size of at least 40cm.

Those who often fish barracuda, ogo, or buy them at the market should try to get them at recommended lengths of at least 60cm, the booklet suggests, adding that for rabbitfish, or nuqa lovers, the recommended length is at least 25cm.

So, it may be handy, the next time you go fishing or to the market, to take a ruler with you to be sure you’re not buying undersized fish.

Don’t just practise this for the next four months, during grouper breeding season, try and make it a habit.

Fish should be bought at recommended lengths, not any smaller.http://www.fijitimes.com/

WOMAN/YOUTH

30) US applauds Bougainville women

9 june 2014
The United States government has recognised Bougainville women for their contribution to peace building before, during and after the Crisis.

EM TV reports that a two year $US1.5 million, ‘Women’s Peace Building Initiative Project’ is to be implemented in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province, to support more inclusive, sustainable and transparent economic growth.

The US Aid Regional Director Maurice Knight says that Bougainville women are effective peacemakers, community leaders and champions of civil and human rights.

He says Bougainville women have been at the forefront of steering recovery efforts and influencing policies such as the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

Under the funding, a series of grants are to help counselling for victims of violence and programmes to improve living conditions.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

31) Women link equality to disaster management

By SHAYAL DEVI
Monday, June 09, 2014

Update: 1:09PM WOMEN from over 11 countries in the region have gathered at Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi to discuss how gender equality and womens issues can be incorporated with disaster risk management.

The initiative is being supported by international and local bodies such as UN Women, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Fiji Womens Rights Forum and the Pacific Youth Council.

Participants will be discussing ways of raising climate change awareness in Pacific island countries.Fijtimes

SPORTS

32) LOCAL/INTERNATIONAL SCOREBOARD

Compiled By Rashneel Kumar
Monday, June 09, 2014

GOLF

Fiji Ladies Open

Winner (Best gross) Gye Oh (Fiji Golf Club) beating Maxine Pretty (Growling Frog Golf Club, Melbourne) on a playoff. Both scored 307.

Winner (Nett) Robyn Tuivakano (Tonga) – 273, Runner-up Mi Jeon Park (Fiji Golf Club) 278.

Division One – Best Gross – Sylvia Joe 317, Best Nett – Luisa Balekana (Solomon Islands) 288

Division Two – Best Gross – Elina Raass (Tonga) 361; Best Nett – Margie Browne (Fiji Golf) – 291

Division Three – Best Gross – Mereani Naisara (Fiji Golf) – 402; Best Nett – Sunny Lee (Fiji Golf) – 288

NETBALL

Navosa

Keiyasi Blues 7 Service 11 Draiba 11 Parkers 12, Viti Mining 7 Keiyasi Blues 8, Parkers 8 Keiyasi Blues 8, Namataku 6 Viti Mining 10, Keiyasi Blues 8 Nasaunivalu 15, Viti Mining 10 Draiba 3, Namataku 15 Keiyasi Blues 8, Nasaunivalu 12 Service 10, Namataku 9 Parkers 5, Open Men – Nasaunivalu 19 Service 17, Water Lilly 15 Bull dogs 18.

FOOTBALL

International Friendlies

Colombia 3-0 Jordan, Croatia 1-0 Australia, Japan 4-3 Zambia, Costa Rica 1-1 R. of Ireland, Greece 2-1 Bolivia, Mexico 0-1 Portugal, Estonia 2-1 Tajikistan, Hungary 3-0 Kazakhstan, Argentina 2-0 Slovenia, Belgium 1-0 Tunisia, El Salvador 0-2 Spain, England 0-0 Honduras, USA 2-1 Nigeria, Russia 2-0 Morocco, Poland 2-1 Lithuania, Germany 6-1 Armenia, Brazil 1-0 Serbia, Uruguay 2-0 Slovenia, Chile 2-0 Northern Ireland, El Salvador 1-2 Ivory Coast, Greece 0-0 Nigeria, Mexico 0-1 Bos-Herce, Gibraltar 1-0 Malta, Algeria 2-1 Romania, Hungary 1-0 Albania, Netherlands 2-0 Wales, Italy 1-1 Luxembourg, Ecuador 2-2 England, Iceland 1-0 Estonia, Argentina 3-0 Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica 1-3 Japan, United Arab Emirates 1-0 Georgia, Czech Rep. 1-2 Austria, Switzerland 2-0 Peru, Brazil 4-0 Panama, Honduras 2-4 Israel

RUGBY

International

Fiji 25 – 14 Italy, Samoa 18 – 18 Tonga, New Zealand 20 – 15 England, South Africa 47 – 13 World XV, Argentina 17 – 29 Ireland, Australia 50 – 23 France

IRB Junior World Championship

Group A – Argentina 17-36 Australia, England 63-3 Italy, Argentina 26-29 Italy, England 38-24 Australia

Group B – Wales 48-19 Fiji, France 19-13 Ireland, France 37-5 Fiji, Wales 21-35 Ireland

Group C – South Africa 61-5 Scotland, New Zealand 48-12 Samoa, Scotland 18-27 Samoa, New Zealand 24-33 South Africa

Skipper Cup

Tavua 15-12 Suva, Northland 3-0 Vatukoula, Nadi 27-16 Tailevu, Namosi 31-7 Lautoka, Nadroga 15-11 Naitasiri

RUGBY LEAGUE

National Rugby League

Sea Eagles 32 Bulldogs 10, Eels 18 Cowboys 16, Titans 14 Panthers 36, Dragons 30 Sharks 0, Rabbitohs 34 Warriors 18

Fijitimes.

33) France hammered

Aap
Monday, June 09, 2014

BRISBANE – The Wallabies have opened 2014 in sizzling style by thrashing an overwhelmed France 50-23 at Suncorp Stadium.

Australia were ruthless on Saturday night in an attacking masterclass to pick up where they left off at the end of last year’s European tour.

The seven-try blitz was their highest score over Les Blues on Australian soil and their fifth straight Test win — equalling their best streak in nine years — much to the delight of a 33,718-strong Brisbane crowd.

The only worry was the early loss of new skipper Stephen Moore who is in grave doubt for the rest of the three-Test series with a medial ligament tear.

Flanker Michael Hooper stepped up to the plate as captain and led from the front in a superb display in attack, defence and on the ball.

Pre-match concerns over the Wallabies rookie halves pair and their second-row were unfounded as Nic White and Bernard Foley impressed and debutant lock Sam Carter was named man of the match.

When Israel Folau loped 50m and put replacement Pat McCabe over with his first touch of the ball in the 71st minute, Australia led the outclassed tourists 50-9.

Folau also scored a try of his own and played a key role in the try of the night with Nick Cummins finishing a beautiful backline move.

“He is a class player,” France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said of the fullback. “He’s a match-winner. He showed that tonight.

“Australia were very strong in contact and won 70-80 per cent of the collisions.

“They were physical with a lot of urgency, and we panicked too much.”

Foley and White took to their task with relish – finding a hungry array of runners with wide passes that Quade Cooper would be proud of.

To their credit, the French bench made a late impact and closed the game with two five-pointers, including a pushover penalty try on fulltime.

The Wallabies led 29-9 at the break with the game all but over following a four-try first-half where they were helped along by the bumbling visitors with Matt Toomua gifted a try on halftime.

It was 50-cap forwards Wycliff Palu and James Slipper, a stand out in his 65 minutes, who were the unlikely duo to combine and help put Folau over for the opening try in the 19th minute.

The Wallabies were far more clinical in attack while they expertly shut down the uncertain French in defence.

“I think we played a really good mix of territory and ball-in-hand,” said coach Ewen McKenzie.

“I thought our breakdown work was very good and we could get continuity of possession.”

34) Springboks survive early scare to thump World XV

Afp
Monday, June 09, 2014

CAPE TOWN – South Africa survived an early scare to begin their international rugby season with a thumping 47-13 win against a World XV in Cape Town yesterday.

A pair of tries from hooker Bismarck du Plessis helped the Springboks see off a star-strewn side.

From the kick-off the World XV — which included All Black legend Carl Hayman and European player of the year Steffon Armitage — quickly disabused any notion that they were at Newlands to make up the numbers.

They challenged the first South African line-out, unperturbed by the presence of reunited veterans Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, each at two metres tall and with almost 200 Tests between them.

Matfield, 37, was making his return to the international game three years after retiring and was named interim captain in Jean de Villiers’s absence.

The World XV hit the early rucks at ferocious speed and put a startled Boks team on the back foot.

When they were awarded a penalty in the third minute, well within kicking distance, Rory Kockott — an uncapped South African who plays club rugby for Castres in the French Top 14 and will soon be eligible to play for Les Bleus — elected to put it to the corner.

A few bruising phases later the World XV’s ex-Bok lock Alistair Hargreaves spun out of a tackle and managed to ground the ball for the first try of the game.

But as the game progressed the Springboks hit their stride.

“The first half was a little bit difficult,” admitted Springbok man-of-the-match Botha, his side having led by just 18-13 at the break.

“As a Springbok side we were just happy we could get back to structure in the second half.”

35) Brothers on opposite sides in Brazil

Afp
Monday, June 09, 2014

PARIS – Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jerome Boateng will be one of several pairs of brothers to line up at the World Cup finals, but unlike the others they will be on opposing sides.

Even more unusually, just as in 2010, they will face each other in the group stage.

While Yaya and Kolo Toure from the Ivory Coast and Hondurans Wilson and Jerry Palacios can give each other fraternal advice and morale boosting chats, there will be none of that between the Boateng half-brothers.

For Ghanaian forward Kevin-Prince and German defender Jerome — who made history in 2010 becoming the first brothers to face each other in a World Cup finals — there is a strict no contact policy before they play each other even in the Bundesliga, where the former turns out for Schalke 04 and the latter for champions Bayern Munich.

This will hold true for the brothers — whose father is Ghanaian but both have German mothers — till Germany play Ghana in Fortaleza on June 21 in their Group G game.

However, at least they arrive at this World Cup on speaking terms.

This was not the case back in 2010 when Kevin-Prince, who is the elder at 27 while Jerome is 25, had been vilified in Germany for a tackle on Michael Ballack in the English FA Cup final between his side Portsmouth and Chelsea which ruled the German star out of the finals.

That tackle only served to add fuel to the fire in Germany of Kevin-Prince’s image, where he was viewed as a wild child who had been in trouble with the police as a youngster, and has several tattoos associated with gangster life on his body.

Jerome, though, is fed up with this image of his brother and spoke out last year defending him over that tackle and also of his pride when Kevin-Prince was hailed for leading his then AC Milan teammates off the pitch in a pre-season friendly when he heard racist abuse from the other team’s fans.

“It (the tackle) just happened, and it fitted the mould of a lot of people at that time. The Ghetto kid from the deprived area, the gangster footballer from Wedding (an area of Berlin) and whatever else was published about him,” he told German newspaper Der Taggespiegel last year.

The Toures, like the Boatengs, have found their relationship stretched at some point, notably as Yaya’s club Manchester City edged the elder Kolo’s side Liverpool for the Premier League title last season.

36) Ronaldo returns

Afp
Monday, June 09, 2014

FLORHAM PARK, New Jersey – Cristiano Ronaldo handed Portugal a huge boost yesterday as he returned to training after leg injuries that had threatened to wreck his World Cup.

The star forward has been struggling for weeks with thigh and knee injuries that forced him out of Portugal’s past two warm-up matches and raised fears he might miss the start of the Brazil tournament.

Portugal kick off their World Cup campaign against Germany on June 16 in Group G, which also features the USA and Ghana.

The 29-year-old Ronaldo took part in training with the rest of the Portugal squad in New Jersey, in the United States, and could be in line for a return to competitive action on Tuesday in a friendly with Ireland.

Training was a tepid affair, with Ronaldo and his teammates doing stretching and passing drills for the media.

The Portuguese have toiled in the Real Madrid ace’s absence, drawing 0-0 with Brazil-bound Greece last weekend and labouring against fellow World Cup qualifiers Mexico Friday before grabbing a 1-0 victory in injury time.

Experienced midfielder Raul Meireles also trained with the full squad on Saturday, while key defender Pepe, who missed his club Real Madrid’s Champions League victory because of injury, stepped up his return but remains on a separate rehabilitation program.

Coach Paulo Bento has not hidden his frustration at the constant speculation over the availability of Ronaldo, who has scored 49 goals in 110 matches for Portugal.

“Ronaldo is not the only good player we have,” he snapped on Thursday.

But on the evidence of Friday’s barely deserved victory — thanks to a powerful header from stand-in skipper Bruno Alves — Portugal will need Ronaldo at his brilliant best if they are to make an impact in Brazil.

37) Legends celebrate soccer anniversary

Zanzeer Singh
Monday, June 09, 2014

IT was a sweet and bitter evening as the Legends Football Club celebrated its tenth anniversary at the Grand Melanesian Hotel in Nadi on Saturday.

The joy was for the clubs’ existence for a decade and the birthdays of two of its members Inosi Tora and Steve Ravoka.

The sadness was the announcement of the migration of one of its co-founders Mahendra Singh to Australia.

Singh a former FIFA referee founded the club with the help of Roland Mar, Vilikesa Driu, Peter Dean and the late Leone Rakoroi.

Over the years the club has hosted a few veterans tournaments, travelled to other districts for matches and also made a trip to New Zealand.

The club has done a lot of charity work and has visited many former national and district reps in times of need.

“With the support of the boys we have achieved a lot,” Mar said.

“We started with just a handful of us just to keep the unity among the former players. The focus was to try to get the veterans from the other districts to play together.

“We reached out to Lautoka and played against them. We did the travelling initially to Nadroga, Suva and also made a trip to New Zealand in 2006.”

Mar represented Levuka and Nadi in the late 1970s and 1980s.

He said to replace a person such as Mahendra would be a difficult task.

“Mahendra has been the backbone of the club with his wisdom and vision,” Mar said.

“He has been on the football field for many years. We are very sad that he is leaving but soccer is in his blood and he will always be part of us.”

The Legends FC will start their internal tour soon and have been invited to play in Levuka and Savusavu.http://www.fijitimes.com/

38) New ladies champ

Rashneel Kumar
Monday, June 09, 2014

LUISA Khan was crowned the new ladies singles champion in the ANZ South Pacific Bowling Carnival that ended yesterday at the Suva Bowling Club.

Khan defeated Elizabeth Mocewai 21-12 in the final to claim her first major win.

She dedicated the win to late husband and former Fiji Bowling Association president and national rep Mazid Khan.

Khan, who was also the national team selector, passed away about two months ago.

“It was a very emotional win for her. She is new to bowling and played really well to win the competition,” tournament director Martin Fong said.

Luisa defeated Rota Vakaloloma 21-8 while Mocewai overcame Yasena Bulivakarua 21-12 in the semi-finals.

In the men’s competition, national rep Arun Kumar failed to make it two consecutive title wins after losing to Australian Wayne Pretty.

Pretty defeated the 2014 Pineapple Cup champion by 21-18 in a close encounter.

In the semis, Kumar defeated Samuela Tui 21-12 while Pretty overcame Semesa Naiseruvati 21-18.

Fong said the week-long carnival was a huge success adding they were anticipating a bigger and better event next year.

He said they were impressed with the performance of the upcoming bowlers.

Fong said they had a total of 162 bowlers which was the biggest number since the carnival began.

“Every year the number (of bowlers) increases and we are hoping to reach the 200 mark next year.

“There were a lot of new bowlers that stood out and we are hoping the selectors of the national team will put them in the trials for the Pacific Games.”

Fong thanked ANZ for their support. ( Fijitimes )

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