Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 997 ( 22 June 2014 )
1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 21 June 2014
Your editor is today trying to bring you all of the stories of major importance of the last week whilst the National Sustainable Development public forum kept him busy. There will be errors and omissions – for which apologies..
Saturday last week saw the opening salvo fired by BJ Skane in efforts against having Star Wharf used by Chinese long-line fishing boats for their catch to go to Blacksands fish factory by way of Port Vila, and the inter-island shipping moved to lovely Ifira Point, it seems, when fishing vessels are in the harbour. No-one has seen necessary to do an EIA. And of course there will be tourist vessels and long lines of buses and taxis in the way of the unloading copra vessels and cargo loading ships at the point all the while. The tourists will thrill to their first whiff of dead and dying fish as they enter our lovely capital. Whatever happened to RAPT (Residents Against Processing Tuna in Port Vila) spearheaded by the Independent all those years ago to keep large-scale fishing out of the CBD?
The Independent was more interested a week ago in finding my campaign against a 747 airport as “opposed to any form of development” and “small minded.” Robert Bohn MP says the Natuman Government is looking at possible partners for the Vanuatu Trade Development Private Limited in this undertaking with the contraband cigarette company directors, Rock, whose idea it was. One supposes he would have to say something whilst the report to Parliament of his committee is awaited. Bohn does not seem constrained to mention the possibility of any tendering process for such a huge public funding commitment. His 13 June report seems now likely to be heard on 14 July according to today’s Daily Post.
That Independent did, however, carry the news of the week already mentioned in this blog. Minister Regenvanu feels a number of issues in relationship to the land rental increases have not been carried out properly by government. “There are outstanding issues relating to the land re-valuation process and dating back some years which must be rectified,” said the Minister. As such the rental increase, of which people were already informed, was cancelled. However Regenvanu states that a review will still have to take place. It is indeed provided for by laws which have improperly been neglected.
Daily Post today carries the full story of how some 30 Lands officers who were enabled to purchase some 30 pieces of state land at bargain prices under a form of thievery dreamed up by former lands ministers.
The Local Authorities Association of Vanuatu (LAAV) has been meeting during the week, their forum opened by Minister Charlot Salwai. The Minister praised Shefa for itsinitiatives with the Marobe Market venture which was also of interest to the National Sustainable Development forum in various ways.
By Monday the week’s news was back to crime and the death of a young man whose body was found at Fatumauru Bay. Several men are being held in custody. Another body was subsequently found at Tongariki and believed to be a case of murder. In an un-related matter, two Chinese fraudsters were deported.
Some 21 new citizens were granted dual citizenship this week.
The barmiest news of the week: a body called the Vanuatu Tour Operators’ Association (VTOA) has criticized Post and its publisher Neil-Jones for pointing out the present low visitor arrival figures. Only VTOA eyes are meant to see them.
2) State of Tongan Democracy Focus Of University Festival
Perspectives on democracy highlight day’s presentations
NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, June 19, 2014) – The state of democracy in Tonga, since a more democratic system of government was introduced three years ago, was the focus of a 10 days ‘Festival of Democracy’ that opened on June 17, at the ‘Atenisi University campus, Kolomotu’a.
Highlights from the first day’s presentations included the keynote address by Professor Stephanie Lawson, who stressed that “democracy is not just a form of government, but a way of life.”
Stephanie said that under a democratic way of life one is allowed to speak out either for or against an issue, but in most Pacific societies, including Tonga it was not the normal way of doing things.
There was also a presentation by Professor Ian Campbell, who has written extensively on Tongan history.
Ian stressed a point that “voters should pay less attention to the promises and proclaimed policies of politicians and more attention to their moral qualities”. He said that that members of parliament who were elected at the 2010 election “did not have an ideology but had personality, and that was why they were selected.”
He also pointed out the importance for voters to attach a high moral value to their votes, and that they are voting for a candidate because such a member could be trusted and therefore he had a high moral value rather than voting for members because they might have done them a favour.
Also speaking in Tuesday’s opening session was Nigel Hampton QC, a former Chief Justice Supreme Court of Tonga.
Nigel was well know in Tonga during the late 1996s after he overturned a parliamentary decision and freed ‘Akilisi Pohiva, Filokalafi ‘Akau’ola and Kalafi Moala from prison after they were sentenced by parliament for contempt of parliament. He told of the angry reaction by the Speaker of parliament at the time for his overturning of the parliament’s sentencing.
Nigel went on to stress the importance of an independent and robust judiciary to protect democratic rights; for Tonga to give judges proper security of tenure if an independence judiciary is to be assured.
The final speaker for the day was Associate Professor Malakai Koloamatangi on the topic of Democracy in the real world: building a ‘Tongan” democracy. The day ended with a panel discussion on a range of issues.
Entertainment was provided by ‘Atenisi musicians and vocalists.
Matangi Tonga Magazine
3) Pohnpei Measles Outbreak Prompts Warning On Guam
Travelers to Micronesian Games told to get vaccinated
By Steve Limtiaco
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, June 20, 2014) – A measles outbreak in the Federated States of Micronesia has prompted Guam Public Health officials to warn local residents.
Pregnant women, kids
Pregnant women and young children are advised to avoid close contact with anyone who has a rash-like illness and cold symptoms, according to the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
Guam health care providers also have been advised to verify the immunization records of the patients they see and to administer or schedule needed vaccinations.
There is an outbreak of measles in Pohnpei state, in the Federated States of Micronesia, with four reported cases as of June 6.
Residents from the FSM are allowed to live and work in Guam because of a federal treaty called the Compact of Free Association.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, spread from person to person through large respiratory droplets. Symptoms include: fever; a rash that lasts three days or longer; cough; runny nose; and red eyes.
Public Health also said those traveling from Guam to Pohnpei next month to attend the 8th Micronesian Games should be vaccinated for measles at least two weeks before leaving.
Pacific Daily News
4) PNG MP i joinim ol arapla lida long Praim Minista Peter O’Neill imas lusim wok
Updated 20 June 2014, 17:40 AEST
Oro Provinsel Gavana, Gary Juffa itok Papua New Guinea Praim Minista imas lusim wok long stretim na kliaim nem blong em.
Odio: Gary Juffa, Gavna blong Oro Provins long PNG. Em i tok Praim Minista Peter O’Neill imas lusim wok long kliaim nem blongen
Gavman bilong Oro Provins long Papua New Guinea i tok, em i laik lukim PNG Praim Minsta Peter O’Neill imas lusim wok na makim interim Praim Minista.
Gavana Gary Juffa i tok, dispela i bilong Praim Minista igo na bekim ol askim polis igat long em long ol oa tok win long korapsen.
Wantaim tu, Gavana Juffa ino wanbel long Praim Minista i makim Ano Pala olsem niupela Attorny-General na Justice Minista.
Em i tok Ano Pala i gat ol askim long bekim long stap klostu bilong em wantaim wanpela bisnis man bilong Indonesia.
Gavana Juffa i bilip wok politik i wok long bagarapim wok na ofis blong praim minista.
“Tingting blong mi, wok politik maski yu stap long Gavman oa Oposisin, ino ken suim nus blongen igo insait long ol Constitution Ofis long wokim wok blong ol.”Radio Australia
5) Wol Refuji Dei ino ken lus tingting long ol pipol i ronawei long Climate Change: Ursula Rakova
Updated 20 June 2014, 17:42 AEST
Tude em i World Refugee Day na tede yumi lukluk long Carterets Island wantaim Ursula Rakova blong Tulele Peisa
Odio: Ursula Rakova, Dairekta blong Komuniti Grup Tulele Peisa long Carterets Island i tok ol inoken lus tingting long ol long Wol Refuji Dei.
World Refugee Day i save kamap long displa dei, June 20 long olgeta yar.
Em i wanpla spesol dei taem ol pipol raun long wol i kisim sampla bikpla luksave long strong blong ol pipol i lusim ples, i ronawe long ples blong ol bikos long ol heve oa trabol long vilij oa taun blong ol.
Long World Refugee Day 2014, yumi lukluk ken long Carterets Island insait long Bougainville.
Klostu long 70 pipol i stap nao long Tinputz long mainland Bougainville, lusim aelan bikos long ol bagrap solowara i mekim long garden kaikai na aelan blong ol.
Ms Rakova i tok sevenpela femili nao i stap long Tinputz tasol displa namba blong olgeta pipol long vilij ol i stap longen, man, meri na pikinini i stap nap long 68.
Em i tok dispela luksave blong World Refugee Day tu ino ken lus tingting ol pipol blong Climate Change.
“Mipla ino kamapim ol bagarap long ol aelan blong mipela, ol sampela narapela laen i kamapim na sapos yumi no lukautim, planti milien pipol bai bungim bikpela heve tru long Climate Change, ino mipela tasol,” em ibin tok.
“Gutpla saed blong lusim Carterets ikam long Tinputz, mipla i planim planti kaikai blong mipla iet.” “Long ol sevis, ol pikinini igo skul long Tinputz Primeri Skul na tu kisim marasin long helt senta.” http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
6) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – vendredi 20 juin 2014
Mis à jour 20 June 2014, 13:25 AEST
- Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: le gouvernement a officiellement supprimé en début de semaine les baux fonciers spéciaux obtenus frauduleusement. Cela faisait des années que les associations de propriétaires traditionnels réclamaient leur abolition.
Les propriétaires coutumiers de Pomio, dans l’est de l’île de Nouvelle-Bretagne, manifestent contre l’exportation de grumes, produit de leurs terres, louées par l’État à une compagnie d’exploitation forestière. (Greenpeace/ octobre 2011)
Toutes les terres du pays appartiennent aux propriétaires coutumiers, mais l’État a des droits sur 2 à 3% de ces terres. L’État papou a loué ces terres à diverses entreprises, souvent étrangères, pour en faire des exploitations forestières, ou des plantations de palmiers à huile par exemple. En tout, 5 millions d’hectares ont été loués à 77 entreprises, et d’après la commission d’enquête mise en place par le gouvernement, la majeure partie de ces baux ont été obtenus illégalement, sans consulter les propriétaires coutumiers.
- Franck Bainimarama accueille le Président fidjien à bras ouverts.Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono participe au deuxième sommet du Forum du Développement des Îles du Pacifique. Mais le révérend François Pihaatae, porte-parole de la Conférence des Églises du Pacifique, demande au leader fidjien de ne pas oublier la lutte des Papous pour leur droit à l’autodétermination en Indonésie. Il s’agit de la première visite d’un Président indonésien à Fidji, un moment historique, et se demande si justement Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono n’a pas fait le déplacement pour inciter les pays mélanésiens à ne pas soutenir les indépendantistes papous. En janvier, les ministres des Affaires étrangères fidjien, salomonais, papou, et des émissaires du FLNKS ont accepté l’invitation de l’Indonésie, ils sont allés visiter Jayapura, la capitale de la Papouasie occidentale. Seul le Vanuatu a boycotté.
- Nauru: « une décision grotesque ». C’est aujourd’hui la Journée Mondiale des Réfugiés. Pour fêter cela, le gouvernement de Nauru a décidé de faire du 20 juin un jour férié, en hommage aux migrants détenus sur son sol. Pamela Curr se dit atterrée. « Le gouvernement nauruan a pris une décision grotesque », a déclaré la porte-parole du Centre de Ressources sur les Demandeurs d’Asile, une ONG de défense des sans-papiers. 1100 de demandeurs d’asile sont au centre de rétention actuellement. 41 ont été libérés et vivent avec les Nauruans.
- Vanuatu: elles ont assez d’être traitées comme quantité négligeable. Les femmes, même qualifiées, obtiennent très difficilement des emplois dans la fonction publique, dénonce le Conseil National des Femmes du Vanuatu. Il y a un petit progrès cependant. Pour la première foi, ce Conseil est convié au forum public pour définir le contenu du plan de développement du Vanuatu de 2016 à 2030. « Les femmes sont systématiquement sous-payées, et dès que le gouvernement offre des formations, dans l’agriculture ou la pêche, il ne sélectionne que des hommes », affirme Blandine Boulekone, la porte-parole du Conseil National des Femmes du Vanuatu.
- Australie: un manifestant frappe la voiture de la ministre des Affaires étrangères, Julie Bishop, avec une banderole.Les agents de sécurité l’ont rapidement maîtrisé. L’incident a eu lieu ce vendredi matin à l’université de Melbourne. Julie Bishop venait de faire un discours au forum du C20, la déclinaison du G20 dans la société civile – avec des associations de défense des droits de l’homme, de l’environnement, et d’aide sociale. Pendant ce temps-là, à l’extérieur, 20 étudiants manifestaient contre les coupes budgétaires imposées par le gouvernement aux universités. Les droits de scolarité vont augmenter. Depuis l’annonce du budget à la mi-mai, le dispositif de sécurité a été renforcé autour des grands ministres.
- Samoa: l’opposition lutte contre l’installation d’une usine de conditionnement de poissons en plein centre d’Apia, la capitale. L’entreprise américaine Bumble Bee veut la construire sur les quais du port d’Apia. Elle créerait ainsi plus de 1000 emplois. Le député Palusalue Faapo II est en faveur d’une usine, mais pas en plein cœur d’Apia. Selon lui, ce serait stupide de défigurer Apia et rendre son air irrespirable alors que le Premier ministre souhaite justement embellir la côte pour attirer les touristes. Palusalue Faapo II évoque l’exemple de Pago Pago, la capitale du Samoa américain, où l’air empeste le poisson et le port est pollué par une conserverie de poisson.
- La Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée se prépare à accueillir le Festival des Arts Mélanésiens. Il s’ouvrira le 28 juin à Port-Moresby. Environ 250 Papous se sont portés volontaires pour l’organisation de ce rendez-vous culturel, la majorité venant des provinces. Cette année le festival sera également décentralisé dans quatre provinces. Les danses traditionnelles se feront par exemple à Mont-Hagen, au cœur des Hauts-Plateaux.
7) Changement climatique: Bainimarama fustige « l’égoïsme » de l’Australie
Mis à jour 20 June 2014, 13:59 AEST
Malgré la pression des États-Unis, l’Australie a annoncé vendredi qu’elle n’inscrira pas la lutte contre le changement climatique sur la liste des discussions prioritaires au sommet du G20.
Franck Bainimarama et Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono à Nadi, pendant le 2ème sommet du Forum du Développement des Îles du Pacifique, cette semaine. (Photo: ministère fidjien de l’Information)
Il doit se tenir à Brisbane en novembre. Cette décision n’est pas une surprise. Car depuis son arrivée au pouvoir, la Coalition de Tony Abbott a, entre autres, supprimé la taxe carbone, le conseil du climat, donné son feu vert à des projets gigantesques d’extraction du charbon dans le Queensland.
Hier Franck Bainimarama, qui accueille à Fidji le deuxième sommet du Forum du Développement des Îles du Pacifique, a interpellé le gouvernement australien :
« Je lance un appel à l’Australie et aux autres pays. Ne réagissez pas égoïstement face la catastrophe qui menace les petits États insulaires du Pacifique. L’Histoire vous jugera durement si vous nous abandonnez aux vagues qui vont nous submerger, tout cela parce que vous ne voulez pas adapter votre politique intérieure. »
Le Président indonésien, hôte d’honneur du forum, a promis 20 millions de dollars aux pays du Pacifique pour lutter contre les effets du changement climatique et de l’élévation du niveau de l’océan, mais aussi pour développer une croissance verte.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono a également déclaré qu’il souhaitait tripler les échanges commerciaux entre l’Indonésie et les pays du Pacifique, pour atteindre un volume d’échanges d’un millard de dollars américains par an d’ici quelques années. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
8) Displaced people tops 50 million mark
Sunday, June 22, 2014
BEIRUT – For the first time since World War II, the number of people forced from their homes worldwide has surged past 50 million, the United Nations refugee agency says.
Syrians fleeing the devastating civil war and a fast-growing web of other world crises accounted for the spike in the displaced, the UNHCR said in its annual Global Trends Report released on Friday.
At the end of last year, 51.2 million people had been forced from their homes worldwide, the highest figure of displacement since World War II, said the UNHCR.
That’s six million more people than at the end of the previous year, reflecting a collective failure to resolve longstanding conflicts or prevent the eruption of new ones, the head of the UN refugee agency said in announcing the report. “The world has shown a limited capacity to prevent conflicts and to find a timely solution for them,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
“Today, we not only have an absence of a global governance system, but we have sort of an unclear sense of power in the world,” Mr Guterres told reporters in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, where the global report was launched.
The latest figures do not include the half million people believed to have fled violence in Iraq over the past week.
The massive increase was mainly driven by Syria’s civil war. By the end of last year, 2.5 million Syrians had become refugees in neighbouring countries and about 6.5 million had been displaced within Syria.
9) Peter O’Neill asks police to investigate sacked anti-corruption boss Sam Koim
Updated 22 June 2014, 20:20 AEST
Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill fires another salvo in the country’s political wars, asking police to investigate the head of the axed anti-corruption taskforce.
Audio: Professor Allan Patience speaks to ABC’s Geraldine Doogue: “PNG PM is putting democracy at risk.”
Papua New Guinea’s prime minister says he will ask the police commissioner to investigate the head of the axed anti-corruption taskforce Sam Koim and opposition MP Sam Basil, accusing them of a “major political plot” to bring down the government
Peter O’Neill was issued with an arrest warrant on Monday after the taskforce’s investigation into alleged multi-million dollar payments to a law firm.
The prime minister responded by disbanding the anti-corruption body, Taskforce Sweep, as well as sacking the attorney general and deputy police commissioner.
He has denied any wrong doing and has obtained a court order to put the warrant on hold.
In a statement released Sunday, Mr O’Neill accused Mr Koim and Taskforce Sweep of being “politically compromised” because of “evidence before the government” that Mr Koim held regular private meetings with deputy opposition leader, Mr Basil, since 2011.
“Why was he meeting these political leaders in private places? He can’t be conducting interviews in private places,” Mr O’Neill said in the statement.
“It is very clear that the Warrant of Arrest issued for my arrest was a “Major Political Plot”, by self serving people to bring down the Government for their own greed,” he said.
Mr O’Neill also accuses Mr Koim of “openly discuss[ing] matters under investigations with his associates and people heavily linked to certain political figures in the country.”
Mr Koim has not commented on the latest allegations but earlier Sunday posted a message on his Facebook page stating that he and others had lost their positions “all for a cause far greater than our personal interest.”
Police prosecutor suspended
Meanwhile, the head of PNG police investigations and prosecutions has revealed that he’s been suspended after calling on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to answer questions from police fraud investigators.
Assistant Commissioner for Crimes, Thomas Eluh, told the ABC he was served with a suspension notice on Saturday evening after earlier releasing a media statement in which he warned that PNG’s criminal justice system was hanging in the balance.
Audio: Interview: Thomas Eluh (ABC News)
Mr Eluh says he expected that he would be suspended after pursuing the matter against Mr O’Neill.
“I knew it was coming because I was adamant and I was upfront to make sure that the rule of law must prevail irrespective of who you are, whether you’re the prime minister or the tea boy or (whatever) your status in the community.”
Mr Eluh says he will be challenging his suspension in court on Monday.
In the media statement, Mr Eluh appealed for Mr O’Neill to voluntarily make himself available to fraud investigators to be interviewed in relation to the payment of K71 million ($AU31 million) to Paul Paraka Lawyers.
“Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and it is on that basis that we humbly request Prime Minister O’Neill to come in,” the statement said.
The wheels of justice have been set in motion and will not stop until Prime Minister O’Neill comes in for the interview
PNG Assistant Commissioner Crimes Thomas Eluh
“Our criminal justice system hangs in the balance.
“As a leader he must respect our laws and lead by example – the people of Papua New Guinea and the world are watching closely.
“Let me reassure the people of Papua New Guinea and the world that the wheels of justice have been set in motion and will not stop until Prime Minister O’Neill comes in for the interview.”
PM says police ‘jumped the gun’
Mr O’Neill has publicly defended his decision not to appear before police fraud investigators, saying police ‘jumped the gun’ by issuing an arrest warrant against him.
He told local television station EMTV on Saturday that the warrant should never have been issued and the matter should be determined by the courts.
“They [the police] don’t need to get a warrant to ask me to go in for an interview. You go and seek warrants when somebody is in breach of a court order,” he said.
“It is not a warrant where we need to just turn up and be interviewed and assess the evidence before you and whether charges can be laid or not. So I think that the police have virtually jumped the gun.
“This matter is before the court. It is within my legal right as a citizen under the constitution to go to court and get the court’s interpretation of what has transpired.”
Mr O’Neill denied that he is avoiding an interview, saying “this matter has been in discussion for quite some time, since the matter broke out several months back.”
Earlier, before Mr Eluh’s suspension, police interviewed the former treasurer Don Polye over the payments to Paraka Lawyers.
He was released until Monday to get legal representation.
‘Act of desperation’
Mr O’Neill’s intervention in the police force over the last week represents “an incredible blurring of the separation of powers,” long-time PNG watcher Professor Allan Patience has told the ABC.
PNG’s ‘Games of Thrones’
Take a look at the main players in the growing political turmoil in Papua New Guinea.
“Normally cabinet appoints the chief commissioner of police and the chief commissioner is able to appoint his deputies. The prime minister now is taking over that role,” he said.
Professor Patience is a former Professor of Political Science at the University of Papua New Guinea and is now with the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute.
He says there is a clear split in the police force between “those who believe that they should be fearlessly pursuing issues or criminal activities that they see anywhere in the political system” and those “who are likely to be much more inclined to do the bidding of the politicians.”
He says the prime minister should step aside while the allegations are being heard.
“It’s very interesting that what looks like a really serious act of desperation is now seriously undermining democracy in Papua New Guinea.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
10) FLP names 26 candidates
Sunday, June 22, 2014
TWENTY-SIX candidates have been named by the Fiji Labour Party to contest the general election on September 17.
FLP president Lavenia Padarath leads a commendable crew with economist Dr Rohit Kishore, assistant general secretary Kini Marawai, former parliamentarian Narendra Padarath, Rupeni Silimaibau, Monica Raghwan and former Rakiraki policeman Sanaila Suluka.
Mr Suluka is noted to have been the first person who had applied to be a candidate.
Bua chief Ratu Filimoni Ralogaivau, Arvind Datt, Laisa Bale, lawyer Mohammed Anwar Khan, Roseline Lagi, Damodran Nair, Hari Krishna, former nationalist Josaia Waqabaca, Pratap Sen, Surendra Lal, former boxer and national football rep Solomone Catarogo, Udit Narayan, Vyas Deo Sharma, Tulsi Ram, Mohammed Tahir, Joji Koroiwaqa, Kamlesh Chandra, Paras Somaiya, Kara Bidesi, Anendra Prasad and Deo Narayan were presented to party supporters as those who would contest the elections.
FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry, in his address, said the election would be a chaotic one as people of Fiji would have only one day to cast their votes.
The veteran politician said the people of Fiji would get a chance to elect a legitimate government, a government for the people by the people on September 17.
“This is the time the people of Fiji will get to rise against the oppression and work towards freedom,” he said.
Mr Chaudhry said more candidates would be announced in July.Fijitimes
11) Solomons Developing Code For Media Covering The Election
Commission to consult with journalists to get their input into code
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 19, 2014) – The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission says it will be consulting local media for the first time before developing its new code of conduct for journalists covering the upcoming national elections.
The commission will be hosting a workshop in collaboration with the Media Association of Solomon Islands on Saturday.
The commission’s chief electoral officer, Polycarp Haununu, says it is a chance for journalists to have their say on the code.
Mr Haununu says the media play a vital role in elections and have a responsibility to fairly and accurately report on candidates and policies, explain the voting and registration processes and publicise the election results.
He says the code of conduct will be designed to make sure journalists can access the information they need, without disrupting the voting process.
A ‘Code of Conduct for Media and Independent Election Observers’ was developed for the 2010 election but this is the first time media will have direct input in the process.
Radio New Zealand International
12) PNG shows potential
Saturday, June 21, 2014
PAPUA New Guinea (PNG) has a unique business environment for a telecommunications company in the region.
Speaking at the Fiji-PNG Business Council forum at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Thursday, Digicel Fiji CEO Darren McLean said the market in PNG had grown because of the demand for their service in the country.
“Digicel chose PNG as one of the best countries from the 32 countries we operate in around the world.”
The forum allowed panelists from private sectors, regulatory and stakeholder partners and council members to discuss challenges of trading with PNG.
Fiji-PNG Business Council president Kevin McCarthy said trade between Fiji and PNG had been an upward trend and forum was aimed at resolving issues that hindered trade.Fijitimes
13) Former PNG Judge: O’Neill Acting ‘Out Of His Powers’
Turmoil continues, social media abuzz with criticism of PM’s actions
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 19, 2014) – PNG’s prime minister Peter O’Neill has acted “out of his powers” in removing the deputy police commissioner Simon Kauba, a former national acting court judge has said.
Judge Nemo Yalo was speaking to Pacific Beat regarding the growing political turmoil in the country.
Mr O’Neill on Wednesday sacked Mr Kauba for “disobeying orders”. The sacking followed comments from Mr Kauba in relation to an arrest warrant issued against Mr O’Neill.
Mr Yalo says the sackings are an “act of desperation” by the prime minister.
“It is the prime minister’s prerogative to hire or decommission ministers,” he said.
“[But] last night’s sacking of the deputy police commissioner, Simon Kauba, who is the head of operations … including allegations in relation to Mr Peter O’Neill. and it’s not right, and it’s outright acting outside of his parliament.
“Usually if there is insubordination or any disciplinary action, it is the Police Commissioner under the Police Act who would initiate police proceedings and the officer concerned would have his right to be heard.”
Mr Yalo says prime minister O’Neill had promised the people of PNG that he would cooperate with the police if the need arose.
“He has said that no one is above the law…and now he playing a totally different tune,” Mr Yalo said.
The latest developments follow the sacking of Attorney-General Kerenga Kua by Mr O’Neill earlier this week.
Late on Tuesday, it was announced Ano Pala had been appointed attorney general and minister for justice, replacing Mr Kua.
At a media conference in Port Moresby on Thursday, the country’s new police commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, said he was still in charge and all the troops should be loyal to him.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the political situation in PNG is an internal matter.
Outrage on social media
There’s been widespread expressions of outrage on social media about the disbanding of PNG anti-corruption body Taskforce Sweep, the sacking of its chief Sam Koim and the dismissal of attorney-general Kerenga Kua.
Papua New Guineans have posted on Facebook and Twitter in the thousands, decrying the moves by prime minister O’Neill.
Some have expressed support for the two sacked men and some are organising protests.
One of those who took to social media was writer Martyn Namorong.
Mr Naorong told Pacific Beat the prime minister has lost his credibility.
“I think whatever credibility the prime minister had in the public’s eye with regards to fighting corruption just evaporated with his sacking of Sam Koim and the disbanding of the Taskforce Sweep,” he said.
“The general mood is that the prime minister has to go but to say that everyone in the country wants him to go would be a fallacy.”
Mr Naorong says although it is not definite, there was a “likelihood” the outrage on social media could translate into action on the streets.
14) New Solomons Voting Registration System Catches 6,000 Fraudulent Entries
Process used to generate accurate voter roll, estimated 84% registered
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 19, 2014) – The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) says the first stage of the Biometric Voter Registration process has been a great success, with the new system detecting almost 6000 potentially fraudulent voter registrations.
The SIEC is in the process of finalising the Provisional List of Voters, which has revealed 5923 duplicate registrations.
“One person tried to register nine times. In some cases, people appear to have attempted to use false names and even disguises to register to vote multiple times,” Chief Electoral Officer, Polycarp Haununu said.
“The first stage of BVR has been a great success. We believe that the provisional list is a highly accurate representation of the number of people who are eligible to vote.”
The BVR system uses unique fingerprint and facial recognition data that makes it impossible for anyone to register more than once without being detected.
Some people appear to have attempted to use hats, beards and other disguises to try to do multiple registrations.
“All multiple registration cases will be referred to the relevant Revising Officers,” Mr Haununu said.
“Cases where people have clearly tried to defraud the system will ultimately be referred to the Police.”
The SIEC says if someone is found to have registered more than once, only their first registration will remain on the Provisional List of Voters.
“Some people may have registered twice by mistake, thinking that they were allowed to register in two different constituencies,” Mr Haununu said.
“Each person can only register once. If you have registered in twice your second registration will be subject to an objection from the SIEC.”
All registered voters are reminded that they must check the Provisional List of Voters when it is published in a few weeks’ time.
The Biometric Voter Registration system was brought in to clean up the list of voters that contained a large number of outdated, fraudulent and duplicate registrations.
The system thus successfully produced a fair and accurate list that the SIEC says represents 84% of the total eligible voter population.
15) $15k for informant
Saturday, June 21, 2014
AN informant who helped the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority with the successful recovery of $159,000 in unpaid taxes has been rewarded about $15,000 this week.
FRCA CEO Jitoko Tikolevu said this was the first time for the authority to exercise its reward system under the Whistleblower Policy.
He said the successful recovery of $159,000 in unpaid taxes was made after the authority conducted tax audits.
“A whistleblower that provides information or documents to the authority contributing significantly to the success of the investigation and prosecution by the authority shall be entitled to at least 10 per cent of the tax revenue recovered as a monetary or non-monetary reward,” he said in a statement yesterday.
“The informant had provided relevant information of tax evasion about the business last year, which was investigated and resulted in the subsequent recovery of $150,000 in taxes.”
He said the Whisleblower Policy was intended to encourage and enable any worker, member of management or board of directors of FRCA or external stakeholders including members of the public to disclose any serious concerns or report any serious wrong within FRCA rather than ignoring such a problem and “blowing the whistle” outside.
The Whistleblower Policy came into effect in 2012 and this is the first time a reward had been paid out.
“A total of 66 cases were reported to FRCA under the Whistleblower Policy last year and a further 11 cases since the beginning of this year. We treat all information confidential and we also do not reveal the identity of the informants,” he said.
“However, if the whistleblower’s concerns required any further action, he or she, may at some future date would be required to act as a witness and/or provide evidence.”
He said members of the public were encouraged to report any Customs, tax evasion or ethical conduct concerns of officers to FRCA.
He said the FRCA Whistleblower line was 3243222, 3243666 or 6626777.Fijitimes
16) Chinese Nationals Deported From Vanuatu To Face Fraud Charges
Joint effort between Vanuatu, China nabs two suspects
By Thompson Marango
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 19, 2014) – Two Chinese nationals wanted in China for major fraud involvement were arrested and deported from Port Vila early this week in a successful joint Operation between Vanuatu Police and Immigration Department.
The duo who entered Vanuatu around March this year were hunted down by Police and immigration after a request by Chinese authority through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to Police they fled China after being under investigation by Chinese Police for major fraud involvement in China.
“Police Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) with assistance from Immigration located the residence where the suspects used to reside and conduct surveillance to confirm their identity,” stated the Police Media Center.
Police and Immigration raided their house and arrested the two suspects last Saturday. Search conducted at the residence found some documentary evidence and numerous rubber stamps that were believed to be part of these illegal activities.
The suspects were escorted out from the country by Chinese police via NZ, Shanghai and back to Beijing, China Sunday this week.
“TCU through the office of the Commissioner of Police make arrangements with the Chinese Embassy in Port Vila and on 12th June 2014, China Police flew in to assist with logistical arrangement before the suspects could be removed from the country.
“This is the first ever joint effort carried out by Vanuatu law enforcement agencies and the Chinese Police,” stated the Police Media Center.
Vanuatu Daily Post
17) Solomons Homes Demolished In Contested Land Rights Case
High Court order illustrates challenges with squatters rights
By Bradford Theonomi
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 18, 2014) – Five families watched helplessly as police demolished their houses in the Lungga-Henderson area, east Honiara in the past days.
Their community chief was arrested yesterday after he tried to intervene in the exercise, which was carried out according to a High Court order.
The five semi-permanent houses were part of nine houses on land parcel No: 192 – 004 – 209, which the Commissioner of Land has now allocated to foreigners Sia Kee Ching and Lau Khing Hung.
The first two houses were pulled down last week, three yesterday, while the rest will be torn down in coming days.
Sheriff of the High Court Richard Muaki said they were merely acting on a High Court order.
He said the families have been occupying the land illegally, according to the court order they were acting on.
“Land applications and allocations were matters the Ministry of Lands was responsible for,” he said.
“So we have nothing to say on that. What we are doing here is basically acting on a court order that asked us to demolish these houses and order its occupants to vacate the land,” Mr Muaki said.
The action took the families by surprise because they claimed their lawyer had appealed against the High Court order demanding them to leave the land.
A spokesman for the families, Edward Matevaka, said the police action was harsh and inappropriate when they have already, through their lawyer, lodged an appeal.
He said their appeal was based on the grounds they’ve lived on the plot of land for a long time and have also submitted applications to the Commissioner of Lands.
“Our applications are still pending before the Commissioner of Lands and then you have these two foreigners coming in and outrightly acquired the land.
“Where is the justice here? Aren’t we Solomon Islands entitled to apply for state land? Why the two foreigners, is it because they have money?” Mr Matevaka asked.
However, Mr Muaki said the appeal the families were talking about does not supersede the order to demolish the houses.
He explained a notice of eviction was issued on 13th October 2013 for the families to leave the land so that its legal owners could take ownership of the land.
Mr Muaka said the order was issued without enforcement and was genuinely asking the families to voluntarily vacate the land.
“We approached them with flexibility and gave them enough time since then but after several visits to the site, the order was not adhered to.
“It was never adhered to, thus the owners applied for enforcement order to the high court, which was granted on 10th March 2014,” he said.
According to the eviction notice, all settlers should vacate the land by 5pm on 28th March 2014.
The land in questioned was located at the Cross Road area, a few metres to the east of what used to be Taj Mahal Restaurant.
CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT
18) Bainimarama Accuses World Of ‘Abandoning Pacific Islands’ To Sink
Fiji PM singles out Australia for ‘selfishly’ failing to address climate change
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 19, 2014) – Fiji’s interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama has accused the global community of abandoning Pacific island nations to “sink below the waves” instead of tackling climate change.
Opening a regional summit, he singled out “selfish” Australia for criticism, saying there is “collective disappointment and dismay” in the Pacific at the failure to address climate change.
“The rising sea levels caused by global warming threaten the very existence of some of our neighbours – Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands,” he told the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).
“[They] are already swamping the coastal areas of many Pacific nations, including Fiji.
“Yet if anything, the collective will of the global community to adequately address this crisis is receding.”
Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was guest of honour at the summit.
He pledged $US20 million to help Pacific island states combat climate change, in a bid to boost the “green economy” in the region.
Rear Admiral Bainimarama said there had been “a distinct change of rhetoric” from Australia on climate change since conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott was elected last year.
Earlier this month, Mr Abbott said he would not adopt any climate policies that would “clobber the economy”.
“I appeal to Australia and other countries not to behave selfishly over the catastrophic prospect facing small island developing states,” Rear Admiral Bainimarama said.
“History will judge you harshly if you abandon us to our apparent fate of sinking below the waves because you don’t want to make the necessary adjustment to your domestic policies.”
Mr Yudhoyono said climate change was among the greatest challenges facing the world and announced Indonesia was allocating US$20 million to help minimise its impact in the Pacific.
“Indonesia has a strong commitment to broaden its network of cooperation with PIDF countries in mitigating the impact of climate change,” he said.
Mr Yudhoyono also said he wanted two-way trade between Indonesia and Pacific island nations to triple to $US1 billion in coming years.
19) Resource depletion worry
Sunday, June 22, 2014
MANY youths around the country have raised their concerns about the Mining Act, says National Federation Party’s youth leader Usaia Cirikiwai.
During a youth rally at Lautoka’s Girmit Centre yesterday, he said young people were concerned at the way natural resources were being depleted.
“One of the biggest issues that we have spoken about is the Mining Act and many young people have said they wanted the mining laws reviewed,” he said.
“After inheriting some of the decisions of their forefathers, young people are looking at our resources that are disappearing very fast.
“They also want more awareness and work to be done on climate change.
“Some other issues that they are hoping will be addressed by the new government is improving the health sector and getting more young people involved in agriculture.”
He said the high unemployment rate was also a concern .
The rally attracted about 30 youths and Mr Cirikiwai said this was the follow-up to one conducted in Suva a few weeks ago.
“The third one is happening in Labasa next week and what we are trying to do is influence the manifestos before it is revealed and for that we need to gather a lot of issues from the young people and consultations need to come from the youths themselves.
“We are going door-to- door asking people what issues they are facing and we urge youths and interested groups to voice their issues.”
He added these issues would be included in the party’s manifesto.Fijitimes
20) Samoa break 16-year drought with win over Fiji in Pacific Nations Cup
Posted 21 June 2014, 17:42 AEST
Samoa beats Fiji 18-13 with six Tusi Pisi penalties in the Pacific Nations Cup final regional match.
Samoa finished top of the Pacific conference in the Pacific Nations Cup tournament when six Tusi Pisi penalties produced an 18-13 win against Fiji in Suva on Saturday in the final regional match.
Fiji scored the only tries, but were let down by their own ill-discipline as they lost at home to their Pacific neighbours for the first time in 16 years.
The result was a setback for Fiji ahead of their must-win World Cup qualifier against the Cook Islands next week.
Their star had been rising in recent weeks as they moved up to 10th in the world rankings following wins over Italy (25-14) and Tonga (45-17).
Samoa, ranked one place higher than Fiji and having already qualified for the World Cup, drew with Tonga 18-18 and beat Italy 15-0.
In a match billed as the “Battle of the Pacific”, Samoa led Fiji 15-5 at half-time from five Pisi penalties, the last in the 40th minute when Leone Nakarawa was yellow-carded.
Despite starting the second half a man down, Fiji’s Napolioni Nalaga scored a try immediately after the break. Nemani Nadolo, who scored in the first half, landed a penalty soon after to narrow the gap to 13-15.
Samoa were twice reduced to 14 men in the second half with Fautua Otto and then captain David Lemi both sent to the sin bin, but in a brief period in the middle of the half, with all players on the field, Pisi landed his sixth penalty.
Fiji had four kickable penalties in the last 10 minutes, but opted to go for line-outs where they were held out by the Samoa defence.
21) World Cup 2014: Ghana and Germany draw 2-2 in Fortaleza as Miroslav Klose equals all-time Cup scoring record
Posted 22 June 2014, 7:00 AEST
Germany drew 2-2 with Ghana, as Miroslav Klose equalled the all-time World Cup scoring record with 15 goals.
German coach Joachim Low had warned his side about ‘second game syndrome’ but his players were not listening, as they were given a big scare before drawing 2-2 with Ghana in Fortaleza.
Ghana sat back for the first 20 minutes and played on the counter, but as the half wore on the African side grew in confidence.
External Link: Scoreboard: Germany v Ghana
There were few clear-cut chances for Germany in the opening 45 minutes, as the Europeans struggled to get the right delivery to Thomas Muller or Mario Gotze.
It was scoreless at the break, but Germany finally opened the scoring in the 51st minute, when Muller put a cross in and Gotze put the ball in with his left foot from close range.
The lead lasted barely three minutes, however, as Germany got caught at the back with a cross from defender Harrison Afful headed in by Andre Ayew, who also scored Ghana’s goal in a 2-1 loss to the United States in the opening game.
The goal energised the Ghanaians, who pushed forward and scored the critical goal in the 63rd minute, when Sulley Muntari put a beautiful through ball to Asamoah Gyan, and the striker buried the ball in the net past German keeper Manuel Neuer.
Low brought on veteran striker Miroslav Klose, and two minutes later Klose tapped in Mats Hummels header from two yards out to level the scores.
The goal, Klose’s 15th at the World Cup, also brought him level with Brazilian great Ronaldo for the most goals scored by a player at World Cup finals.
It also made him the third player to score at four World Cup finals, joining Brazil’s Pele, and fellow German Uwe Seeler.
There were chances for both sides in the remaining time, with Muller having the best chance before defender Kwadwo Asamoah made an inch-perfect tackle in the penalty area to clear the danger.
A free kick right on full-time gave a final chance for Germany, but Toni Kroos could not find the net, ensuring the draw.
The draw puts Germany on four points from two games, with Ghana on one. The United States (three points) play Portugal (zero points) on Monday morning (AEST).http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
21) World Cup 2014: Socceroos upbeat about final World Cup game against Spain; Mark Bresciano and Mark Milligan restricted in training
Posted 22 June 2014, 4:29 AEST
By David Mark
Australia’s Mathew Leckie says the Socceroos are targetting a win in their final World Cup game against Spain.
Mathew Leckie says the Socceroos want to end their World Cup campaign on a winning note against Spain. (Credit: Getty Images)
The Socceroos are upbeat about their chances of beating Spain in their final World Cup match in Curitiba on Tuesday morning.
Both teams have lost their two previous games, but while the Socceroos have put in two strong showings, the Spanish have been disappointing.
The number one team and defending World Champions were thrashed 5-2 by the Netherlands and 2-0 by Chile.
The Socceroos have played well in their losses to the same teams and midfielder, Mathew Leckie, says the side wants to leave the World Cup with a win, despite the pedigree of the opposition.
“I think there’s definitely still something to play for. I think Ange (Postecoglou, the Socceroos’ coach) made a good point, saying that for the World Cups that we’ve been involved in, the national team’s only won two (games).
“So if we can win a game and beat the team, Spain, that won the World Cup last, you know I think that’s a massive achievement for the country and definitely for us individuals to walk away and say we’ve done it,” he said.
The Socceroos trained for the final time at their Brazilian home base of Vitoria, but there were two notable omissions.
The two injured veterans, Mark Bresciano and Mark Milligan, were restricted to light jogging while their team-mates trained briefly but at high intensity.
Mark Bresciano injured a hip flexor in the Socceroos three-two loss to the Netherlands, while Mark Milligan has been rehabilitating a hamstring injury he picked up in the three-one loss to Chile.
Team management has not ruled either player out yet – a final decision will be made tomorrow.
If Bresciano does miss out it would almost certainly end the 34 year-old’s World Cup Career, which has spanned three tournaments in Germany, South Africa and now Brazil.
Another veteran Tim Cahill, will miss the Spain game due to suspension.
Matthew Leckie intimated Bresciano would not play, saying it was a pity he and Cahill would miss out on a farewell World Cup match.
“Yeah it would’ve been nice. You know they’re both great players. They’ve served the country very well over the time they’ve been a part of it. And you know I think they’ve been massive parts of this team as well over these two games.
“I’m sure, you know it’s bitter disappointing (sic) that they can’t be a part of it, but you know it’s not about individuals, it’s about the team,” he said.
The Socceroos have flown to Curitiba and will play Spain in the early hours of Tuesday morning. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
22) Wallabies defeat France 39-13 in Sydney to win Test series 3-0
Updated 21 June 2014, 20:05 AEST
Australia silenced the critics with a resounding 39-13 victory over France in the third Test.
Image: Try on debut … Will Skelton crosses for the Wallabies’ opening five-pointer
Australia silenced the critics with a resounding 39-13 victory over France in the third Test to wrap up a series whitewash at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
SCOREBOARD: AUS 39-13 FRA
Interview: Wycliff Palu
Interview: Bernard Foley
Interview: Will Skelton
Interview: Israel Folau
Interview: Nick Cummins
Interview: Ewen McKenzie
View full stats sheet
The Wallabies were slammed following their dour 6-0 win in last weekend’s second Test in Melbourne, but they responded with a five-tries-to-one performance that secured a seventh-straight Test triumph.
Israel Folau scored a double, while lock Will Skelton also crossed the stripe in his Test debut.
Skelton made his presence felt, as he not only scored a try but also laid on one for Folau with a deft pass.
The towering 22-year-old lock received a standing ovation from the home crowd as he was replaced by James Horwill midway through the second half.
The Wallabies were always in command and played with more verve from the kick-off to clinch the series after winning the opening Test 50-23 in Brisbane.
It was the first time since 2000 that the Wallabies have won seven consecutive Tests, while the French are still searching for their first win in Australia since 1990.
While Skelton grabbed the headlines, Folau’s two tries took his tally to 13 tries in 18 Tests and fly half Bernard Foley kicked four conversions and two penalties.
The Wallabies showed their attacking intent from the outset and dominated possession and territory.
Foley kicked a third-minute penalty before Skelton monstered his way through Fulgence Ouedraogo’s tackle to score a try on debut five minutes later.
Les Bleus got their first points off a Brice Dulin long-range penalty after a great French scrum to trail 10-3 after 15 minutes.
Quick thinking by skipper Michael Hooper from the kick-off forced France to concede a penalty for Foley to retrieve a 10-point advantage.
The French went a man down when tighthead prop Rabah Slimani received a yellow card for tackling Hooper without the ball as the Wallabies went on the attack.
A quick tap kick from scrum half Nic White led to Folau scoring in the corner in Dulin’s tackle.
Maxime Machenaud, who replaced regular half-back Morgan Parra (ankle injury) before the match, kicked a penalty for the French to trail 20-6 at half-time.
Skelton demonstrated his great hands for such a big man to deliver a defence-splitting pass for Folau to race away and score his second try two minutes after the resumption for a commanding 27-6 lead.
France lost left winger Hugo Bonneval with a left knee injury as the Australians cranked up a gear before the record 43,188 rugby union crowd at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Foley and replacement Kurtley Beale combined to send Hooper racing away to score his team’s fourth try midway through the second half.
The French scored their only try by hooker Guilhem Guirado from a push-over scrum 15 minutes from full-time.
Replacement half-back Nick Phipps pounced for the Wallabies’ fifth try off a quick tap penalty in the final minutes to round off a handsome victory.