Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 998 (23 June 2014)


1) Vanuatu Public Forum Discusses Sustainable Development Plan
15-year plan should be ‘homegrown’ so ni-Vanuatu ‘take ownership’

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 20, 2014) – The next fifteen-year Sustainable Development Plan from 2016-2030, has to be homegrown and written by ni-Vanuatu in order for them to take ownership of it.

Director of Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination, Benjamin Shing, has made the statement in his call for contributions from the public towards formulating the next 15-year sustainable development plan, when the Minister for Lands, Ralph Regenvanu launched the Public Forum on behalf of the Prime Minister in the Chiefs’ Nakamal on Monday.

On July 30 of 1980, the newly born Republic of Vanuatu grew out of a 10-Year Development Plan split into two 5-Year Development Plans. Catalysts of those development plans include Jean Pierre Nirua and Augustine Garae who are also present in the Public Forum.

In 1997, when it became clear the economy was not growing as it should, an economic crisis was looming. That was why then Prime Minister Serge Vohor launched the Comprehensive Reform Programme (CRP) that year.

“The reason why we accepted the CRP was because the Government was growing and the population was growing and we reached a stage where, the programmes of the Government could no longer support that growth. That was why it had to go through a structural adjustment process. That was why we accepted the CRP and Asian Development Bank came inside,” Benjamin Shing says.

But he says now after 34 years, it is time for ni-Vanuatu to develop a homegrown plan for everyone to benefit from it and not just an elite few.

Shing says what has gone wrong with the CRP call to improve governance and service delivery to the people is that they got rid of all extension officers in the Government’s rightsizing exercise, severing the linkage in the field for delivering the services to the people.

Instead they created corporate structures in central areas.

“That is why when a Government spends Vt100, Vt80 is spent to pay the staff here Port Vila. In other words the majority of the budget is used to pay public servants in urban areas while only Vt20 is spent on those in rural areas and yet, these are the very public servants who are tasked to deliver Government services to the people,” Shing says.

He says this is lesson learned. CRP came and downsized the Government workforce to (a targeted 700) to feed the services of the Government but it was not about maintaining Government or about service delivery at the time. “That was why they cut out the very people that were there to deliver those services to the people down there and the outcome is that we are still experiencing problems and hopefully through your feedbacks, we will come up with the solutions to the problems,” Shing hopes.

People complain why there are so many people working in one place. Shing says the clearest example is the Vila Central Hospital which has almost 20 doctors at work. “Not all of them work and there are about 40 officers in the Administration to service 20 doctors. Why is this? You remove the people that deliver service and create a top down structure. These are lessons learned and this is what my presentation is all about”, he says.

He says the CRP was about rightsizing. Those who were responsible for the programme promised to reduce the number to an effective number of public servants after retiring and putting out over 1,000 veteran officers via a Redundancy Package for them to start their own businesses.

But as Shing confirms, “The number of people working in the Public Service now stands at almost 7,000 so where has the rightsizing gone?”

He says the public service sector continues to increase based on demand most likely because there are not enough people to deliver the services or they are located in the wrong places. Many people do not want to move into the rural areas.

This is something that has to be sorted out to create a small, efficient, accountable Government. Its objective is to deliver services to the people in an accountable manner. “It is important to raise this at the outset because when we talk about development plan, we want to make sure that everything that the Government does, keeps pace with the growth of the population to be able to continue to provide service delivery to the people on a sustainable basis, without destroying the country’s national identity”.

However, if the Government does not implement the plan that the people are working on, the country would end up having to go through another Comprehensive Reform Programme. “In the current CRP, it is not the Government that is running the show but the Asian Development Bank is running the show”, he says.

“Never in a sovereign state, should a Government allow its sovereignty to be managed by a foreign country or company. That is why we are going through development planning for you, the people, to have ownership of this latest plan. You are the ones that elect the Government so if politics is wrong then I will tell you because so many times, it is (politics that is) spoiling the country.”

He says now after 34 years of freedom, people do not want a foreign country or a multi lateral institution such as ADB or World Bank to run an adjustment programme in our country.

Vanuatu Daily Post

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 23 June 2014

by bobmakin

  • Daily Post begins the news of the week with drunken and brawling foreign investors and their women fighting and throwing beer bottles at each other at clubs and bars and leaving one dead. Radio News declared the death a murder. Following the murder of a young man at Fatumuru Bay a week ago, the police operation Zero Tolerance is resumed.
  • The Independent at the weekend had the new services of the Vila Central Hospital not operating because of lack of finance. They are not yet operating because theexpensive VCH facility is not yet open.
  • Radio Vanuatu News began with the Foreign Ministry claiming credit for getting kava back on to the ACP / EU agenda. Minister Kilman called on ACP countries to seriously consider the matters which had caused the German ban which informed bans around the world. The world’s leading kava researcher, Vincent Lebot was also heard telling kava producers and bar operators of the stringent requirements of the legislation (Kava Act) in place to try to ensure quality control.
  • South Efate’s council of chiefs has dissolved a task force intended to work on land matters related to the urban area and including valuation of land. Also to be included was the question of village boundaries. The task force was appointed by the same council last year, but its dissolution seems to be based on a decision from the Eratap, Pango and Ifira members. A new task force is to be established and given deadlines for its work.


3) Tongan student killed in a brawl

By Online Editor
10:06 am GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Fiji

Shocked University of the South Pacific student Tupou Tufui could not believe his younger brother is dead.

Early Saturday morning he received a telephone call to go up to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Suva, to identify his brother Sione Tufui, who was also a student at USP.

Doctors could not revive Sione after he was brought to the hospital unconscious following a brawl outside a Suva nightclub, where they were drinking earlier. The brawl was between Tongan students and another group.

Tupou said he was with Sione at the nightclub but had gone home early.

“I was shocked when the hospital called me at 2am on Saturday and told me to go to the hospital, I was hoping the doctors could bring him back to life,” he said.

Sione, 22, was a second year student doing a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and Physics.

Tupou said that they had heeded the advice of the Tongan Community in Fiji not to retaliate against the group that was responsible for Sione’s death.

Tongan Community secretary, Eleni Tevi said that the community was sending out a plea for all Tongan students to stand down.

“This is not a time to judge, it is a time to stand together as a community and help each other find solutions that will work for everyone,” she said.


4) Tonga’s Attorney General Steps Down
Adsett: It’s time for a Tongan lawyer to take over

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, June 20, 2014) – Tonga’s Attorney General Neil Adsett has announced he is stepping down, stating that, “I confirm that I am finishing up soon as Attorney General in Tonga. It is the right time now for a Tongan lawyer to take over, especially with important cabinet meetings, parliament sessions and elections later this year.”

He stated that ‘Aminiasi Kefu, Tonga’s Director of Prosecutions, would be Acting Attorney General from June 26.

” ‘Aminiasi is well respected and experienced as a lawyer and government adviser,” said Neil.

It is understood that Neil handed in his resignation to King Tupou VI earlier this month.

Neil has been Tonga’s Attorney General for the last two and half years and has been involved at times in Tongan law for over 25 years.

“It has been a privilege for me to be Tonga’s Attorney General, ” he said. “I hope in time to continue to work in Tonga, perhaps keeping the laws up to date and I hope to be living here in Nuku’alofa for part of year.”

Matangi Tonga Magazine


5) Marshalls missile test a success

23 June 2014

The United States military says it has successfully intercepted a simulated incoming missile over the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, which has a price tag of 40 billion US dollars, aims to protect the continental US from long-range ballistic missiles.

Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands

Photo: RNZI

At the weekend the interceptor missile was fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and struck a dummy intermediate-range ballistic missile launched from the US Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The successful test followed the system’s failure to hit a simulated missile in five of eight previous tests since being launched ten years ago.


6) Aussie jihadists

Monday, June 23, 2014

LOS ANGELES – US President Barack Obama says he is “deeply concerned” about the terrorist threat Australian jihadists travelling to Syria pose on their return to Australia.

The president’s comments come as the militant group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, extends its path of bloodshed in Iraq after crossing the border from war-torn Syria.

ISIL, through online recruitment videos, is enticing Australians and Muslims in other parts of the world to join their fight in Syria and Iraq.

The US is deploying up to 300 military advisers to asses the situation in Iraq and has been supporting moderate groups opposing ISIL and President Bashar Assad’s regime in the fractured Syrian conflict.

“There is no doubt the problem in Syria is one that we have been paying a lot of attention to over the last couple of years as you see jihadists coming in from Europe and as far as Australia to get trained and then going back into their home countries,” Obama said in an interview with CNN.

“This is something we have been deeply concerned about.

“Part of the reason we have been supporting a moderate opposition effort in Syria is to make sure there are forces countering some of the gains some of these extremist organisations have made inside of Syria.”

There are reports of up to 300 Australians entering Syria to fight.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned on Friday that jihadists who were “trained killers” and who “hate our way of life” must be stopped from re-entering the country.

In his strongest words yet about Australians fighting in Iraq and Syria, Mr Abbott said the government had “absolute determination” to prevent “returning jihadis”.

“The important thing is to ensure that as far as is humanly possible, they don’t come back into our country,” he told Macquarie Radio.

“And if they do come back into our country, (that) they are taken into detention.”


7) Thomas Eluh bai kotim PNG gavman long saspendim em

Postim 23 June 2014, 14:26 AEST

Jessy Pendene

Het blong Papua New Guinea polis investigesen na prosekiutsan we gavman i saspendim pinis, Assistant Komisina Kraims, Thomas Eluh itok em i bai kisim gavman long kot long dispela saspensen.

Thomas Eluh, het blong polis prosekiusen long PNG we gavman i saspendim i askim ol polis i wokbung na respektim loa blong kantri

Odio: Thomas Eluh, het blong polis prosekiusen long PNG we gavman i saspendim i toktok

Mr Eluh ibin kisim notis blong saspendim em long Sarere ivning bihain em i tok aut long Praim Minista Peter O’ Neill imas toktok wantaim ol polis fraud investigeta.

Em i tokim Tok Pisin sevis blong Radio Australia olsem ino hamamas tu long sampela lain blong polis yet i wok long protektim Mr O’Neill long ol polis i noken intaviuim em long ol korapsen tokwin agensim em.

Mr Eluh itok ol polis imas respektim loa blong kantri na wokbung long lukim olsem i nogat wanpela man i antap long loa, na dispela i karamapim to praim minista.

Em i tok maski gavman i saspensim em, wok blong polis long ol korapsen tokwin agensim Mr O’Neill bai gohet yet.

Mr O’Neill i kisim wanpela arrest warrant long Monday las wik bihainim wanpela investigesen long wanpela paimen blong 71 million kina long wanpela loa kampani.

Priam Minista O’Neill i tanim raun na i pinisim dispela anti-korapsen lain Tasforce Sweep na i sakim attorney general na deputy police commissioner.

Mr O’Neill i tok em i nogat wanpela asua na em i kisim wanpela kot oda long stopim pastaim dispela arest warant oda.


8) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – lundi 23 juin 2014

Mis à jour 23 June 2014, 14:55 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

  • Solstice d’hiver: les Australiens se dénudent et plongent dans les eaux glacées. En Tasmanie… et en Antarctique.

L’un des scientifiques de la base australienne Davis en Antarctique, hésite à plonger pour célébrer le solstice d’hiver, qui marque le début de l’amélioration: les chercheurs reverront le soleil à partir de mi-juillet.

Dimanche à l’aube, 700 Australiens se sont élancés dans les eaux glacées de la rivière Derwent, en Tasmanie, pour fêter le solstice, dans le cadre du festival d’hiver de Tasmanie, le Dark Mofo. Température extérieure : 7 degrés. Température de l’eau : 11 degrés. Une vaste plaisanterie comparée aux conditions qu’offre l’Antarctique. Toujours pour fêter le solstice d’hiver, les joyeux scientifiques de la base australienne de Davis ont creusé une piscine dans la couche de glace d’une épaisseur d’un mètre. Quelques courageux ont ensuite plongé, nus, à l’aube, dans une eau à -2 degrés. Température extérieure : -32 degrés.

  • Nauru: un réfugié s’est noyé ce week-end. Il faisait partie des 41 premiers immigrés libérés avec un visa permanent pour rester sur l’île. Un Nauruan qui tentait de le secourir est également mort noyé. Mais une enquête est en cours pour s’assurer qu’il s’agissait bien d’un accident. Scott Morrison, le ministre australien de l’Immigration, a exprimé ses condoléances à la famille du réfugié et de son sauveteur malchanceux. Une troisième personne a été blessée.
  • Australie: une société travaillant pour la Croix Rouge condamnée lundi pour abus de pouvoir. Mild Marketing a soutiré de l’argent à la communauté aborigène de Yarrabah, dans le Queensland. Cette société de collecte de fonds a fait du porte à porte dans le village et manipulé les habitants. L’homme qui levait les fonds a promis que la Croix Rouge financerait le petit-déjeuner des enfants à l’école de Yarrabah. Or la Croix Rouge ne mène aucun programme à Yarrabah. Il a quand même réussi à faire signer plus d’une quarantaine de personnes, qui ont autorisé la société à prélever une somme chaque mois sur leur compte. Or la majorité des habitants de Yarrabah sont pauvres. Ils vivent grâce aux allocations. Et ils n’ont pas compris ce à quoi ils s’engageaient en signant. L’auto-entrepreneur de Mild Marketing a été condamné à plus de 2000 dollars d’amende, bien qu’il ait annulé les contrats des habitants de Yarrabah pour tenter d’éviter des poursuites judiciaires.
  • Îles Salomon: le bras de fer se poursuit entre le gouvernement et les 1500 réfugiés des inondations de début avril. Ils étaient censés rentrer chez eux ce week-end, mais ils ont finalement refusé de partir. Ce n’était pas la première tentative des autorités de les renvoyer des centres d’hébergement provisoire, qui resteront donc ouverts jusqu’à la fin du mois à Honiara. La crise s’éternise. Le Trust pour le Développement des Îles Salomon, une ONG indigène salomonaise, réclame l’ouverture d’un dialogue avec le gouvernement. Les réfugiés des inondations vivaient dans des bidonvilles sur les berges des rivières à et autour d’Honiara. Le gouvernement doit leur trouver des terres et des matériaux pour reconstruire.
  • Il veut punir Julie Bishop, cette « domestique au service du gouvernement américain ». Kim Jong-Un, le dictateur nord-coréen, n’a pas apprécié les propos de la ministre australienne des Affaires étrangères sur la radio internationale américaine la semaine dernière. « Aucun régime ne peut développer son économie ou garantir sa sécurité s’il menace ses voisins et appauvrit son propre peuple. Kim Jong-Un n’est pas légitime », a déclaré Julie Bishop. « La République Démocratique du Peuple de Corée ne pardonnera jamais à ceux qui osent s’en prendre à la dignité du leader suprême, elle les punira résolument ». Nous n’avons aucun détail sur la nature de la sanction
  • Nouvelle-Zélande: décorés pour leur sang-froid. Une urologue australienne, Lydia Johns-Putra, et un anesthésiste kiwi, Bryce Curran, ont reçu la plus haute distinction néo-zélandaise, la médaille de la bravoure. En février 2011, lors du terrible séisme de Christchurch, les deux médecins ont risqué leur vie, rampé sous les décombres d’un immeuble, pour atteindre un homme coincé sous le béton. Ils ont lui sauvé la vie en l’amputant de ses deux jambes avec un canif et une scie à métaux, pour pouvoir le libérer. 18 personnes sont mortes dans l’effondrement de cet immeuble. Le bilan total de ce séisme est de 185 morts.
  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: Peter O’Neill salue la décision de la Haute Cour australienne. Mercredi dernier, la plus haute juridiction australienne a en effet rejeté le recours de plusieurs demandeurs d’asile. La Haute cour estime tout à fait légale le transfert et la détention des migrants dans un pays étranger, après leur arrivée dans les eaux australiennes. Le Premier ministre papou se félicite de cette décision. Peter O’Neill a prédit que la Cour Suprême papoue rendrait le même jugement – car un recours a aussi été déposé, par l’opposition papoue, contre la détention des demandeurs d’asile envoyés par l’Australie. Peter O’Neill rappelle que l’accueil des migrants sur son sol bénéficie aux Papous. Par exemple, la construction d’un hôpital financé par l’Australie, qui a démarré à Lae la semaine dernière.
  • Fidji: il affirme avoir été surveillé par la police spéciale pendant le sommet du Forum du Développement des Îles du Pacifique. La semaine dernière, Netani Rika assistait à Nadi au deuxième sommet du Forum créé par Franck Bainimarama. Ce porte-parole de la Conférence des Églises du Pacifique a reçu des visites répétées de policiers fidjiens à son hôtel, désireux de vérifier qui il rencontrait, etc. Selon Netani Rika, les policiers, peu discrets, auraient raconté au réceptionniste qu’il fallait garder un œil sur lui, car la Conférence des Églises du Pacifique est engagée en faveur des indépendantistes papous, or l’invité d’honneur du sommet était le Président indonésien Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Netani Rika est allé demander des comptes au commissariat le plus proche. Le commissaire a refusé de lui répondre.
  • Nouvelle-Zélande: de la crème de coco produite en Asie, mais conditionnée avec une étiquette et sous un nom samoans. C’est ce que les consommateurs néo-zélandais trouvent dans les rayons des supermarchés. Le gouvernement samoan a déposé un recours auprès de la commission du commerce néo-zélandaise pour faire retirer les produits immédiatement. « Il y a tellement d’insulaires du Pacifique en Nouvelle-Zélande, que les Asiatiques font des contrefaçons, ils font du marketing sur mesure pour cibler la communauté du Pacifique en Nouvelle-Zélande », déplore Auelua Samuela Enari, le directeur du cabinet du ministère du commerce samoan.

9) Australie: le budget d’austérité sera appliqué avec du retard

Mis à jour 23 June 2014, 14:56 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Le nouveau budget devrait entrer en vigueur le 1er juillet. Mais la plupart des mesures n’ont pas été votées par le Parlement. D’autres n’ont toujours pas fait l’objet d’un projet de loi.

Des milliers d’Australiens sont descendus dans les rues en mai après l’annonce du budget d’austérité. Ici, ils manifestent devant la bibliothèque du Victoria, à Melbourne. (Photo: Wayne Taylor / The Age)

À la mi-mai, le gouvernement Abbott a voté un budget d’austérité qui a provoqué quelques manifestations. Entre-temps, le gouvernement a pris du retard. Des millions d’Australiens, les retraités, les chômeurs, les familles, bénéficient donc d’un sursis. Kevin Andrews, le ministre des Affaires sociales, au micro d’Alexandra Kirk:

« Il est peu probable que nous ayons le temps de faire passer toutes nos mesures au Parlement d’ici le 1er juillet. Nous les soumettrons au vote du nouveau Sénat qui entre en fonction le 1er juillet et nous continuerons à mettre la pression sur le Parlement pour qu’il vote nos mesures. »

Une partie des sénateurs élus l’année dernière entrent en effet en fonction le 1er juillet. Actuellement la Coalition gouvernementale avec 34 sièges n’a pas la majorité face à l’alliance entre les Travaillistes et les Verts – qui totalisent 40 sièges.

Parmi ces mesures, il y a le gel des allocations chômage et des allocations pour les jeunes et la baisse de l’allocation de rentrée scolaire, et des allocations aux parents, particulièrement les parents célibataires. Kevin Andrews:

« La vie va continuer comme avant jusqu’à ce que nous faisions voter ces mesures et bien entendu nous préviendrons les Australiens concernés en avance, dès que nous saurons si le Sénat est prêt à voter. »

Ce retard va coûter cher à l’État, or le gouvernement Abbott se fait fort de chasser les dépenses inutiles. Kevin Andrews refuse d’estimer le coût de ce contretemps:

« Tout dépend du temps que cela prendra pour faire voter toutes nos mesures d’économie et quelle date sera ensuite choisie pour leur entrée en vigueur en douceur. »

Pis, le gouvernement n’aurait toujours pas écrit les projets de loi d’autres mesures d’économie, comme la dérégulation des droits d’inscription aux universités, et le paiement obligatoire de 7 dollars à chaque visite chez le médecin, une somme non remboursée.

En revanche, le gouvernement Abbott remonte à l’assaut contre la taxe carbone. L’actuel Sénat a déjà vote une fois contre sa suppression. Tony Abbott représente le projet d’abolition aujourd’hui. Une fois encore, la Coalition n’ayant pas la majorité, il est possible que le Sénat retoque le projet de suppression de la taxe carbone. Tony Burke, porte-parole de l’opposition sur le budget :

« Ils nous ressortent toujours le même sketch. Mais nous continuerons à voter selon nos convictions. Notre position n’a pas changé. »

Les Travaillistes et les Verts voteront donc, comme d’habitude, contre la suppression de la taxe carbone.


10) PNG PM: Calls For Resignation Are ‘Self-Serving’
O’Neill claims to have the mandate of the people to lead

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 23, 2014) – PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has branded the calls by sacked Cabinet ministers Kerenga Kua and Don Polye for him to resign as “self-serving”.

The two had urged O’Neill to resign following a move by police last to question him over the payment of K78.1 million in legal fees to Paul Paraka Lawyers.

The issue is before the court.

O’Neill said in a statement yesterday: “Kua and Polye have no mandate to make that call.

“I was mandated by the people to be the head of this government.

“If Kerenga or Polye want the mandate, they have to earn it from the people at the polls or Parliament,” O’Neill said.

“It is self-serving. All issues Kerenga is raising to justify his call are decisions of the Cabinet, not by one man, and he knows that.

“Polye’s bantering is nothing new.

“He’s been doing that since I decommissioned him as minister.”

He said Kua and Polye were allowing their emotion to influence their outbursts.

[PIR editor’s note: The National reported that ‘Kandep MP Don Polye voluntarily went to police last Friday to give his statement on his alleged involvement in the Paul Paraka Lawyers case when he was treasury minister. … He returned from an overseas trip and headed straight for the National Fraud Squad office at Konedobu in Port Moresby to be interviewed. … “I would like to see all the leaders comply with the process and laws in this country,” he said.’]

“Kerenga and others making these calls must know that I do not have any intention to resign.”

On Sir Michael Somare’s call (on Radio New Zealand) for him to step aside, O’Neill said “this mess was created during his (Somare’s) time” and he was only cleaning it up when politics took a turn for the worse.

The National

11) Gazelle MP Tabar new PNG Transport Minister

By Online Editor
3:51 pm GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Papua New Guinea

Gazelle MP Malakai Tabar is the new Papua New Guinea Transport Minister.

Tabar was sworn in on Friday afternoon by Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio, wit-nessed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and National Alliance Party Leader Patrick Pruaitch with all other NA Party MPs.

Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Governor for East Sepik and former Prime Minister was also there to witness the swearing in ceremony. Sacked Attorney-General Kerenga Kua turned up to the swearing ceremony and to join other NA Party MPs.

Prime Minister O’Neill com-mended the Party for backing him up during these last few days of political saga.

Tabar said he accepted the ministry and would do his best to maintain the transport ministry.

Party Leader Patrick Pruaitch on the other hand said that as Party Leader of the National Alliance, he accepted the de-commissioning of one of their members – in AG- Kua but also thanked the Prime Minister for giving NA another Ministry – the Transport Ministry.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has announced that the Government will ask the Police Commissioner to conduct a major investigation into the conduct of the former Taskforce Sweep chairman, Sam Koim and Bulolo MP Sam Basil.

He said this in light of “compelling evidence and reliable witnesses that Sam Koim and the Taskforce Sweep were politically com-promised”. “Evidence before the Government show that Sam Koim has been meeting with key political figures, including the Deputy Opposition leader Sam Basil, privately in their residences and hotels since 2011,” the PM said.

“Why was he meeting these political leaders in private places? He can’t be conducting interviews in private places.” “Not only this, Sam Koim has openly discussed mat-ters under investigations with his associates and people heavily linked to cer-tain political figures in the country.

“As result Sam Koim has heavily compromised his position and the integrity of the Taskforce Sweep. “I have said all along that the work of the Taskforce Sweep was politically com-promised.”

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.“It has got nothing to do for with the interest of the people.

“It was to fulfill their own selfish interest, and they have cleverly used an agency of Government, established to eradicate corruption to try and bring down the Government, by issuing warrant of arrest for the Prime Minister.”.


12) Push for West Papua

By Online Editor
10:12 am GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Fiji

The liberation of West Papua from Indonesian occupation will be a key feature of the SODELPA manifesto to be released next month.

That is the message from party leader Ro Teimumu Kepa who says they want the people of West Papua to know that theirs is not a forgotten struggle.

“SODELPA’s message to the oppressed West Papuans is: You are not alone. Support is growing for your just cause. We are with you,” Ro Teimumu said.

Her comments come after Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was hosted by Pacific leaders at the 2nd summit of the Pacific Development Islands Forum in Nadi last week.

Before leaving Indonesia last week, President Yudhoyono told Indonesian Press he would address the West Papua issue and all “misinformation” on the subject, while in Fiji. “But he was not reported to have raised the issue of West Papua publicly at the forum, despite being quoted in Indonesia that he intended to do so,” Ro Teimumu said.

As of yesterday – two days after the PIDF summit concluded, there has been no mention of discussions or resolutions from Yudhoyono on West Papua.

“We view the appearance of the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the expensive Pacific Islands Development Forum in Nadi as a diplomatic and political offensive partly related to West Papua,” Ro Teimumu said.

“The aim is to keep as many Pacific leaders as possible onside with Indonesia’s West Papua policy and to counter growing international and regional pressure in favour of the West Papuans.”

She said Prime Minister Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama had called President Yudhoyono visit “one of the greatest things that has ever happened to Fiji”.

In his opening statements at the 2nd Summit of the PIDF PM Bainimarama said Yudhoyono was uniquely qualified to help steer discussions as one of only three UN appointed leaders to the high-level panel advising it on the global development agenda beyond 2015.


13) Fiji politicians slam military chief’s comments

23 June 2014
Politicians in Fiji say the military needs to respect the will of the people if the people want the constitution changed.

The politicians were reacting to reported comments by Fiji’s military chief Mosese Tikoitoga that the RFMF would not tolerate the re-writing of the 2013 constitution.

The Labour Party says the regime’s constitution is undemocratic and will have to be amended by the new parliament.

Photo: RNZI

It has called on the military to show support for a constitution for Fiji which will ensure transparency and good governance and provide political stability.

A youth activist in Fiji Pita Waqavonovono says in the communities he’s visited, people are asking for the 2013 Constitution to be changed.

He says they were not part of the process and within the document are mechanisms that entrench the rule of the gun or the coup culture.

A former opposition leader and SODELPA candidate Mick Beddoes says the military’s comments amount to bullying and are the clearest reminder yet that free and fair elections are not possible.

The military chief has told Radio New Zealand International the military’s role is to defend the constitution but it is not for the army to take charge if a new government tried to change the constitution completely.

He says if that happened the government would be considered illegal, presidential powers would be enforced and a new election would have to take place.

14) Anna confident of becoming a parliamentarian

Avinesh Gopal
Monday, June 23, 2014

SADA Sivan Naicker is confident of winning the general election and becoming a parliamentarian.

Mr Naicker, 61, a former Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority employee now running his own business, will contest under the National Federation Party banner.

Commonly known as “anna” which means elder brother in the Tamil language, Mr Naicker stepped aside from his position as the Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam’s national president on June 17 to contest the election.

“I have been a community worker for the past 35 years and it’s my personal decision to contest the general election,” he said.

“Since I have served in cultural and sporting organisations, I thought of taking up the challenge to enter politics and contest the election.

“I know that I have tremendous support and I can say that my candidature will also be a boost for the NFP. I am confident of winning a seat in parliament.”

Originally from Koronubu in Ba, Mr Naicker worked as a Customs officer for 39 years and retired last year.

He is the patron of Nasinu Soccer Association, chairman of Valelevu Health Centre’s board of visitors and a justice of the peace among other posts he holds.

“I stepped aside as the TISI Sangam’s national president in the best interest of Sangam.

“Some Sangam members may also contest the election for some other political parties and as the head of the organisation, it’s better that I step aside and contest.

“But considering my service to the community, including the TISI Sangam, I know that I can pull a lot of votes and be in parliament after September 17,” said Mr Naicker.

15) Fiji Military To Prevent Elected Government From Rewriting Constitution
Commander Tikoitoga: ‘We will not have another coup’

By Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 21, 2014) – Fiji’s Military Forces Commander Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga says the military will not allow any elected government to rewrite the 2013 Constitution.

The constitution, Fiji’s fourth such document in 34 years – grants immunity from prosecution to everyone involved in the December 2006 coup.

In an interview with The Age, Tikoitoga is also said to have confirmed reports of beatings after the events of 2006, saying this was done to ward off civil disorder.

“We will not have another coup, as such – that’s quite definite. However, the army would not tolerate an elected government rewriting the new constitution,” he said.

On the beatings, he said: “I wouldn’t deny that these things happened.

“But a lot of these people were actually trying to instigate violence by creating anti-government movements or militant groups; they were talking on the radio and so on and if you let them continue to have a voice, you create a potentially dangerous environment.

So it was the lesser of two devils.” Meanwhile, parties like Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party (NFP) had said that if they are elected into government they would review the 2013 Constitution.


16) Proposed One Fiji to apply for registration

By Online Editor
4:00 pm GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Fiji

Another proposed party is expected to enter the political scene ahead of the September 17 election.

Proposed One Fiji Party spokesperson and volunteer, Laisa Digitaki, says it is made up of members who hope to “reclaim Fiji and her peoples true spirit of love back to the hearts of all Fiji citizens.”

The proposed party, she further says, seeks to elect honorable and competent generation of leaders to Fiji’s parliament with the sole purpose of bringing together all Fiji citizens.

“The sprit of one source, one people, one Fiji can be manifested through these new breed of Fiji leaders who possess and exercise servanthood leadership principles based on love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” Digitaki said.

The proposed is currently collecting and vetting members signatures from across Fiji before they apply for registration with the Political Parties Registrar.

To date, five political parties have been registered so far and they are FijiFirst, Fiji Labour Party (FLP), National Federation Party (NFP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).



17) No comment on PIDF restrictions – MIDA

23 June 2014
The Media Industry and Development Authority in Fiji says it cannot yet comment on claims the government restricted journalists from covering the Pacific Islands Development Forum.

The Islands Business editor, Samisoni Pareti, says he was denied accreditation to the forum and has not received an explanation why.

The Pacific Conference of Churches communications manager, Netani Rika, says he was followed by special police for the duration of the forum because of his organisation’s vocal stance on West Papua.

The chair of MIDA, Ashwin Raj, says he has not received an official complaint from any of the parties involved.

Dr Raj says MIDA is writing to the journalists in an attempt to find out all the facts before taking a stance on the issue.


18) PNG shows potential

Ropate Valemei
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.

19) Partnership to benefit 8000 farmers

Atasa Moceituba
Saturday, June 21, 2014

ABOUT 8000 farmers in the interior are expected to benefit from the partnership in high value agriculture project by the Partners in Community Development Fiji.

The five-year project, which would be implemented soon, was a scale-up program that would help the organisation reflect on their performance and ways to improve their services of reaching out to local farmers.

PCDF executive director Tevita Ravumaidama said they would conduct different trainings for their organisational development and assist farmers with ways to boost productivity, management and record-keeping of daily activities.

“There’s no fee cost. We provide training for people. This is their business and they have to put things into it sustainably. Most people wait for government assistance but this project aims to help rather than give. We want people to think differently.”

Mr Ravumaidama said they had plans to move out to other villages and outer islands but this would depend on the success of the project and collaboration with government.

“We are willing to extend this to other villages if the government is willing to partner with us. On the ground, we work with the Ministry of Agriculture because of their involvement in the daily activities of farmers.”

20) Report benefit

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, June 21, 2014

THE South Pacific Stock Exchange is encouraging companies to enter the 2014 annual report competition for the financial year ending within the period of January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.

SPSE CEO Jinita Prasad said participating organisations could see the benefits of being part of the competition, which put an edge within companies to endeavour on improving the quality of reporting and adhering to the extant accounting disclosure requirements as well as corporate governance principles.

“The judging criteria focused on the objectives of the organisation including its mission statements, aims, objectives, the chairperson and chief executive Reports, presentation of financials, timeliness and compliance with accounting standards.

“Winning a prestigious award provides further evidence that your creativity, hard work and talent adds extra value to how an annual report is perceived by the various users.

“Similar to previous years, this year’s panel of judges consists of seven independent members which includes top level financial experts who have substantial experience in a broad range of areas including accounting, auditing, tax, legal and consulting activities and more importantly in compiling, inspecting and assessing annual reports.”

She said the competition was open for four categories with deadline for submissions on July 15.

21) Jobs in Australia part of Fiji talks

By Online Editor
11:10 am GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Fiji

Australian jobs for Fijians are high on the agenda in top level talks in Canberra tomorrow.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, will meet his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop, in a bilateral meeting. Bishop had invited Ratu Inoke when she was in Fiji earlier this year as part of the Ministerial Contact Group.

Ratu Inoke flies out today in a shuttle diplomacy that includes Russia and South Korea.

Ratu Inoke said yesterday the Canberra meeting was to follow up to Bishop’s announcement in Fiji on bilateral issues after meeting the Prime Minister, Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama.

The issues, Ratu Inoke said, included the seasonal worker scheme, regionalism, three-month holiday work scheme and capacity building.

The seasonal worker scheme involves groups recruited to work in farms for specific jobs like fruit-picking.
The other scheme covers those who travel to Australia for a holiday. While they are there they can work for three months.

On Wednesday, Ratu Inoke leaves Sydney for Moscow via Seoul.

In Moscow, he will hold bilateral talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday.

“In the evening I will host a reception to celebrate our 40th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Fiji and Russia,” Ratu Inoke said.

On Saturday, he will leave Moscow for Busan, Korea, to attend a Pacific Island Countries/Korea Climate Change meeting on 01 – 02 July.


22) Fiji Airways shortlists two Asian destinations, upgrades economy-class meals following complaints

By Online Editor
10:02 am GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Fiji

Fiji Airways has shortlisted two new Asian destinations, one of which the national airline plans to start flying to after the arrival of another new Airbus A330 in 2016.

Fiji Airways managing director/chief executive, Stefan Pichler, confirmed this to Sun Business. Pichler, however, said he could not reveal the names of these two destinations at the moment.

This confirmation follows the latest announcement of the overhaul of its entire on-board flight experience which includes new meals, free inflight entertainment, new magazine and new duty free products.

“As I mentioned earlier, we are going to get another A330 in 2016 and this A330 will most certainly go to Asia,” Pichler said.

“Now we have two destinations on short list. We still need to compare them and see what the partnerships can be done.

“Finally when we have done that, which we hope will be done by the end of this year, then we will know where to go.”

Whilst Fiji Airways plans to tap into the Asian market, it is not forgetting the region.

Pichler once again reiterated the airline’s commitment to enhance it’s South Pacific Network.

He referred to talks with Samoa the past week where there are plans to expand the services.

But, Pichler highlighted: “Some of these new routes destinations also link to Air Service Agreements with the countries.

“So when there is Air Service Agreement between the countries, then we can fly. When there is none, or something restricting us, we can’t.

“Politicians and the Government have to work hand-in-hand with us to enable us to do this.”.

Meanwhile, Fiji Airways has upgraded its economy-class meal service, effective immediately, after taking into account a significant amount of negative feedback from its passengers.

The airline has removed its box presentation concept and most of the burger and wrap selections and will re-introduce tray service with hot meals in economy class on flights to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

“One of our core business values is that we listen to customers in order to make smart business decisions,” Fiji Airways chief executive Stefan Pichler said. “Our on-board catering, especially on the short and medium haul sectors, attracted their fare share of negative feedback since introduction and we have been taking it all into account.”

Many economy class travellers from Australia have posted reviews of their flights on the Skytrax website, and several have complained about the food.

“The food is awful,” one passenger said. “Nobody expects great food on a plane but what they serve is just a small bun with some sort of nondescript patty, coleslaw, juice and a biscuit. Improve the service and the food and this airline could be considerably better.”

Another Australian customer said the food was “just brown slop with a bone in it and rice”, while a third said: “I would hardly feed it to my dog.”

Members of the Qantas Airways frequent flyer program often redeem their points for use on Fiji Airways services to Nadi because the Australian mainline carrier does not offer its own flights to the destination, although Jetstar and Virgin Australia do.

In addition to the immediate upgrade to its economy-class food, Fiji Airways will launch a signature dish designed by Castaway Island Resort executive chef Lance Seeto for its business class customers from September 1. The dish will feature top quality Fijian produce. A signature welcome cocktail and mocktail will also be introduced, along with a hors d’oeuvre service and specially selected wines.

Pichler said the airline planned further changes to onboard products, including in-flight entertainment, in-flight duty free and the in-flight magazine which will be rolled out in stages.

Fiji Airways’s goal is to become a “leading global boutique airline”, and Pichler said addressing the in-flight experience was a key priority.


23) National Fisheries Authority acts on illegal fishing warning

By Online Editor
4:12 pm GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority has stepped up in its efforts to comply with the recent ‘yellow card’ issued by European Union to Papua New Guinea relating to illegal fishing in our waters.

Last Thursday, the authority launched its inshore patrol craft Gabut in Vanimo, West Sepik, to protect the country against illegal fishing.

The boat would be jointly used by the NFA and Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) to provide security.

PNGDF national working agency committee working team representative major Peter Waiaki said: “With the limited resources that are available to us, we will ensure that our waters are protected so that only those that have license to fish can operate in our waters.”

NFA monitoring, control and surveillance acting executive manager Gisa Komangin said Papua New Guinea had to step up in its efforts to protect its marine resources.

“They (EU) tagged Papua New Guinea with yellow card. They said we are promoting illegal fishing,” Komangin said.

“Maybe we allow illegal fishing to happen in our water because we have not been managing our policies properly even though we have better management tools in place.

“But EU said we have fallen short in terms of planning that’s why we were given yellow tag.

“Yellow tag is a warning. But locally, what can you do to combat such issues in Papua New Guinea.

West Sepik acting governor Paul Negai said “We have a bigger market in Europe.

“European Union has given us a warning that if we don’t combat illegal fishing in our country, Papua New Guinea will lose the tuna market.”.


24) Arrests likely after houses torched in PNG

23 June 2014
Papua New Guinea police have been ordered to arrest the soldiers involved in the burning of nine houses, and the destruction of several others, in Kirakira village in Port Moresby.

It had been reported a group of soldiers had burned down the houses as a revenge attack after a soldier died in a brawl with villagers.

The acting police commander Geoffrey Vaki says he has ordered staff from the Criminal Investigation Department to interview the villagers and that arrests are imminent.

25) PNG Corruption Chief To Be Subject Of Investigation
Taskforce Sweep’s Koim called ‘politically compromised’

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 23, 2014) – The PNG Government will ask acting Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki to investigate the conduct of Sam Koim and Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil regarding the operations of the Investigation Task Force Sweep.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said there was “compelling evidence and reliable witnesses” to prove that chairman Koim and the government anti-corruption agency had been “politically compromised”.

He said evidence showed that Koim had been meeting key political figures, including Basil “privately in their residences and hotels since 2011”.

O’Neill also accused Koim of openly discussing “matters under investigation with his associates and people heavily linked to certain political figures in the country”.

“As result Sam Koim has heavily compromised his position and the integrity of the Taskforce Sweep,” he said.

O’Neill said the investigation would determine:

Whether Koim’s conduct in meeting these political leaders compromised ongoing investigations into the National Planning Department and the disappearance of about K2 billion for NADP, RESI and the capital works programme;
Whether Koim’s conduct deliberately compromised the investigations into payment made to Paraka Lawyers;
Whether Koim’s conduct politically compromised the work of the Taskforce Sweep; and,
Allegations of certain member of the Taskforce including Koim acquiring properties and assets worth millions of kina in PNG and overseas.

The investigation will also cover the spending of the K30 million allocated to the Taskforce Sweep.

“This Government is committed to fight against corruption and the Commissioner of Police will be given every support to carry out the investigation,” he said.

O’Neill said warrant issued for his arrest last Monday was a “major political plot by self-serving people to bring down the Government”.

“It is got nothing to do for with the interest of the people.

“It was to fulfill their own selfish interest,” he said.

Koim said last week after the disbanding of the agency that the decision could have been made because of the cases they were investigating.

The National

26) Talks on RAMSI held in Solomon Islands

By Online Editor
3:55 pm GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI Officials held consultations to review the regional assistance mission, Friday.

Speaking at the consultation, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said the talks were held to reflect on the lessons learnt to assist Solomon Islands advance into the future.

“We felt that it is an appropriate time for us to re-look at the impact of RAMSI and to reflect on the lessons that have been learned and how that can be applied as Solomon Islands move forward with the post RAMSI, but am sure that all of us will remember that the tensions that have happened in our country and our collective inability to solve the problem that we have gone through and as a result we have the intervention of RAMSI in Solomon Islands in 2003.”

RAMSI Permanent Secretary, Jeffrey Kauha says the review will assist the Government to ensure the sustainability of such assistance in the future.

“As you may aware the Solomon Islands Government in June 2013 has engaged the services of an independent review team to review the RAMSI mission, its programmes, its assistance modalities, its successes, challenges and shortfalls to assist the government to ensure that sustainability of such assistance in the future is important.”

The RAMSI Permanent Secretary adds the consultation involves participation from all government institutions, private sectors and NGOs.


27) Voices of youth need to be heard in climate change, gender and sustainable development – Christina Ora

By Online Editor
4:10 pm GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Fiji

The voices of young people should be considered by decision makers in the Pacific because they will live with the impacts and consequences of climate change and gender inequality, says Christina Ora of Solomon Islands. Ms Ora was in Nadi recently for the Pacific Partnerships to strengthen gender, climate change response and sustainable development. She was representing young people of Solomon Islands and the Pacific Youth Council. She shared her aspirations for young people in the Pacific with PACNEWS Editor, Ms Makereta Komai

Christina Ora: Yes very much so. As you know, young people represent almost half of the population of some Pacific Island Countries. For us climate change will be our future and will affect us more. We will see the drastic effects of climate change in our lifetime. This is the reason why we should get more young people involved in the decision making process. A time will come when we will look up to our leaders to be accountable to ask them whether they negotiated well to secure our future or not. This is the question they will have to answer for us. As a young person from Solomon Islands coming, this meeting has enabled me network and secure partnerships with other youth groups, civil society groups and even with government representatives. It has provided us young people a space to be heard about views on gender, climate change and sustainable development.

PACNEWS: Are you happy that youth voices are also included in the outcomes document of the Pacific Partnership on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development?

Christina Ora: In the past, young people have been represented at numerous meetings but we have had to work hard to lobby for our issues to be reflected in the outcomes of meetings. At this meeting, it’s not me or the young people are pushing to be included but they are already inclusive in their discussions. It was them that are saying ‘include young people’ in every aspect of discussions. It made us feel good that this group is inclusive of not just young people but women’s groups, civil society groups, people with disability etc.

PACNEWS: What are some issues you raised on behalf of young people of Solomon Islands?

Christina Ora: I have highlighted an experience about the flooding disaster in Honiara last month. Young people were part of the assessment efforts. We went out the affected communities, sat down with the families and talked to them about their difficulties after a natural disaster. We are happy to be included in this rehabilitation effort because some of the questions asked reflect issues that affect young people. The answers will form part of government’s policies on relief efforts in the future. It also gave young people involved an insight into that process. What we found at the end of the assessment is the need for better gender-based questions in the assessment questions because when a disaster strikes the needs of different groups are different. I also highlighted that in the community young people can easily mobilise through social media and assist with relief work. One of the things that I saw while working in the community is that some women are already mobilizing other women’s groups in rural settings. These groups are quite influential in community projects. NGOs working in these communities should take note of the work done by these informal groups and help strengthen and support their work.

PACNEWS: So you have been able to build some new regional networks for your youth groups in Solomon Islands, here at this meeting in Nadi?

Christina Ora: Definitely! I have sat down with the youth group from Tonga, Tuvalu, and Samoa under the Pacific Youth Council umbrella to hold face to face discussions on what is happening in our various countries. I have also built networks with women’s groups and CSO’s from around the Pacific that are here. We have a UN Women office back home but we don’t what activities they do because we don’t go and knock on their door to ask them their activities. But after this meeting, I will go back and talk to them and find out if there are opportunities to support young women in Solomon Islands.

PACNEWS: Do you sometimes feel that young people remain ‘left out’ of decision making process, whether it’s in government, civil society or private sector setting? Has that improved over the years?

Christina Ora: On certain issues it has, and in other areas, not so much. For instance in climate change, we can feel baby steps where we are beginning to see youth voices coming out. This is evident in the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) grouping where young people are involved in the process. For example, Brianna Fruean of Samoa who is involved with the Samoan Youth Council who is helping to mobilise young people in Samoa in terms of the discussion towards the major global SIDS conference to be hosted by Samoa later this year. On other issues like youth unemployment and sexual reproductive health, it’s difficult to get our voices heard because they still have the blanket of culture wrapped around them tightly. We need our parents, grandparents, our elders within our households and communities including those in government to break the silence in some sense.

PACNEWS: What happens now – when you go back home? What will be your key messages to young people in Solomon Islands?

Christina Ora: Seven years ago I was totally different person that I am today. I won’t be able to come and talk to you like this but I have been empowered to speak up and speak out on issues that affect young people, not only in Solomon Islands but around the region and around the globe. I have now become vocal on issues that affect young people because of the exposure and capacity building trainings that I have had over the years. Although I don’t have a degree or a certificate to talk about these issues but I know that my voice or the voice of young people matters. I can go back now and explore how best our young people back home can best fit into the national discussion on the gender framework. At this gathering we had Mrs Helen Beck who is with our Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, our government representatives and NGOs – this is the network that young people need to tap into. If we can build on these networks then we would have achieved a lot at this meeting. I think we need to go back and build on these networks and partnerships. This has been a huge learning curve for me personally and I hope to share that with young people when I go back home…PACNEWS

28) Pacific Islands Development Forum signs agreement with largest global environment organization

By Online Editor
4:06 pm GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Fiji

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) entered into an agreement last Friday declaring their commitment to collaborate on initiatives related to sustainable development, particularly in advancing the concept of a green economy.

PIDF and IUCN collaborated on several activities in the past year including the establishment of PIDF and the development of its strategic mission, purpose and function that define the strategic underpinnings and approach to inclusive sustainable development. Both organisations have also collaborated on the Green Growth Leaders Coalition initiative for the Pacific.

According to the Interim PIDF Secretary General, Feleti Teo, “this is a formal endorsement of an already exiting collaborative and cooperative working arrangement between PIDF and IUCN. IUCN was one of the first partners to recognise the meaningful contribution that PIDF can make to the regional efforts toward achieving inclusive sustainable development. And for that PIDF is most grateful”.

The agreed areas of partnership under the signed Memorandum of Understanding are focused on sustainable development, the protection of the environment and the advancement of a Green Economy in the region. The MOU provides a platform for cooperation as the two organisations work together in pursuit of environmental sustainability in the region.

“Partnering with the largest global environment organisation is a significant achievement in particular because of PIDF’s concentrated focus on enabling green-blue Pacific economies,” adds Teo.

PIDF was established in 2013 to empower Pacific people in economic developments using the green-blue economy principles. IUCN brings value as a global membership-based organization that includes governments, NGOs and expertize that can assist PIDF and support their environmental-based initiatives.

IUCN firmly believes that a Green Economy should be based on a clear recognition of the fundamental dependence of human wellbeing on nature. As such, biodiversity and ecosystems need to be kept at the centre of a green economy transition.

IUCN Oceania Regional Office Regional, Director Taholo Kami also welcomed the signing and added, “PIDF provides a unique platform that will complement the regional organizations by bringing a focus on multi-stakeholder participation on important sustainable development issues including big decisions on the environment and biodiversity conservation.”

The MOU is for a period of five years.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact: For IUCN: Salote Sauturaga-Rinakama, Communications Officer, IUCN Oceania Regional Office ph+6793319084, m+679 7437512, e



29) Beck on UN board

Solomon Star
Monday, June 23, 2014

SOLOMON Islands is the only Pacific country represented on the United Nations Women Executive Board.

Its representative is Helen Beck, the Counsellor at the Solomon Islands Mission in New York.

Sharing her experiences with civil society organisations including women and youth groups from around the region at a meeting in Nadi last week, Mrs Beck said Solomon Islands decided to be part of the UN Women executive board because of the many gender challenges that exist in the Pacific Island nation.

“Statistics showing an alarming rate of violence against women (VAW) prompted us to stack reality to address the national phenomena, affecting half of our population made up of women,” she said.

30) Child labour warning

Felix Chaudhary
Monday, June 23, 2014

USING children to beg or to sell food was a form of child labour and parents attending the opening of the Farmers Carnival in Lautoka were warned against engaging their children in the illegal activity.

Divisional police commander West Senior Superintendent Salacieli Navilawasa said they noted an increase in the number of children being used to beg in the Sugar City despite government programs that were implemented to assist the poor and their children.

“Despite the free education system in place, children are still being sent by their parents or guardians to beg on the street in the name of education,” he said.

“This indicates that parents are engaging children to meet family commitments which are supposed to be the responsibility of parents.

“For whatever the reason may be, child begging is a form of child labour.”

Mr Navilawasa said another example of child labour was children being used to sell roti parcels around the city.

He said children should be at home studying in the evenings and not forced to sell roti parcels or food for their education needs.


31) We are ready to play host MSG Festival of Arts, Parkop says

By Online Editor
3:54 pm GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea National Capital District (NCD) Governor Powes Parkop says Port Moresby is ready to receive people from Melanesian countries for their 5th Festival of Art and Culture.

“The festival is a celebration of Melanesian arts, culture and music and I am looking forward to a successful celebration,” said Parkop.

Parkop who opened the festival village on Saturday said the festival “reminds us of our history and past, our culture and values as Melanesians”.

“We must remind ourselves that values are important,” he said.

“They are what make us who we are. If we forget them, abandon them, it will be lost in the global community.”

The opening ceremony of the village was to formalise the occupation of traditional houses and stalls.

“As your host, I want to ensure all of us, especially our visitors, that Port Moresby is ready to host you,” he said.

Parkop said the festival village would be an asset for the city. The NCD will take over the facility or partner with the National Cultural Commission to manage it.

Meanwhile, Maprik MP John Simon says ourtradition and culture hold our society together.

Simon has been supporting men from his home district in East Sepik to build the Maprik House of the Abelam Society in the festival village in Port Moresby. It will be used during the Melanesian Festival of Arts beginning this week.

He was proud to have a house from the society built in the festival village which “represents the Maprik people of Sepik”.

Simon talked about his childhood experience of “stories about the wonderful cultures and traditions.”
And he noticed as he was growing up how the same cultures and traditions had been “falling apart”.

“When these things are falling apart, we have problems in our society,” he said.


32) Samoa break 16-year drought with win in Fiji

By Online Editor
4:14 pm GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Fiji

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 this 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.


33) Belgium beat Russia 1-0 to advance

Monday, June 23, 2014

Update: 5:35AM Divock Origi sent Belgium into the last 16 of the World Cup when the teenager struck an 88th minute winner to secure a 1-0 victory against Russia in a largely lifeless Group H match at the Maracana this morning.

He rifled in just minutes after Kevin Mirallas crashed a free kick against the base of the Russian post to give Belgium six points from two games.

Russia have one point with South Korea and Algeria meeting in the other Group H match in Porto Alegre this morning.

Apart from a rousing finale when Belgium finally awoke from their lethargy, the match was one of the poorest in the tournament so far with both teams regularly booed by the 73,000 crowd.

Despite a few flashes of inspiration from Belgium’s right-winger Dries Martens in the first half and their attacking finish at the end, the match never rose above the largely forgettable.

Mertens did his best to spark Belgium into life before the break giving left back Dmitry Kombarov a torrid time, but although he was a constant threat, none of his work produced a goal.

He fired into the side netting and had another effort across the face of goal before the break as Belgium sought the victory that would put them into the knockout stages.

Russia had what appeared to be a decent penalty claim turned down when Toby Alderweireld appeared to catch Maksim Kanunnikov just inside the area and missed a great chance just before halftime when Alexander Kokorin miscued his header wide.

Belgium skipper Vincent Kompany recovered from a groin strain to take part and made some typically robust defensive tackles, but his left-back partner Thomas Vermaelen injured his knee in the warm-up and although he started the game he was replaced by Jan Vertonghen midway through the first half.

34) Algeria stuns South Korea

Monday, June 23, 2014

Update: 9:22AM Algeria opened the goal-scoring floodgates, swamping South Korea 4-2 in a thrilling World Cup Group H clash this morning that kept hopes of securing a spot in the last 16 alive and triggered celebrations across the Arab nation.

Algeria’s first World Cup victory since 1982 moved it into second place in the group on three points behind Belgium, who beat Russia 1-0 earlier in the day to top the standings on six.

The only Arab presence in the tournament, the ‘Desert Foxes’ have never made it past the first round but are now in pole position to earn a spot in the knockout phase.

Belgium has already booked one of the group’s two slots in the last 16.

South Korea, however, were not about to throw in the towel and started the second half with an urgency missing at the start, Son Heung-min driving a low shot past Rais Mbolhi to cut the deficit to 3-1.

The Asians continued to press forward and Ki Sung-yeung forced a sensational diving save from Mbolhi with a thundering long range shot.

On the back foot, Algeria took the steam out of the Korean rally when Yacine Brahimi netted on the counter-attack making them the first African team to score four goals in a World Cup match.

The end-to-end action continued, the never-say-die Koreans pulling another one back in 72nd minute when Koo Ja-cheol scored from a scramble in front of the Algerian net to make it 4-2.

35) Japan beats Italy to extend winning streak

Monday, June 23, 2014

TOKYO – Japan’s forward line put in a dynamic performance as rugby’s Asian champions extended their record winning streak to 10 games with a nailbiting 26-23 victory over Italy on Saturday.

Male Sau’s bulldozing try on the hour mark ultimately proved the difference for Japan but the home side had to survive a nervous finish before recording their first win in six meetings with the Azzurri.

“The great thing today was we won,” Japanese and former Wallaby coach Eddie Jones said. “We didn’t play well but it’s a testament to the guys that we’re beginning to win when things are not going well for us.”

Japan struggled in the lineout but punched above their weight in the scrum, while Italian coach Jacques Brunel slammed his butter-fingered players as the Six Nations side lost their ninth straight game.

“We made way too many mistakes. We gave away too many penalties and committed 12 turnovers — you can’t beat a team like Japan if you play like that.”

Japan are set to break into the world’s top 10 for the first time, but Jones insists all that matters is next year’s World Cup.

“That’s all I’m worried about. We’ve got to keep winning but we’ve got to win at the World Cup.

“It’s no use winning up to the World Cup and not winning once you get there — like the (Japan) soccer team.

“I want to make the quarter-finals of the World Cup and become the most popular sports team in Japan.”

Japan are in Pool B at the World Cup in England, alongside South Africa, Scotland, Samoa and the United States.

They disappointed at the 2011 World Cup under former All Black John Kirwan, beaten by hosts New Zealand, France and Tonga before drawing with Canada.

36) France faces new pressure

Monday, June 23, 2014

RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil – Having captured people’s attention at the World Cup with some scintillating attacking football, France’s players are now in unknown territory after raising expectations back home.

“Vertigineux” (vertiginous) was the front page headline of sports daily L’Equipe yesterday, illustrating how France has hit new heights with a photo of striker Olivier Giroud leaping into the arms of his teammates after scoring in the 5-2 rout of Switzerland. The emphatic victory followed a 3-0 win over Honduras in the team’s opener in Group E.

“No one was expecting this result,” centre-half Raphael Varane said. “We exceeded our expectations and it surprised us in a positive way.”

Le Parisien’s headline translated as “We Love These Blues,” reflecting how France has won the fans over again after the World Cup shambles of four years ago, when its reputation hit rock-bottom following a training ground strike.

Now France, which faces Ecuador on Thursday, has to back up its early promise.

“We have to stay humble because we know that people will be expecting much more from us now,” said Mathieu Valbuena, who scored one goal and set up another for Giroud.

None of the current France players have been in this position before at a World Cup. They were more used to hostile criticism from the media and the jeers of their home fans amid the fallout of that infamous strike.

“We can’t get carried away because the road is still long,” captain Hugo Lloris said. “It’s the job of the older players to get the message across to the younger ones.”

The European Championship two years ago repaired the damage a little, but the performance in the quarter-final defeat to Spain was unconvincing.

w: www.voiceofmelanesia.

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