Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 999 (25 June 2014)
1) Special MSG meeting in Port Moresby, Strong Fijian presence at 2014 Arts Festival in PNG
By Online Editor
09:55 am GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill Tuesday welcomed the Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and Spokesperson of the FLNKS, and Co-Chair of the Special MSG Leaders Summit, Victor Tutugoro during his courtesy call in Port Moresby.
PM O’Neill on behalf of the Government and People of Papua New Guinea said I am greatly honoured by your visit and warmly welcome you to PNG on this occasion of the Special Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit.
“The Special MSG Leaders Summit which will be held on the 26 June, 2014, will also discuss the outcomes of MSG’s Special Mission to Indonesia led by the Foreign Minister of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, MSG’s candidatures for the post of the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and the future of MSG following its 25 years Silver Jubilee,” Prime Minister O’Neill said..
He said Tutugoro was elected at the Assembly of the Northern Province since 2005, and has been the 2nd Vice-President during 2005 – 2009 Mandate. He is also currently the second vice-president of the Northern Province under this mandate (2009 – 2014), and in charge of “Health, Social Issues and Societal Issues”, “Economy Development Division” and “Environment Division”.
“Newest Chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG); after having been the spokesperson of the FLNKS from 2002 to 2010, in charge of the external relations of the FLNKS since 2010 and spokesperson of the FLNKS at the MSG,” PM O’Neill said.
Meanwhile, Fiji will be sending a 100 member contingent of artists, performers and musicians for the 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea this week.
Government’s Director within the Department of Culture and Heritage, Peni Cavuilagi said that “the National Organising Committee based at the Fiji Arts Council had mobilised a strong contingent that included officials to represent Fiji at the festival”.
The Fijian delegation accompanied by the Permanent Secretary for iTaukei, Savenaca Kaunisela, will leave the country today ahead of the opening ceremony on Saturday.
Countries that have confirmed participation for the festival include PNG as host country, Fiji, Solomon Islands, West Papua, Timor Leste, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Torres Strait.
The 2-week festival begins on the 28th of June and ends on the 11th of July 2014.
2) Participants For 5th Melanesian Arts Festival Start Arriving In PNG
Culture and Tourism Minister offers assurances of safety
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 25, 2014) – Participants of the 5th Melanesian of Arts Festival will start arriving in the country today, Culture and Tourism Minister Boka Kondra said.
Local participants from outside Port Moresby have already arrived and are gearing up for the official opening on Saturday and the programme.
He said satellite venues in Mt Hagen, Wewak, Kokopo and Alotau had been fully funded and were prepared to go ahead with the programme.
Kondra assured the festival would be delivered effectively on time and it would be trouble-free.
“I’m appealing to all citizens to join hands and celebrate this important festival. We will deliver it on time, effectively and trouble free.”
Today, the Indonesian, Solomon Islands and Fijian participants will arrive.
Kondra said the Indonesians we will have about 219 participants and the Solomon Islanders and the Fijians have over 200 participants. New Caledonia has 280 participants.
In terms of security, he assured the visitors and locals that there would not be any disturbances to the programmes.
3) Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 June 2014
- Prime Minister Natuman has left the country to attend an MSG summit in Port Moresby. One of the main items on their agenda is the report of the MSG ministerial visit to West Papua earlier in the year. There will also be a report concerning candidates for the position of Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum. Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu occupies the post of Acting Prime Minister during the absence of Natuman reported VBTC News this morning.
- Radio Vanuau also advised the signing today of the first contract for subsidized shipping to remote outer islands. The outer islands of Tafea Province are the first to benefit under the scheme, and Daily Post today advises MV Touraken has won the contract. The Asian Development Bank and a New Zealand grant are providing the funds for the service along with the Vanuatu Government. The Vanuatu Inter-island Shipping Support Project governs the initiative worth 2.4 billion vatu. Tender documents for the operations to West Coast Santo and Torba Province will be issued soon by the Ministry of Public Works
- An interesting letter in yesterday’s Daily Post highlights the desirability of using the tendering process in projects such as the airport planned for Rentabau. The advice of independent technical advisors in the fields of finance, economics, civil aviation and engineering, along with legal advice, should be sought the letter writer said. “The government task force members tried to defend the government by justifying” that “the deal would count as a catalyst to boost our economy.”
- Today’s Daily Post reports Vanuatu not participating in the Fifth Melanesian Arts Festival beginning Friday owing to lack of funds. Vanuatu Kaljeral Senta (VKS) Director, Marcellin Abong, said the previous PM had assured him there would be money to send a delegation. On this basis a 28-man dance team from Tongoa had been in the capital for the last three months preparing, he said. (PM Natuman returns to Vanuatu before the weekend following the MSG ministerial summit.)
- In Daily Post Letters today, consultant Levi Tarosa urges the government to use”Unimproved Land Value” as the basis for determining appropriate land rental figures when it comes to re-instate the rent review process. He supports government in reviewing land rentals.
4) SDA church in Samoa to worship on Sundays
Updated 14 August 2012, 16:46 AEST
The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Samoa has decided it’s official day of worship will be Sunday.
This follows a disagreement over what day constitutes the sabbath when Samoa recently changed days by moving the international dateline to the east, so as to be on the same day of the week as Australia and New Zealand.
The sabbath day is a central part of SDA beliefs, so having some congregations worshipping on a Sunday and others on a Saturday was a serious theological challenge.
Ben Tofilau, the Chief Financial Officer of the Samoan Seventh Day Adventist Church, tells Bruce Hill a panel of biblical researchers has now decided the issue, and almost everyone has accepted it.
Speaker:Ben Tofilau, the Chief Financial Officer of the Samoan Seventh Day Adventist Church.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
5) US state of Hawaii begins investigating the introduction of marijuana dispensary centres
Updated 25 June 2014, 18:15 AEST
Geraldine Coutts and staff
The US state of Hawaii is looking into the introducing marijuana dispensary centres for medical patients.
The American state of Hawaii has begun looking into options for opening medical marijuana dispensary centres.
Hawaii passed a medical marijuana law in 2000 and is now one of 22 US states, as well as the District of Colombia, which permits the use of cannabis for health reasons.
Over 13-thousand people are registered medical marijuana patients in state, but now Hawaii wants to take the next step and open dispensaries.
The Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Task Force, which is investigating the process, met for the first time on Wednesday.
Lawyer and member of the task force, Della Belatti says the investigation won’t be rushed.
“One of the things we are really going to be looking at is how do we provide safe access to our medical patients but still address the security concerns which have been raised,” she said.
“There are security concerns around where and how it (marijuana) is going to be grown.”
Ms Belatti says the first meeting of the task force allowed people to voice the concerns about the proposal, particularly when it comes to the exposure of the product to children.
“Just in our very first meeting I think there were a lot of concerns expressed about making sure the program has medical integrity,” she said.
“There are concerns about how many locations on each island.”
Unlike the US states of Colorado and Washington, currently the use of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal in Hawaii.
Ms Belatti believes investigating the establishment of marijuana dispensary centres could improve access to the drug for those who medically need it.
“It’s (marijuana) available for patients who are qualified, they have to have some sort of debilitating disease which is outlined in the law,” she said.
“With dispensaries you can also look at quality control and knowing what’s in the medicine you are taking.
“I think right now in the home grown system that we have, it’s sort of hit and miss and that is the experience in a number of states.”
The task force will continue to meet over the coming months before presenting its findings a the end of the year.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
6) Samoa MPs Express Opposition To Constitutional Changes
Government proposes phasing out Individual Voters Seats
By Lance Polu
APIA, Samoa (Talamua, June 24, 2014) – At least two Samoa government MPs have been vocal against the Constitutional amendments that phase out the current 2 Individual Voters seats in parliament and the amendment to the appointment of the Head of State.
Former Finance Minister Papali’i Niko Lee Hang asked the Prime Minister that the amendment to phase out the two individual seats be implemented after the general elections if the results will see the seats go to the Opposition party. The amendment creates two Urban Seats to replace the current Individual Voters seats and the voters roll will be transferred under the new seats.
[PIR editor’s note: Currently the two Individual Voters Seats are reserved seats in Parliament that are elected by citizens of non-indigenous Samoan heritage on a non-territorial basis.]
“I am sad that our support of the government is not being recognized when the seats are to be phased out when we are on the government side,” said Papali’i.
“With due respect Prime Minister I must declare that I do not support this amendment.”
The Prime Minister then reminded the party MPs of their obligations to the party and declaration as members when they entered the party in the first place.
“When it comes to constitutional amendments, I need all the support of the party members,” the PM told the House.
The Prime Ministers reminder casts a shadow back to 2009 when the current leader of the Opposition and former Minister Joe Keil were voted out of the HRRP party when they opposed the road switch then.
Also vocal against the constitutional amendment on the appointment of the Head of State is Siumu MP, Tu’u’u Anasi’i Leota who said that the amendments were never discussed in caucus. He said his independence as an MP will not be compromised when it comes to issues where he has to choose what he feels is right.
“We often talk about how it is a sin if we fail to do what we know is right,” he said. “The appointment of the Head of State has been politicized,” he said.
The amendment said the Head of State will be appointed by Parliament on the advice of the political party in government.
The amendments are now with the parliamentary committee that is chaired by the Speaker of the House and is to report back to parliament in three months’ time.
Parliament’s next sitting is in mid August.
7) Samoa Ministry Of Revenue Staff ‘Dishonest’ Inquiry Finds
Leaked report points to ‘corrupt network operating’ within Customs
By Lanuola Tupufia
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, June 23, 2104) – A Parliamentary Special Inquiry Committee appointed to investigate the allegation that the “Ministry of Revenue staff are dishonest in revenue collection” has found the claim to be true.
Made by the Member of Parliament for Gagaemauga No. 2, Levaopolo Talatonu Vaai in Parliament on 20 June 2013, the allegation resulted in the Speaker of Parliament, La’auli Leuatea Polata’ivao, backing a motion for a special investigation.
Now, a copy of the Committee’s report, leaked to the Samoa Observer, has backed Levaopolo, calling on Parliament to accept and “take note” of their finding.
“The Committee confirms the allegation by the Honourable Member,” the report’s conclusion reads. But that’s not all.
With regards to the release of goods from Customs without clearance, the Committee suspects that the cases they investigated “may be indicative of a corrupt network operating from time to time within the Ministry.”
In terms of handling cash stored at the Ministry’s vault, the Committee found that there was “total negligence on the part of the Ministry.” The report goes on say that the Ministry failed to abide by “the audit requirements of monetary controls” and had “breached the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act 2001.”
The Inquiry was initially chaired by former Associate Minister, Lautafi Fio Purcell. However, when he was appointed as the Minister of Public Enterprises following Faumuina Tiatia Liuga’s resignation, the Chairmanship role was handed to another member of the Committee, the Associate Minister of Justice, Taefu Lemi.
He was assisted by Vaimauga M.P., Lefau Harry Schuster as the vice-chairman.
Other members of Parliament included were Tialavea Fea Seigafolava (H.R.P.P), Afualo Dr. Wood Salele (Tautua), Papali’i Taeu Masipau (Tautua) and Tuisa Tasi Patea (H.R.P.P). The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Fepulea’i Letufuga Ropati, was also a member.
On 20 June 2013, Levaopolo had accused the Ministry of being dishonest in collecting revenue. The allegation caused the Member of Parliament from Falealupo, Aeau Dr.
Peniamina Leavai to move a motion for Levao to table evidence to substantiate his claims. The motion was carried and Levao provided the House with evidence, which became the basis of the special investigation.
Among a stack of papers tabled by Levaopolo were a list of voyage numbers, consignee list, shipping agents list and a list of the type of goods.
Also tabled were Customs clearance papers among other documents.
“The Committee found that the cash in this vault had been there for up to 6months,” the report reads.
“This is an extremely lengthy period which reflects total negligence on the part of the Ministry. The Committee found that the Ministry had not abided by the audit requirements on monetary controls.
“They had also breached the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act 2001.”
According to the report, the committee recommends for the “Ministry to Review its processes”. It also suggested to have outstanding fees, “the remaining 6,599 entries left hanging on the system to be cleared”.
The Committee noted that the allegations that made by the M.P was refuted by the CEO of MoR who stated that “these outstanding entries have all been paid yet there are reasons why the entries remain hanging on the system.
“The Committee is mindful of the contradictions, first the majority of the entries are not for unpaid and unclear goods – this is confirmed when 21,967 of the hanging entries were cleared by August 2013 without any revenue paid to the Ministry.
“However, as previously mentioned, the Member’s allegation is partially true as the Ministry did receive some revenue as a result of the hanging entries included in the evidence.
“The remaining 6,599 hanging entries to date has not yet been cleared and we have no way of knowing whether these contains unpaid duties until they are cleared.
“The Committee therefore cannot put much emphasis on this point as both claims have faults.”
Asked for a comment, Levaopolo told the Samoa Observer that the allegations were not personal. He said he was playing his role as an M.P to ensure public accounts are accounted for and are well monitored.
“I’m being paid by taxpayers money and I’m required to do research on these things,” he said.
“What I raised is very useful because it will contribute in ensuring revenue for our country is collected and if the revenues were better monitored, the country wouldn’t have had to loan so much for the past years.”
Levaopolo added that by “digging this up” it will help “inform the Prime Minister about some of the areas that he is not aware of.”
Levaopolo pointed out that he doesn’t just speak about “rubbish in Parliament.”
Rather, what he talks about is “what is useful for the country.
“(The Ministry) it needed to be right because it has been happening for years,” he said.
“Like I mentioned before, it is good to help the C.E.O, Minister and the staff on their work so that they can improve.”
The report has been tabled before Parliament and it could come up for discussion when Parliament continues today.
8) French Polynesian Court rules in favour of President Flosse
By Online Editor
4:31 pm GMT+12, 25/06/2014, French Polynesia
The French Polynesian president Gaston Flosse has been given a reprieve after a ruling by a Papeete court.
The Court Of Appeal has quashed a referral order in the corruption case involving President Flosse and the French advertising executive Hubert Haddad.
In January, the criminal court gave the two a five-year prison sentence and a US$110,000 fine for corruption.
The appeal court has now declared the earlier verdict null and void.
Hubert Haddad had been accused of paying about US$2 million in kickbacks over 12 years to President Flosse and his party to get public sector contracts from the OPT telecommunications company.
But lawyers for the president and the other accused called for the referral order to be quashed saying the accusations against their clients were too imprecise.
Last year, the defendants failed in their bid to get France’s highest court to move the appeal case away from Tahiti after claiming they wouldn’t get a fair trial.
9) PNG Gives Palau $240,000 For Forum Leaders Meeting
O’Neill: ‘Ready to support our neighbours when called upon’
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 25, 2014) – Papua New Guinea has again showed its generous hand to support smaller island states in the Pacific region.
The Republic of Palau, a Micronesian state of 21,000 people spread over 250 small islands, will host the 45th Pacific Islands Leaders Summit this year.
With its economy depending largely on foreign aid, its President Tommy Remengesau Jr approached PNG to help fund the hosting of the summit.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was sympathetic and agreed to assist with K600,000 [US$240,000].
The Department of Foreign Affairs last week sent this money to the government of Palau through telegraphic transfer.
The summit will be held from July 29 to August 2 this year on Palau’s Koror Island, its most populous.
“Palau, like most other island states in the region, faces many difficult challenges, not least of all its reliance on foreign aid and the threat of rising sea levels.
“As the largest economy in the region, we must stand ready to support our neighbours when called upon.
“Some of the issues to be discussed during the Leaders Summit include climate change, transnational crime, labour mobility, and others that directly impact the lives of our people in the region.
“I hope our assistance will go a long way in helping Palau host a successful summit,” Prime Minister O’Neill said.
10) Bookkeeping Change Improves GovGuam’s Financial Position
Value of Chamorro Land Trust land now considered an ‘asset’
By Steve Limtiaco
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, June 25, 2014) – Government of Guam assets have increased by about $441 million because of an accounting change involving the value of Chamorro Land Trust property, according to the governor’s office.
The larger assets could increase GovGuam’s legal ability to borrow money and also make it look better to its creditors, possibly saving taxpayers money on government debt payments.
The government now is able to claim the value of leased Chamorro Land Trust property as a government asset — something that hadn’t been done before.
According to the governor’s office, only Land Trust property that has been leased can be counted as a GovGuam asset. Unleased property cannot.
The administration consulted accountants to confirm whether GovGuam could list Land Trust property as an asset, according to the governor’s office.
GovGuam officials since last year have been assessing the value of the leased Land Trust property, according to the governor’s office, which has the added benefit of providing more detailed information about the Land Trust inventory. That could make it easier to lease property to those who have been waiting for nearly two decades, according to the governor’s office.
GovGuam ended fiscal 2012 with $1.46 billion in total assets, according to audited financial statements from the Office of Public Accountability. That means the additional land value could push GovGuam’s total assets to nearly $2 billion.
At the end of fiscal 2012, GovGuam land being used for governmental activities was valued at $11.45 million.
Department of Land Management officials, working with the Department of Revenue and Taxation, worked to determine the value of the leased Land Trust properties.
The Chamorro Land Trust Commission holds public land in trust and leases it to eligible Chamorros for housing and farming. It also leases property to non-Chamorros for commercial use to generate money to benefit the Land Trust.
“My hat’s off to Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks,” Gov. Eddie Calvo said yesterday in a written statement. “If she hadn’t initiated the responsible look into the Chamorro Land Trust Commission and into the (Guam Ancestral Lands Commission) — despite people telling her she’s wasting her time — no one would have ever discovered this historic gem that just dramatically improved our financial condition.”
Pacific Daily News
11) Australia warns political instability unhelpful for PNG
By Online Editor
09:57 am GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Australia
Australia on Tuesday warned neighbouring Papua New Guinea against political instability after the Pacific nation’s leader was accused of authorising millions of dollars in illegal payments.
PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who was elected in 2012, was last week served with an arrest warrant for alleged corruption and misuse of funds.
O’Neill, who denies the claims which he says are politically motivated, promptly sacked his attorney general and dismissed the head of the nation’s anti-corruption taskforce, Sam Koim.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Papua New Guinea was a “dear friend” of Australia as she warned against political instability.
“This kind of political volatility does not assist PNG in advancing the interests of their citizens,” she told Sky News.
The two countries are close neighbours with Canberra sending asylum-seekers to the Pacific state’s Manus Island, while PNG receives more than US$500 million in foreign aid each year from Australia.
Koim, in Australia to meet Bishop, stood by his accusations against O’Neill, saying he believed there was enough evidence to mount a case.
The allegations relate to payments worth some A$20-25 million to lawyer Paul Paraka from the Department of Finance.
“We basically made an assessment of the case and we found that Mr O’Neill knew that the bills were improper and he dishonestly directed the bills to be paid to a law firm that did not deserve those bills,” Koim told the ABC.
Koim estimated about A$2 million of this money had made its way into Australian bank accounts.
“We just pursued a course of justice and I would want Australia to see that it is an individual who is undermining the rule of law, the very thing that Australia has helped over the years to build it up,” he said, referring to O’Neill.
12) Australians living longer but suffering more chronic diseases: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Updated 25 June 2014, 11:43 AEST
Australians are living longer but lifestyle-related chronic diseases are taking an increasing toll, according to the latest report on the nation’s health.
The report, issued every two years by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), has found Australians are now living an average of 25 years longer than they were a century ago.
A boy born today can expect to live to 79.9 years old, a girl to 84 years.
But Australians are increasingly living with chronic diseases as a result of an ageing population as well as lifestyle and health habits.
AIHW director and chief executive David Kalisch said chronic diseases were often labelled “Australia’s greatest health challenge”.
Key health findings:
Chronic disease leading cause of illness, disability and death – accounting for 90 per cent of all deaths in 2011.
More than 3 in 5 adults (63 per cent) are overweight or obese (70 per cent of men, 56 per cent of women)
Nearly 3 in 5 adults (57 per cent) do not exercise enough
Only 8 per cent of adults eat enough vegetables
Only 49 per cent of adults eat enough fruit
20 per cent of adults (3.2 million) have experienced mental disorder in past 12 months
About 45 per cent of adults will be affected by a mental disorder in their lifetime
1 in 10 Australians aged 65 and over have dementia
Nearly 15 per cent of Australians have used illicit drugs in the past 12 months
Nearly 1 in 5 adults (19.5 per cent) drink more than two standard alcoholic drinks per day
AIHW: Australia’s Health 2014
“While not solely related to behavioural factors in all cases, they can be heavily linked to smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and the harmful use of alcohol,” he said.
“This can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which in turn can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and mental health issues.”
Three in five adults are overweight, almost 60 per cent do not exercise enough and only 8 per cent are eating enough vegetables, the report found.
Chronic diseases continue to be the leading cause of illness, disability and death, accounting for 90 per cent of all deaths in 2011.
Many people have more than one chronic disease, which increases with age.
On the positive side, the report found smoking rates continue to fall, vaccination rates are going up as is the cancer survival rate.
There has also been a 20 per cent fall in heart attacks and a 25 per cent drop in strokes.
Health issues at different stages of life
The report also focused on the health of people as they age.
“While cancer in children is relatively rare, the survival rate for five years after diagnosis has improved pretty dramatically from 68 per cent to 81 per cent over a 10 year period,” Dr Kalisch said.
“We’ve also noticed that after about age 45 you start to see more people dying from coronary heart disease and lung cancer.”
For people aged 25-44 the top two causes of death for men in 2011 were suicide and accidental poisoning, while for women they were suicide and breast cancer.
The most common long-term health conditions affecting older Australians aged 65 and over were arthritis, high blood pressure and hearing loss.
Indigenous health problems
The death rate from circulatory and respiratory disease has fallen among Indigenous Australians.
Infant mortality rates are also down and fewer Indigenous people are smoking.
But Indigenous Australians are seven times more likely to develop kidney disease, three times more likely to have diabetes, are more likely to be obese and have a greater chance of dying from cancer, compared to non-Indigenous Australians.
Health costs rising faster than inflation
Dr Kalisch said the cost of health care was continuing to rise faster than inflation.
“They have risen faster than inflation and the economy as a whole for many years, and in recent years have outpaced government revenues from taxation and other sources,” he said.
“We find that health spending is taking up a greater proportion of government revenue than it used to.
“[It was] 26 per cent in 2011-12, or 6 percentage points higher than before the Global Financial Crisis.”
The four most costly disease groups (cardiovascular disease, oral health, mental disorders and musculoskeletal) had direct health care costs of $27 billion in 2008-2009, or 36 per cent of the total health expenditure.
The report has been tabled in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
13) PNG kot bai mekim disisen long arestim O’Neill long Friday
Postim 25 June 2014, 17:06 AEST
Wesley Manuai & Pius Bonjui
National Court long Port Moresby, i surukim taim ken long mekim disisen long Police Warrent of Arrest igo long Praim Minsta, Peter O’Neill.
Keis blong arest oda blong Peter O’Neill ol i surukim gen
Odio: ABC niusman long Port Moresby Wesley Manuai i toktok
Naitonal Court Judge, husat i harim dispela keis bilong Stay Of Order long arest bilong Praim Minista i tok, em i bai surukim igo nap long haf pas wan long Friday apinun.
Justice Ere Kariko ibin mekim strongpela askim igo long loia i makim Paraka loia long imas kamap wantaim ol bekim em long taim kot i makim.
Judge ibin tok, dispela em i ino hatpela keis na Friday em i taim bilong ol long soim wai polis ino nap arestim Praim Minista.
Mr O’Neill ibin kisim wanpla arrest warrant long Mande long wik igo pinis bihain long wanpla investigesin igo long 71 milien kina, em ol i sutim tok long Gavman long peim long Paraka lwayers kampani.
Praim Minista ibin bekim dispela arrest warrant taem em i rausim anti-corruption body, wantaim tu long pinisim attorney general na deputi polis kominisa.
Em i tok em ino mekim wanpla rong na kisim wanpla kot oda long stopim warrant.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
14) PNG bai straik tumoro sapos PM ino givim bekim Trinde nait
Postim 25 June 2014, 17:30 AEST
Jessy Pendene & Paulus Kombo
Papua New Guinea civil rights activist Noel Anjo i tok out olsem i bai igat bikpela straik blong ol woka long kantri tumora long isiu blong Praim Minista Peter O’Neill. Narapela protes agensim em tu ibin kamap long Kundiawa long Simbu Provins tede.
Odio: Papua New Guinea civil rights activist Noel Anjo i toktok
Odio: Program Director bilong NBC Kundiawa David Kiveto i toktok
Noel Anjo i tok out olsem dispela straik bai kamap sapos Praim Minista Peter O’Neill ino givim wanpela tok kambek nau nait bipo long 12 kilok long lusim sia bilong em.
Mr Anjo i tok oli givim Mr O’Neill 24 hour aste long long step daun olsem Prime Minista blong kantri long dispela peaceful protes ol i bin jolim long Port Moresby long aste.
Em i tok sapos emi no harem tok, emi tok oli bai go yet long wokim dispela nation wide straik long em i mas step daun.
Ibin igat wanpela peacfull protest March insait long Kundiawa taun insait long Chimbu provins agensim Mr O’Neill ibin rausim Attorney General na Justice Minista, Kerenga Kua.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
15) West Rennell landona long Solomon i wari long bauxite mining
Updated 25 June 2014, 16:30 AEST
Ol landona oa papagraun long West Rennell long Solomon Islands igat bikpela wari long wanem hap bai ol i stap longen sapos Bauxite mining i kamap long eria blong ol.
Liklik gaden kaikai long sait rot long Rennell Island long Solomon Islands
Odio: Deputy Chairman blong West Rennell Landowners Association, Ajilon Hasiu i toktok
Igat samting olsem 5 pela foran kampani nau i gat laik long kamapim maining operesen blong Bauxite diposit we i stap namel long West Rennell long Rennell-Bellona Province ol i save kolim tu long Renbel.
Deputy Chairman blong West Rennell Landowners Association, Ajilon Hasiu itok igat planti tumas long ol kampani ia na ol pipol long peles i paul nau long wanem nau i trutru stori.
Dispela association i karamapim 4 pela Ward long West Rennell na Ajilon Nasiu ibin Premier blong Renbel Provins stat long 1993 inap long 2001.
Mr Nasiu i tok nabawan wari blong ol pipol em long wanem hap nau bai ol pipol igo stap longen sapos maining i kamap long hap ailan blong ol.
Em i tok liklik Rennell ie i wanpela limestone ailan na ol liklik hap tasol blong ailan i gutpela long wokim gaden kaikai.
Mr Nasiu i tok arere long West Rennell em ol ston tasol na sapos ol i wokim maining long namel long ailan, bai ol pipol i nogat ples long stap longen.
16) Kelompok Pendukung Papua Barat Buka Kantor di Melbourne
Terbit 25 June 2014, 12:15 AEST
Sekelompok pendukung Papua Barat di Australia membuka kantor di daerah Dockland, Melbourne, Selasa (24/6/2014). Kelompok ini menyebut dirinya sebagai Republik Federal Papua Barat.
ABC mendapat informasi bahwa kantor tersebut didanai oleh pendukung kelompok ini di Australia.
Menurut Ronny Kareni yang merupakan aktivis Papua Merdeka, kantor ini bertujuan mempromosikan dialog mengenai masa depan politik propinsi Indonesia tersebut.
Ia menjelaskan, kantor ini akan melakukan lobi bagi kemerdekaan Papua.
“Tujuan kantor ini pada dasarnya untuk mencari dukungan PBB, juga Australia yang saat ini menjadi anggota tidak tetap dewan keamanan,” kata Kareni kepada ABC.
“Juga untuk bernegosiasi dengan pemerintah Australia dan Indonesia untuk memasuki tahapan mediasi pihak ketiga mengenai masa depan Papua Barat,” katanya lagi.
Kareni yakin momentum bagi penentuan nasib sendiri Papua Barat kini sedang meningkat.
“Saya berharap dengan kehadiran fisik seperti ini, bisa menunjukkan bahwa gerakan masih tetap hidup dan jika orang ingin bicara sudah ada kantor yang bisa dihubungi,” katanya.
Pada Oktober tahun lalu, tiga mahasiswa Papua Barat meloncat pagar konsulat Australia di Denpasar, Bali, guna mengangkat kembali isu Papua.
Ketiga mahasiswa itu, Rofinus Yanggam, Yuvensius Goo dan Markus Jerewon mendesak PM Tony Abbott untuk menekan pemerintah Indonesian membebaskan 55 orang yang mereka sebut sebagai tahanan politik.
Mereka juga meminta akses kebebasan pers yang lebih luas bagi wartawan internasional untuk melaporkan dari Papua.
Sikap PM Tony Abbott, sebagaimana dikemukakan beberapa bulan lalu, menunjukkan bahwa Australia tidak ingin mencampuri urusan kedaulatan Indonesia. Selain itu, ia juga mengemukakan pemerintahannya tidak ingin mendukung kelompok-kelompok yang ingin menjadikan Australia sebagai panggung untuk mengusung isu kemerdekaan Papua Barat.
Bulan Maret lalu, PM Vanuatu Moana Carcasses Kalosil di depan sidang Komisi HAM PBB di Genewa menyatakan dukungannya bagi kemerdekaan Papua Barat.
Sikap Vanuatu itu bertentangan Fiji, Papua Nugini dan Kepulauan Solomon. Dalam pernyataan bersama Menlu ketiga negara itu di Jakarta, mereka mengatakan Indonesia memiliki kedaulatan atas Papua Barat.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
17) Spesies Mamalia Baru Ditemukan di Hutan Papua Nugini
Diperbaharui 25 June 2014, 15:23 AEST
Sebuah ekspedisi ilmuwan Australia di pedalaman Papua Nugini menemukan apa yang mereka duga sebagai spesies mamalia baru. Hewan-hewan tersebut secara tidak sengaja tertangkap kamera.
Eksepedisi ini dibiayai secara bersama (crowd funding) oleh tim ekspedisi. Euan Ritchie, pakar ekologi dari Deakin University di Melbourne, mengumpulkan 20 ribu dolar, setara Rp 200 juta, untuk mendokumentasikan satwa langka di Pegunungan Torricelli, PNG.
Uang itu digunakan membeli 40 perangkap berkamera dan diharapkan alat ini dapat mengabadikan gambar kanguru pohon yang terancam punah di alam liar.
Tapi alat-alat tersebut nyatanya juga telah mengabadikan tiga spesies baru mamalia yang sebelumnya tak dikenal.
“Kami secara pasti telah mendapat gambar dari apa yang kami duga spesies baru semacam kanguru kecil, Dorcopsulus Walabi, seukuran anjing kecil,” kata Ritchie.
Ia menambahkan, “Ada juga hewan seperti bandicoots dan tikus yang tidak tampak dalam salah satu buku yang kita ketahui.”
Untuk mengkonfirmasi temua ini, kata Ritchie, timnya perlu kembali ke lokasi dan benar-benar menangkap hewan-hewan tersebut.
“Kita perlu melakukan pengukuran serta mengambil sampel DNA, sehingga dapat ditelusuri lebih jauh,” katanya. “Tapi ada berbagai macam spesies yang hampir pasti merupakan sesuatu yang baru bagi ilmu pengetahuan dan yang juga baru untuk wilayah itu.”
Ritchie mengatakan penemuan itu menunjukkan bahwa PNG memiliki hutan dan habitat yang sangat berharga. Dan daerah itu merupakan pusat keanekaragaman hayati global.
“Di sana ada berbagai macam, mungkin beratus spesies, bukan hanya mamalia, tetapi juga burung, serangga, segala macam spesies yang mungkin tidak dikenal oleh ilmu pengetahuan Barat,” katanya.
Ekspedisi Ritchie ini bermitra dengan Aliansi Konservasi untuk proyek kanguru pohon.
Direktur Aliansi Konservasi Tenkile, Jim Thomas, mengatakan kanguru pohon adalah mamalia asli terbesar di PNG sehingga mereka sangat dicari.
“Di daerah-daerah terpencil, semak belukar merupakan lahan setiap orang, sehingga sebelumnya orang akan pergi ke sana dan berburu binatang-binatang,” katanya.
“Karena Tenkile dan Weimang adalah hewan besar, mendapatkan mereka adalah suatu berkah. Jadi tekanan perburuan telah menyebabkan penurunan jumlah hewan-hewan ini,” katanya.
Jim Thomas dan istrinya Jean menghabiskan lebih dari satu dasawarsa bekerja dengan penduduk desa untuk melindungi kanguru pohon dan habitatnya melalui program-program pendidikan, sumber pangan alternatif dan program air.
Sampai baru-baru ini, ada sedikit bukti ilmiah, betapa sukses apa yang telah mereka kerjakan itu.
“Untuk dua spesies langka, yaitu Weimang dan Kanguru Pohon Tenkile, kami merekam gambar Weimang untuk pertama kalinya dengan pernagkap kamera itu,” kata Ritchie.
“Jumlah Tenkile mungkin sebenarnya meningkat, sehingga kelangsungan hidup jangka panjang mereka tampak sangat baik.”
Aliansi Konservasi Tenkile memiliki 50 desa yang ikut menandatangani moratorium perburuan.
Jim Thomas mengatakan, kelompok itu sekarang bekerja sama dengan pemerintah PNG untuk mengatur agar kawasan itu dilindungi dari penebangan dan pertambangan.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
18) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – mercredi 25 juin 2014
Mis à jour 25 June 2014, 14:21 AEST
- Égypte: Abdel Fattah al-Sisi refuse de gracier Peter Greste, « par respect pour l’indépendance de la justice ».
De gauche à droite: Baher Mohammed, Mohamed Fahmy et Peter Greste. La famille de Peter Greste envisage de faire appel.
Le Président égyptien l’a annoncé hier à la télé. Il ne reste plus donc qu’un seul recours au journaliste australien : faire appel. Peter Greste et Mohamed Fahmy ont été condamnés lundi à 7 ans de prison, et Baher Mohamed, à 10 ans. Les trois journalistes de la télévision qatarienne Al Jazira ont été reconnus coupables d’avoir diffusé de fausses informations et soutenu la Confrérie des Frères musulmans, la bête noire du régime al-Sisi. Peter Greste va être transféré dans une autre prison du Caire. Ses frères ne pourront lui rendre visite qu’une fois toutes les deux semaines, au lieu d’une fois par semaine jusqu’à présent.
- Fidji: interdiction d’exprimer sa solidarité avec les indépendantistes papous. Le Centre de Crise pour les Femmes a accroché une banderole sur ses murs, avec le slogan : « Libérez la Papouasie occidentale ». L’ambassade indonésienne à Fidji a alerté le ministère fidjien des Affaires étrangères. Et la police a été envoyée pour décrocher la banderole. « Les pays du Pacifique se préoccupent bien plus de l’Indonésie et de ce qu’ils peuvent en obtenir, et c’est une forme de prostitution car ils gardent le silence sur ce que vivent les Papous », a déclaré Shamima Ali, la directrice du centre.
- Vanuatu: les infirmières contractuelles ont finalement été payées, après plus d’un an sans salaire. L’information est confirmée par l’Association des Infirmières vanuataises. En parallèle, 20 d’entre elles attendent toujours que leur contrat soit renouvelé, mais Anne Pakoa, la porte-parole de l’association, se dit optimiste. Le ministère de la Santé, à court d’argent, devra sûrement faire appel aux pays donateurs pour assurer le financement des services de santé.
- Vanuatu: la peine de mort pour les violeurs et les assassins, le ministre de la Justice y songe sérieusement. Alfred Carlot réagit ainsi aux deux derniers meurtres dans le pays. Les victimes : un jeune pêcheur violemment battu à Ambae, et un entrepreneur britannique, tué dans une bagarre arrosée d’alcool, à Port-Vila. Le ministre de la Justice veut éradiquer le crime du Vanuatu, pays connu pour être un paradis calme, et il veut protéger sa réputation.
- Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: elle a commencé très modestement mardi matin. Finalement plus d’un millier de Papous ont participé à la manifestation hier au parc d’Unagi, à Port-Moresby, pour réclamer la démission de Peter O’Neill, le Premier ministre, accusé de corruption, et visé par un mandat d’arrêt qu’il a fait suspendre. La manifestation a eu lieu malgré son interdiction par le chef de la police. Les manifestants veulent la démission de Peter O’Neill, afin de permettre à la justice de suivre son cours. « Le Premier ministre ne peut pas prendre en otage le pays juste parce qu’il veut défendre ses propres intérêts », a prévenu Martyn Namorong, un blogueur papou très influent.
- C’est bien joli d’étendre les réserves marines protégées, mais comment les surveiller? Shane Jones, l’ambassadeur kiwi chargé de l’économie du Pacifique, appelle les États-Unis à joindre ses forces avec la Nouvelle-Zélande pour traquer les braconniers. La semaine dernière Barack Obama a décidé de multiplier par sept la superficie des zones marines interdites à la pêche dans les eux américaines du Pacifique. Palau et Kiribati aussi vont étendre leurs réserves marines. Pour Shane Jones, seule la Nouvelle-Zélande et les États-Unis ont la technologie et l’expérience nécessaires pour faire la police sur ces zones aussi immenses.
- Australie: 245 000 comptes piratés sur des sites de rencontres. Cupid Media en gère 35, marketés sur mesure -pour les chrétiens, les militaires, les parents célibataires, etc. L’entreprise a été condamnée pour violation de la vie privée de ses clients, car elle a été incapable de protéger leurs informations personnelles. Les sites de Cupid ont été piratés en janvier 2013, les noms, dates de naissance, adresses emails et mots de passe, tout a été piraté. L’enquête a montré cette semaine que Cupid n’avait pas investi dans la technologie anti-piratage de base, comme le cryptage des mots de passe. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
19) La Nouvelle-Zélande dit non à l’exploitation minière des fonds marins
Mis à jour 25 June 2014, 14:59 AEST
Les autorités ont rejeté le tout premier projet d’extraction sur le plancher des ses eaux territoriales, trop dangereux pour l’environnement.
L’autorité de protection de l’environnement a estimé en début de semaine que les risques de pollutions étaient trop grands. Trans Tasman Resources voulait exploiter le fer à 22 kilomètres au large de Taranaki, sur la côte ouest de l’île du Nord.
Pourtant, le projet de Trans Tasman Resources avait été approuvé par le ministère de l’Emploi, des Affaires et de l’Innovation. Mais en Nouvelle-Zélande, ça mérite d’être souligné, c’est l’Autorité de protection de l’environnement qui a le dernier mot. On écoute les explications de Phil McCabe, le Président de l’association KASM – Kiwis Against Seabed Mining – les Kiwis contre l’exploitation minière des fonds marins :
« Oui en fait ce sont deux processus menés en parallèle. Le projet d’exploitation atterrit d’abord au ministère, lequel octroie un permis d’exploration, puis d’exploitation – tout cela est confidentiel. Et en parallèle une consultation publique est menée, avec l’autorité de protection de l’environnement. 99.5% des 5000 contributions déposées par les Néo-Zélandais étaient contre l’exploitation, ce qui veut bien dire que socialement, et culturellement, les Kiwis ne sont pas prêts. »
En Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, le gouvernement a déjà donné son feu vert à l’exploitation minière du fond de la baie de Milne par la compagnie canadienne Nautilus.
Si l’exploitation minière du fond marin kiwi est jugée dangereuse, pourquoi celle du fond des eaux papoue serait-elle sûre ? Phil Mc Cabe :
« Sans danger sur quoi ? C’est toute la question. L’exploitation minière des fonds marins détruit la zone, c’est une certitude. Maintenant, est-ce que la zone détruite est grande ? Quel sera l’impact de la mine sur les environs ? Je ne connais pas le dossier environnemental dans les détails. Mais ce qui m’inquiète vraiment, c’est que depuis un an et demi, les habitants de la baie de Milne sont très peu informés du futur impact de la mine, contrairement au projet rejeté en Nouvelle-Zélande. Les gens qui risquent d’en être victimes doivent être informés par leur gouvernement. Une mine sous-marine détruit l’environnement, c’est garanti, après il faut voir ce qu’un pays est prêt à sacrifier pour se développer économiquement. »
Phil Mc Cabe, le Président de l’association des Kiwis contre l’exploitation minière des fonds marins, au micro de Brian Abbott.
Un deuxième projet d’exploitation minière sous-marine est en cours d’examen par le gouvernement néo-zélandais. Il s’agit d’une énorme mine de phosphate sur 1500 km carrés, au large de la côte est de l’île du Sud. La consultation publique se clora le 10 juillet. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
20) Concerns about Pacific representation at G20
Updated 25 June 2014, 18:31 AEST
Political and civil society leaders have been warned not to expect any instant solutions at the upcoming G20 meeting in Brisbane.
The leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies will meet later this year with representatives of civil society, business and the labour movement.
Already concerns have been raised about the decision of the meeting’s host, Australia, not to spend much time discussing climate change.
As well many small economies, including those in Pacific nations say they feel disenfranchised.
But as Pacific Correspondent Campbell Cooney reports, a meeting in Melbourne has heard the decisions made at the G20 will have a global impact.
Reporter: Campbell Cooney
Speakers: Dr Michael Fullilove, Director of the G20 Studies Centre at the Lowy Institute for International Policy; John Lipsky, Senior Fellow in International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
21) Health post closes
Luke Rawalai And Serafina Silaitoga
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
ABOUT 3000 people in the south-end of Taveuni have been without health services for the past month following the closure of the health centre in the area.
The health centre at Waimaqera has been closed for the past month, according to residents.
And the absence of health services has been blamed for the death of farmer Rakesh Kumar, who died last week after being rushed to the hospital at Waiyevo, which is an hour’s ride away.
Residents said they had to fork out $50 to hire carriers to Waiyevo.
The mother of the farmer, Sukraji, 80, said if the health centre was open, her son would still be alive.
“He would have been alive because doctors or nurses at the health centre could have attended to my son and saved his life,” she said.
“My son was on his way to their dalo farm when he complained of chest pains. His chest pains got worse so we decided to take him to the health centre but it was closed and we had to rush him to the hospital in Waiyevo.
“He later died in hospital and if he was at least seen in the first instance at the dispensary I believe doctors and nurses would have done something to my son before he was rushed to hospital.”
The deceased’s nephew, Raju Sami, said his uncle collapsed at the hospital after waiting to see the doctor.
“I believe that if he was seen at that instance in Waimaqera Health Centre, he would not have died as doctors would have done something right away,” he said.
Efforts to contact divisional medical officer North Doctor Tevita Qoroniasi proved futile. Questions sent to the ministry remained unanswered.
But Health Minister Doctor Neil Sharma yesterday referred queries to Dr Tevita, saying he was in a better position to comment on the situation.
“Dr Tevita is in a better position to talk about this situation as he is more aware. I will be in the North tomorrow (today),” he said.
Another Qarawalu resident, Sarojni Devi, said the health centre was closed for some time.
“The dispensary is supposed to be open every Wednesday for diabetic clinic but this is not the case. All the time, we waste bus fares going to the health centre and back home,” she said.
“Where can we ordinary people turn to if the services are not available in our area? We have often heard them complaining about the lack of water supply in the area but how different are their pleas from ours because we suffer from the same problem too.”http://www.fijitimes.com/
22) Vanuatu Nurses, Some Without Wages For A Year, Get Paid
Funding to meet the demand for human resources still lacking
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 25, 2014) – The Vanuatu Nurses Association says progress has been made in recovering unpaid wages but there is still a big gap in funding to meet the demand for human resources.
The interim president Anne Pakoa, says those nurses on contract, who had not been paid for more than a year in some cases, have now received their salaries.
Twenty nurses, who are waiting for their contracts to be renewed, still haven’t seen their wages, but Ms Pakoa is optimistic they will soon.
She says there are funding shortfalls right across public health sector.
“There is a big demand for human resource and that includes nurses, and paramedics and doctors and the question is, we have a big gap in funding. Now we know we cannot do that, internally there’s just insufficient funds to recruit.”
Anne Pakoa says the Ministry of Health might have to look abroad to aid agencies to meet the gap but says they are already doing a lot to support basic services.
Radio New Zealand International
23) Four more PNG MPs join PM O’Neill’s party
By Online Editor
4:30 pm GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Papua New Guinea
Four members from the Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) Party have officially announced their defection to the Papua New Guinea ruling People’s National Congress Party.
Their move now brings the membership of the PNC to 56, making it the largest political party in the history of the country.
The MPs include Ijivitari MP David Arore, Sohe MP and Minister for Higher Education Delilah Gore, Kiriwina-Goodenough MP and Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa and Mendi Open MP De Kewanu.
The office of the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates, when contacted by the Post-Courier, said the necessary instruments were in order for the MPs to switch allegiance to the PNC.
Party members and Finance Minister James Marape, supported by National Planning Minister Charles Abel and deputy PNC leader (Momase) and Fisheries Minister Mao Zeming, also announced that Talasea MP Francis Marus and Menyamya MP Benjamin Philip had moved over.
Marape told reporters during a press conference after the adjournment of National Parliament the Government was intact and they showed their numerical strength to adjourn parliament to 26 August.
He said the membership of the PNC was by far the single largest and he anticipates a further increase.
“We have four additional members that have joined PNC on Monday night when we had our caucus meeting.
“They are David Arore, Delilah Gore, Douglas Tomuriesa and also De Kewany with Benjamin Philip and Francis Marus,” he said.
However, THE Party parliamentary leader and Kandep MP Don Polye told this newspaper that his members have not joined PNC as no official instruments were signed.
“I am very, very aware of the MPs in there, joining the meeting there last night,” Polye said.
“They have to go through a process so that statement is misleading and not true.”
Meanwhile, Hela Governor Anderson Agiru has welcomed the move to defer the push for section 145 amendments relating to vote of no confidence.
“I commend the Prime Minister for deferring the tabling of the amendment bills to the constitution section 145 dealing with the vote of no confidence because there needs to be wider consultation and I think the decision by the Prime Minister to defer that is a wise one mainly because there is skepticism everywhere,” said Agiru.
He said the Office of the Political Parties and Candidates need to exhaustively and extensively consult with the people of Papua New Guinea whether or not they want that constitutional amendments.
Agiru said the constituent assembly has to pass laws which has the support of the people and so what the Prime Minister has done is wise and in the national interest
He said political stability is important for Papua New Guinea as the country is at the cross roads.
“We have come 40 years, the next 40 years is important and how we plan the next 40 years is up to us present day leaders. It has come to a point where Papua New Guinea needs to take mature but responsible leadership to ensure there is stability,” Agiru said.
“We still have members jumping from political party to political party, most of them educated guys are still jumping, one area the OLIPAC law should look at is the strengthening political party system so as a member of Parliament elected under one party jumps to another, there must be mandatory provision for vacancy to exist so that people go back to polls.”
“These are some of the things that we need to tighten up. section 145, the Prime Minister with the good policies this government has got on education, free health care, agriculture, transport infrastructure, law and order, these are the nation transforming programs, he does not need to amend section 145 to continue ruling, his policies are sound enough.”.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
24) PNG Parliament Adjourned For A Month
More consultation on major legislation needed
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 25, 2014) – PNG’s Parliament has been adjourned for a month to allow for more consultation on two major legislations and Government’s involvement in regional activities which Port Moresby is hosting.
Leader of Government Business and Finance Minister James Marape said the decision to adjourn Parliament came after a caucus meeting on Monday night.
He said a total of 56 members of the People’s National Congress party met and agreed to defer the introduction of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates, the Kumul Structures and the Sovereign Wealth Fund Law.
He said the caucus agreed to allow the Registrar of Political Parties to do further consultation.
“So we brought that resolution into Government caucus today and the whole of government accepted that there will be wider consultation before bringing the matter back to Parliament,” Marappe told reporters after the session.
“One thing we agreed upon today is that even if we pass the amendment as it is today, the full implementation of this amendment will take place after the 2017 election. So whoever comes into office in 2017 will have the benefit of operating the full meaning and intent of this.”
[PIR editor’s note: Radio New Zealand International reported that “The prime minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill, has backed away from pushing through controversial amendment to the country’s constitution. … In parliament in Port Moresby on Tuesday, Mr O’Neill announced the amendments would be withdrawn to allow more debate.”]
National Planning and Monitoring Minister Charles Abel elaborated on the Kumul Trust Structure and the Sovereign Wealth Fund Law.
“As we approach the revenues from the first gas, the Sovereign Wealth Fund is a critical machinery that our government is going to use to ensure that the impacts of these revenues that come into the country don’t have too much of a negative short term effect on the local economy,” Abel said.
“These resources are non-renewable and it is important that we don’t squander them because we’re bringing them too suddenly into the country.”
Abel said some government institutions were not ready for this sort of funding and from past experiences in terms of some of the windfall revenues in trust accounts, a lot of that money was wasted.
25) Protest Calling For PNG PM To Resign Draws Over 1,000
Sit-in at Unagi Oval went ahead peacefully without police permission
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 25, 2014) – More than a thousand people gathered at the Unagi Oval in Port Moresby yesterday to stage a sit-in protest against the current political events, calling for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to resign.
The protest went ahead despite acting Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki saying on Monday that there would be no protest march.
Protesters carrying placards and banners took to the oval as early as 9am yesterday in the face of heavy police presence.
The public, included working class Papua New Guineans, students and those in the informal sector.
Students from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) joined the crowd at around 11am in bus loads to show their support despite a decision by the Students Representative Council to stay away. Their arrival at the oval boosted the morale of the crowd with more people getting drawn to the oval to participate.
[PIR editor’s note: Radio New Zealand International reported that “Lawyers representing Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, will return to court today to fight for protection against an arrest warrant. … [RNZI] correspondent in PNG, Todagia Kelola … says this morning’s session could decide the entire fate of the case against Mr O’Neill.”]
Port Moresby’s top policemen, acting NCD Metropolitan Superintendent Ndranou Perou, newly appointed acting deputy police commissioner (operations) Jim Andrews and director for community policing Jerry Frank observed the protest with their men.
Police checkpoints were established in strategic locations leading from the oval to the National Parliament. Motorists were diverted away from the oval and the National Parliament by the police but people still walked to the venue.
Activist Noel Anjo commended the policemen for giving the opportunity to the people, to express their concerns over the recent political events.
He said although some police personnel had removed a loud hailer from him in the early part of the gathering as he addressed the crowd, police work should be respected as they were there to maintain the law. The protesters left at around 4pm after Police Minister Robert Atiyafa assured them that their concerns would be taken on board by the Government.
26) PM: Task Force Sweep Chair Is ‘Undermining PNG’s Interest’
Koim seeks Australian support in anti-corruption fight against O’Neill
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 25, 2014) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has accused former Task Force Sweep chairman Sam Koim of undermining the Papua New Guinea’s interests.
He said Koim was currently in Australia “actively trying to undermine our national interest”.
“Any pretence of Koim being independent has evaporated – he is playing politics – and undermining our nation, and our people,” O’Neill said in a statement following media reports from Australia that Koim was urging the Australian government to cut aid to PNG.
“He is blatantly trying to get the Australian Government to suspend the billion kina-plus development assistance programme with Papua New Guinea and that means he wants a stop to health and education programmes, the redevelopment of Lae Hospital, major community works on Manus, and other projects that benefits the people of the nation.
“He does not care what damage his actions will cause to our people.
“And it is disgraceful that he is trying to get Australian politicians to interfere in issues that are the business of Papua New Guinea, its parliament, its legal system and its people.
“His media comments have been reckless, wrong, and damaging to the national interest in the worst possible way.”
O’Neill said Koim’s behaviour could be contrary to his employment condition as a public servant in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
27) Indonesia: ‘No One Has The Right To Interfere’ On West Papua
Embassy in Fiji says West Papua is ‘entirely an internal matter’
By Siteri Sauvakacolo
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 25, 2014) – The Indonesian embassy in Fiji says no one has the right to interfere in matters relating to West Papua.
Responding to questions from this newspaper yesterday, it stated the embassy’s stance on the issue of West Papua was that it was “entirely an internal matter of Indonesia”.
The embassy’s comment was in response to earlier comments by Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre executive director Shamima Ali regarding a police directive to remove the “Free West Papua” posters on their fences in Suva.
“Regarding the ‘Free West Papua’ posters, sometime in the late afternoon, one of the Indonesian Embassy’s staff saw the posters, and then the embassy simply informed the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of Fiji,” the Indonesian Embassy said.
“It was merely to inform the ministry that there were posters written ‘Free West Papua’ placed on the fence of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre right across Indonesian Embassy.”
Ms Ali claimed she was issued a directive by police to remove the posters over the weekend.
She has also called on Pacific Islanders to take a stand with their West Papuan brothers and sisters.
She joined a chorus of voices around the world by displaying posters to free the men and women whose rights have allegedly been violated by Indonesia.
Ms Ali said the centre had been receiving good responses in regards to West Papua as they had a wide range of network.
“I don’t think the ordinary people in Fiji are aware of what is happening in West Papua and the struggles and I think that is the privilege of those of us that travel and those who have made contacts on human rights movement,” Ms Ali said.
“It is a shame that Pacific Island countries are not doing more for West Papua.
“We need to make a stand and make our West Papuan brothers and sisters voices heard.”
Fiji Times Online.
28) Victims of PNG land scandal could have titles returned this week after faulty leases are cancelled
Updated 25 June 2014, 20:09 AEST
By Jemima Garrett
Hundreds of thousands of traditional landowners in Papua New Guinea are expected to get their land back this week after faulty leases are cancelled.
The move has been detailed by one of the crucial government officers involved in the process, Lands Department Secretary, Romily Kila-Pat.
He told Pacific Beat the process of cancelling 25 leases for millions of hectares of land is expected to be completed in the next few days and landowners will be formally notified.
The move comes after a Commission of Inquiry into Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) found logging companies to be the biggest beneficiaries of systemic rorting of the lease approval process.
The Inquiry found many failures and mismanagement by the government departments who were supposed to protect landowners.
Much of the land was leased out without the permission of the landowners.
Audio: Lands Department secretary Romily Kila-Pat tells Jemima Garrett which leases will be revoked (ABC News)
The leases made no provision for rent and were to last up to 99 years.
Mr Kila-Pat says he has given instructions to revoke the leases as recommended by Chief Commissioner John Numapo and Commissioner Nicholas Mirou.
“The process effecting those revocations will have to be completed properly, formally registered, and then we will notify (landowners) that these 25 SABLs have now reverted back to the original landowners'” he said.
“We started the day before yesterday, June 23, and we should be able to complete everything by the end of the week.”
It is a year since PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill received the Commission of Inquiry’s first report.
In September, Mr O’Neill’s promised action. Since then, landowners and NGOs have been worried by the delay.
Taskforce to investigate 28 more leases
Investigations are continuing into a further 28 leases examined by Commissioner Alois Jerewai, who failed to submit his report.
“There is a special taskforce set up by government to look into those that Commissioner Jerewai investigated,” Mr Kila-Pat said.
The taskforce will report back to the National Executive Council (Cabinet).
“I am hoping that in the next day or so, once the taskforce is set up, they will start to investigate the remainder of those SABLs,” Mr Kila-Pat said.
The Department of Lands and Physical Planning was the lead agency of five government department that were involved in approving flawed leases.
Mr Kila-Pat says he has begun investigations which could lead to disciplinary action against officers in his department.
“That is very important. I have started dealing with officers already'” he said.
“As and when those who are found to be doing something wrong, my position is very clear that we don’t need to have them in the department.”
The Commission of Inquiry found that Mr Kila-Pat, as acting secretary of the Department of Lands and Physical Planning, had breached protocols and unlawfully issued SABLs.
“That is a matter for the taskforce,” he said.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
29) Fiji Political Parties Urged To Disclose Policies On Land Reform
Land Use Decree potentially at odds with new constitution
By Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 25, 2014) – Fiji is set to hold it first national elections in eight years with concerns about land ownership and usage expected to be key issues.
Fiji’s political parties are being urged to spell out their policies on who has rights over and access to land across the islands ahead of September’s election.
While much of the international focus is on whether the polls can be free and fair, questions about land are expected to dominate the domestic agenda.
Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Complex Real Property Rights, Professor Spike Boydell says it’s in the interest of all the political parties to disclose where they stand on the topic.
“Land is a fundamental issue in Fiji – always has been, always will be,” he said.
“If people don’t know what it is the political parties are putting forward it is going to be rather challenging for the electorate to know how they should best be voting.”
In 2000 concerns by indigenous Fijians over plans to free up access to their land was one of the factors that led to the so called civilian coup.
Then the Indo-Fijian Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, was held hostage in the Fiji Parliament for 56 days.
“In the early part of 2000, I was on the Land Use Commission’s Committee looking at how leases and various other components may be dealt with,” Professor Boydell said.
“There was a strong push by the Chaudhry Government to basically make conditions on leases better for tenants as opposed to the landowners.”
Fiji’s 2013 Constitution, introduced by Rear Admiral (ret) Frank Bainimarama, guarantees that the ownership of most land remains with iTaukei, or indigenous Fijians.
The Bainimarama Government also brought down a ‘Land Use Decree’ in 2010 creating a Land Bank, which grants native owners the power to let the government use their property for development purposes.
But now there are questions over whether that decree is in conflict with the new constitution.
“So we’ve actually seen under Bainimarama a situation where there’s been at least an attempt to do something,” Professor Boydell said.
“I’m not sure that it’s been fully thought through.
“It’s potentially something which may, I think, end up being debated at law because there’s a contention about how iTaukei land will be dealt with under Fiji’s 2013 Constitution.”
Fiji has not had an election for eight years and so far it appears little party policy development on the issue of land has occurred.
However, Professor Satish Chand from the Australian Defence Force Academy, says that may have to change quickly.
“I think this time round it’s particularly hard as something like 10 per cent of the Fiji population is living in squatter settlements,” he said.
“So the issue, the problem regarding access to land is becoming increasingly difficult in Fiji.”
Fijians are set to go to the polls on September 17.
30) Close Ties, United Voices: Broadcasting in the Asia Pacific over 50 years
Updated 25 June 2014, 13:31 AEST
By Nadia Hume and Tracee Hutchison
The Asia Pacific Broadcast Union (ABU) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014. The union is driven by the Asia Pacific values of harmony and collaboration to promote the collective interests of 260 television and radio broadcast members from 63 countries.
Audio: Listen to the radio documentary ‘Close Ties, United Voices: Broadcasting in the Asia Pacific Over 50 Years’.
Fifty years ago it was the vision of Mr Yoshinori Maeda, then President of the Japanese broadcaster NHK, to create a broadcast union that would unite Asia and the Pacific.
In its first year seventeen national broadcasters representing countries as diverse as India, Vietnam, Pakistan, Korea, Malaysia, Western Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand signed up as full members and the ABC hosted the inaugural ABU General Assembly in Sydney in November 1964.
At the time, Mr Maeda said “I believe we have to declare the path of our union and impress the entire world with the broad fact that the Asia Pacific region is now solidly united.”
Having recently retired from the Managing Director’s position at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Sir Charles Moses took on the role as inaugural Secretary General.
“We have a common bond as professional broadcasters. Each of us seeks to make use of the broadcast media of radio and television, not for personal ends but for a high purpose, the good of the people whom we are privileged to serve”, Sir Charles said at that first General Assembly.
Radio Pakistan’s Director General at the time, B.P. Bhatt, summed up the potential of the union: “I think there is a great future for collaboration through the union, program exchanges, secondment of personnel, regulation of frequencies under co-ordinated plans, and above all the promotion of those ethical and social values of mankind that all good broadcasting must foster, encourage and uphold.”
FOCUS ON TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
One of the union’s major initiatives, the Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcast Development (AIBD) came to fruition in 1977. Australian Hugh Leonard is the ABU’s longest serving Secretary General (1985-2002) and says “staff training was seen as a priority and a very urgent need for many of the ABU members’ right from the beginning. The larger members, like the ABC and NHK and so on, had their own training institutes but there was no regional institute. So it was felt an institution of some sort, some training organisation should be set up”.
The AIBD continues to this day.
SPORTS RIGHTS NEGOTIATIONS
Negotiating for the rights to sports events has kept the union pretty busy since the 1980’s. Broadcast unions traditionally negotiate these rights on behalf of a collective. Current ABU Secretary General Javad Mottaghi says the cost of sport rights are becoming prohibitive for many broadcasters. “The way that we see the rights fees increasing is beyond the ability of public broadcasters and even commercial networks. The rights holders are trying to get more income. In order for them to get more income they try to split the unions and negotiate separately with broadcasters in different countries”.
There have been plenty of challenges for the ABU along the way. A key technical challenge was the move from analogue to digital technology. “Digital broadcasting was a major development for broadcasters all over the world. It was not just an upgrade of old technology, but it was a totally new concept which required new equipment and new techniques, even new programming”, Hugh Leonard told the ABC’s Tracee Hutchison.
DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
A spate of natural disasters in the Asia Pacific region during the 1990’s forced the ABU to consider an approach to disaster risk reduction broadcasting. Mr Gil Hwan-Young is the current ABU President and also the CEO of the Korean Broadcasting System. He told the ABC “broadcasters have an important role to play during these traumatic times. We have the ability to increase preparedness, share vital information and to help our members develop emergency broadcast plans and improve their early warning procedures.”
A robot competition launched by the ABU in 2002 would become one of the Unions most popular initiatives. ABU Robocon mobilises students throughout Asian “Universities to look into technology and to work together. Now we see more than 20 countries are participating in ABU Robocon,” said Javad Mottaghi, current ABU Secretary General.
Mr Mottaghi remembers the first time he went to the final of ABU Robocon: “I really felt the glory of this event when I walked into the stadium for the first time 3 years ago and I saw over 10,000 fans, students, university students trying to support the countries in which they participate.”
Asiavision news exchange is 30 years old in 2014 and goes from strength to strength. “The voice of Asia is now not only being distributed to the region, but also is being distributed to broadcasters and the public in Europe in North America, in the Arab world. ABU has partnership with Arab state broadcasting union and give the program and stories to the Arab countries through Asia Vision. We have partnership with European broadcasting union, with Eurovision and also with North American broadcasters”, said Javad Mottaghi.
THE 50 YEAR MILESTONE
For 50 years the ABU has taken Asia Pacific values of harmony, collaboration and co-operation to promote the collective interests of television and radio broadcasters. The ABU will celebrate its first 50 years with its eyes firmly set on the future.
“I believe that every person has a right to a quality of life that includes greater technology and entertainment. Through the ABU we are bringing content to a bigger audience and enriching hearts and minds. Our 50-year anniversary celebrates this success and we are just as excited to envision the next 50 years, working together to lead broadcasting into the future”, Mr Gil Hwan-Young told Radio Australia.
“Through the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, we promote the Asia-Pacific values of harmony and sharing and we hope that through our union viewers and listeners will feel more connected with one another,” he said.
Read the documentary transcript here.
Presenter: Tracee Hutchison
Producer: Tracee Hutchison / Nadia Hume
Sound Editing and Mixing: Nadia Hume
Supervising Producer: Ryan Egan
31) Fiji Media Office Lambasts USP Journalists’ Press Release
Academics decried treatment of media during PIDF summit
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 25, 2014) – MIDA chairman Ashwin Raj has described as “unsubstantiated and anachronistic” statements made by two USP Journalism academics that the Fijian Government and military continues to “intimidate” journalists and in the case of the latter, “torture” some.
Patrick Craddock, the Acting Journalism Coordinator for the USP Journalism program in a statement issued Sunday had implied the treatment of Samisoni Pareti and Netani Rika where the former was denied accreditation to cover the PIDF Summit in Nadi last week, and the latter was followed by police enquiring about his whereabouts as “one more indicator of the way the military government intimidates journalists leading up to the general election”.
In the same statement, Journalism lecturer Dr. Matthew Thompson, described as disgusting comments by the new military chief’s in The Age, in which he confirmed reports of beatings after the events of 2006 “to ward off civil disorder.”
[PIR editor’s note: Fijilive reported that “The University of the South Pacific (USP) has distanced itself from a press release issued by two of its staff members on media freedom alleging tactics by the Fijian Government and military to “intimidate” local journalists. … The University would like to clarify that the views expressed by Dr Matt Thompson and Mr Patrick Craddock in the interview and the press release are solely their own and not those of the university, the university said in a statement.”]
Raj described the statements as irresponsible as the academics had not made the effort to ascertain the facts before issuing the release.
“A quick call to MIDA office would have confirmed that Mr Pareti is registered with MIDA and my own view is that he should have been given access to PIDF but that is not MIDA’s call.
“Furthermore, did they find out the nature of questions posed by the police to Mr Rika? Did the process of questioning entail “torture”? If so, have they produced any evidence. Why wasn’t an official complaint lodged with MIDA before rushing into sending a press release on Sunday considering that the alleged incident transpired only a few days ago at the PIDF?” Raj says the allegations are serious and gives the impression that Fiji is still in 2006 despite the progress the country has made so far include the release of the 2013 Constitution and preparatory work that has been done to date to move the country into election in September.
“The political situation in Fiji maybe less than ideal but a lot has been achieved since 2006 and we must move beyond the tireless debate between legality and legitimacy and instead focus their energy on moving Fiji towards full democracy.” He also advised local journalists to refrain from such practices and continue “to engage a plurality of voices.” He further clarified that MIDA had only intervened on matters of national importance in relation to the media “in its efforts in ensuring respect for the rights, freedom and dignity of all Fijians not just a select few whether it be the issue of racial vilification, hate speech or the persecution of sexual minorities in advertising.”
32) ‘Allow ABC to charge for content’: review
By Online Editor
4:49 pm GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Australia
The ABC and SBS could for the first time charge viewers to watch content under a proposal put forward by the government-commissioned review of the public broadcasters.
An eight-page executive summary of the review, which identifies tens of millions of dollars’ worth of potential savings and new revenue streams, includes the option of creating a shared ABC and SBS back-office entity with a private sector partner to deliver extensive administration savings. The review says the SBS could also be allowed to increase the number of minutes of advertising it could run.
One of the most controversial proposals in the summary, obtained by The Australian, is the creation of a “pay-per-view service” once programs have run for free on television and online “catch-up” services for a certain period.
Viewers, who are currently able to access an extensive catalogue of ABC programming for free through its popular iView service, could also be asked to pay for programming delivered in high-definition or material from the ABC archives. The efficiency review, conducted by former Seven West Media chief financial officer Peter Lewis at the behest of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, provides recommendations for the ABC to deliver additional cuts beyond the 1 per cent efficiency dividend demanded by the May budget.
Further cuts to the ABC budget are now likely to be 4 per cent and any savings implemented at the ABC and SBS will not be injected back into the broadcasters.
While the Lewis review provides advice on where cuts can be made, it is up to the ABC and SBS board to make the final decisions.
ABC managing director Mark Scott has warned that news and current affairs programming, drama and children’s content, such as Peppa Pig, could be at risk by the budget cuts but the executive summary identifies extensive savings without touching programming. These include: selling assets; outsourcing; pulling ABC and SBS transmissions from Foxtel; increasing advertising minutes on SBS; selling a Melbourne-based helicopter; cancelling Sydney helicopter leasing arrangements; and the sale of a Sydney helipad and other property.
It also recommends the ABC save money by abolishing state and territory directors, absorbing their functions within other positions in the ABC management.
Turnbull said Tuesday the purpose of the review was to protect programming and it “identified very substantial savings opportunities”.
“Recognising that there were going to be savings right across government I undertook that efficiency study so that the ABC would know, and we would know, whether and to what extent there were substantial savings to be made in back of house, and there are,’’ he said.
The study has identified new revenue streams for the public broadcasters, which are taxpayer funded to the tune of $1.4 billion a year, including charging for viewing of TV and radio programs after initial broadcast to offset the growing cost of delivering online catch-up services.
“It is open to the ABC and SBS to direct viewers to a pay-per-view service at the conclusion of the period during which their catch-up services are available for free on their websites,’’ the report states.
“The ABC and SBS could also direct viewers to a pay-per-view service should viewers wish to see these programs in high definition or access archival material.”
The broadcasters could also explore the feasibility of forming a joint venture or partnership with free-to-air broadcasters to develop an industry-wide digital platform for providing “catch-up” services, which allow viewers to watch programs that have already been broadcast on television.
The report notes that audience demand is shifting from the linear experience towards a preference for on demand content and the “national broadcasters are likely to face pressure to make their content available on a wider range of devices and to plan for content to be increasingly provided to consumers on demand”.
The study also says SBS could be allowed to increase advertising minutes to generate ad revenue higher than the AUD$50 million in 2012-13.
“These options are likely to be strongly opposed by commercial broadcasters if they increase the number of minutes of advertising allowed, as well as by sectors of the public,” the summary states.
The proposals do not envisage a merger but recommend the ABC and SBS explore opportunities for shared corporate and back-office services, joint purchasing or using joint facilities, along with outsourcing of services like payroll.
“This could involve the creation of an independent entity, either jointly owned by the ABC and SBS, or with a third party owning a small percentage and operating the company,’’ the report states.
“This approach would enable the broadcasters to capitalise on the expertise of a private sector operator while setting the service standard for performance.”
The study identified $150m of services a year that would be eligible for joint purchasing, including telecommunications, travel and content delivery networks.
The review indicates that the ABC is possibly closing down or scaling back its network of ABC Shops, stating the “provision of retail services is not … a core responsibility of a national broadcaster”.
“The study endorses the ABC’s actions to reduce its losses in this area and notes that these existing measures are likely to achieve savings in the short and longer terms,’’ it states.
“Technology trends clearly suggest that over time investments in ‘bricks and mortar’ shopfronts should continue to be shifted more towards online distribution methods.”
In other cuts, the ABC and SBS could “achieve a significant saving if they no longer bought satellite capacity to provide their services on Foxtel” providing it did not impact significantly on audiences.
Significant efficiencies could also be made by “co-locating the ABC and SBS in Sydney and Melbourne”, with a high-level analysis showing the cost efficiencies that could be achieved if SBS moved its operations in with the ABC in Sydney.
This option is worthy of in-depth analysis by the broadcasters, the review states.
The review also says the ABC could abandon Radio Australia’s short-wave service to rely on FM transmission, but notes Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice that short-wave delivery of Radio Australia is the only current source of the service in places such as Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
“Noting short-wave is a largely superseded technology, discontinuing this service would release resources for other purposes,’’ it says, explaining Radio Australia could continue to broadcast in target countries.
SOURCE: THE AUSTRALIAN/PACNEWS
33) Kava has the potential to regain its glory as major Pacific export to Europe, Shiu Raj
By Online Editor
4:45 pm GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Vanuatu
By PACNEWS Editor, Makereta Komai in Vanuatu
The recent decision by Germany to lift the ban on kava products has the potential for kava from the Pacific to ‘regain its glory’ as a major export to Europe.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s director Economic Governance programme, Shiu Raj made the optimistic observation at the 2nd Pacific-EU Business Forum underway in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
“The battle to get the EU ban on kava lifted has not been an easy one. With the recent ruling by the German Courts that the kava ban is indeed illegal and unwarranted, there is hope that kava can once again be exported to the EU in the near future.
The positive ruling in Germany is the beginning of a significant amount of work that needs to undertaken by kava producers in the Pacific, said Raj.
“There are some issues around the quality of our product and the variety of kava that we can export. These are important issues that we need to deal with to ensure that our supply chain are robust enough and our marketing network is strong to profile the product and establish its reputation.
“The reality is that kava as a medicinal product has utility that the pharmaceutical industry has been interested in. This may provide an opportunity for international pharmaceutical companies to set up operations in the Pacific to use these products which are in abundance naturally or organically. That can be used as a basis to produce these products in the Pacific, Raj told PACNEWS.
The PIFS senior executive paid tribute to the work done by Pacific Ambassadors in Brussels, especially Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the European Union, Roy Mickey Joy.
“Allow me to acknowledge the efforts of the “Friends of Kava” countries from Pacific ACP region, and in particular, the Government of Vanuatu under the capable stewardship of Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the European Union, His Excellency Roy Mickey Joy and his technical team for advocating the interests of the Pacific region.
Apart from kava, the other key export that would benefit immensely from the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union is fisheries. Under the iEPA, Fiji and Papua New Guinea benefit from global sourcing preferential rules of origin for canned and cooked fisheries products (HS 1604/1605).
Pacific ACP States are trying to get an extension of global sourcing for fresh, chilled, frozen, dried and smoked fisheries products (HS 0304/0305).
“The EU rules of origin as they stand are very restrictive when it comes to fisheries imports. In order to qualify for duty free and quota free access to the EU, the fish must be caught by a locally owned and registered vessel. This is highly impractical for a majority of Pacific ACP States who do not have locally owned fleets due to the high costs involved and issues related to efficiency and diseconomies of scale, Raj said.
Global sourcing, which was only given to the Pacific region due to its unique circumstances, enables the sourcing of fish from foreign-owned vessels as long as they are EU certified and land their catch in a Pacific ACP States for further processing.
He said global sourcing has resulted in significant investments, increased export earnings and job creation in Papua New Guinea.
“It is anticipated that by 2016 over 30,000 workers, mainly women, will be directly and indirectly employed in the canning sector in PNG with tens of millions of dollars worth of investments in the pipeline, Raj revealed.
Canning operations are quite large in size and require significant investments in infrastructure and adequate access to large volumes of water. This, he said is not feasible in smaller Pacific ACP States.
“The Pacific ACP region has been requesting the EU to include global sourcing for fresh, chilled and frozen fisheries products in the comprehensive EPA which would benefit the Smaller Island States (SIS) in particular.
Raj said global sourcing has the potential to stimulate investments in onshore processing for Pacific ACP States and help them derive greater returns from their fisheries resources.
“Some of the Pacific islands are already producing fresh, chilled and frozen fish fillets and steaks and this can potentially be exported to the EU subject to meeting the required food safety and SPS requirements, said Raj.
Currently, two way trade between the European Union (EU) and the Pacific is around Euro 1 billon in favour of Europe.
Private sector representatives present at the Business Forum have been urged to ‘deal with the trade imbalance.’
While the Pacific has a handful of products that have the potential to reach EU markets, there is an influx of European goods in the Pacific.
“We have seen more and more of Peugeots, Volkswagen, Renault, Fiats, BMW and Mercedes on Pacific roads which would have an impact on the revenue collected from tariffs. We need to make a concerted effort to deal with this trade imbalance and I would encourage the ACP Business Climate Facility and other EU based agencies to assist the Pacific businesses in exporting its products to the EU, said Raj.
34) 2nd Pacific-EU Business Forum underway in Port Vila with calls for more focus on private sector development
By Online Editor
4:43 pm GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Vanuatu
By PACNEWS Editor, Makereta Komai in Vanuatu
The European Union has identified three focal areas for its partnership with the private sector in the Pacific for the next six years.
Among these are the regional economic integration, sustainable management of natural resources and the environment and providing an investment facility to provide an enabling environment for investment mostly in the infrastructure development through grants from the EU.
Addressing the 2nd Pacific/EU Business Forum in Port Vila, EU Regional Delegation’s head of co-operation, Renato Mele said 78 million Euros is available for the Pacific for regional economic integration.
“This is to help Pacific Island Countries in increasing their trade with Europe. For economic integration the focus is on private sector development, said Mele.
On the sustainable development of natural resources and the environment, an allocation of 66 million Euros has been set aside for the Pacific region.
“The focus here is on the improving the economic returns on the region’s natural resources and the environment, especially returns on fisheries and the emerging focus on deep sea mining.
“We can only do so much and much depends on the political will of Pacific Island Countries, Mele told representatives of the private sector attending the three day Business Forum in Port Vila this week.
Acknowledging the support of the European Union, Vanuatu’s deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Climate Change, James Bule emphasised the need for governments in the Pacific to strengthen and develop the private sector.
He said the private sector in the Pacific remains the main provider of employment for Pacific Islanders.
“We know that the private sector provides 90 percent of jobs for our island economies. They should be considered as essential partners in development on our fight against poverty and sustainable development, said Minister Bule.
Vanuatu has been acknowledged for playing a key role in Brussels in organizing the 2nd Pacific/EU Business Forum. The Forum will convene a series of dialogues which includes sessions on increasing Pacific participation in trade and addressing trade barriers, inclusive and sustainable development on engaging the private sector in the post-2015 development agenda and accessing private sector funding from the Pacific Investment Facility.
35) SPC shares project to light up one million homes in Melanesia by 2020
By Online Editor
4:36 pm GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Vanuatu
By PACNEWS Editor, Makereta Komai in Vanuatu
A sub-regional project to light up 1 million homes in Melanesia by 2020 is about to get underway.
Called, the Melanesian Millennium Miracle Programme (M3P), the project will use technology that supports the physical, social and economic environment of targeted communities in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Presenting the new project to the 2nd Pacific-EU Business Forum in Port Vila, Kuini Rabo of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) said to get the project going, solar lights will be distributed to 200 households in PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In addition, 2-3 solar shops will be set up in targeted communities to provide back-up service for the solar lights.
Rabo said SPC has identified partners in selected communities in the three Melanesian countries.
“The objective of the project is empower local NGOs and communities, particularly women to engage on income generating activities and energy enterprises. At the same time, we’d like to deploy new technology in rural communities and create demand and markets for solar energy service, said Rabo.
If successful, the project will reduce reliance and spending kerosene use.
For Vanuatu, M3P is working with the Department of Energy to provide electricity to 26,625 households or 159,790 people by 2020.
Based on current funding, the project will bring electricity to 200 households (1,200 people) in two rural communities to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas in terms of access to modern energy services.
36) Air Vanuatu Partners With Jetstar To Boost New Zealand Flights
Partnership to allow ‘through fares’ from Kiwi cities to Port Vila
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 24, 2014) – Air Vanuatu’s Chief Executive Officer Joseph Laloyer has announced a new partnership with Jetstar in New Zealand.
From today, Kiwi tourists and Vanuatu residents will be able to purchase through fares from Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Queenstown to Port Vila.
The New Zealand domestic flights will be operated by Jetstar New Zealand, connecting with Air Vanuatu in Auckland every Wednesday and Saturday.
“It is imperative to the growth of our New Zealand market that we offer fares to major regional centres. We are confident our new partnership with Jetstar will contribute to this growth,” Mr. Laloyer said.
Whilst the New Zealand travel market will be thrilled with the news, particularly for Kiwis wanting to escape the winter chills for Vanuatu’s tropical warmth, Vanuatu residents will also welcome the news.
“Business travelers, seasonal workers and locals wanting to explore New Zealand will also benefit from this new partnership. Jetstar offers highly competitive prices and we look forward to increasing competition in the region,” Mr. Laloyer said.
Jetstar head of New Zealand, Grant Kerr, said interline partners play an important part in an airline’s growth.
“At Jetstar our goal is to help more people to travel more often,” Mr Kerr said.
“We’re sure our domestic customers around New Zealand will welcome this new option for one-stop connections to Vanuatu with our interline partner Air Vanuatu.”
Vanuatu Hotel and Resorts Association Chairman Thomas Tait welcomed the news on behalf of the industry.
“We have fabulous properties on offer to New Zealand tourists, from four star resorts to island guesthouses. With connecting flights from the south island and Wellington, we look forward to welcoming more Kiwis to our beautiful islands.”
Vanuatu Daily Post
37) Solwara 1 will go ahead
By Online Editor
3:21 pm GMT+12, 24/06/2014, Papua New Guinea
The Solwara 1 Project will go ahead as planned, PNG Mining Minister Byron Chan said.
During a visit to his electorate recently, he told locals in Namatanai to prepare themselves for spin of benefits which the project would bring.
“As the minister for mining, but more so as your member for Namatanai, I pledge myself to protect and serve you and I urge you to prepare yourselves when the world’s first undersea mining kicks off in the near future,” Chan said.
He thanked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for having confidence in him to be appointed as the mining minister.
Chan’s electorate houses the Lihir gold mine, Simberi and now the seabed mining.
He said the former Somare government, which issued the mining license to Nautilus Mineral Ltd over 10 years ago, did it without proper consultation nor without any benefits tied to the project for the host provinces, East New Britain and New Ireland. “
It is this government of O’Neill-Dion that the benefits derived from the Solwara 1 Project of our marine time provinces,” Chan said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
38) Vanuatu investment head mourns expat’s death
24 June 2014
Vanuatu’s Investment Promotion Authority’s chief executive, Smith Tebu, says the tragic death of British investor, David Jolley, is a great loss to the country.
Mr Jolley was allegedly killed in a brawl in a bar last weekend.
The brawl reportedly involved a number of expatriates.
Mr Tebu says the former SAS soldier turned investor had bought and turned around two businesses in the country and had just acquired another.
He was also on the verge of relocating a fishing business from Hawaii to Port Vila and buying two existing resorts.
Police are continuing to investigate Mr Jolley’s death.Radio NZ
39) PNG court adjourns hearing on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s arrest warrant
Posted 25 June 2014, 18:55 AEST
A judge in Port Moresby adjourns Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s case to stay a warrant for his arrest.
An attempt by Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to stay a warrant for his arrest has been adjourned again.
The warrant was served on Mr O’Neill last week as part of an investigation into corruption allegations, which the prime minister says are politically motivated.
The hearing last week was adjourned to allow a new police lawyer time to look at the briefing.
PNG Correspondent Liam Cochrane was at court today and told Pacific Beat a further request by police has clearly frustrated the judge overseeing the hearing.
Audio: PNG correspondent Liam Cochrane discusses legal battle over PNG PM’s arrest warrant (ABC News)
Mr O’Neill’s case has been adjourned until Friday afternoon.
“It was a disappointing [and] frustrating result but the drama in the court room was quite interesting and may give us some insights into how this case goes in a couple of days time,” he said.
“There was a hearing in this case last week trying to stay the arrest warrant against the Prime Minister.
“It was adjourned to allow new police lawyer to look at the brief of evidence and to catch up essentially.
“Today, yet another lawyer representing the police department showed up at the bench and once again asked for an adjournment, this time for 21 days.
“Everyone on the bench agreed, then the judge overruled that and denied the adjournment in the interests of justice he said. He was clearly quite annoyed.
“The mannerisms and the words of Justice Ere Kariko could point what might happen on Friday – he did say that he was disappointed and very reluctantly allowed the adjournments.
“On Friday we can hopefully expect a decision on whether the arrest warrant against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill can go forward or not.
“And there also may be contempt charges raised from the sacking of senior police officers and possibly the disbanding of Taskforce Sweep.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
40) ‘No progress’ in PNG on human trafficking
By Online Editor
4:28 pm GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea has made little or no progress in addressing human trafficking, according to a report.
The US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report ranks PNG as a tier-three country – reserved for states making little to no progress in dealing with trafficking.
“On July 19 2013, the United States welcomed the passage of legislation to combat human trafficking in PNG,” a statement from the US Embassy in Port Moresby said.
“The Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2012 passed in Parliament on that day would amend the criminal code on issues related to human trafficking and people smuggling.
“The bill will give PNG civil society, law enforcement and prosecutors better tools to address trafficking crimes. Unfortunately, almost one year later, this legislation still has not yet come into force.
“The lack of progress on the issue has disappointed the US Government.
“As a step to improving PNG’s ranking, the US Government has urged the PNG Government to gazette and enact the legislation passed by Parliament which prohibits and punishes all forms of trafficking.
“PNG should also investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders, including officials who facilitate trafficking.
“PNG can assist victims of trafficking and develop campaigns to prevent trafficking.”
It said trafficking could be the forcing of an underage girl to marry against her will.
It could also be forced prostitution of a PNG national or foreign national in nightclubs in Port Moresby Lae or Madang.
“Trafficking can be forcing a person to work without pay, including persons working in logging, fishing and extractive industries.
“Trafficking also involves any form of children exploitation taking advantage of the weak and unprotected. It is modern day slavery.”.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT
41) Funding For Dugongs Could Make Big Difference To Their Future
Global Environment Facility may provide $1 million to Pacific
By Jemima Garrett
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 25, 2014) – Dugongs may look like overweight dolphins but actually they are more closely related to elephants.
Like their terrestrial cousins, they are herbivores and they are vulnerable to extinction.
The Pacific is an important part of their range and it may be about to benefit from new funding from the Global Environment Facility.
Mike Donoghue, threatened and migratory species advisor with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, told Pacific Beat the funding could make a big difference.
He says dugongs are an ancient group of marine mammals whose diet is very restrictive, consisting solely of seagrass.
“Seagrass is particularly threatened by climate change in the oceans because it’s very sensitive to acidification so as more carbon dioxide goes into the water and the ocean ph drops and it becomes more acidic, it’s possible that seagrass will be particularly impacted,” he said.
“Also most of the great seagrass meadows are in coastal areas so they’re particularly susceptible to silt deposition [and] inappropriate coastal development.
“Dugongs are very slow swimming, [they’re] not particularly great at holding their breath so they’re very vulnerable.”
The threats include being taken directly, being entangled in nets or being hit by boats with outboard motors.
Mr Donoghue says the Pacific could play a significant role in the future of dugongs.
Funding plan for coastal Pacific communities
He says Pacific dugongs are particularly vulnerable because the populations are so isolated.
“They’re particularly susceptible to a whole bunch of human-induced threats and it’s a big concern for SPREP to try and encourage the countries that have dugong in this region to manage and maintain their populations,” he said.
An application to the Global Environment Facility is underway for a $5.8 million program to conserve dugong and seagrass. The Pacific would receive less than $1 million.
“That’s still a huge increase than before so if we are able to mobilise those sort of funds, if we can get some partners and donors to realise the critical state that dugong is in, then it does provide us with an opportunity to protect and conserve the remaining population for future generations,” he said.
“Probably the most significant part about this is that because they’re a very coastal species, often in areas where people live, the key thing about this program will be to encourage communities in Papua New Guinea, in New Caledonia, Palau, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands to take responsibility for looking after these animals [and] to encourage them by providing some funding support.
“Perhaps also to encourage people to come and visit them and to generate revenue for those communities through ecotourism.”
42a) World Cup: Colombia thump Japan
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Update: 12:00PM Substitute James Rodriguez scored a brilliant goal and set up two more for Jackson Martinez as Colombia beat Japan 4-1 today to confirm top spot in Group C and eliminate the Asian champions from the World Cup.
Already assured of advancing, Colombia guaranteed first place with its third straight win, setting up a second-round match against Uruguay.
The Colombians started with a virtual second-string lineup but still went in front when Juan Cuadrado – one of the few regular starters – drilled in a 17th-minute penalty.
Japan equalized with the last touch of the first half through Shinji Okazaki’s header but Martinez scored in the 55th and 82nd minutes – both from superb passes from Rodriguez – to put the result beyond doubt.
42b) Greece stun Ivory Coast with last minute win
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Update: 11:16AM Georgios Samaras scored an injury-time penalty to put Greece into the second round of the World Cup with a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast.
Samaras was adjudged to have been brought down by substitute Giovanni Sio and Samaras calmly slotted in the spot kick for the win that puts Greece through to the knockout stage. Ivory Coast would have advanced with a draw.
Substitute Wilfried Bony had equalized for Ivory Coast in the 74th, beating goalkeeper Pangiotis Glykos from close range after being set up by Gervinho.
The Greeks had taken the lead just before halftime through substitute Andreas Samaris.
Veteran striker Didier Drogba started for Ivory Coast along with Yaya and Kolo Toure despite the recent death of their brother Ibrahim. The Ivorians wore black armbands as a sign of mourning.
42c) Alexander back to bolster Brumbies scrum
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Update: 10:00AM Rested Wallabies prop Ben Alexander is back and feeling great.
After three weeks on the sidelines he’s ready once more to throw himself into the centre of a 1700kg scrum.
The injury-depleted Brumbies finally received some positive news this week when tighthead prop Alexander was declared fit to play in Saturday’s vital Super Rugby clash against the NSW Waratahs.
Having sat out the three-game series against France with a pinched nerve in his neck, the 62-Test prop will be critical in the frontrow battle against Wallabies Sepoke Kepu, Benn Robinson and Tatafu Polota-Nau.
“I had an injection, which freed up all the pressure that was on that nerve and all the strength is coming back,” Alexander said.
Alexander’s timely return will beef up a Brumbies frontrow that will include the club’s fourth string hooker following a season ending injury to Wallabies captain Stephen Moore.
Competing to fill that No.2 jersey is Super Rugby journeyman Luke Holmes, fresh from Sydney club rugby, and back-up prop Ruaidhri Murphy.
Whoever gets the nod will face a baptism of fire, with Alexander adamant the Waratahs will target the Brumbies’ set piece.
“It would be silly not to, we’re missing our three first choice (hookers),” Alexander said.
“We expect they’ll try and attack us there, but we’re confident that if we do the work during the week, the person picked will do the job.”
The Brumbies need to beat the Waratahs at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium to have any chance of topping the Australian conference.
With Moore sidelined alongside fellow Wallabies Joe Tomane, Sam Carter, Pat McCabe, David Pocock and possibly Matt Toomua, Alexander admitted there was a greater onus on the club’s remaining fit representative players to stand up during the must-win clash.
“The senior blokes have definitely got to shoulder the load,” he said.
“But the way we play never relies on one person – it’s a group effort.”
42d) IRB confident 7S rugby will be a hit at Rio 2016
By Online Editor
5:06 pm GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Ireland
International Rugby Board CEO Brett Gosper is confident Rugby Sevens will be a big hit at Rio 2016
To celebrate Olympic Day, we put your questions to IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper about Rugby Sevens’ inclusion at Rio 2016 and beyond
Q: Any plans to disband RWC Sevens due to the Olympics post 2017?
BG: No plans at all. Rugby World Cup Sevens is an important growth factor for the sport and the IOC agrees it sits well with the Olympics.
Q: How vital is it for Sevens to remain in the Olympics beyond 2020, and are you confident the right plan is in place to keep it there?
BG: It’s very important for global growth. The eyes of the world were on London in 2012 and it will be the same in two years’ time in Brazil. Rio 2016 gives Rugby Sevens a chance to showcase its unique appeal to a truly global audience. To be honest I can’t think of too many other events that sum up what the Olympics is about better than Sevens. It is a combination of athleticism, power, speed and integrity. A successful Sevens event in Rio is obviously a key driver to sustaining Sevens as a long-term Olympic sport, so the main thing is for us, as a governing body, is to make sure a good show is put on and we’re confident we’ll help the organisers achieve that.
Q: Having seen its growth as a sport from Olympics inclusion to now, how much do you think Sevens will grow from 2016?
BG: Being at the Olympics will contribute to interest and participation. Next season is a qualifier year and I think the levels of interest will snowball from there. We hope from 2016 that the reality of the Olympics will be even more powerful than the sport’s current growth and stature.
Q: What economic impact will Sevens being in the Olympics have on the HSBC Sevens World Series
BG: The association with the Olympics is highly valued by our sponsors, broadcasters and players, so it’s naturally good for both the Men’s and Women;s Sevens World Series.
Q: What nations will surprise us in Rio?
BG: Fiji will surprise the world but not us if they win their country’s first-ever Olympic medal. As hosts, I’m confident Brazil’s Women will make an impact, especially as they’ll be guaranteed wonderful support – certainly if the atmosphere at the Brazil leg of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series is anything to go by. Edna Santini was a real star of that tournament and is shaping up to be her country’s ‘poster girl’.
Q: What will the measure of success be for Sevens in the Olympics?
BG: 1. A Competitive event 2. Full stadiums. 3. Brazilian atmosphere
Q: With Bryan Habana in South Africa’s Commonwealth Games squad, do you expect to see more top Fifteens players in Rio?
BG: You only have to read comments from top level Fifteens players on social media that they are desperate to be Olympians, and we want them there if they make the grade, but they will have to prove they can make the transition. Today’s Sevens players take fitness to a new level.
Q: How will the Olympics grow Sevens with just 12 nations there?
BG: The pathway to the Olympics gives teams in all regions a chance to qualify. That aspiration drives growth, as we have seen from the way the HSBC World Sevens Series has gone from strength to strength, as well as the Women’s Series in only its first two seasons.
Q: How can the IRB get rugby into the minds of a football country?
BG: Brazil will follow their country regardless of the code – just look at how certain parts of Brazil not traditionally known as football hotbeds, such as Manaus, have got behind this summer’s World Cup. Both the Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams have qualified automatically and I don’t for one minute think they’ll want for home support.
Q: Any plans for an Under 20s Sevens World Cup?
BG: Funny you should say that, an Under 20s Sevens World Cup is under discussion. But, for now, the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing is a good vehicle for players in that age group.
42e) Play as a team, Manu Samoa rugby first-five-eighth tells Flying Fijians
By Online Editor
4:16 pm GMT+12, 23/06/2014, Fiji
Manu Samoa rugby flyhalf Tusiata Pisi believes the Vodafone Flying Fijians will win the 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifying match against Cook Islands on Saturday.
And his coach, Steven Betham says Fiji should be wary of the Cook Islands because the encounter is a one-off test.
Pisi saved the day for the Samoans in the Pacific Nations Cup match last Saturday after they defeated the Flying Fijians 18-13 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
They won through six penalties.
“It should be an easy game for Fiji,” Pisi said.
“They just have to prepare well and keep on going forward as a team. They can do well if they prepare well.”
Pisi says teamwork and sacrifice always pay off for him and the Manu Samoa team.
“We prepare well as a team and as individuals spent a lot of effort in training and it paid off in the end,” he said.
Betham, meanwhile, said the Fijians should be wary of the Cooks.
“I think Cook Islands will struggle,”Betham said.
“It is a one-off match, so even though Fiji will go in as favourite, they have to be very mindful that the Cooks are playing for the same reason.
“You can’t just flog it off and say that you are the favourites because the Cook Islands will fight just as much as Fiji does. Fijians need to approach the game with a right mindset because it’s a big test match.”
Samoa captain David Lemi said Fiji should continue their style of rugby.
“Fiji will be hard to stop if they play the normal style of rugby. It should be tough for the Cooks, I’m banking on the Fijians.”
Meanwhile, the Cook Islands Rugby Union through Island Hoppers Vacations, is organising a package for their fans to travel to Fiji to support their team at Churchill Park, Lautoka.
They arrive in Nadi today for the all-important match.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
42f) Cook Islands wants to join Fiji, Tonga and Samoa
By Online Editor
5:08 pm GMT+12, 25/06/2014, Fiji
“We want to join Fiji, Tonga and Samoa”
These are the words of Cook Islands coach Barry George who believes this is the year they should be recognized in the Pacific as a rugby playing nation.
George said with the caliber of players in his side the clash this Saturday against the Vodafone Flying Fijians will be interesting.
Cook Islands captain Stan Wright believes the players have gelled in quickly and will be ready come Saturday.
Wright, who plays for French second division club Narbonne, said with another full week of training together the team has a genuine chance.
The Vodafone Flying Fijians will play Cook Islands at 3pm Saturday at Churchill Park in their Rugby World Cup qualifier match.
The winner of this match will join England, Wales, Australia and another unconfirmed team in Pool A of the World Cup next year.
SOURCE: FIJI VILLAGE/PACNEWS
42g) Vanuatu make good start to U17 Tri-Series
25 June 2014
Vanuatu have made a perfect start to the inaugural Pasifika Under-17 Cricket Tri-Series in Suva.
After being put into bat in their opening match against Fiji, the Melanesians recovered from 37 for 6 to post 102 for 8.
The hosts also recovered froma shaky start and needed seven runs off the final over to win but lost their final wicket to come up five runs short.
14 year old Stephane Sandy was the pick of the bowlers for Vanuatu, taking 3 for 13, while Fiji’s Josaia Baleicikobia top-scored for the match with 38, to add to his two wickets.
Their second match was more clear cut, racking up an imposing 162 for 5 against Tonga before the Kingdom were dismissed for just 39 in the 16th over.Radio NZ