Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1000 (29 June 2014)
This is the edition # 1000.
Started 5 years ago,
It was just for my information re Western Pacific (Melanesia)….. BUT then, I decided to share it and today lots of readers and counting.
On the e-list we have Diaspora’s,Media,Government Officials,Public Servants,Academics,NGO’s,GrassRoots+
Majority of readers are from Melanesia, a small percentage from Polynesia,Micronesia and Friends Of The Pacific.
1) MSG seeks proactivity on West Papua
28 June 2014
Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders say they want to take a more proactive approach alongside Indonesia to help address the development needs of West Papuans.
The leaders have just concluded their summit in Port Moresby where issues regarding the indigenous Melanesians of Indonesia’s Papua region featured prominently on the agenda.
According to the summit’s communiqué, the MSG seeks greater awareness on the situation in Indonesia’s Papua and West Papua provinces in regard to special autonomy arrangements and their impact on the local population.
Elsewhere the leaders note the progress on greater autonomy in Papua and a recent announcement by the President of Indonesia to withdraw the military from Papua region.
However the MSG appears to have brushed off a formal application bid by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation for membership in the MSG.
The coalition lodged its application over a year ago, and submitted documents of support from over seventy representative groups in Indonesia’s Papua region.
Documents of support for the West Papua National Coalition for LiberationPhoto: RNZI
The MSG had postponed its decision on the application pending the report from January’s MSG Foreign Ministers fact-finding mission to Papua.
Vanuatu boycotted that trip because it was of the view that the mission’s programme would not allow the MSG to obtain credible information to fulfil the MSG Leaders mandate, around making a decision on the membership bid.
The mission visited Papua region for less than a day.
The MSG leaders who attended this week’s summit were Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, his Vanuatu counterpart Joe Natuman, PNG’s Peter O’Neill and the current MSG chair, Victor Tutugoro, representing the FLNKS of New Caledonia.
While the communique didn’t include a formal decision on the Coalition’s membership bid, Mr O’Neill, earlier indicated that West Papuans would need to re-apply for membership as an “inclusive and united” group.
Mr O’Neill says the group would also have to consult with Jakarta.
Indonesia has observer status at the MSG.
Among other points of the communiqué, the MSG endorses more regular meetings with Jakarta on bilateral cooperation with specific focus on social and economic development and empowerment for West Papuans.Radio NZ
2) PNG Minister for Culture welcomes MSG cultural leaders
By Online Editor
10:57 am GMT+12, 26/06/2014, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Boka Kondra Wednesday welcomed Melanesian cultural leaders at a cocktail reception in Port Moresby.
“We are pleased to have friends and wantoks from our Melanesian neighbors to arrive in PNG,” the PNG Minister said.
“On behalf of the government and the people of PNG, we welcome you all to Papua New Guinea,” he said.
MSG Leaders present at the reception were the chairman of the FLNKS Ministers of Arts and Culture Yvon Faua, the director general of the MSG Secretariat Peter Farau and chairman of the MSG Arts and Culture Charles Wea.
Kondra said he was pleased to have all the MSG leaders and their delegation on time here for the 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture before the official opening ceremony on Saturday.
“What a Melanesian fortnight it will be, we are ready to deliver a big event effectively and on time, it is our time to come together to celebrate.
“The Festival will be the vehicle to bring us together, to be united so we can build on strength to strength to keep our cultures alive so that our children can inherit,” he added.
Kondra assured the participants that all facilities are ready in Port Moresby and satelite venues. “I want to assure you all that the program will be trouble free as everything is in control by the government so feel free to be in PNG.
“PNG is one of the best places that you can be in with diverse cultures, music and arts just like other Melanesian nations.”
Kondra urged the MSG countries to join hands and celebrate their cultures, arts, music and traditions. “I want to appeal to everyone to talk culture, play culture, eat culture, sleep culture and do everything culture.
“On behalf of the Government and the people of PNG, I welcome you all and look forward to making your stay an enjoyable and memorable one.”
All cultural ministers including the Prime Ministers of Vanuatu Joe Natuman and Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Gordon Darcy Lilo arrived Wednesday in the country. They were accompanied by their delegations who will be participating at the festival of arts.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
3) MSG focus on culture, festival hitch
By Online Editor
2:44 pm GMT+12, 26/06/2014, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato says one of the key objectives of the Melanesian Spearhead Group is the preservation and promotion of Melanesian culture and identity.
He made the remark at a special MSG foreign affairs ministers meeting Wednesday to prepare for the two-day leaders’ summit and foreign ministers’ meeting in Port Moresby today.
The fifth Melanesia Arts and Culture Festival will begin on Saturday in Port Moresby.
“It is particularly pleasing to welcome and see participants from all our countries and members arriving to participate at the Festival of Arts and Culture,” he said.
“As Melanesians, we have rich, diverse and proud traditions and folklore that we must not only preserve and pass onto our children, but that our Melanesian narrative must be told to the world because I think and believe that we have a wonderfully unique story,” he said.
Pato said some important decisions would be made going through the agenda for the leaders’ summit.
“PNG joins your countries in supporting the political aspirations of all Melanesian people everywhere in their right to self-determination,” he said.
“However, we want groups that show interest to join the MSG to have the overwhelming support of the people they represent.
Pato said another issue was Melanesia’s candidate for the post of the Pacific Islands Forum secretary-general.
“You will agree that it is time we put a Melanesian in that important seat,” he said.
“MSG leaders’ decisions have always been based on consensus and Melanesian solidarity.
“We need to agree on one candidate to ensure that we have a good chance of securing the post.”
Meanwhile, contingents from two countries arrived in Port Moresby Wednesday for the Melanesian Festival of Arts only to find out that they were a day early.
Festival organisers had not prepared any food for them and had to scurry around to sort out their accommodation too.
The 200 participants arrived from New Caledonia and Fiji.
According to an official of the National Cultural Commission who asked not to be identified, the New Caledonia and Fiji groups should be arriving today.
The organisers were preparing only for the arrival of the Solomon Islands participants.
He said they were caught “off guard” when the other two countries’ participants arrived at Jackson airport .
He said they were being accommodated at the PNG Education Institute.
Fijian participant Maciu Mareau told The National that they were driven from the airport straight to the Institute of Public Administration and shown to the hall where mats were placed on the floor to be used as beds.
Mareau said they had to leave some of their bags containing their traditional costumes at the airport because they had not been cleared.
“We have also not had anything to eat since we arrived this morning,” he said.
A member of the New Caledonian contingent who identified himself only as Mali likened their predicament to the reality television show Survivors.
“We have arrived in a new strange country with no food available, no mattresses to sleep on, and no one as a guide,” he said.
“Are we to go scavenging to fill up our tummies?”
Mali said the youngest in their group was seven and the oldest 70.
The National Cultural Commission official said they had been tasked to look after the welfare of the participants but what happened yesterday was beyond them.
“We can only show them to their accommodations and take them around the city. Helping out in such a situation like this (no food) is beyond us,” he said.
Mali said they did not deserve such treatment by the host nation.
“Representatives from the commission should have shown up and at least find a solution,” he said.
He said that preparations for accommodation and meals only began about two weeks ago.
“This should not have been the case. We should have started preparing for this a month in advance,” Mali said.
“If that had been done, we would not be having this situation.”.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
4) Solomons PM’s Trip Forces Arts Fest Participants To Miss Flight
‘Last-minute’ travel to Melanesian Arts Festival frustrates organizers
By Alfred Sasako
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 26, 2014) – At least 24 Melanesian Arts Festival participants were thrown off their Air Niugini flight to Port Moresby yesterday, reportedly to make way for a last-minute delegation headed by Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo.
The 24 men and women have now been booked to fly on Saturday to join the 168-strong contingent at the official opening ceremony in the afternoon.
It is not clear whether the Solomon Islands’ contingent was scheduled to officially take part in the opening ceremony.
Papua New Guinea is hosting the Melanesian Arts Festival, which will feature arts and cultures of Melanesia for the next two weeks.
The drama in offloading members of the Solomon Islands’ contingent began on Tuesday afternoon.
Officials familiar with the travel arrangements said Prime Minister Lilo ‘personally’ telephoned the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, John Wasi, directing that seven seats be made available for the Prime Minister’s delegation on the lunchtime flight on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister’s delegation consisted of himself, his wife and six officials.
Mr Wasi along with the organisers were reportedly angry.
However, because the directive came from the top, they had little choice but to do as the Prime Minister had directed.
In the end, there were eight on the Prime Minister’s delegation, which flew to Port Moresby yesterday (Wednesday).
Consequently, 17 participants had to be offloaded. Already there were another five wait-listed for Saturday’s flight.
“In total, there were 24 of us that had to give up our seats so that the Prime Minister’s delegation could get on the flight,” one frustrated participant said.
“The Prime Minister’s wife does not even have any role to play at all during the Festival so why should she travel? It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money,” the participant who asked anonymity said.
“His last-minute intervention again is an act of his usual bullying and corrupt attitude,” he said.
It is understood Prime Minister Lilo is using the trip to discuss with his counterpart, Prime Minister Peter O’Neil, the release of this year’s K20 million (about SBD64 million) in bilateral aid to Solomon Islands.
Under a five-year bilateral grand-in-aid package negotiated by former Prime Minister, Danny Philip, PNG agreed to provide K100 million (about SBD300 million) to Solomon Islands over five years.
The multi-million dollar grant was effective from 2012.
The prime minister did not publicly announce the trip prior to his departure.
5) Spearhead Group Rejects West Papuan Membership Bid
MSG invites another application by ‘inclusive and united’ group
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 27, 2014) – The Melanesian Spearhead Group appears to have rejected the application for membership by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation.
The coalition lodged its application over a year ago, and submitted documents of support from over seventy representative groups in Indonesia’s Papua region.
However MSG leaders meeting in Papua New Guinea implied that West Papuans would need to re-apply for membership as an “inclusive and united” group.
PNG’s prime minister Peter O’Neill says the group would also have to consult with Jakarta.
“We feel that it must be representative of all Melanesians that are living in Indonesia, and that the application be made in consultation with the Indonesian government just as we have done with FLNKS membership in the MSG.”
A spokesman for the coalition, Andy Ayamiseba, has questioned the merits of consulting with Jakarta when he says it attempted to sabotage their bid all along.
He also points out that the FLNKS didn’t have to ask permission of France when they became a member of the MSG.
Radio New Zealand International
6) Mi stap ovasi naoia blong wan miting
Mi stap naoia long London blong patipiset mo ripresentem Vanuatu long “Understanding Risk Forum” we bae i stat tumoro Mande 30 Jun kasem Fraede 4 Julae.
United Nations i bin diklerem se Vanuatu hemi kantri long wol we i save gat moa naturel disasta (hariken, etkwek, volkenu, tsunami, flood, etc) bitim evri kantri long wol. Konfrens ia hemi blong tokbaot hao Vanuatu i save “manejem” “risk” ia moa gud.
Mi mi go long konfrens ia espesli from we World Bank i bin agri blong givim wan mane long Vanuatu blong yumi save mekem fes “National Subdivision Policy” blong yumi. Oli givim mane ia thru long Ministri blong Lands, be mane i kamaot long wan mane oli bin givim long Vanuatu long saed blong preventem disasta, wanem oli singaotem “Urban risk planning”.
Mifala we i reprisentem Vanuatu long miting ia i gat mi, Albert Williams (Akting DG blong Ministri blong Climate Change) mo Sylvain Todman (hem tu blong Ministri blong Klaemet Jenis).
Long Mande namba 7 Julae bae mi go long Brussels blong miting ACP/EU Secretariat blong tokbaot sem topik blong disasta risk manejmen, afta mi kambak long Vanuatu.
Bae mi kasem bak Vanuatu long namba 9 Julae.
Ta, Vanuatu Minister For Lands Ralph Regenvanu
7) Scholarships for Semester 2 now available
PORT VILA SCHOLARSHIPS SCHEME
APPLICATION FORMS FOR SEMESTER 2 (2014) ARE NOW AVAILABLE
The scholarships are open to all Ni-Vanuatu students enrolling in Foundation courses at USP Emalus Campus in Semester 2, 2014, who are residents of Port Vila.
Scholarships will only cover tuition fees for 1 unit per student per semester.
Scholarships will be awarded based on academic performance:
Ø on Secondary School results for students beginning Foundation-level studies
Ø on GPA for continuing Foundation-level students.
Additional criteria, to be applied at the discretion of the Selection Committee, are gender and financial circumstances of the applicant.
Application Forms are available now from :
– the Student Academic Services Office, Emalus Campus, Port Vila, or
– the Graon mo Jastis Pati website
Closing date for applications: Friday 11th July 2014
Announcement of successful applicants: Thursday 7th August 2014
These scholarships will be awarded from the “Port Vila Scholarship Scheme”, which has been established with funding provided by the Hon. Ralph Regenvanu, MP for Port Vila
Ta, Vanuatu Minister For Lands Ralph Regenvanu
8) Skolaship blong ol francophone studen
Long las yia 2013 mi bin stat blong sponsarem ol USP Seconde Chance studen (program long franis lanwis).
Stat long 2009 finis mi bin stap sponsarem ol USP Foundation studen (program long english lanwis), mo hemia mi bin mekem evri yia stat long 2009 kasem naoia.
Mi bin promes long eleksen kampen long 2012 se bae mi spendem 750,000 vatu aot long aloksen blong mi evri yia long ol skolaship we bae mi givim folem nomo marks blong studen (olgeta we oli karem hae marks nomo bae oli karem skolaship) mo faenansol nid blong famli blong studen, be i no folem politik.
Las yia mi bin bin traem blong sherem 750,000 vatu haf-haf long ol Foundation mo Seconde Chance studen, mekem se mi sponsarem 18 Foundation studen mo 12 Seconde Chance studen.
Long yia ia bakegen bae mi sherem 750,000 vatu semak.
Ol Foundation studen oli mas fulumap wan aplikesen form blong aplae blong karem wan skolaship, be long saed blong ol Seconde Chance studen, kodineta blong program nao i stap jusum ol top 12 studen evri yia blong sponsarem.
Ta, Vanuatu Minister For Lands Ralph Regenvanu
9) Ol latest amendmen blong ol loa blong graon
Ol “latest” amendmen o jenis long ol loa blong graon we Palamen i bin pasem long manis Mei long yia ia naoia oli kamaot long Gavman Gazette mo oli kam loa blong kantri finis.
OL BIGFALA JENIS:
1. there is no longer any requirement for a “quorum” at meetings of the nakamal to determine ownership of customary land;
2. transfers and mortgages on rural titles for which the Minister is the lessor on behalf of disputing parties no longer require approval of all disputing parties before the Minister can consent. Approval of all disputing parties is only required for subdivisions, extension of lease term and change in lease type;
3. the 12 month period in which all existing land tribunal decisions can be challenged has been amended: now only village, joint-village, sub-area and joint-sub area land tribunal decisions can be challenged within the 12 month period; area and joint area and island land tribunal decisions are final and cannot be challenged.
Yu save luk ol amendmen ia long websaet blong Ministri blong Lands.
Ta, Vanuatu Minister For Lands Ralph Regenvanu
10) Vanuatu daily news digest | 26 June 2014
- Kava is now the leading Vanuatu export amongst Pacific products to Europeaccording to Radio Vanuatu News today, quoting the director of the SP Forum Economic Governance Programme. He was speaking for the Pacific Islands at the Pacific – EU Business Forum taking place in Port Vila this week. Country representatives were urged to consider their strategies for kava exportation and growers called upon to ensure quality production. The German ban ended on 10 June. Vanutu’s representative at the Forum, EU Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy, called on more foreign investment interest in the industry.
- Head of the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority, Smith Tebu, has pointed out the need for foreign investors to follow the “rules and laws” of the country, whilst enjoying their lives here in the “world’s happiest country”. The remarks were presumed to follow reports of drunken brawling and beer bottle throwing at clubs and bars at the weekend, following which one investor died.
- Both Daily Post and Radio Vanuatu News cover visa-free entry to this country, something allowed to many countries. There have been allegations of e-visas being available for VT 5.000 in China, but the Prime Minister’s Office has denied this.
- Daily Post lists the manifold management problems confronting the Vila Central Hospital as observed by Minister of Health George Wells. His list begins with staff wages and conditions, overtime, shortages of personnel, posting issues, unpaid overtime, but above all “a lack of proper and efficient management” at the hospital. He has prepared and presented his first paper to the Council of Ministers (CoM) and hopes to see some of the issues being able to be taken up by donor partners.
- The Presidents of the Malvatumauri and National Council of Women blame poor management for Vanuatu’s contingent to participate in the 5th Melanesian Arts Festival in Port Moresby starting tomorrow. There was no steering committee formed and the Vanuatu National Cultural Council (VNCC) did not talk about the organizational arrangements, nor even the composition nor size of the Vanuatu delegation, it was reported. There are calls for the Minister for Internal Affairs (Charlot Salwai) to remove the Chair of the VNCC and Director of the Vanuatu Kaljerol Senta.
- Vanuatu’s popular cultural performer and leading NGO, Wan Smol Bag, is about to celebrate 25 years of excellence in Vanuatu. Performing for WSB has meant unleashing lots of diverse talent and providing all kinds of community service -beginning with younger persons and taking them through intellectual and sporting pursuits right up to a regular and strenuous clean-up of the Tagabe River. NZ and Australian Aid help them, but they need – and deserve – all the financial help they can get. If you can assist, even in a small way, get in touch with rhinton
11) Fijian Government Approves First New Home Owner Grant
Scheme offers incentives for first home builders, buyers
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 25, 2014) – The Fijian Government has approved the first grant application under its new first-time home owners scheme.
Acting Minister for Housing and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the first approved application under the scheme was via Fiji’s fully local-owned bank, Home Finance Company (HFC) Limited.
The approval was given last Friday, just four days after applications for grants under the scheme was opened.
Under the scheme, a $10,000 grant, is given to those who intend to build their first residential home and $5000 for those who intend to buy their first residential home.
HFC chief executive Isikeli Tikoduadua said the quick processing time was possible because they had planned in advance and had a package deal ready well before applications were opened on Monday, June 16.
“At the moment we are just finalising the legal aspect of the payment before it is released to the applicant,” Tikoduadua said.
“Our objective as a local bank is to help improve the living standards of Fijians, so when the opportunity was presented to us through the scheme we took advantage of it.”
With HFC, the repayment term is 30 years which Tikoduadua says allows the applicant to repay the loan whilst being able to meet their day-to-day commitments.
12) Samoa Launches Broadband Internet Access For Ministries, Corporations
$20.49 million National Broadband highway funded by Chinese loan
By Lance Polu
APIA, Samoa (Talamua, June 26, 2014) – Samoa’s US$20.49 million National Broadband highway that connects all government ministries and corporations to improve the delivery of services, was successfully launched this morning under a tent in front of the National Hospital, Moto’otua.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele said the project is a milestone and another first for Samoa.
“Information and communication technology is recognized as an increasingly powerful tool for improving the delivery of basic services and enhancing local development opportunities as well as participating in the global economy,” said Tuilaepa.
“This is why Broadband has been prioritized by the HRPP government through the approval of the Broadband Policy for Samoa 2012, the National ICT Policy 2012-2017 and today in the official launch of the Samoa National Broadband Highway, marks the completion of the project implementation.”
Built by Huawei Technologies of China, with a soft term loan from the Peoples Republic of China, through the Exiam Bank.
China’s Ambassador to Samoa Madame Li Yuanduan said the project is another sign of the close relationships between Samoa and the Peoples Republic of China.
The project is designed to provide high speed broadband connections for all government ministries and corporations “that will benefit all sectors like health, education, agricuture and fisheries, police, tourism, environment, border security, weather and disaster preparedness information and so forth.
All Government agencies and their branches around the country will be connected for easier and quicker exchange of information. So far 66 ministries, corporations and their centres have already been connected to the Data Centre next to the National Kidney Foundation and 15 more need to be connected to complete the project.
Broadband is also to facilitate emergency and humanitarian communications, distance learning and electronic commerce; and in public health matters, broadband will enhance remote diagnosis, the tracking of syampotms and mapping empidemics and diseas outbreaks.
“Furthermore, broadband promotes increased opportunities for women and girls to participate in economic and social activities,” said Tuilaepa.
Huawei had been working with a National Task Force in the design and implementation of the project using fribre optic cable, Wi-Fi and microwave technology deploying TDL-LTE (time division longterm evolution) which is true 4G technology for the rest of the country.
Even though it took one year to build, the Samoa project took almost seven years to negotiate and modified several times to suit local needs and coverage but the cost remained the same.
“So you can say this is a project that has utilized the knowledge and expertise of our local ICT sector,” said Tuilaepa.
Opening the broadband highway under a tent infront of the National Hospital several hundred meters away from its data center demonstrated the fact that it can be accessed from any location when needed.
There was only one hitch, when the Minister of ICT Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau pushed the button to connect to the Tuasivi Hospital, the audio of the female medical doctor responding from Savai’i was lost after a minute. Two other interactive connections to the central Police office in Apia and the Leauva’a Primary school came through alright.
13) Tonga Celebrates ‘Orange Day’ Against Gender Violence
UN campaign to End Violence against Women and Girls marked
NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, June 26, 2014) – Orange Day, 25 June, was marked in Tonga with a luncheon at Davina House hosted by the Talitha Project.
The day marks the UN Secretary-General’s call to UNiTE to End Violence against Women and Girls.
Vanessa Heleta, the director of the Talitha Project said that the Orange Day has been marked since 2012, but it was for the first time in Tonga yesterday.
The monthly Orange Day celebration highlights the campaign to end violence against women and girls and it compliments the White Ribbon Day, 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Vanessa highlighted the work of the Talitha Project, a Non-Government Organisation for young women between the ages of 12-25 years. It aims to give young women and girls an opportunity to have a voice and make informed choices.
Yesterday’s event was a partnership between the Talitha Project and the Women’s Affairs Division on the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The keynote speaker was the Speaker of the Tonga Legislative Assembly, Lord Fakafanua, at the luncheon attended by foreign diplomats, members of parliament and representatives from various women organizations.
Matangi Tonga Magazine
14) Kiribati Minister Defends Domestic Violence Bill
Some blame bill for splitting families, leading to 5 violent killings
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 27, 2014) – The Minister for Women in Kiribati says she is worried a bill aiming to stop domestic violence is being unfairly blamed as contributing to a spate of violent attacks against women.
Five women have been violently killed in the past six months, all allegedly by their partner or former partner.
The ministry recently introduced the Family Peace Bill, which recognises that domestic violence, in all its forms, is unacceptable behaviour and a crime.
The minister, Tangariki Reete, says she is very concerned by the recent violence and says the bill’s aims appears to have been misunderstood by some.
“What I heard from people – the bill is something that has made a barrier between a wife and husband and we are working on that, at the ministry, to do an awareness programme to tell people that the bill does not support women only. The bill is for men and the family as a whole.”
Tangariki Reete says the ministry is doing all it can to stop domestic violence but it cannot be blamed for the actions of the individual.
Radio New Zealand International
15) Five Nauru Nationals Charged With Murdering Tongan In Fiji
Young students released on bail, accused of nightclub beating death
By Shalveen Chand
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 27, 2014) – Five Nauruan students charged with the murder of Tongan university student Sione Tufui were granted bail by the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday.
Julian Henrish, Jamason Agir and Bouncer Keppa, all 19 years old, took the dock separately while the two juveniles had their proceedings in a closed court.
Nauru High Commissioner Jarden Kephas was told that he could not be a surety in the case because he had diplomatic immunity.
However, the court said the Nauruan Government could assist the court.
During the bail hearing, the defence counsels for the accused told the court that Mr Kephas would be a surety and the Nauruan Government would ensure the five youths do not enter Nauru.
The court was told that the accused were high school students who were doing their exams and if kept in remand, their education would be in jeopardy.
The counsels said the five went to different schools, most of them in the Western Division and they would not be able to interfere with prosecution witnesses.
Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili allowed bail on strict conditions that the five produce sureties when they appear in the High Court, and report to their nearest police station every Saturday.
The court ordered them to surrender their travel documents and a stop departure order was issued.
The court also placed a curfew on the five.
They are to stay in their place of residence from 6pm to 6am daily.
The five accused are alleged to have beaten Sione Tufui to his death outside a Suva nightclub last Saturday morning.
Fiji Times Online.
16) Nauru Speaker Accuses Suspended MPs Of High Treason
Five MPs have had salaries cut, phones and office taken away
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 26, 2014) – The Speaker of the Nauru parliament has accused five MPs suspended from the house of high treason.
The MPs make up more than a quarter of the parliament but Speaker Ludwig Scotty says their electorates are well served by the other MPs in their multi-member seats.
The suspended MPs, who believe their constitutional rights have been infringed, are seeking legal redress, but have been frustrated by the government’s removal of the Chief Justice.
Two weeks ago their salaries were stopped and phones and offices taken.
Mr Scotty says they might be allowed back if they were to apologise, but he says parliament is working better without them.
“They went to the foreign media talking against Nauru, that means against the government of Nauru. You know it could be very difficult by way of assistance to Nauru if somebody goes around talking away like that. Don’t you think that that is tantamount to high treason?” says Scotty.
Radio New Zealand International
17) Vineyards struggling to find ‘strong committed’ workers
By Online Editor
2:51 pm GMT+12, 26/06/2014, New Zealand
Marlborough vineyard contractors are struggling to find “strong” and “committed” workers.
Earlier this week, a job was listed on a New Zealand backpackers website looking for “strong workers” in Marlborough’s vineyards, adding that they were hard to find.
Provine owner Ken Prouting said there was always a shortage of strong pruners and strippers.
“We’ve got guys that apply and they think they can do it and they do a couple of weeks and then they leave us. It happens every year.
“Finding people to stay the whole season is hard.”
Prouting received anywhere between 20 and 30 calls each day for work, but while there was plenty of interest, not all were cut out for the job, he said.
“You’ve got to have an eye for pruning. It’s repetitive that’s where the pain comes from.
“It’s continuous work and there is a different mentality, you’ve got to have discipline.”
Almost half of Prouting’s workers were employed under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, he said. He employs about 250 people – 85 of them were from Vanuatu and Kiribati.
Most of his workers do a nine-hour day, he said.
Grapeworx Marlborough owner Mack Pouwhare said commitment was also an important part of the job.
“What’s happening is growers are going back to hand stripping, not machine stripping so that means more hard work.
“I’m struggling to get committed workers and Kiwi workers . . . vineyard work is only for some people, it’s not for everyone. You’ve got to want to do it,” Pouwhare said.
“At the end of the day it comes down to their work ethic. They either have a good work ethic or they don’t.”
Pruning and striping the blocks required hard work from strong men, he said.
Vinepower co-director Jason Kennard said he was struggling to find more committed workers rather than strong workers.
“You don’t have to be overly strong. We have a number of woman working for us.”
He employs about 170 workers from Vanuatu, Thailand and the Solomon Islands. Of those workers, 20 were woman who mainly wrapped vines, Kennard said.
He was finding it difficult to employ New Zealand workers, he said.
“We’ve been advertising for the last five weeks, we need to employ another 40 Kiwis and we’ve only managed to get two.”
To date, there are 936 workers in Marlborough under the RSE scheme.
At the same time last year there were 1406..
SOURCE: MARLBOROUGH EXPRESS/PACNEWS
18) Vanuatu igat ‘social disorder’
Postim 27 June 2014, 17:07 AEST
Wanpela Executive blong Vanuatu Women Against Crime oganaesen, Manina Pakete itok kantri i stap nau ia insait long pasin blong social disorder.
Odio: Wanpela Executive blong Vanuatu Women Against Crime oganaesen, Manina Pakete i toktok
Manina Paketa husat ibin President blong National Council blong ol meri long bipo i tok, ol i singautim gavman long holim wanpela ‘urgent crime forum long privention blong crime’ blong kantri i dil hariap wantaim dispela isiu.
Em itok gavman i mas adresim isiu blong ol kainkain kraim na heve i kamap long Vanuatu na ol strongpela loa blong panisim ol pipol we oli stap kilim ol pipol i dai na ol man i save repim ol meri.
Em i tok sapos Vanuatu igat ol strongpela loa, bai em i halvim long daunim mak blong ol kainkain kraim na heve long kantri na tu long Port Vila.
Ms Pakete i tok kilim dai blong tupela pipol we i bin kaman long wik igo pinis na wik pastaim tu long Port Vila, i soim klia long ol heve long loa na oda i stap long Vanuatu nau ia.
Em i tok dispela bung imas kisim olgeta pipol lain long sait long gavman, ol chif, civil society, ol sois na wanem kain ol lida long kantri long toktok long hau bai ol i dil wantaim ol heve long kraim long kantri.Radio Australia
19) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – vendredi 27 juin 2014
Mis à jour 27 June 2014, 14:19 AEST
- Le Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance (GMFL) a rejeté la candidature de la Coalition Nationale pour la Libération de la Papouasie occidentale.
Des militants de la Coalition Nationale pour la Libération de la Papouasie occidentale manifestent pour leur intégration dans le GMFL. On peut lire sur leur banderole: « Nous avons besoin de l’aide de nos frères mélanésiens ».
C’est l’une des organisations des indépendantistes papoues. Elle représente 70 associations. La Coalition a déposé sa demande il y a un an. Elle pourrait faire à nouveau acte de candidature dans le futur, mais avec l’accord de l’Indonésie: « La Coalition Nationale pour la Libération de la Papouasie occidentale doit représenter tous les Mélanésiens d’Indonésie, et sa candidature doit se faire en concertation avec le gouvernement indonésien », a déclaré hier le Premier ministre papou, Peter O’Neill. L’Indonésie, elle, a obtenu un statut d’observateur en 2011.
Retour à la case départ: les mêmes données, retournées dans tous les sens, pour arriver à la même conclusion… plus de 100 jours après la disparition du MH 370. Il était « très vraisemblablement en pilote automatique » quand il s’est abîmé dans l’océan Indien au large de l’Australie. La confirmation vient du Bureau Australien de Sécurité des Transports. Il a présenté hier les conclusions du groupe d’experts international sur la trajectoire du MH 370. Une « nouvelle » zone de recherches a été définie. En réalité, c’est un retour à la case départ. Car c’est cette même zone qui a d’abord été explorée après la disparition du MH370, mais uniquement par avion. Puis des signaux attribués à tort aux boîtes noires ont été captés à 800 km plus au nord-est. Les recherches se sont détournées de la zone 1. Et la zone 2, elle, a été explorée par le robot sous-marin Bluefin sans succès en mai. Actuellement deux navires, un chinois et un australien, quadrillent les 60 000 km carrés de la zone 1, pour cartographier le fond de l’océan. Objectif: faciliter les recherches sous-marines, qui débuteront en août.
- Australie: la Chambre des Représentants a voté la suppression de la taxe carbone jeudi. L’abolition doit encore être votée par le Sénat en juillet, pour entrer en vigueur. Hier Clive Palmer, le magnat minier et leader du micro Parti uni de Palmer a rencontré le Premier ministre Tony Abbott. Clive Palmer et les deux autres sénateurs de son parti ont confirmé qu’ils voteront l’abandon de la taxe carbone. En contrepartie, Tony Abbott s’engage à légiférer pour obliger les producteurs d’énergie à répercuter la suppression de la taxe sur les factures des Australiens. Et pour le moment, le gouvernement ne touchera pas à la commission de finance des énergies propres.
- Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: Sam Koim est rentré d’Australie, mais il craint toujours d’être arrêté. L’ancien directeur du bureau de lutte contre la corruption maintient ses accusations de malversations à l’encontre du Premier ministre, Peter O’Neill. Sam Koim a déclenché un mandat d’arrêt à l’encontre de Peter O’Neill. Le Premier ministre a dissout le bureau en début de semaine dernière, estimant qu’il était manipulé par l’opposition. Sam Koim a passé cette semaine en Australie, où il a rencontré Julie Bishop, la ministre des Affaires étrangères, qui s’est bornée à se dire « inquiète » des tensions au sommet de l’État papou. Peter O’Neill a regretté que Sam Koim salisse l’image de la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée à l’étranger. Sur sa page Facebook, l’ancien monsieur anti-corruption écrit qu’il ne serait pas surpris d’être prochainement arrêté.
- Australie: des milliers de voyageurs coincés à l’aéroport de Sydney ce vendredi matin. Une panne d’électricité a retardé des dizaines de vols intérieurs, juste au moment où les vacances scolaires débutent en Nouvelle-Galles du Sud. Les 4 compagnies aériennes, Virgin, Tiger, JetStar et Rex recommandent d’éviter Sydney aujourd’hui.
- Le Samoa se dote d’un tribunal des affaires familiales. Le Parlement a voté sa création cette semaine. C’est Ida Malosi, une juge néo-zélandaise, qui a porté le projet. La magistrate a présidé le procès très médiatisé de Muliagatele Brian Lima, l’ancien joueur de Manu Samoa, l’équipe nationale de rugby, reconnu coupable de violences conjugales sur son ex-femme et de violences sur le nouveau compagnon de cette dernière.
- Nauru: 13 autres demandeurs d’asile ont obtenu leur statut de réfugiés. Deux demandes ont été rejetées. Au total, 73 migrants ont été reconnus réfugiés, et libérés, ils vivent avec les Nauruans. Quelques migrants sont considérés uniquement comme des réfugiés économiques. Ils restent donc en détention pour le moment en attendant leur renvoi au pays. 1100 migrants sont toujours enfermés dans le centre de rétention, en attente de la décision des autorités nauruanes.
- Fidji: 8 cas de typhoïdes diagnostiqués en un mois à Suva. Le ministère de la Santé assure qu’il surveille le quartier où la maladie est apparue, en raison d’un manque d’hygiène – elle se transmet par l’eau et par les aliments. La typhoïde est une infection bactérienne qui se manifeste entre autres par de fortes fièvres et des tâches roses sur la poitrine. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
20) Pacific-European summit proposed
Updated at 8:24 am on 28 June 2014
Pacific diplomats in Brussels are proposing a summit of Pacific leaders with their counterparts in Europe, with hopes of lifting the profile of Pacific Countries in Europe.
Samoa’s Ambassador Pao Luteru and his Vanuatu counterpart in Brussels, Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy are spearheading discussions to hold the first high level political meeting possibly next year.
Ambassador Roy told Pacnews the rationale behind this proposal is to get Pacific leaders to meet their counterparts and put their cards on the table and discuss what should come to the Pacific.
He says he and Ambassador Pao have put together a dossier which will be presented to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders summit in Palau in August.
He says Pacific Ambassadors in Brussels have seen the growing interest the Europe Union is placing on relations with African and Caribbean nations.
He says they have seen how the Caribbean and the African leaders hold annual summits with the European Leaders while the Pacific has never organised any kind of high level meeting.
He says it’s high time such meetings take place because the current Cotonou Agreement, which forms the basis of African, Caribbean and Pacific-EU relations, comes to an end in 2020.Radio NZ
21) Taboo on sex discussions must be broken in Fiji – Dr Tukana – National Adviser on Non-communicable Diseases Dr Isimeli Tukana stressed that the “taboo” on sex discussions must be broken in Fiji. While speaking at the National Youth and Sports Conference, Dr Tukana told the more than 300 youth that they face a lot of challenges which are not difficulties.
22( The Fiji Cancer Society interim Board of Trustee has found that the Agreement between the Society and ‘Walk On Walk Strong’ were signed without a proper board resolution. Findings reveal that the agreement was signed only by the president and the treasurer of the Society. The Interim trustee this afternoon convened a special general meeting in which it revealed other findings of the investigation into the Fiji Cancer Society. Several findings were revealed following the audit conducted by the president of the interim trustees Nazhat Shameem.
Fiji TV News 6PM
FBC TV News 6PM
23) Women can now access better reproductive health services for free – Women in the country can now access better reproductive health services for free. Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Ministry and the Medical Services Pacific today, Permanent Secretary of Social Welfare Dr Josefa Koroivueta said this will improve the lives of women, and youth who may face some difficulties with health services.
24) MSG leaders likely to knock back West Papuan bid
By Online Editor
5:11 pm GMT+12, 26/06/2014, Solomon Islands
Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders meeting this week in the Papua New Guinea capital are expected to formulate a decision on a West Papuan bid to join the grouping.
The leaders have been briefed on the outcomes of the MSG Foreign Ministers delegation to Indonesia’s Papua region in January.
The trip, which was boycotted by Vanuatu, was aimed at fact-gathering for the MSG decision on the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation membership application which was lodged a year ago.
The Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Clay Forau was part of the delegation.
“We provided them with our findings during the recent trip to West Papua, and so it’s for the leaders to decide whether for them to become a member of MSG or one other option for the leaders is to regard Indonesia’s membership (MSG observer status) as representing the whole of Indonesia.”
Forau has indicated the leaders are likely to reject the West Papuan bid.
25) Fiji Elections Office Releases Number Of Registered Voters
Youth make up over 18% of 554,566 total voters
By Nasik Swami
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 27, 2014) – More than 100,000 youths have registered to cast their vote this year and make a choice for the government they want in power.
This includes people between the ages of 18 and 25, with the Elections Office confirming exactly 100,960 registered Fijian youths as of April this year.
At a two-day workshop organised by the Media Industry Development Authority in Suva, Election Supervisor Mohammed Saneem revealed that 71,576 people between the ages of 26 to 30 have registered to vote, 123,390 between the ages of 31 to 40, and 152,320 between the ages of 41 to 55.
Mr Saneem further revealed in the senior citizens category, 83,278 people between the ages of 56 to 70 have registered to vote, 22,749 between the ages of 71 to 90 and a total of 293 people above 91 years.
And also as of April this year, a total of 554,566 Fijians have registered nationwide to vote in the September 17 General Election.
According to the Elections Office, 282,053 of the total registered voters are males and 272,513 are females.
The Central Division has had the highest number of registration with 230,318 voters followed by Western Division with 211,832 voters, 86,250 in the Northern Division and 1,988 overseas registration.
[PIR editor’s note: meanwhile, Fijilive reported that “The Fijian Elections Office today released the itaukei version of the voter information guide and confirmed it has incorporated sign language in one of its polling station advertisements for the benefit of disabled voters. Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem had said this is part of efforts to ensure an inclusive electoral process and making sure each voter understands what they need to do come polling day on September 17. He had also assured the voter awareness guide will be released in the Hindi language as well.”]
Fiji Times Online.
26) Head of Fiji’s military issues warning over constitution – The head of Fiji’s military says any government that tries to rewrite the constitution post-election will disqualify itself but it is not for the army to step in. General Mosese Tikoitoga told Radio New Zealand International when taking control of the military in March that he wanted to stay out of politics and concentrate on upholding Fiji’s constitution. He stresses the military remains nonpartisan but told Christopher GIlbert any government that attempts to throw out the current constitution will delegitimise itself.
27) FEO steps up voter awareness campaign – The Fijian Elections Office today released the itaukei version of the voter information guide and confirmed it has incorporated sign language in one of its polling station
advertisements for the benefit of disabled voters. Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem had said this is part of efforts to ensure an inclusive electoral process and making sure each voter understands what they need to do come polling day on September 17.
28) Election the only way: Draunidalo – Fiji’s National Federation Party president Tupou Draunidalo maintains the September 17 election is Fiji’s only chance of returning to democracy. Radio New Zealand reports she made the comments while addressing Fijian citizens living in Mt Roskill in Auckland, New Zealand at the weekend.
29) MIDA raises concern on the press release of two academics regarding freedom in Fiji – The Media Industry Development Authority Chairman, Ashwin Raj has raised concern on why the two academics from the University of the South Pacific Journalism Program did not find and confirm the facts from MIDA before making a series of allegations about freedom in Fiji. Raj said USP Journalism academics Patrick Craddock and Doctor Matthew Thompson were alleging that the Fijian Government continues to intimidate journalists in the lead up to the general election and have also made serious allegations of torture and intimidation used by the Fiji Military Forces to ensure that there is no civil disorder.
Fiji TV News 6PM
FBC TV News 6PM
29) The role of the media in covering the upcoming September elections will be critical to the successful transition back to democracy. That’s the expert assessment of a visiting media specialist from the Caribbean, Wesley Gibbings. Gibbings is in the country help the Media Industry Development Authority and the Elections Office put together a handbook on how the media can effectively cover the elections.
Fiji TV News 6PM
30) Ministry apologizes for refusing accreditation – The Permanent Secretary of Information Sharon Smith-Johns has issued an apology to veteran journalist Samisoni Pareti for refusing his accreditation to cover the Pacific Islands Development Forum in Nadi last week. In a statement this morning, Smith-Johns says their decision to refuse Pareti’s accreditation was based on incorrect information due to miscommunication between the Ministry and the Media Industry Development Authority.
Fiji TV News 6PM
FBC TV News 6PM
31) Entrepreneurs Look To Establish ‘Silicon Valley’ In PNG
IT business cluster project to help support start-ups
By Jemima Garrett
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 27, 2014) – Indigenous entrepreneurs in Papua New Guinea have taken their first steps towards setting up their own version of Silicon Valley in the country.
The move is part of a European-funded business cluster project also running in Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Douveri Henao is part of the PNG-based group, which focuses on information and communications technology businesses.
This week, Mr Henao and other young software engineers representing 25 PNG start-up companies gathered for their final conference at the end of a 10-week project.
“It’s connecting the diverse, and also the exciting, dots of start-up entrepreneurs, telco companies and even accounting and legal firms [and] financing firms that have any interest in growing the information communications technology sector,” he said.
“The cluster is how to actually provide a business environment for that action to occur.”
Mr Henao says all of the 80 participants at this week’s conference are graduates of the computer science degree at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, which commenced 15 years ago.
And most of them are keen to use their tech skills while moving into more creative industries.
“It has been an interesting journey for them,” Mr Henao said.
“In the IT area the rapid evolution provokes innovation [so] It’s not a static sector, so what has happened is a lot of them have embarked on commencing or establishing their own start-up entities.
“We are seeing an interesting and exciting bubble developing.”
One of the success stories attending the conference was Freddy Apakali, who grew up in the remote Highlands province of Enga, and now makes his home in Silicon Valley in California.
Mr Apakali was the second student to graduate with the computer science degree, and after spending some time working at the Ok Tedi mine, he felt it was not the right industry for him and made the decision to move to California.
After 10 years living there, Mr Apakali has done work for big retail companies and now has his own start-up company.
“Not only is he partaking in the sector he is also an active participant,” Mr Henao said.
Another success story is Dr Raula Kula, assistant professor in software engineering at the University of Osaka in Japan.
Dr Kula is an avid software developer, who works on creating applications and data management systems to help tackle social challenges.
He was a co-creators of PNG’s popular Yu Tok messaging application, which uses the Motu language commonly used in many parts of the island of Papua.
Bright future for PNG entrepreneurship
While some have found distant success, many of the young local entrepreneurs see their futures in making a difference at home.
Mr Henao says they want to use technology to share information and education with everyone in PNG.
“They want people in the villages to have information that can help,” he said.
“Whether it is diagnosing a sickness, they definitely want their nephews and their cousins to share the education experience by using tablets or phones.
“I see the industry having an active role in partaking in that information bridge reaching out to the rural community.”
32) PNG Sovereign Wealth Fund needs crafting
By Online Editor
2:52 pm GMT+12, 26/06/2014, Papua New Guinea
The sovereign wealth fund needs to be crafted in a way to benefit the mass Papua New Guineans, thus improving the socio economy, National Research Institute director Dr Thomas Webster said.
He was speaking at a seminar conducted yesterday to generate public debate on the sovereign wealth fund.
Webster said discussions on SWF were very important on what it’s going to look like.
Bank of Papua New Guinea senior officer Dr Gae Kauzi when commenting on the analysis of the SWF seminar said there should be a comparison on the original organic law and the new law.
He argued that the old law was based on years of hard work and strong written policy papers.
“We have to distinguish between the old organic law and new law. Which model will serve the stability function model that will strengthen the study.
“The new model lacks that ground work. No proper policy ground work and was pushed from the top.
“If the study can look at that it will create good debate,” Kauzi said.
In relation to the announcement by the Finance Minister, James Marape, earlier this month that both the savings and stabilisation funds would get 25% of all LNG and mineral revenues under the new approved SWF structure, Kauzi said:
“Only the dividends will flow into the stabilisation fund, but only 50%. Taxes will not go into stabilisation fund.
“Fifty percent of that dividend will go into the future’s fund which will replace the development fund under the old model.
“So if you have only the dividends to go into the SWF, will that serve the stability function? The answer is no, because you have all other revenues going straight into the budget.”
He said the country needs efficient and effective budget management so that most Papua New Guineans can benefit from the LNG project.
“How can rest of PNG benefit from LNG project? It’s all good that media turn to pick up on GDP growth, does that matter for small people?
“Answer lies in effective and efficient budget management and that’s where SWF will try to address instead of all funds being pumped into the budget for spending, let it be managed through SWF so that and its spent wisely on projects.”.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
33) ) PNG leader wins another stay
Updated at 10:26 am on 28 June 2014
The Papua New Guinea national court on Friday granted a further stay to the prime minister, Peter O’Neill, as he continues to try and fend off an arrest warrant.
Since last Monday week ago police have been seeking to arrest Mr O’Neill with regard to multi million kina, allegedly illegal payments, to a law firm, Paraka Lawyers.
It resulted from an extensive probe by the anti-corruption unit Taskforce Sweep.
Mr O’Neill has been adamant in denying the accusation and police are still to serve the arrest warrant.
In reaction to the police moves the prime minister has suspended several key police officials, dumped his justice minister and closed down Taskforce Sweep.
Peter O’Neill, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
The moves have sparked public protests in Port Moresby, despite a police ban.
Our correspondent, Todagia Kelola, filed this report from the court.
“The temporary stay has been been extended till Tuesday, that’s when the National Court will hand down a decision on whether that stay is set aside or that application to stay the warrant of arrest is dismissed in which the police effect the warrant.”
Meanwhile, in the latest ruling the court has agreed for a stay on the arrest to remain in place until Tuesday next week.
Mr O’Neill is piggybacking on another state legal action that aims to prove that the Paraka payments are illegal – and if they are not then he would no case to answer.
That issue will not be resolved for some time but the court on Tuesday will decide whether to continue with the stay, withdraw it or require the police to drop the arrest warrant.Radio NZ
34) PNG temporary anti-corruption office set up
By Online Editor
11:19 am GMT+12, 26/06/2014, Papua New Guinea
The Papua New Guinea Government’s National Executive Council (NEC) has announced the establishment of an Interim Office for Anti-Corruption (IOAC).
The office will be a predecessor of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and comes a week after the Government announced the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate controversial payments to local law firm Paraka Lawyers.
It will be responsible for coordinating anti-corruption investigations and will be operational until investigative responsibilities are transferred to the ICAC when the organic law is passed, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said in a statement.
Retired Justice Graham Ellis SC has been appointed chairperson of the office and according to the PM will restore impartiality to the investigation of corrupt activities.
O’Neill said the nation suffered from “political interference in the investigation of corruption” and it was time to restore neutrality to the process.
“Justice Ellis has a long-standing commitment to the people of Papua New Guinea and has dedicated much of his working life to the pursuit of justice in this nation. The disgraceful behaviour we have seen in the past week and the hijacking of corruption investigations for political purposes has angered many in the community. There is still more information to emerge on the way the previous Taskforce Sweep was comprised and this will be released in due course by appropriate authorities,” he said.
Justice Ellis has an association with legal proceedings and investigations in Papua New Guinea for almost 30 years, having been admitted as a lawyer in 1985.
But the announcement is likely to be met with scepticism by his rivals with the sacked attorney general and justice minister Kerenga Kua last recently appealing to Australian judge Justice Andrew Warwick not to accept his appointment to chair the inquiry into the Paraka Lawyers payments.
Meanwhile, sacked Investigations Task Force Sweep chair Sam Koim has defended his travel to Australia saying it was done to clarify and refute the charges by the Prime Minister that local institutions were politicised.
The PNG lawyer travelled to Canberra early in the week and met with Australian leaders including Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to seek their support after Prime Minister Peter O’Neill disbanded his office and made a number of high profile sackings including that of his attorney general and justice minister Kerenga Kua.
The PM slammed the trip and his meetings in Australia saying they were not in PNG’s “national interest” and it could lead to the discontinuation of Australian funding for health, education and infrastructure programs in PNG.
Koim said the branding of institutions such as the police as being “politically compromised” sent a wrong message to the international community and he had to correct that.
“My reason for going to Australia therefore was to clarify the domestic situation in PNG. As people holding responsible position, we have to continuously demonstrate confidence in our institutions when we make public statements and representations, even when it doesn’t suit us,” he said.
“We have fought hard to uphold the rule of law without fear or favour. The Government of the day can go as low as they want to and remove all they want from us. But we will never allow them to maliciously discredit our institutions’ reputations or our individual reputations. I have seen good men and women standing up for this cause and I am duty-bound to protect them, even as a private citizen.”
He confirmed meeting with Bishop and other Australian government officials but it was in a private capacity.
“I was careful and did not request Australian Government to do something about it. I left it to them to weigh it out.”.
35) Man Jailed In Solomons $1.4 Million Fraud Case Says Others Used Him
Government employees created scheme to steal from Health Ministry
By Assumpta Buchanan
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 26, 2014) – A man jailed yesterday for defrauding the state of more than $1.5 million [US$205,000] was just a “toy boy” used by others in a grand scheme that saw more than $10 million [US$.14 million] stolen from the Ministry of Health.
John Poloso, 47, a taxi driver from Choiseul, was jailed for two and half years yesterday by magistrate Jim Seuika after pleading guilty to two counts of false pretence.
But his lawyer Emma Garo, of private law firm DNS & Partners, told the court in mitigation Poloso was just a “toy boy” who was used by other people within the ministries of Health and Finance to fulfil a well organised scheme.
“The commissioning of the offences is not initiated by the defendant,” Ms Garo said.
“The defendant has no influences to the scheme, he is not a Solomon Islands Government (SIG) employee so that he had influence and power on decision making,” she added.
Ms Garo also submitted that had Poloso would not be capable of committing the offences or could not succeed in committing them by his own making.
“Now that the toy boy, in this whole scheme of things is going to be and must be sent to prison for some time, a valid question that must be posed in this sentencing submission of the justice system, on behalf of Poloso is, will the big boys of the whole scheme of things be ever held to answer to the nation?”
Ms Garo said all Poloso did was simply registered Joke Shipping Services in his own name and submitted quotes for the tender and payment.
She also revealed that the internal report confirmed that the payments which were the subject matter of the respective charges against Poloso were in breach of and did not follow the tender process, and the financial instructions.
Ms Garo said this means that this scheme involved government officers in various ministries.
“For example, the payment compliance status printing in the sum of $716,467 within 45 minutes is unacceptable and unreasonable.”
The more than $1.5 million Poloso was accused of stealing was part of a $10 million scandal uncovered in the Ministry of Health and Medical Service early last year.
The stolen funds were monies the Australian government injected into the ministry as part of its support to strengthening the country’s health system.
A number of officials from both the ministries of Health and Finance have been suspended after the scandal was uncovered.
Police yesterday welcomed the jailing of Poloso yesterday, who was the first to be charged and taken to court over the stolen funds.
A police statement said its investigations are continuing into the scandal and a second suspect will soon be brought before the court.
The statement said anyone with information on the matter is welcomed to talk to the police.
Police Prosecutor John Adifaka had earlier told the court the funds Poloso stole were those allocated purposely to assist rural health clinics and that the stealing involved sophisticated and premeditation planning.
“There was no record of recovering of the amount of money involved in this scheme,” Mr Adifaka said.
He sought an immediate custodial sentencing for specific deterrence to deliver a powerful message that such offending is not to be tolerated.
The court earlier heard that in October 2012, the procurement unit of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOH) received orders to proceed with the tender for the reconstruction of the Manuopo Area Health Clinic in Temotu Province, to be funded by Ausaid and the refurbishment of the Luananiua Area Health Clinic in Malaita Outer Islands on the same funding agent.
In 2013, the MOH commenced procedures for the transportation of materials to the projects venue.
Poloso then filed documents for the contract named ‘Joke Shipping,’ registered in May 2013 under his name as the owner therefore: in actual fact the business has no shipping facilities and has never shipped any building material.”
The court further heard that there were two subsequent payments, $716,467.60 and $878,467.50 authorised for the two projects funded by Ausaid.
It was heard that Poloso collected the payments in June 2013 at the SIG treasury division and deposited to ‘Joke Shipping’ Bank of South Pacific (BSP) account and withdrawn the money.
36) Dragons thrash Warriors
Sunday, June 29, 2014
The win has secured the Dragons’ standing on the top of the points table after the completion of first round of competition.
Former Fiji Bati forward Tikiko Noke, flyer Esira Dokoni and Aminisasi Yaroi scored two tries each in a one-sided affair.
Another Fiji Bati forward Semisi Tora also registered his name on the score sheet alongside Ilaitia Rogorogoivalu while the rest of the points were from the boot of fly half Jo Vetaukula.
Team coach Tevita Volavola commended his troops for their grand performance.
He said his troops had performed exceptionally well preventing their opposition to cross their try line.
“This is one of our best ever performance this season and I thank the boys for their effort,” said Volavola.
“The experience and combination of Tikiko, Tora, Vetaukula and other senior players have enabled us to achieve this huge win.
“We have also improved on our defensive system enabling us to successfully defend our try line.”
Volavola said the win has set their platform for our next game against the defending champion Sabeto Roosters in the second round of competition.
He said there were still room for improvements and urged his boys to maintain the consistency.
“The second round is expected to be tough.”
“We need to maintain our consistency knowing many teams will want to beat us.
“The first test for the boys is the game against Sabeto next weekend but I am hopeful the side will deliver the goods expected of them,” he added.Fijitimes
37) Brazil prepares to face test from Chile attack
Sunday, June 29, 2014
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil – Brazil know that their outstanding past record against Chile will count for nothing when the sides meet in an all-South American World Cup last-16 tie at the Mineirao in Belo Horizonte today.
The tournament hosts have lost just eight of 68 previous meetings with Chile, and have emerged triumphant in all three past encounters in the World Cup, scoring 11 goals in the process.
That run includes a comfortable 3-0 win against Marcelo Bielsa’s Chile side at the same stage of the 2010 finals in South Africa, but midfielder Willian insists that Brazilian fans should not automatically expect a repeat performance.
“Football nowadays has changed so much. Of course Brazil have beaten Chile a few times before, which is good. But we must not think about this. Every game has its own story. I am sure that Chile will be motivated and confident too,” said the Chelsea player.
Brazil have yet to live up to the high expectations surrounding them at these finals despite collecting seven points from a possible nine in the group stage.
In contrast, Chile have impressed, notably in sending the holders Spain packing from the competition with a 2-0 win in Rio de Janeiro.
38) Samoa’s Leti Emilio knocks-out Fiji’s boxing champion
By Online Editor
5:57 pm GMT+12, 26/06/2014, Samoa
Samoa’s golden boxer Leti Emilio Leti won by a knock out of Fiji’s undefeated champion Abhay Chand in last nights’ professional fight at the Apia Park gymnasium.
The fight lasted 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the first round.
Both fighters came on strong in the start however, Leti proved to be the overpowering force when he landed a righthand blow on Chand’s midsection sending him to the floor.
As the crowd cheered, the referee after assessing Chand’s condition ended the fight.
Chand has had 24 fights and has never lost until last night.
Leti’s record showed 10 fights and has lost once to an African opponent last month.
Chand’s coach Mr. Mohammed praised Leti’s level of training which helped him win the fight.
“He was the better fighter tonight,” said Mohammed.
Chand blamed the short time given to him to prepare for the fight.
“I did not prepare well because I had only two weeks to prepare for this fight,” said Chand.
Chand stepped in as a substitute for another boxer who could not come due to contracts protocols.
“If given more time to prepare, I would have given Leti a good fight, win or loose.”
South Pacific Professional Boxing President Ale Vena confirmed Chands statement.
Ale said they were informed too late about the unavailability of Leti’s original opponent, so they had to pull every string to get a substitute.
Last night’s fight was a test match for Leti since losing for the first time last month.
He is one of Samoa’s boxing representatives to the upcoming Commonwealth games in Glasgow, Scotland next month.
SOURCE: TALAMUA ONLINE/PACNEWS
39) New 200m champions at Oceania Champs
By Online Editor
5:55 pm GMT+12, 26/06/2014, Cook Islands
New 200m champions were crowned on day one of the Oceania Athletics Championships in Rarotonga.
Papua New Guinea veteran Nelson Stone won the men’s event in a time of 21.24 seconds, holding off compatriot Theo Piniau to claim the gold medal.
Last year’s champion, Banuve Tabakaucoro from Fiji, withdrew from the 200m with a niggle but is still expected to race in the 100m on Thursday local time.
Fijian teenager Younis Bese won the women’s final in 25.04 seconds.
Papua New Guinea’s Toea Wisil was the fastest qualifier from the heats but did not race in the final after picking up an injury.
In other results, Fiji Olympian Leslie Copeland comfortably defended his javelin title, Tonga’s Ata Maama Tu’utafaiva won the women’s shot put and Sharon Firisua from Solomon Islands won the women’s 5000m.