Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1004

MELANESIA

1) Hopes Jakarta will back Vanuatu Papua conference

14 July 2014

The West Papua Unification Committee says it hopes that Indonesia will facilitate access for groups wanting to travel from the Papua region to Vanuatu next month.

Vanuatu is to host a major conference of West Papuan representative groups

towards arranging a unified bid for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group

MSG leaders last month knocked back the membership application of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, calling for an application by a more representative umbrella group.

Vanuatu’s council of churches, national chiefs’ body and government have established the Committee to organise the conference, slated for August the 27th to the 30th.

The chairman of the committee, Pastor Alain Nafuki, says they know travel outside their region is generally inaccessible for West Papuans.

“The Indonesian government may be aware of that but we think that they will be free to travel from their country to Port Moresby, Honiara and Vila.”

Pastor Alain Nafuki…Radio NZ

2) Vanuatu daily news digest I 12 July 2014

by bobmakin

  • The Opposition MPs are spending quite a lot of time bickering it seems, especially over matters like who was promised what cabinet post at which change of government.At last we now have a leader of government who, in a free and fair election of the Members of the House, won by a huge majority and who is greatly respected. This blog is not going to waste your time with reporting the antics of the born losers who have only one cry – “Motion!” With a Thursday headline of Opposition may deposit motion before August one might well ask “and what year?”
  • Continuing Internet problems have brought about the delay in posting to this blog which TVL hopes to fix on Monday and meantime the excellent services of Naviti Cyber Café will be used for a brief summation of three days of news.
  • The main and alarming news is the capsize north of Retoka and Lelepa of the LC MGY with four reported dead. The unseaworthy vessel (understood to be suspended from service until repairs are effected) was carrying more passengers (41) than authorised (30) and was overloaded with cargo. Big Sister and Vanuatu Helicopters assisted in the search and rescue operation. The barge went down in 350 metres of water.
  • Law students of USP have this week staged an excellent “Free West Papua” demonstration with the main messages of liberation clearly spelled out for the benefit of the new President of Indonesia.
  • The Independent this morning is headlining MP Robert Bohn, Chairman of the business which operates the Vanuatu convenience flag register – Vanuatu Maritime Services, stating that there are no ni-Vanuatu professionals qualified to run aviation and maritime affairs in the country. Training, qualifications and experience are lacking. He should know, certainly if VMS hasn’t trained any. He calls for overseas scholarships.
  • Daily Post reports the Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) Board terminating the services of their CEO, General Manager Finance, Manager Aviation Security and General Manager of Operations together in a batch. The move is seen as entirely political and tied to the politicians of the Rentabau Airport Task Force proposals and one of their signed agreements (about international airport control and operations) which still don’t see the light of day. The Parliament and traveling members of the public are waiting for these in the hope Bauerfield will not be closed in the coming days. Plus ça change..

POLYNESIA

3) Anti-Mosque Protests In French Polynesia

Form of Islam considered potentially dangerous, women fear losing rights

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 14, 2014) – About 1,000 people in French Polynesia have marched through Papeete in protest at plans to build Tahiti’s first mosque.

The rally was directed mainly at the 23-year-old imam, Hicham El Barkani, who last year set up a prayer room in town, and is now asking for donations from Muslims in France for a Tahiti mosque.

Some demonstrators say his form of Islam is dangerous while some women at the rally have been quoted as saying they fear losing their rights.

There are about 500 Muslims in the territory, most of them teachers or members of the French military.

The church has denounced the demonstration while the imam has made no comment.

Radio New Zealand International

4) Samoa Looks To Be Removed From Money Laundering/ Weak Anti-Terror List

Considerable progress on both fronts to be highlighted at future meeting

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, July 11, 2014) – The government will ask for Samoa to be removed from a list of countries known for money laundering and weak anti-terror laws.

The request will be made by next week during the Asia Pacific Group meeting in China.

The occasion was the celebration of the Culture.

There, a recent report suggesting Samoa’s status be changed from the “enhanced follow up” category to the “regular follow up” category will be discussed.

The group says Samoa has made positive progress in strengthening its security measures and the recent passing of the Counter Terrorism Act 2014.

Samoa’s delegation to the meeting will be led by the Central Bank Governor, Maiava Atalina Enari.

According to a statement from Cabinet, the meeting is important for Samoa.

They hope to achieve the following:

• The Asia Pacific Group (APG) Plenary will discuss and approve a recent report by the APG to remove Samoa from the ‘enhanced follow up’ category to a ‘regular follow up’ category due mainly to the positive progress achieved by Samoa so far in strengthening its anti money laundering system.

Also, the recent approval and enactment of the Counter Terrorism Act 2014 by Parliament has reflected positively on Samoa’s commitment to comply with anti-money laundering and counter terrorism standards, as promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force;

• To discuss with the APG Assessment Team, Samoa’s preparation for its Mutual Evaluation by the APG, as scheduled to take place in November 2014;

• As Co-Heads of the Pacific Offshore Centre Project, SIFA (Samoa International Finance Authority) will meet with representatives of the Cook Islands Government. The meeting is to discuss priority areas and focus on developing a typology report of the key risks of offshore centres in the Pacific, and the need to strengthen and develop appropriate strategies to mitigate the risks of abuse by criminals through the offence of money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

Samoa Observer

5) Samoa carrier to get third plane

14 July 2014

The Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says Polynesian Airlines is to get a third aircraft next month.

During his weekly radio program,Tuilaepa said the new CEO of Polynesian Airlines, Tuala Alvin Seiuli, told cabinet that the paperwork for a new plane has been completed.

Tuilaepa did not give any details of the type of aircraft being acquired, except to say it is a small plane, and the airline will continue to seek bigger aircraft.

At present, Polynesian Airlines is flying only one Twin Otter plane between Samoa and American Samoa, with its second plane down for maintenance.

The Pago Pago-based airline, Inter Island Air, hasn’t had any flights for over a month because its Dornier plane is down with mechanical problems.

Polynesian Airlines staff say there are long waiting lists of people trying to fly to Samoa.Radio NZ

6) Too early for Cooks coalition talks

By Online Editor

4:07 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2014, Cook Islands

The leader of the One Cook Islands party, Teina Bishop, says it’s too early to discuss possible coalitions for forming the next government.

An early count shows the Democratic Party has 11 seats while the Cook Islands Party has won ten.

The One Cook Islands party has two seats and one seat is tied.

It has been suggested One Cook Islands will hold the balance of power.

Its leader, Teina Bishop, says there are so many advance and postal votes that there will definitely be changes to the final result.

“At the moment we’re just interested to do what is best for the country and if that’s the role we have to play, then that’s the role we have to play, that’s what people speculate, but at the end of the day our two seats are important to form a government at this stage.”

Bishop says he’s confident they will keep their two seats considering the margins they were won by.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

MICRONESIA

7) Local Vehicle Fuel Consumption Has Dropped In Guam

Credit reduction in trips, high prices, and fuel-efficient cars

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 14, 2014) – As gasoline prices stayed close to $5 a gallon over the past few years, vehicle fuel consumption on Guam has dropped.

Last year, gasoline consumption dropped to 39.9 million gallons for regular grade, from 41.09 million gallons in 2010, data from the Guam Energy Office show.

Guam’s current gasoline prices, at $4.98 for regular grade, match the record-high prices Guam residents experienced in March 2012 and February 2013, Pacific Daily News files show.

More News : Pacific Daily News

AUSTRALIA

8) Perth storms damage homes, cut power to thousands

Updated 14 July 2014, 15:20 AEST

Severe storms have damaged several homes and businesses in the Perth metropolitan area.
Severe storms have damaged several homes and businesses in the Perth metropolitan area.

The front tore roofs off houses, and uprooted trees and power lines.

The southern suburbs of Hilton and O’Connor, as well as Claremont, received the brunt of the damage.

Western Power spokesman Brad Lacey said at the peak 12,000 homes were without power.

“Our crews are working through some trying conditions but we’re managing to get people up and running, and we’re hoping by the end of the day to have most people restored,” he said.

“We’ve got wires on the ground due to trees falling, we’ve got parts of roofs sitting on lines, we’ve got poles which have been broken… but we’re confident we’ll have everything back by this afternoon.”

About 3,000 customers were still waiting for power to be reconnected about midday (AWST).

The weather bureau recorded wind gusts of more than 85 kilometres per hour in Perth and the South West.

Steve Howarth said the storm ripped part of the roof off his Hilton home, exposing electrical wires.

“It was already windy and rainy, then there was an almighty bang and we’re staring up at the rain,” he said.

“A huge green flash, the power cables came down, then you could hear a pick up in the noise outside and it’s just chaos.

“There’s trees coming down, metal sheeting flying around, lots of banging. Incredible.

“We’ve lost a large portion of the roof, we’ve lost the front apex of the garage, the garage door was smashed in, there was debris flying around, tiles, metal sheeting, the warehouse, just about everything.

“The only thing intact were the windows.”

About 1,000 properties were also without power in WA’s South West during the storms.

Most of those affected were in Northclifffe, where 450 homes lost power.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

TOK PISIN

9) PNG politik heve i soim gutpela wok blong polis na Task Fos

Updated 14 July 2014, 15:59 AEST

Siaman blong Transparency International PNG itok, ol pipal long Papua New Guinea iken lukim ol heve blong ol wok politik olsem emi gutpla samting long wonem emi soim ol gutpla wok em polis na Task Fos Sweep i mekim long daonim korapsan.

Odio: TPI_pngpolitx_20140714

Siaman blong Transparency International PNG itok, ol pipal long Papua New Guinea iken lukim ol heve blong ol wok politik olsem emi gutpla samting long wonem emi soim ol gutpla wok em polis na Task Fos Sweep i mekim long daonim korapsan.

Lawrence Stevens i mekim despla toktok bihaen long Praim Minista Peter O’Neill ibin rausim tingting blong en long stopim polis i pulim kalabusim em.

Long mun igo pinis anti-korapsan laen Task Fos sweep ibin askim polis long pulim kalabusim Peter O’Neill bihanenim sampla heve blong korapsan.

Oli bin sutim tok long Mr O’Neill long givim tok oraet long baem planti milian kina igo long wanpla law bisnis Paraka Lawyers, tasol Mr O’Neill iwok long tok olsem ol despla toktok ino tru.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

FRENCH

10) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – lundi 14 juillet 2014

Posté à 14 July 2014, 15:52 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

  • Angelina Jolie est invitée à Nauru. Le Président de la petite République fera visiter le centre de rétention à la star américaine.

Aucun détails sur la date pour l’instant. Baron Waqa se dit fier de ce centre, le meilleur au monde selon lui. Angelina Jolie se rendra à Nauru en tant qu’envoyée spéciale du Haut-Commissariat de l’ONU pour les réfugiés. L’année dernière, le même haut-commissariat aux réfugiés a dénoncé les conditions de vie au centre de rétention de Nauru, « infesté par les rats, sur-peuplé et étouffant de chaleur ». Il faut croire que depuis, le centre de rétention a bien changé.

Ils coûtent une fortune. L’Australie dépense près de deux fois plus pour héberger les demandeurs d’asile à l’étranger que sur son propre sol. Ceux qui arrivent par bateau sont enfermés dans les centres de rétention de Manus et de Nauru. D’après le Conseil des Réfugiés d’Australie, une fédération d’associations de défense des migrants, la détention des demandeurs d’asile à l’étranger coûte 400 000 dollars par an par migrant, contre 239 000 pour ceux en rétention sur le sol australien.

  • Australie: 100 000 paires de bottes sèment la discorde entre le gouvernement et un sénateur indépendant. L’armée a besoin de se chausser, et le ministre a choisi une entreprise étrangère, au lieu du fabricant de bottes Rossi, installé à Adelaïde. C’est un joli contrat, d’un montant de 15 millions de dollars. Et le sénateur Nick Xenophon est outré: « Même si le fabricant australien était un peu plus cher, sur le long terme, le retour sur investissement aurait été excellent, car cela aurait créé des emplois ».
  • Australie: le slogan d’une société de location de camping-car crée le scandale. Elle s’appelle Wicked Campervan – traduction : le camping-car coquin. Et dans le même esprit, la compagnie peint son slogan sur ses véhicules : « Dans chaque princesse sommeille une salope qui rêve de l’essayer au moins une fois »… monter dans un camping-car, ou autre chose. Une mère de famille outrée a lancé une pétition sur Internet. Plus de 12 000 personnes l’ont signée. Wicked Campervan essuie aussi un tir nourri sur sa page Facebook. Wicked Campervan est déjà sous le coup d’une enquête du bureau australien de la pub pour un autre slogan « les grosses sont plus difficiles à kidnapper ». Il faut un certain effort d’imagination pour voir le rapport avec les campings-cars.
  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: les militants anti-Solwara continuent leur campagne. Ils s’opposent à l’exploitation minière du fond de la baie de Milne par la compagnie canadienne Nautilus Minerals. Byron Chan, le ministre papou des mines affirme que les riverains ont été dûment consultés et ont donné leur accord. Ce sera la toute première mine sous-marine au monde. Mais la porte-parole de l’association contre l’exploitation minière des fonds marins Deep Sea mining campaign, Natalie Lowery, affirme qu’il y a eu consultation, certes, mais aucun accord avec la population locale. 25 000 d’entre eux ont signé une pétition contre la mine de Solwara, car ils ont peur des conséquences sur l’environnement.
  • Samoa: Polynesian Airlines, la compagnie nationale, va recevoir un troisième avion. Et il est attendu avec impatience par la population, qui n’a actuellement qu’une solution pour sortir du territoire : grimper dans l’unique Twin Otter de Polynesian Airlines vers le Samoa américain. Le deuxième avion de Polynesian Airlines est en réparation, et l’autre compagnie qui relie le Samoa au Samoa américain a du suspendre son vol depuis plus d’un mois, son avion étant également en panne.
  • Australie: Ian Thorpe a fini par révéler son homosexualité. Le quintuple champion olympique de natation a mis fin à plus d’une dizaine d’années de harcèlement médiatique et de rumeurs. Le nageur est une source infinie de nouvelles à sensation en Australie. En février dernier, drogué, il avait tenté de monter dans la voiture de son voisin, et avait du passer quelques temps dans une clinique de désintoxication. Ian Thorpe a désormais l’intention de devenir un intervieweur à la télévision et de se lancer dans la politique. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

11) Vanuatu: « il n’y a pas de plongeurs-secouristes dans le pays »

Posté à 14 July 2014, 15:54 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Il lui a fallu seulement une minute pour couler à 350 mètres de profondeur. Vendredi matin un ferry reliant Malekula à Port-Vila a chaviré avec 41 passagers à son bord.

Deux femmes sont mortes, et le corps d’un bébé et d’un membre d’équipage sont coincés dans l’épave, trop compliqués à ramener à la surface.

Le ferry, baptisé MCY, avait un trou dans la coque. Il avait été vaguement rafistolé avant de prendre la mer, surchargé en passagers – 41 alors que sa capacité maximum était de 30 personnes. Le ferry transportait également bien trop de marchandises – 6000 litres de fuel, du copra, du kava, etc. Pour ne rien arranger, l’équipage n’avait même pas de quoi communiquer avec l’extérieur. John Taleo, le numéro 2 de la police vanuataise, au micro de Geraldine Coutts :

« L’équipage n’a pas pu lancer de SOS par radio, la radio ne marchait pas. Il a fallu qu’ils empruntent le portable encore sec d’un passager pour appeler la police sur la hotline nationale gratuite. C’est comme ça qu’on a été prévenus vendredi à l’aube. »

Le naufrage meurtrier du MCY est le dernier d’une liste fort longue de chavirements de ferries vétustes et surchargés dans notre région. Les propriétaires du ferry vont être mis en examen, mais les autorités portuaires également, car elles ont délivré un permis de navigation à un rafiot clairement dangereux. John Taleo :

« Il y a eu des naufrages en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, à Tonga, au Vanuatu, à Fidji. Et je pense que le plus urgent c’est de mettre la pression sur les autorités portuaires qui délivrent des autorisations de naviguer à des tombeaux flottants. Il faut les poursuivre en justice, car nul n’est censé ignorer la loi. »

De son côté, Tony Wilson, le rédacteur en chef de l’Indépendant du Vanuatu, attire l’attention sur l’incapacité des pouvoirs publics vanuatais à assurer la sécurité des voyageurs :

« Il n’y a pas de service de sauvetage. Après le naufrage j’ai entendu parler sur différents media de plongeurs-secouristes de la police vanuataise. Mais il n’y a pas de policiers-plongeurs-secouristes au Vanuatu. Les deux personnes qui ont plongé pour aller inspecter l’épave sont des particuliers. Ils ont affrété un hélicoptère pour aller sur le lieu du naufrage. Et ils l’ont fait au risque de leur vie. Et les deux plongeurs m’ont dit que s’ils étaient arrivés plus tôt, ils auraient pu sauver les quatre victimes du naufrage. Ou en tout cas quelques unes. »

Avant que le ferry ne coule totalement, les plongeurs ont vu les deux corps piégés dans l’épave. Mais impossible de les récupérer, le ferry gît désormais par 400 mètres de fond, inaccessible aux plongeurs.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

HEALTH

12) Fiji Rural Women Realizing Importance Of Contraception

Small sales count, in addition to free distribution, a significant milestone

By Ana Madigibuli

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, July 13, 2014) – Women in rural areas are now realising the importance of using contraceptives to stop unwanted and teenage pregnancies in the country, says Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni.

This is noted in a recent report on condom distribution by the Ministry of Women’s reproductive health unit which has been established with the help of UNFPA.

The report shows that out of the 12,960 male condoms distributed in the country by the health unit, 2794 were sold and out of the 50 female condoms distributed, 20 were sold to women.

Dr Luveni said the strength that lay in the female condoms was that the control of fertility was on the women, as they made the decisions on whether to have a baby or not, unlike the male condoms where the control was on the males.

“So we have been struggling and I know the Ministry of Health has also been struggling to promote female condoms to give control to women and this has not been working for so many years now maybe because we did not have the technical people to show them how to use it,” Dr Luveni said.

“But we are thankful that through the project that we have initiated here, it is actually taking this idea directly to the rural women and speaking to them on a one to one basis has generated the interest to use condoms.

“Twenty female condoms being sold in the country is a progress for us here in Fiji, because previously people would get it for free.

“But the fact that they are being sold shows that communities are actually buying it which means they are using it.”

She said the 1200 condoms sold by the health unit meant 1200 unwanted pregnancies were being prevented.

EDUCATION

13) From Paramana to Osaka: a PNG expat’s life in Japan

Updated 14 July 2014, 14:28 AEST

By Jemima Garrett

For Dr Raula Kula, it’s a long way from the rural villages of PNG to the hustle and bustle of Osaka, Japan.

It’s a long way from the rural villages of Papua New Guinea to the hustle and bustle of Osaka, Japan, but Dr Raula Kula says he’ll always have close ties to his homeland.

“First and foremost, I think that I am a Paramana person … I see myself as the boy from Paramana,” Dr Kula told Pacific Beat, referring to his home village in PNG’s Central Province.

“Every time someone asks me – ‘Where is Papua New Guinea?’ – I think I am a representative of my country, of my province and where I am from. I never forget that.”

While Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his delegation are in PNG, Dr Kula, 33, is part of an adventurous group of Papua New Guineans going about their daily business in Japan.

Having lived in the United States and Australia, he is now working at Osaka University on cutting-edge computer software research, using the latest techniques for analysing big data.

‘The world in the box was so different to Port Moresby’

The inspiration for his travels started when he was just a little boy in his home village watching television.

“I really wanted to see what was out there, you know, see the world,” he said.

“I think that is what motivated me – that the world in the box was so different to what we had in Port Moresby.”

Seven years ago, Dr Kula answered a newspaper advertisement for research scholarships in Japan.

He earned his doctorate in software engineering at Osaka University and was offered his current position.

He says it’s exciting work, but there is a lot more to love about Japan: the food, the music, the culture and the history.

“I love the food, beautiful food. The second thing is the culture of being on time, accurate. They are so precise,” he said.

“The final one is safety-wise: here there is a sense of respect so you feel pretty safe.

“It is actually pretty scary, you could probably lose your wallet somewhere and it will still be there when you come back!”

In the event that his family and friends from PNG were to visit, Dr Kula says he would be sure to show them Japan’s famous hot springs.

“The public onsens, the spring baths, that is an experience,” he said.

“You actually go there and it is split between men and women but you have to bare it all! You just take off your clothes and you go in there and you enjoy the water.”

Hopes for future collaboration

Dr Kula has travelled back to PNG to help other indigenous entrepreneurs start up their own businesses.

He says he sees great potential for the Information and Communications Technology sectors in Japan and PNG to work together.

“I have spoken with some of the professors here (in Osaka) and they are very enthusiastic about collaborations,” he said.

“I think Papua New Guinea has a potential, really big potential, with all these projects going around and how the economy has shaped up.

“Actually there are really young vibrant entrepreneurs in ICT that are there, so I think they can make it happen.”

Dr Kula says living in Japan has broadened his mind and his experiences.

“I think with being out (of Japan) for so long, I can understand different cultures and how people react to things,” he said.

“After you get that understanding, I think you can relate to people more.” http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

POLITIC

14) Solomon Islands suspends Fiji Airways flights to Honiara

By Online Editor

4:17 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2014, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands is suspending Fiji Airways flights to and from Honiara starting Tuesday July 15, following the denial of entry of Solomon Airlines flight to Nadi over the weekend by Fijian authorities.

Solomon Islands authorities have expressed deep sadness at the stand-off and today decided to suspend Fiji Airways from flying into Honiara on Tuesday July 15, 2014, said a government statement.

Director of Civil Aviation, George Satu said he was shocked when he was advised that Solomon Airlines was denied entry to operate its scheduled and approved flights each Saturday to Fiji, returning Sundays.

“This is fundamentally flawed,” Satu said.

He said the fact that Fiji authorities have denied entry into to Fiji of what has been an approved scheduled operation by Solomon Airlines has regrettably left the Civil Aviation Authorities of Solomon Islands with no option but to now deny Fiji Airways its rights for their scheduled services into Solomon Islands this Tuesday.

“Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands (CAASI) is aware that Fiji Airways has applied to operate a second service to Solomon Islands on Saturday’s beginning in July 2014. CAASI, being the Regulator in Solomon Islands had duly notified Fiji some months back that this particular service was NOT APPROVED based on slots and some common understanding that two jet services on a Saturday to/from Nadi to Honiara was expressly overcapacity on that day. In addition to that, there have been long pending issues of ‘Rights’ that needed to be addressed prior to approving Fiji Airway’s request,” the Director of Civil Aviation, said.

He continued: “I am further advised that there have been some outstanding issues between the two national carriers that needed redress and these have been ongoing for quite some time without any resolution.”

“All this aside, we are a sovereign country and we have been very obliging with most, if not all, of the Fiji Government’s requests relating to aviation rights, Satu said.

This afternoon, Fiji Airways issued a statement apologising to customers affected by the disruption to its Honiara services.

“The airline was informed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Solomon Islands that it would not be allowed a landing permit less than 24 hours before the start of its scheduled Nadi-Honiara direct flights on July 15, said the airlline statement.

The airline is working hard to re-route customers booked on Nadi-Honiara and Honiara-Nadi services on alternative routes.

“Fiji Airways is hopeful that the Governments of Solomon Islands and Fiji are able to reach a speedy resolution on this issue, for the benefit of air travellers between the two countries, said Fiji Airways.

SOURCE: SIG/PACNEWS

15) Constitution debate

Mere Naleba

Monday, July 14, 2014

PEOPLE need to forget about past events that tarnished our country’s image if we are to move forward.

These were the words of FijiFirst party leader Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama

Mr Bainimarama, during his political party campaign at the Dreketi District School in Nakorovou, Rewa, said the government had been trying its best to eradicate racist comments and thoughts often highlighted by other political parties.

He said the 2013 Constitution did not discriminate and was drawn up after consulting members of the public.

Speaking in the iTaukei language, he said the Constitution protected the rights of every person that called himself a Fijian.

Mr Bainimarama said for people who did not agree with what the Constitution was saying, that indigenous people’s rights were not protected, needed to rethink their political strategies.

He said the iTaukei’s rights and issues relating to them were well protected and not exploited by the Fijian Affairs Board and the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs.

Mr Bainimarama also said every Fijian should decide whether they wanted to see positive changes in the country — something that his party had been trying to put in place.

“E sega ni vinakati na veitalanoa koya me basika mai kina vei na noda Constitution me dua na Constitution macawa, sega ni vinaka, sega ni vaka tautau vata taki kina na veimata tamata qo o Viti,” he said. (“We don’t want consultation with people who will bring out a useless Constitution, a Constitution that is not good, one that discriminates against different races in Fiji.”)

“Sega ni dua na kauta laivi vei keda na taukei na noda dodonu e noda vanua, sega ni naki ni Constitution me vakamatei keda na iTaukei, na kenai naki mera laurai vakatautauvata na leweni vanua.” (“Nobody will take away our rights as indigenous people — the objective of this Constitution is to see that Fijians are protected”).

Rewa chief Ro Filipe Tuisawau said most people had thought the draft constitution that was drafted by Professor Yash Ghai and his team was the people’s constitution.

“We all participated in the Yash Ghai draft constitution and we were hoping that would be the constitution but unfortunately that didn’t happen so for us that is a disappointment that the Constitution was curated without knowledge as to who did it without consultation,” he said.

Ro Filipe said it would be best if the government brought back the abrogated constitution so people could also share their views before a people’s constitution was put in place.

“E na vinaka na constitution me na kau tale mai me na dikeva na lewe ni vanua. Na gauna qo nai tukutuku kece qo e biu sobu mai, e sega ni biu cake yani vei keimami,” (“It would be good to bring back the constitution so that people can be part of the consultation process. At the moment all that is in place has been imposed on us and not suggested to us”).

“Sa buli ga sa soli sobu mai vei keimami.” (“The government has made their decisions and passed them down to us.”)

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=274280

16) Fiji PM: Beware Of Fear-Mongering In The Lead Up To Election

All rights are protected, educate yourself against misinformation

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 13, 2014) – Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says rights of all Fijians are protected and certain people in the lead up to the general election are trying to instill fear in ordinary people about imagined threats that simply don’t exist.

Speaking to the people of Taveuni yesterday, Bainimarama said he was disappointed to see certain individuals still being obsessed with rights for some and not for all.

“We all know what they are – the supposed threat to I’Taukei land, the supposed threat to Christianity, the supposed threat to the educational opportunities of the I’Taukei. None of them are legitimate. None of them are true. But against all the evidence, these people keep spreading lies and rumours as if they were fact,” he said.

“I want to make an appeal to ordinary Fijians to carefully look at the truth of what people are saying – to examine the evidence, the facts – before they accept what some unscrupulous people are telling them to try to get their vote.”

“Don’t just ask yourself if what they are saying is true. Go and find out for yourself. Read our Constitution – which has been translated for the first time into I’Taukei and Fiji Hindi. What does it say about the protection of i’Taukei land? What does it say about a secular state? What does it say about access to education?.”

“And when you do you will soon realise that there is deliberate attempt taking place to frighten you when there is no need to be frightened. The supreme law of our nation protects you, just as it protects every Fijian.”

He added that his government’s record is one of service to the Fijian people and he is here to serve.

“I want every Fijian to ask themselves. Who do these other politicians serve? Our needs or theirs?. Ask yourself? Why do they lie when the evidence is there that what they say is not true?.”

“I have my own answer to that. It’s because they didn’t deliver before and they won’t deliver now. They are yesterday’s men and women desperately trying to seem relevant in a Fiji that has moved on,” the Prime Minister continued.

Fijilive

MEDIA

17) Mai TV to go digital

Ropate Valemei

Monday, July 14, 2014

A TELEVISION company will continue to endeavour to persuade the Ministry of Communication to grant the broadcaster frequency in Suva, Nadi and Lautoka.

Mai TV continues to play a part in Fiji’s vibrant media sector and expects to lift its services with the development of the digital platform. It is also preparing for migration to digital.

In a statement, Mai TV executive chairman Justin Smith said they remained positive that government would allocate a space initially on the VHF frequency for them as they progressed with the move towards the digital platform.

“This will finally place us on a levelled playing field alongside the other two free-to-air broadcasters.

“We see the launch of the digital platform as a positive step towards our growth in the Fijian market,” Mr Smith said.

“We want to assure advertisers and our viewers that we are here to stay. We know a lot has been said about our survival in what is an extremely tough market to operate in.”

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=274293

18) Up to 80 positions at the ABC will be lost due to cancellation of Australia Network contract

Updated 14 July 2014, 16:53 AEST

About 80 jobs are set to go at the ABC as a result of the Federal Government’s decision to cancel the Australia Network contract.

Staff meetings have been held in Sydney and Melbourne today with news director Kate Torney and the head of International, Lynley Marshall.

The final number of job losses is still to be finalised, but it is believed there will be 80 redundancies across Asia Pacific News Centre and ABC International.

It is also understood there will be no voluntary redundancies.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull commissioned a review earlier this year to find ways the broadcaster could be more cost-effective.

The ABC’s multi-million-dollar Australia Network contract was cancelled and the corporation had its overall budget cut by 1 per cent.

The Australia Network contract was worth about $220 million over 10 years.

The Government said the 1 per cent cut to the ABC’s base funding in the budget was a “down payment on back-office savings”.

Last month, Government backbencher Andrew Laming said the cuts were not real cuts because they would not affect the ABC’s programming.

“The cuts that are being discussed are what are called ‘back of house’ and that would mean no change to services,” Mr Laming said at the time.

Union says job losses ‘first casualties in Government’s war on ABC’

Community and Public Sector Union president Michael Tull says the ABC may be in breach of its industrial obligations.

“The Government has put the ABC in an impossible position. However, we are very disappointed that up to 80 people will be sacked,” Mr Tull said in a statement.

“This is an appalling way to treat hardworking staff as they won’t have a say in whether they get to keep their jobs.

“We don’t accept the process of forced redundancies and we believe the ABC is in breach of its industrial obligations and we are considering the next step.”

In addition, Mr Tull flagged the possibility of further job losses.

“Worse still there may be more job losses to come which will wreck morale among staff and will be bad news for Australians who expect quality services from the ABC,” he said.

“This is all part of the Abbott Government’s plan to attack and neuter the ABC.

“Cutting the Australia Network on the basis that it wasn’t providing value for money was always a fig leaf. The first casualties in this Government’s war on the ABC are the staff who have less than a fortnight before they are sacked.” http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

BUSINESS

19) PNG mine lacks public consent – campaigners

14 July 2014

A campaign group says the Papua New Guinea government is going ahead with an experimental new seabed mine without the consent of the people.

The Canadian company, Nautilus Minerals, is set to go ahead with its Solwara One project off New Ireland – which will be the world’s first extraction of minerals from the seabed.

PNG’s mining minister, Byron Chan, says his constituents have been well consulted.

But a spokesperson of the Deep Sea Mining Campaign, Natalie Lowery, says although locals have been consulted they haven’t granted their consent.

“The community voice in Papua New Guinea, against what they’re calling ‘experimental seabed mining’ is massive. It’s very disappointing that the Papua New Guinean government still hasn’t responded to a petition where over 25,000 Papua New Guineans petitioned to say they didn’t want Nautilus to go ahead with the Solwara mine”

Natalie Lowery says the project could damage local ecosystems.

The Canadian company, Nautilus Minerals, says the project is not untested .

It would be Nautilus’ first ever mining project but the company’s chief executive, Mike Johnston, says its staff are qualified and the process has been tested.

“It’ll be at a water depth of about 1,600 metres and a part of our studies into the project we’ve done cutting tests on the surface at 1,600 metres at Solwara 1 itself. We did that back in 2006 so a number of aspects of it we’ve already done. ”

Mike Johnston says the mine looks to be the most environmentally friendly one he’s worked on in a 30-year career.Radio NZ

20) PNG’s Ok Tedi mine back in business

14 July 2014

The Ok Tedi copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province says it is resuming operations.

OK Tedi had closed operations after a major landslip cut off road access to the mine and mill last Thursday.

The cause of the landslip was continuous rainfall.

The Post Courier reports the company saying the remedial works have been hampered by the rain but they expect work to be completed soon. Radio NZ

21) O’Neill invites Japan to invest more in PNG

By Online Editor

4:02 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2014, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the door is open for greater Japanese investment in the Pacific Island nation.

He made the offer at the State Dinner hosted for the visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his wife Akie Abe and their delegation, which included business leaders.

“Your visit will further strengthen our relationship and I want to use this occasion to encourage your industries, and your businesses, to continue investing in PNG,” he told Abe.

“This is a good time to invest in PNG and enter into joint ventures and other forms of collaboration, with our own growing private sector.

“We welcome additional investment in our resource sector but we need new and added investment in other sectors like construction, agriculture and tourism.”

O’Neill said investing in PNG could be challenging and exciting.

“Our GDP over the last decade has averaged 8% a year. Next year it will reach 21%, principally due to the export of LNG to Japan and other countries,” he said.

“But we don’t just enjoy strong GDP growth. We have an essentially stable political environment – even though politics can at times be challenging, just as I am sure it is in Japan.

“But our basis is strong, and our economic future is, in my view, the best it has been since independence.

“We will secure that future by high quality foreign investment – of the kind Japan has consistently provided over the last 40 years – and a growing and confident participation in these investments.

“Our trading links have always been strong – and we are keen to strengthen and diversify them even further.

“We have the people, and the land, to help meet your food needs as well as your energy and mineral needs.

“We will continue to welcome imports from your country which have contributed to our transport needs for generations, said O’Neill.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER

22) Charges over capsized Vanuatu ferry

14 July 2014

Four people have been charged with manslaughter after an overloaded ferry capsized in Vanuatu last week.

The MV MCY was heading from Malekula towards the capital, Port Vila on July the 11 when it sank.

Two women, a baby and one crew member died.

The deputy commissioner, John Taleo, says the ferry’s owner, the captain, second captain and the official in charge of cargo have been charged.

He says the ferry’s capacity was 30 people but it was overloaded with 41 passengers and crew and was not seaworthy.Radio NZ

23) No hijab for IDs

Shalveen Chand

Monday, July 14, 2014

MUSLIM women will have to remove their head scarves/veil or hijab for the Fiji National Provident Fund and Fiji Revenue Customs Authority joint identification card pictures.

Two Muslim women were turned away from FNPF in Suva after they refused to take off their hijab.

The distraught women from Nausori had gone to get their joint ID cards when they were told by FNPF staff members to remove their hijab.

Roselyn Karim, a garment worker, said her religion didn’t permit her to do so, especially in the month of Ramadan.

She said it was considered an act of blasphemy.

“I can’t just take off my hijab in front of anyone, especially a man. That violates my religion and I feel that I would have shamed not only myself but my family,” she said.

“The Prime Minister has been saying that he will ensure that nobody’s religion is violated.”

However, she now has to go back and have her and her daughter’s pictures taken without the head scarf.

FNPF has made arrangements for the women to have their pictures taken by women.

“One of the key requirements for the Joint ID procedures is a face-check verification.

“This is to ensure that the applicant is indeed a bona fide member/ taxpayer.

“If staff are not able to see the member’s full facial features required for identification purposes, then there is no assurance that the member is the same person that is on the IDs being presented to us,” FNPF chief executive Aisake Taito said.

“Bending this customer identification and face validation procedure can be a channel for identity theft; thus is high risk.

“We do appreciate that everyone has a right to their religious/cultural belief which dictates the way they dress.

“But for identification purposes, particularly in the issuance of new ID, it is important that procedures are followed.

“It must be noted that our procedures also allow our Muslim women member’s privacy to have their hijab and burqa removed in the presence of a female staff, who will verify their identity.”

Fiji Muslim League general secretary Tabiz Akbar said despite the religious and cultural belief held by the Muslim women, if the government required Muslim women to take pictures for certain things especially dealing with matters of national interest, then there was nothing they could do.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=274267

24) Currency smuggling trend

Tevita Vuibau

Monday, July 14, 2014

CURRENCY smuggling has been identified by the Financial Intelligence Unit as an emerging money laundering trend in Fiji.

The largest case recorded by the FIU and border officials in 2013 involved a combined $76,648.58 in assorted currencies that were not declared by two inbound passengers from the Solomon Islands.

Under the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, travelers must declare if they are carrying $10,000 or above in cash when arriving or departing from Fiji.

One of the passengers inbound from the Solomon Islands was caught with $US18,011 ($F32,434 and other currencies while the other was caught trying to bring in $A21,260 ($F34,163), EUR 3640 ($F8526) and other assorted currencies.

The FIU said there were 16 cases of persons failing to declare currency in 2013 with two individuals given the maximum fine of $10,000 for not declaring their currency in excess of $10,000.

The FIU report also noted that 117 declarations were made by inbound travellers in 2012 compared with 141 in 2013.

A further 318 declarations were made by outbound travellers in 2012 compared with 360 in 2013.

Altogether $22.1million was declared by travellers in 2013 compared with $14.6m in 2012.

Other money laundering trends noticed by the FIU included the use of false identification cards however, this trend is declining.

“The FIU has noted a decrease in the number of cases involving fake identification cards such as passports, birth certificates.

“This is due to some recent measures undertaken by the relevant authorities in Fiji.”

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=274286

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

25) Coral gardening tourism in Vanuatu

14 July 2014

A new eco-tourism venture aimed at reversing the effects of climate change on coral reefs has been launched in Vanuatu.

Coral gardening, or mariculture, involves snorkelling to reattach broken pieces of coral to damaged reefs, which can eventually grow into full size coral colonies.

A Secretariat of the Pacific Community technical advisor in Vanuatu, Christopher Bartlett, says the project was launched last week at Worasiviu Village on Pele Island.

Dr Bartlett says it gives tourists a chance to get involved in taking action against climate change.

“Tourists can actually snorkel down and attach their own fragment of coral onto the coral garden bed and it’s kind of their living souvineer that they’ll remember the rest of their lives, they feel like they came and left a part of themselves here in Vanuatu. And of course they leave some money behind.”

Christopher Bartlett says money raised will go towards other climate change adaptation activities, such as reef surveys and setting up fish aggregating devices.Radio NZ

SPORTS.

26) Germany wins fourth FIFA World Cup title

By Online Editor

4:38 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2014, Brazil

Germany were crowned world champions for the fourth time as Mario Gotze’s extra-time winner beat Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final.

Gotze demonstrated perfect technique and commendable calm to chest down Andre Schurrle’s pass and sweep in a left-foot finish with the prospect of a penalty shootout only seven minutes away.

Argentina, with skipper Lionel Messi looking subdued despite flashes of his talent, could not respond and Germany claimed their first World Cup since they beat the same opponents in Rome 24 years ago.

The success means Joachim Low’s side have become the first European team to win the trophy in South America.

Gonzalo Higuain wasted Argentina’s best chance in the first half while Germany defender Benedikt Howedes hit the post with a header seconds before half-time.

Germany had to regroup after losing key midfielder Sami Khedira to injury in the warm-up – and his replacement Christoph Kramer to a blow to the head before half-time – but they shrugged off these setbacks to write another triumphant chapter in their sporting history.

Argentina’s fans were in the vast majority of a crowd that created a vibrant atmosphere inside the Maracana – although Germany were well represented and had the support of many yellow-clad Brazil supporters who still turned up despite seeing their hopes of watching the hosts in the World Cup final dashed by that stunning semi-final beating at the hands of Germany.

German supporters stayed in their places more than an hour after the final whistle as the victorious side indulged in lengthy celebrations of a win that vindicated the rebuilding plan put in place when they suffered the humiliation of going out of Euro 2004 at the group stage, which resulted in then coach Rudi Voller’s resignation.

Germany had reached the semi-finals of the previous two World Cups but have now managed the crowning achievement for coach Low, who not only brought the trophy back to Germany, but also ended Europe’s grim record in this tournament on South American soil.

Argentina failed to have a shot on target in the entire game and four-time world player of the year Messi looked an increasingly jaded figure as the game went on.

The Barcelona star never stopped striving to carry his team over the line in the manner achieved by his great predecessor Diego Maradona, who inspired them to their last World Cup when they beat Germany in Mexico City in 1986.

SOURCE: BBC SPORT/PACNEWS

27) James Rodriguez wins Golden Boot

By Online Editor

4:36 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2014, Brazil

Colombia forward James Rodriguez won the Golden Boot for finishing as the top scorer at the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

The 23-year-old, who plays for Monaco, scored six goals in five matches as his side reached the quarter-finals, where they lost to hosts Brazil.

Rodriguez finished ahead of Germany forward Thomas Muller, who netted five goals as his side won the tournament.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who won the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player, was in a tie for third.

His four goals were matched by Brazil striker Neymar and Netherlands forward Robin van Persie.

Rodriguez’s goals helped Colombia progress further than they had before at a World Cup.

He scored against Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan as they topped Group C before netting twice, one a sublime volley, during the 2-0 last-16 win against Uruguay.

Rodriguez’s final goal was a late consolation from the penalty spot as Colombia lost 2-1 to Brazil.

Germany’s Manuel Neuer, 28, won the Golden Glove awarded to the best goalkeeper at the tournament, while France’s 21-year-old midfielder Paul Pogba won the best young player prize.

SOURCE:BBC SPORT/PACNEWS

28) Forbes chases golden era

By Online Editor

4:35 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2014, New Zealand

As the All Blacks Sevens squad head to their final training camp in the Netherlands tomorrow, veteran captain DJ Forbes’ young team will be quietly confident chasing their fifth-straight Commonwealth Games gold.

However, the newly-named side will approach the games in Glasgow knowing their once humble sport has entered a new era.

Until recently New Zealand’s success was measured on Sevens World Series and Commonwealth Games results. But, as Forbes is well aware, Olympic success “is definitely in the back of coach Gordon Tietjens’ mind”.

In light of a 25-match winning streak at the Commonwealth Games, Forbes is confident his side can continue their dominance come July 26-27.

“The beauty of the team at the moment is that the level of sevens players in New Zealand is growing,” Forbes said.

“What everyone’s well aware of is the expectation. You’re always expected to do well and our record at the Commonwealth Games does not really help the whole pressure situation.”

The face of rugby sevens has changed significantly since Forbes’ emergence in 2006 and, with rugby making its first appearance on the Olympic stage since 1924, he says “it’s not the helter-skelter game it used to be”.

The competitive environment of sevens has entered a new phase of professionalism in which players and coaches face tougher scrutiny as countries pour resources into development programmes, all in a bid to stand atop the Olympic podium.

As a result, the intensity level on the Sevens World Series has risen significantly. Kenya, Samoa, Canada and England all finished inside the top eight this year, reaffirming their status as possible threats to New Zealand’s domination.

But New Zealand’s 12 series wins from 15 attempts on the sevens circuit underlines their continually-strong presence in the format.

“We’re still slightly ahead of the game,” Forbes said. “Effectively the competition is lifting, as countries are putting a lot more emphasis on sevens. As the game evolves, it’s getting a lot harder to compete and hold our pedigree.”

The International Rugby Board, with ratification from the International Olympic Committee, this year announced the qualification process for Rio 2016. Brazil has been given automatic entry into the Olympics, leaving most of the remaining 11 spots to be determined by a series of regional tournaments.

The top four from the 2014-15 World Series will also qualify automatically. New Zealand have finished in the top four every year since the series started in 1999.

However, the qualification process will be the least of Forbes’ worries building up to Rio 2016.

The confirmation of Olympic inclusion has sparked increased interest in sevens from players in the 15-a-side game and other codes.

Tietjens has commented on the potential sevens prowess of players such as Sonny Bill Williams and Kieran Read and competition for Olympic spots is expected to be fierce.

Faced with the possibility of union and league stars entering the sevens mix, the danger of unsettling the team environment is evident. Despite this, Forbes is confident his core group of senior players will help direct the team.

“We all know that they are awesome athletes in rugby but I’m pretty sure there won’t be too many transitions straight from whatever code they’re playing,” Forbes says.

“I think the country will want the best athletes available to put their hand up and there is obviously going to be a chance with Titch playing them on the World Series.”

For crowd-favourite Forbes, a win on the world’s most elite sporting stage could indeed give him and his current squad legendary status. But he warns “it’s not as easy as it looks”.

“[But] with the expectation of winning, winning, winning and just focusing on the little things, we should get the right results from there.

SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS

29) Korean cricketers grab first win in Fiji

14 July 2014

The Korean men’s cricketers have managed picked up the first win of their Fijian tour, beating a Fiji A team by 25 runs in Suva on Sunday.

After choosing to bat first, the tourists managed their best score to date before being dismissed for 110 runs in the 19th over.

The Fijians managed to last the 20 overs in response but struggled to get the ball away, ending their chase on a disappointing 85 for 9.

Earlier in the day the Koreans suffered a three wickets defeat to Fiji’s Junior High Performance side, who they will meet a further two times on Monday.Radio NZ

w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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