Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1012
1) Joko Widodo promises to focus on West Papua
August 23, 2014 – 12:56PM
Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax Media
Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo has promised to build a presidential palace on the shores of West Papua’s picturesque Lake Sentani as a sign he will pay more attention to the resource-rich but troubled region.
The plan, which includes regular meetings for dialogue with Papuan leaders, has met a mixed reception from senior local figures.
A low-level armed separatist movement has racked West Papua since the 1960s, prompting a huge security presence in the province. Foreign journalists are virtually banned from going there, ostensibly for security reasons, and rampant corruption and discrimination impoverishes the Melanesian-Christian ethnic majority.
Outgoing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono only visited the province three times in his 10 years in power – the third time late last week.
But there has been much optimism about Mr Joko, who travelled to West Papua twice during Indonesia’s election season and said of access for foreign journalists: “Why not? It’s safe here in Papua. There’s nothing to hide.”
In early August, Mr Joko, known as Jokowi, called a meeting with about 30 Papuan politicians and religious leaders and laid out a plan designed to increase dialogue and contact between the capital and Indonesia’s easternmost province. John Djonga, a Christian leader from the remote highlands capital of Wamena, said after the meeting: “We have very strong hopes for Jokowi.”
Mr Joko told the group the construction of a new presidential palace on the lakeside near the West Papuan capital, Jayapura, would “symbolise the presence of the central government in Papua”, Reverend Djonga said.
Mr Joko also committed to dialogue with West Papuan leaders every three months involving either himself or key team members. Ongoing talks over self-determination and economic disadvantage has long been a goal of West Papua’s leaders, who fear that poverty and mass migration from other parts of Indonesia, are steadily erasing Melanesian culture.
Reverend Djonga said the pressing issues in the region were health, education, infrastructure and official corruption, which was “worse than in Java” and which saw wastage of much of the money the central government sends to the region.
Papuan leaders have also told Mr Joko they want a better deal out of the massive, American-owned Freeport gold and copper mine, Indonesia’s biggest single taxpayer. They want more money, a headquarters in Jayapura, not in Jakarta, and for long-standing grievances, including killings allegedly relating to the mine’s operations, to be investigated.
Mr Joko did not talk politics or separatism with the group, but Reverend Djonga said: “If there is really concrete change in the society, if the situation improves, then even the hard-line [separatists] may soften.”
Reverend Djonga said most of the people in the meeting were part of a “grey group” who were, “in their heart”, separatists. But “they looked happy” with Mr Joko’s commitments.
The new president, though, will need to overcome significant suspicion.
“My experience of Indonesian politicians is that any program made for Papua makes no difference – that is, it creates more suffering,” Reverend Djonga said.
The leader of the province’s Baptist churches, Socratez Yoman, said solving problems in Papua would mean “long talking, long mediation”.
“Jokowi will not solve the West Papua case in the short term if he spends two or three days there,” said Reverend Yoman, who was not at the August meeting. “We need a long process, involving all stakeholders, all parties.”
That would mean withdrawing Jakarta’s troops and police, stopping migration from other parts of Indonesia, freeing dozens of political prisoners and inviting exiled activists home.
“All people have to be involved, not partially, but comprehensively, seriously,” Reverend Yoman said.
“We are discussing the future of Papuans on their own land. The reality today is the Papuans have become marginalised economically, educationally, housing … like they became foreigners. This is negative progress.”
2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 24 August 2014
- The Vanua’aku Pati is holding its Congress starting today at the Port Vila Lycée. Changes are expected at the executive level of the party, VBTC News advises this morning. The VP Constitution says the VP President becomes Prime Minister in any coalition led by the VP. Today the Vice President of the Party is, however, the PM whilst the President of the VP carries the rank of Parliamentary Secretary for the PM. This follows the moves, negotiations and agreements necessary for Parliament to remove the former Carcasses Government.
- China is ready to help Vanuatu with airport developments, PM Natuman made clear on his return to Vanuatu Friday afternoon. He told Daily Post’s Jane Joshua that the Chinese President Xi Jinping has confirmed China is ready to assist Vanuatu in particular with Bauerfield Airport’s urgent and necessary repairs. President Xi also told PM Natuman that China is ready to help along with other development partners such as the World Bank.
- Daily Post also carries an interesting interview with the former General Manager of Operations of Airports Vanuatu Limited Dick Abel, conducted by Jonas Cullwick. Abel makes it clear that if people in power had listened to the professional advice of those in AVL at the time, the Bauerfield upgrade would have been completed by mid-2015 rather than remain as presently, still awaiting financial partners for its repairs.
- Vanuatu and Samoa have a special deal regarding trade established with China. Government is expected to consider how best to make use of this arrangement, VBTC News stated.
- Vanuatu National Provident Fund leaders made it clear to the VNPF membership at Luganville on a tour to the northern town last week that VNPF members’ wishes are the guiding force in their policy-making as regards investment on behalf of the membership.
- Expatriates not following the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) legal requirements have been fined VT 1.5 million recently Daily Post reports yesterday.
3) Vanuatu daily news digest | 22 August 2014
- Vanuatu Investment Immigration Limited is the company which will run the Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP) as the master agent in Hong Kong. PM Natuman visited the premises which have been used by Vanuatu Registry Services for this purpose until now.
- Prime Minister Natuman has received confirmation that the new national convention centre will be finished in August next year. PM Natuman visited the engineering group responsible on his recent trip to China. The government should be able to host the 2017 CHOGM meeting in the new premises.
- The Vanua’aku Pati Congress takes place next week at the Port Vila lycée. Delegates have begun arriving.
- Cocaine in one reported case has tested positive. Two suspects are remanded in custody.
- No prosecutions for bribery is highlighted on the Transparency page of Daily Post. This is over a period of five years. In 2011 a fraud of VT 8,900,544 was identified as having been conducted by a political adviser to a minister. Illegal citizenships are also headlined.
- Councillors of the Port Vila Municipality have been learning more about preparedness against natural phenomena. Areas of likely impact, especially from tsunami, have been mapped and noted by the councillors, and awareness exercises conducted. The Japanese government has assisted with funding.
- Tony yesterday commented to this news blog on the PM’s support of the CIIP programme: “It seems that from the PM down everyone is looking at the CIIP scheme as the ‘goose that laid the golden egg.’ I see it only as a very small and temporary fix to the economy here in Vanuatu. The large amounts of money coming will soon dry up, as there is only a set number willing to invest here via CIIP. It will not be an endless flow of people and money. What then? The think tanks should get their collective heads together to address that very important next step forward.”
4) France To Return Head Of Kanak High Chief To New Caledonia
Atai was beheaded for resisting colonization
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 21, 2014) – France will return the head of a Kanak high chief to New Caledonia – 136 years after Atai was beheaded for resisting the colonisers in La Foa.
The head’s return was promised last year by the then prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, during a visit to New Caledonia.
Next week, a ceremony is to be held in Paris at the Natural History Museum, where the relic of Atai has been kept.
The overseas minister is due to hand it over to a chief from La Foa, Berge Kawa, who is one of Atai’s descendants.
As Kanaks claimed the head’s return in recent years, it was officially declared missing.
However, three years ago it was found at a Paris museum.
Atai was killed and decapitated when the colonial administrators put down a Kanak rebellion against their decision to expand their land expropriation.
Radio New Zealand International
5) Samoa Spraying Airports To Stop Spread Of Chikungunya
Attempts to quell mosquito-borne virus ahead of SIDS conference
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 22, 2014) – Samoa is spraying its airports ahead of the Small Island Developing States conference to fight the spread of chikungunya.
At least 50 people are suspected to have contracted the mosquito-borne disease while more than 500 cases have been reported in American Samoa.
Our correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says the airports are being sprayed as part of a mass clean-up campaign to contain the disease before the conference in September.
“Airports and walks need to be sprayed just to make sure the breeding areas for mosquitos are being cleared. As long as we all work together and continue on cleaning up all these breeding areas we should be able to have a low number of people being affected with chikungunya.”
Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says the conference is the main reason for the clean-up and school principals, the police, and government ministries are all involved.
Radio New Zealand International
6) CNMI Senate passes bill to amend election law
By Online Editor
12:35 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2014, Northern Mariana Islands
By a vote of 7 to 0, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Senate Thursday passed a measure that will prohibit a person from running for more than one public office in a general, local or special election.
Also Thursday, the Commonwealth Election Commission, according to its executive director, Robert Guerrero, found out that there is no law that prohibits those certified as candidates in the general elections from running in a special election.
This means that those who have been certified to run for any office on Nov. 4, can still participate in the special election for the Senate seat vacated by Senate Floor Leader Ray N. Yumul, the running mate of independent gubernatorial candidate, former Speaker Heinz S. Hofschneider.
Introduced by Senator Pete P. Reyes, R-Saipan, Senate Bill 18-66 states that “no person shall be eligible for more than one public office to be filled in the same election or different elections held at the same time.”
The bill added, “The term ‘election’ as used in this section includes a general, local or special election held on the same date so as to prohibit a person from running for office in local elections, general elections or in special elections at the same time.”
Senate President Ralph DLG Torres, R-Saipan, has yet to declare a vacancy, but once he does, the governor will issue a proclamation calling for a special election.
Current law states that “special elections subject to the call of the governor shall be held on a date set by the governor which shall be no less than 30 days nor more than 60 days from the date of the proclamation. The governor shall also set the time limit within which polling places may be designated and declarations of candidates and nominating petitions may be filed.”
In related news, Saipan senatorial candidate Stephen C. Woodruff wrote a letter to the other candidates asking them for a “unified position” in suggesting to the governor that “the currently certified candidates for the general election shall be deemed candidates in the special election.”
He also suggested “that there be no additional period for submission of nominating petitions for candidates for the special election (i.e. that nominations be deemed closed); that there be a single ballot for the general election and the special election, and that the unsuccessful candidate in the general election receiving the highest number of votes (i.e. the third highest vote getter) be declared the winner of the special election.”
Woodruff said the governor should hold the special concurrent with the general election, but he wonders “how that can be done in the most democratic and intelligent fashion, given that there will be three Senate seats to be filled this year, one for slightly more than a two-year term, and there are already seven candidates in the race.”
According to Woodruff, senatorial candidates Justo S. Quitugua and Jess I. Taisague agree with him.
SOURCE: MARIANAS VARIETY/PACNEWS
7) Solomon Islands i gutpla ples long ol Australia bisnis:PM itok
Updated 22 August 2014, 15:38 AEST
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo blong Solomon Islands itok kantri blongen igat planti eria we ol bisnis long Australia iken go na invest longen.
Odio: Solomon Islands Praim Minista Gordon Darcy Lilo itoktok wantem Sam Seke
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo blong Solomon Islands itok kantri blongen igat planti eria we ol bisnis long Australia iken go na invest longen.
Em i mekim dispela toktok long dispela Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum and Trade Expo we em ibin opim long Brisbane tede.
Mr Lilo itok, gavman blongen i wokim pinis sampela senis long sait long investment loa, we bai mekim gutpela moa long ol foran kampani long go wokim bisnis long kantri.
Pacific Beat program blong Radio Australia ibin toktok wantaim Praim Minister Lilo na em i tok olsem long dispela.
Mr Lilo i tok ol nabawan eria we ol foran kampani iken go invest longen long Solomon Islands em i karamapim tu sait long bildim ol infrastructure olsem ol road, bridge na long planti moa ol kainkain konstraksen wok.
Em i tok sait long resosis na tuaris bisnis tu i stap, long wanem planti long natural risosis long kantri i stap gut yet long ol turis iken go lukim.
Long sait long maining, Praim Minista Lilo itok Australian kampani St Barbara i gohet long toktok nau long ol i givim bek dispela Goldridge Mine long Central Guadalcanal, igo long Solomon Islands gavman.
Planti toktok tu ibin kam ap long wari long sait long sekiuriti long dispela Goldridge main.
Tasol Mr Lilo i tok kantri i stap pisful stat long taim Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands i kamap long 2003, na sait long sekiuriti long main em ino bikpela wari.Radio Australia
8) PNG Mosquitos AFL tim i redi long pilai egensim Ireland
Updated 22 August 2014, 15:00 AEST
Papua New Guinea Mosquitos AFL International tim i redi nau long traim best blong ol long winim AFL International Cup long tumora.
Odio: AFL PNG Senior Football Operations Manager, Rex Leka i toktok wantem Sam Seke
Papua New Guinea Mosquitos AFL International tim i redi nau long traim best blong ol long winim AFL International Cup long tumora.
Ol bai pilaim Ireland long MCG stadium long hia long Melbourne tumora apinun – we PNG Sports Minista tu bai stap longen.
AFL PNG Senior Football Operations Manager, Rex Leka i tok ol PNG Mosquitos igat dinau long Ireland i bin winim ol tupela taim long bipo – na ol i laik bekim dispela long tumora.
Em i tok tim i redi na i hamamas long sapot ol i kisim long PNG na tu long hia long Melbourne.
Despla emi no nambawan taem we despla tupla tim ibin pilai egensim wanpla narapla. Long yia 2011 despla tupla team ibin pilai na tim blong Ireland ibin winim PNG Mosquitos.
Nau oli tok oli laik kisim despla AFL International Cup long Ireland.Radio Australia
9) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – vendredi 22 août 2014
Mis à jour 22 August 2014, 15:24 AEST
- Bougainville: les petits actionnaires européens de BCL réclament des compensations financières.
Feb 1997 Pangura mine on Bougainville Island. One of the worlds richest copper mines. CRA is one of the biggest shareholders. /Mining /Mines /Business /Copper mining o/seas aerials PNG Picture: Supplied Source: News Limited
La mine de cuivre de Panguna, en 1997. Avant de devoir cesser l’exploitation à cause de la guerre civile à Bougainville, la mine était l’une des plus grandes au monde. (Source : News Limited)
Le parlement de la province autonome a en effet adopté une loi de transition sur l’exploitation des mines début août. La loi supprime la licence de Bougainville Copper Limited, une filiale de Rio Tinto, sur la mine de Panguna. Le gouvernement bougainvillais va donc lancer un appel d’offre. Et même si la nouvelle loi donne un avantage à BCL, les actionnaires européens de BCL réclame des compensations financières. Ils demandent aussi à Rio Tinto de poursuivre en justice les propriétaires coutumiers et les anciens de l’armée révolutionnaire bougainvillaise, qui ont détruit l’équipement de la mine pendant la guerre civile.
- Australie: le ministre de l’Immigration est convoqué par la Commission des Droits de l’Homme. Scott Morrison devra répondre des conséquences de la détention des enfants migrants sur leur santé physique et mentale. Le ministre a annoncé cette semaine qu’il libèrerait les enfants de moins de 10 ans et leurs familles actuellement détenus sur le sol australien. Ils recevront un visa temporaire et vivront dans des logements sociaux. L’opposition réclame la même mesure pour les enfants détenus à Nauru et à Manus. Actuellement 876 enfants vivent dans les centres de rétention australiens.
- Valentine Bourrat et Thomas Dandois sont toujours détenus en Papouasie indonésienne. Les deux reporters d’ARTE viennent de passer deux semaines dans un centre de rétention pour migrants, à Jayapura. Mais ils pourraient être transférés en prison. Ils ont été arrêtés le 6 août à Wamena en plein reportage, ce qui est illégal en Papouasie, d’autant qu’ils n’avaient qu’un visa de touriste. Mais les autorités indonésiennes menace de les mettre en examen pour subversion. Motif: ils ont rencontré le chef indépendantiste Forkorus Yaboisembut, le Président de la République papoue proclamée en octobre 2011. Mais surtout, selon WestPapuaMedia, les deux journalistes d’ARTE avaient l’intention d’aller filmer des témoins de violences policières indonésiennes, et des témoins qui ont assisté à une tentative des forces indonésiennes de vendre des munitions à des villageois papous.
- Îles Salomon: 5 personnes ont été arrêtées hier soir après une grande bagarre dans le bidonville de Karaina, dans l’ouest d’Honiara, la capitale. Il s’agit d’une distribution d’aide qui a tourné à l’émeute entre 200 personnes. Elles se sont lancé des pierres. Les arrêtées personnes arrêtées sont soupçonnées d’avoir mis le feu à quatre maisons. Les squatteurs du quartier de Karaina sont majoritairement originaires de la province de Temotu.
- Fidji: plusieurs partis politiques demandent au gouvernement Bainimarama d’arrêter d’utiliser l’argent de l’État pour financer sa campagne électorale. Bainimarama et ses partisans ont fondé leur parti, FijiFirst, en juillet. Le chef du Parti de la Fédération Nationale, Biman Prasad, dénonce l’avantage déloyal dont jouissent les candidats de FijiFirst. Il en appelle à la commission électorale et demande au gouvernement de n’intervenir que pour gérer les affaires courantes.
- Adelaïde: plusieurs personnes ont été blessées dans une manifestation contre Tony Abbott jeudi soir. Le Premier ministre donnait un discours à l’université d’Adelaïde. Dehors, plusieurs centaines d’Australiens s’étaient réunis pour protester contre la politique du gouvernement, particulièrement la dérégulation des frais d’inscription universitaire, qui vont donc augmenter, mais aussi contre la politique de l’immigration. Les manifestants ont également appelé le gouvernement à accepter le mariage pour tous. La police montée a été appelée à la rescousse et les manifestants ne se sont pas écartés. Une adolescente a du être emmenée à l’hôpital.
- Australie: toute la classe politique se mobilise pour Bill Shorten, le chef de l’opposition travailliste. Une femme l’accuse de l’avoir violée dans les années 80 lors d’une convention de jeunes militants travaillistes. Mais hier la police a décidé de classer l’affaire sans suite. La police n’avait pas révélé l’accusation qui pesait sur Bill Shorten. Mais le leader travailliste a décidé de divulguer l’affaire pour laver son nom une bonne fois pour toutes. Des personnalités de la majorité libérale et du camp travailliste ont salué son courage.
- Melbourne: un koala ressuscite grâce à du bouche-à-bouche. Les pompiers et des officiers de protection de la faune ont été appelés jeudi soir pour secourir ce koala, renversé par une voiture, et qui s’était réfugié dans un arbre. Quand les secours sont arrivés, le koala est tombé, raide mort, de son arbre. Ils ont alors pratiqué un massage cardiaque sur l’animal, et du bouche-à-bouche. Le koala est actuellement en convalescence. Radio Australia
10) PNG: « We are heroes », l’hymne des Jeux du Pacifique
Mis à jour 22 August 2014, 15:44 AEST
Les Jeux s’ouvriront en juillet 2015 à Port-Moresby.
La star papoue Honlly Isaad, le chanteur du groupe Jokema (au centre, ici en compagnie de membres du comité organisateur), a chanté l’hymne des Jeux du Pacifique pour la première fois en public cette semaine, devant les sponsors, à Port-Moresby. (Source : PNG2015 Pacific Games Organization – FB)
La star papoue Honlly Isaad, le chanteur du groupe Jokema (au centre, ici en compagnie de membres du comité organisateur), a chanté l’hymne des Jeux du Pacifique pour la première fois en public cette semaine, à Port-Moresby. (Facebook)
Rien ne se fait sans chanson, le comité organisateur a donc lancé l’hymne des Jeux 2015 lors d’une cérémonie avec tous les sponsors jeudi, à Port-Moresby.
« We are heroes » (« nous sommes des héros »), l’hymne des prochains Jeux du Pacifique, appelle à l’unité et à la paix par le sport, et célèbre l’amitié qui lie les peuples de la région.
Le comité d’organisation des Jeux a choisi la star papoue, Honlly Isaac, le chanteur du groupe Jokema, pour composer et interpréter l’hymne. Il avait un cahier des charges assez précis. Peter Stewart, le Président du comité des Jeux du Pacifique 2015 :
« Nous voulions que la chanson décrive les Jeux, du point de vue des athlètes, mais aussi des spectateurs, et leur importance pour la région Pacifique. C’est une réussite. »
Honlly Isaac est quasiment un artiste d’État en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Il est un chaud partisan du Premier ministre Peter O’Neill et de son parti, le PNC. Honlly Isaac a même écrit une chanson pour Peter O’Neill pendant la campagne électorale l’année dernière. Peter Stewart :
« La célébrité de Honlly Isaac est une aubaine pour nous, parce que la chanson va cartonner tout de suite. Il s’est approprié notre cahier des charges, il a tout de suite eu une idée de composition de l’hymne, et il l’a fait dans son style, et le résultat est très moderne, c’est fantastique.
Peter Stewart, le Président du comité des Jeux du Pacifique 2015, au micro de Richard Ewart.
3000 athlètes de 21 pays du Pacifique convergeront vers Port-Moresby en juillet 2015 pour ces Jeux du Pacifique. Ce sera une double célébration, car la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée fêtera aussi ses 40 ans d’indépendance en 2015. Radio Australia
11) Niue considers withdrawing from Smaller Island States group
By Online Editor
1:35 pm GMT+12, 23/08/2014, Niue
Niue’s proposal to withdraw from the Pacific Islands Forum Smaller Island States group has been discouraged by fellow Members.
Honourable Premier Toke Talagi says there is little support for Small Island States.
“Niue has been frustrated by a lack of tangible support from donors to assist the Small
Island States in the Pacific Island Forum.”
He said the specification’s in the legal framework to allow for withdrawal by members is
The Cook Islands has mooted an idea that a percentage of regional funds be negotiated
specifically for Small Island States. This would enable Small Island States to obtain much
needed funds to support country programs particularly in climate mitigation and adaptation, and economic and social developments.
Papua New Guinea has offered K10 million for an office to be established to manage
Small Island States matters.
Honourable Premier Talagi said he is not sure whether will attend next year’s Small Island States meeting.
SOURCE: NIUE GOVT/PACNEWS
Sunday, August 24, 2014
The World Health Organisation has said the speed and extent of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is “unprecedented”.
The WHO’s Dr Keiji Fukuda expressed concern over so-called “shadow zones”, areas which cannot be reached and where patients are not being detected.
The organisation confirmed 142 new cases of the disease had been reported since 19 August, as well as 77 deaths.
Already more people have died in this outbreak of Ebola than in any other.
At least 1427 people have now died in the outbreak so far, with the number of cases now standing at 2615.
Speaking at a news conference in the Liberian capital Monrovia, Dr Fukuda said combating the disease would take “several months of hard work”.
13) Solomon Islands National University bill passed
By Online Editor
12:47 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2014, Solomon Islands
Parliament passed the Solomon Islands National University (Amendment) Bill 2014 on Wednesday.
The Bill was to amend provisions of the Solomon Islands National University Act 2012 relating to the Council of the University.
The primary object of this Bill is to facilitate more regular meetings of the council of the Solomon Islands National University.
The council has not been able to hold its regular meetings because of the impracticality of attaining the threshold of five appointed members to form a quorum.
The Bill amended section 24(1) (a) of Solomon Islands National University Act 2012 to reduce the requirement for the presence of 5 appointed members to a more achievable requirement of two appointed members
The Bill also seeks to amend section 12(4) of the Act to provide forthe general staff member of the university who is an elected member of the Council to have a three-year term of office as an elected member.
This is the same term of office as the majority of elected members.
Previously, the Act did not limit the term of office of the general staff member. All elected members are eligible for re-election when their term of office expires.
The passing of this Bill gave a total of three Bills being passed so far in this current sitting of Parliament..
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
14) Disqualification of Fiji candidate could end up in court
Updated at 4:20 pm on 23 August 2014
The Fiji Labour Party says the faulty decision to disqualify Steven Singh from contesting next month’s election must be promptly reversed or the poll could be delayed.
A lawyer for the Party, Anand Singh, says both the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, have accepted that a conviction against Labour’s Steven Singh had been set aside by the courts.
However the allocation of numbers for election candidates has gone ahead today without Steven Singh’s inclusion.
The Electoral Commission boycotted the allocation process after the Supervisor claimed it was too late coming back on Friday with two changes, one of which would have had Steven Singh back on the Labour Party list.
Anand Singh says the lack of agreement between the two bodies is a fiasco.
He says the Party believes the onus is on the Electoral Commission to sort out the matter.
“We feel it is the Electoral Commission, which is, after all, the supervisory authority over the Supervisor of Elections, so this is something that they should be able to correct between themselves. Failing them correcting the current situation Steven Singh may have to go to court – that is something we are trying to avoid if possible.”
248 candidates have been allocated numbers, starting at 135 and continuing consecutively through to 382.
Mr Singh says this process will have to be redone to include Steven Singh.Radio New Zealand.
15) Mixed reactions
Sunday, August 24, 2014
THERE were mixed reactions when Fiji First party leader and Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama held an election campaign meeting with some Fijians in Australia yesterday.
Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama met former Fiji residents at Canterbury Town Hall in Sydney.
According to Australian media reports, while there were some people present to support Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama, some Fijians were there to protest his visit to Australia.
The ABC reported Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama was greeted by protesters in Sydney.
It said hundreds of Fijians attended a rally in Sydney’s south-west to coincide with a visit by Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama.
Supporters of Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama went inside Canterbury Town Hall for a question-and-answer session and according to ABC, other members of the Fijian community, including those in the Fiji Democracy Freedom Movement, were not allowed in and they protested outside. The report said a line of police officers stopped the protesters from entering the hall.
ABC reported the protestors claiming the election process favoured Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama’s political party.
They also condemned Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop for allowing Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama to visit, ABC reported.
The Fijian PM was greeted with similar protests on his visit to New Zealand early this month.Fijitimes.
16) Leaders chase overseas votes
By Online Editor
12:42 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2014, Fiji
The two top contenders to lead the country after the September 17 general election fly out today to chase overseas votes.
Prime Minister and FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama and Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Ro Teimumu Kepa head to different destinations.
Bainimarama, still fresh from his successful campaign meeting in Auckland and with an overwhelming lead in public opinion polls, travels to Sydney.
Ro Teimumu, after her encouraging visit to the United States, jets to Auckland, New Zealand.
Bainimarama will visit a mosque and temple in Sydney today before holding a talanoa session tomorrow from 1pm-4pm (Aust time) at Mytilenian House, Canterbury.
It will be followed by an Island Night from 7pm where admission costs $50. Entertainment will be provided by Jese Mucunabitu and Pasifika Sunset with Indo-Fijian cuisine and iTaukei lovo. On Sunday, there will be a combined church service at Mytilenian House at 1.30pm.
One of the trip’s organisers, Jason Narayan, in an interview with Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat, said Bainimarama will give a public address in Sydney.
He said Bainimarama’s address would include a question and answer session, which was open to those wishing to attend, as well as members of his FijiFirst party.
Ro Teimumu will be accompanied to Auckland by SODELPA’s general secretary and candidate Pio Tabaiwalu and Patricia Raivoce.
Tabaiwalu confirmed they would meet strong party supporters in Auckland.
“We will be at the Kiwi Epworth Hotel and we will speak to our party’s supporters at Manukau. We will be only there for the weekend,” Tabaiwalu said.
“Our party’s supporters there have specifically asked us to come over and talk about our activities in the party and we will brief them on our campaigns. What all has been happening on the ground and also our manifesto.”
Tabaiwalu added that their party’s supporters in New Zealand would be fundraising.
Meanwhile, FijiFirst leader and Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, spoke about the name ‘Fijian’ at the party’s campaign meeting at Raiwaqa’s Ed’s Court on Wednesday.
He said the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) had totally misinterpreted this to the voters.
“Other countries have a common name. In Australia they are called Australians, in New Zealand they are called Kiwis or New Zealanders, in the United States of America they are called Americans.”
“Their common name represents their patriotism to their country.“
“Now, when people living in Fiji are called Fijians it will show how patriotic they are for their beloved Fiji,” he adds.
He stressed that calling everyone Fijian did not take away the racial identity of the various ethnic groups in Fiji.
Section 5 (2) of the Constitution says: “All Fijians have equal status and identity, which means they are equally:
(a) entitled to all the rights, privileges with benefits of citizeship and
(b) subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.
The Prime Miniser said the word ‘Fijian’ would not take away the rights of the iTaukei landowners nor would it mean equal rights to land ownership.
Section 28 (1) says the ownership of iTaukei land shall remain with the customary owners of that land and iTaukei land shall not be permanetly alinated, whether by sale, grant, transfer or exchange , except to the State in accordance with section 27.
SODELPA leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa has been leading her party’s campaign to have only the iTaukei people called ‘Fijians.’
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
17) Fiji Government Should Go Into Caretaker Mode: Parties
FijiFirst should not use state resources for campaigning: Prasad
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 22, 2014) – Political parties in Fiji have called on the government to go into a caretaker government mode in the lead-up to the election on September 17th.
The National Federation Party and People’s Democratic Party say the government should stop using state resources and state media to campaign for its FijiFirst Party.
The NFP leader Biman Prasad says it’s normal practice in a democratic environment for governments to go into a caretaker mode.
“Governments do not use any state resources to campaign for their political party, they don’t change laws relating to the election process and also policies generally that would have an impact on how the next government is going to deal with things.”
Biman Prasad says it puts other parties at a huge disadvantage and they’ve called on the Election Commission to look at the issue and ensure a free and fair environment for the election.
Radio New Zealand International
18) Electoral Commission finalises 21 candidates
By Online Editor
3:48 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2014, Fiji
Fiji’s Electoral Commission has finished its review of 21 political candidate appeals to decide whether they can contest the upcoming elections.
Commission Chairman Chen Benn Young says their decision is FINAL and no other appeals will be allowed.
“We will have to notify and give the results to the objectors and those who are seeking the review and then maybe in the afternoon I could do a press conference and maybe relate the information but our obligation is to those individuals to have the decision first rather than them finding it out from the media.”
The National Candidate List draw, the assigning of candidate numbers, will be carried out on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Fiji’s Public Service Commission has reminded all civil servants not to indulge in active political or party activities.
Commission Permanent Secretary, Parmesh Chand says public servants must remain neutral at all times, especialyin the lead up to the polls.
Chand has also made it clear on the do’s and dont’s for civil servants in politics.
He says while civil servants can be members of political parties and attend rally’s, they however cannot hold any office in a political party.
“There was no instances of breach as we see it but it is always important to bring it out and put in out in a very important and open manner,” says Chand.
“It is a time which is very critical for Fiji and for public servants as well. Public Service is always neutral and apolitical. It is there to support the Government of the day whoever it is and whatever mandate or manifesto are there. We are to serve everybody,” says Chand.
Chand also putting to rest claims that some of the candidates were public office holders at the time of their nomination.
“As far as we know, those which had let their intentions known, they resigned and we properly processed their resignations,” he clarified.
The Commission also urging civil servants who will be working on the election day to cast their votes through postal voting
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/ FIJI TV/PACNEWS
19) Department creates policy to monitor land use
The National, Friday August 22nd, 2014
THE Lands and Physical Planning Department has prepared a draft of the National Sustainable Land Use policy will soon be brought to the National Executive Council for endorsement.
“The need for this policy is critical because the country is currently undergoing rapid development and there is an increase in many competing land uses,” Lands and Physical Planning Minister Benny Allan said.
“The implementation of the National Affordable Land and Housing programme will require large areas of land in towns and cities and therefore land requirement has to align and compliment the policy.”
Allen said the intention is to provide for balanced among land uses, thereby ensuring that the limited land resource is put to proper use and for getting other land uses such as conservation areas, agriculture, food security and reforestation that need to have their share of the resource.
He was speaking at the handing over of the Certificate of Authority to Occupy (CAO) by his department to the Department of National Planning and Monitoring at Parliament on Wednesday.
The CAO was for Portion 3288 Mlilinch: Granville, Fourmil at Gerehu Stage 3B-2, NCD, and has been identified for 1000 houses to be built under the Government’s programme.
Allen said his department faced challenges but has embarked on a number of policies to become more transparent and proactive in its roles and responsibilities.
Some of the challenges which he highlighted included outstanding claims, the slow process of issuing land titles and capacity building for the technical officers within the department.
20) Veteran Aussie Journalist Covered 40 Years Of Change In The Pacific
By Sean Dorney
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 20, 2014) – Pacific Correspondent Sean Dorney is leaving the ABC after accepting redundancy. After covering the region for more 40 years, he says the Pacific is far more dynamic and (from an Australian Foreign Policy perspective) problematic than it was when he first went to the islands in 1974.
Papua New Guinea had not gained its independence from Australia when I arrived in Port Moresby in early 1974 to join the newsroom of the then recently created National Broadcasting Commission of PNG.
I was on secondment from the ABC and had the enormous privilege of being able to watch and report from close up PNG’s emergence as a nation in September 1975.
One of the first trips I made around Papua New Guinea in that year before independence, 1974, was as an NBC reporter assigned to cover the visit of the then Prime Minister of Fiji, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.
We flew in a chartered aircraft to various places around the country including the PNG Highlands and everywhere he went Ratu Mara told the crowds not to be afraid of becoming independent.At the time, Fiji, only four years independent itself, was seen as a perfect model of stability.
There were some predicting chaos in a post independent Papua New Guinea.
But one of the first lessons I learnt as a journalist in the Pacific was to throw assumptions onto the scrap heap.
In the 40 years since then, Fiji has had four coups and been under a soon-to-end military dictatorship for the past eight. In contrast Papua New Guinea has had eight national elections and many peaceful changes of government, some of them mid-term through Motions of No Confidence.
PNG has had its problems – the ten year secessionist war on Bougainville not the least of them – but with the people speaking 860 distinct indigenous languages it is a far more difficult place to govern than many outsiders realise.
In the years since I first ventured into the Pacific the number of independent Pacific nations has gone from five (Samoa, Cook Islands, Nauru, Tonga & Fiji) to 14 (Niue – 1974; PNG – 1975; Solomon Islands & Tuvalu – 1978; Kiribati – 1979; Vanuatu – 1980; the Federated States of Micronesia; the Marshall Islands – 1986; and Palau – 1994).
Of them all, Vanuatu’s independence was perhaps the most traumatic with the first Prime Minister, Father Walter Lini, inviting Papua New Guinea troops to subdue the secessionist Vemerana rebellion led by Jimmy Stevens on the northern island of Espiritu Santo.
I had been in Vanuatu for Independence Day and then went to Solomon Islands to cover an election. I found out that the PNG troops led by Colonel Tony Huai were passing through Honiara on their way to carry out that mission.
So I went to the airport and while the chartered Air Niugini jet was refuelling I asked Colonel Huai if I could jump on board and accompany them to Vanuatu.
He agreed and I went. Unfortunately, the pilot got into trouble with Civil Aviation authorities later for picking up an unauthorised passenger.
Another trouble spot in the early 1980s was New Caledonia. I went there a number of times to cover the clashes between the indigenous pro-independence movement and those who opposed independence, the Caldoche, the descendents of French settlers, who also had a lot of support from more recent French migrants and others from existing or former French colonies like Algeria.
There was considerable anti-Australian feeling in those quarters and one night when I was attempting to file a story over the phone, the international operator in Noumea asked me if the number I had asked her to connect me to was Radio Australia.
“Yes,” I replied.
“NO MORE LIES!” she shouted and disconnected my call.
One of the most positive developments in recent years in the Pacific is the way eight Pacific Island countries have stamped their authority on fishing for tuna in their combined Exclusive Economic Zones.
The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (the PNA) now have a secretariat in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, and its leadership on this issue has already led to the members getting at least three times as much revenue from fishing than they did just a short time ago.
But the future of some of the tuna species is a major concern because of over fishing.
Another worrying trend is population growth. Dislocation and the pace of change in island communities has led to a disturbing increase in youth suicide.
Several years ago, Fr Francis Hezel, who set up the Micronesia Seminar Institute in the FSM told me his research had shown that young people who were killing themselves, often by hanging, were doing it because of family conflict.
Fr Hezel told me that when he talked to the older Micronesians they spoke about how it was not unusual for youths to have acrimonious disputes with their fathers but that, in the traditional village setting, they could, for a while, flee the home and go seek solace from a favourite uncle, or an aunt – somebody who would offer them a shoulder to cry on and who could console them and work out a reconciliation.
That was often not there anymore. Fr Hezel said that in the rush to modernisation the shape of the Micronesian family had changed. The cash economy had created divisions and had contributed to the fragmenting of large kin groups, breaking them down – destroying this traditional mechanism whereby those feeling shamed could be comforted and not left feeling totally rejected and suicidal.
One of the more interesting geo-political developments in recent years is the way China has now become a major player in the Pacific.
Chinese construction companies are present in numerous Pacific Island nations working on infrastructure projects or prestige buildings funded often by soft loans. Chinese migrants have also established local businesses.
Australia remains the biggest aid donor by far but the Chinese are building the sorts of things Pacific politicians are happy to have.
And I think it is indicative of the Australian media’s blindness about Australia’s role in the region that there is so little coverage while Xinhua has a correspondent in Suva.
My own time of reporting for the ABC on what I believe are all these interesting matters is coming to an end.
Earlier, I mentioned my visits to New Caledonia. Our stringer correspondent in Noumea in the 1980s was Helen Fraser.
In her wonderful book on her period there, “Your Flag’s Blocking Our Sun” (a quote from Jean Marie Tjibaou, the independence leader who was later assassinated) she describes how I guided her through a violent demonstration outside the Congress with me recording as we went a running commentary on the missiles being thrown by protestors, the tear gas being fired back by the Gendarmes and the injuries on both sides.
The line in Helen’s book that delighted me most and which I would not mind using to sum up my Pacific reporting adventures is:
“I’ve never met anyone else who was such fun to be with in a riot.”
21) Court Declares Timor-Leste’s Media Law Unconstitutional
Journalist applauds confirmation of media freedom
By Ted McDonnell
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, August 21, 2014) – Timor-Leste’s controversial media law has been declared unconstitutional by the country’s Court of Appeal.
The fledgling nation’s President Taur Matan Ruak refused to promulgate the restrictive laws last month and sent the media bill to the Court of Appeal questioning whether it was unconstitutional.
The Court of Appeal yesterday found that a number of articles within the media law were contrary to East Timor’s Constitution. The law will now return to the National Parliament to be revised or abandoned.
East Timor’s leading investigative journalist, Jose Belo, applauded the court’s decision.
“The courts today have upheld our constitution, which we fought so hard for. This is a victory for the East Timorese people,” an elated Belo said today. “The government is trying to stop freedom of the media and freedom of expression.”
Belo said that the decision by the Court of Appeal was no surprise.
“From day one we said the media laws were unconstitutional. It would now seem our politicians need help from the lawmakers to understand what the constitution means,” he added.
‘Won the battle’
“It will now go back to the National Parliament, so we have won the battle but we are still to win the war.”
Belo has no doubt the media law was created to restrict local and foreign journalist reporting on East Timor’s plague of corruption, nepotism and financial mismanagement.
The law would also restrict who could be called a journalist in East Timor and potentially prevent foreign journalists reporting within East Timor.
East Timor, an island nation 600 km from the northern tip of Australia, gained its freedom from 24 years of Indonesian rule in 1999 and its full independence in 2002. The country suffers from high unemployment, poverty and malnutrition.
One leading East Timor lawyer said the President could still promulgate the law, if the necessary changes were made by the Parliament.
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who has been a key promoter of the media bill, is believed to be furious that the law has not been approved by the Courts.
All editorial and news content produced under the principles of Creative Commons. Permission to republish with attribution may be obtained from the Pacific Media Centre – email@example.com
22) Fiji TV posts $1.2m profit before tax
By Online Editor
10:12 am GMT+12, 22/08/2014, Fiji
Fiji Television’s holding company has recorded a profit before tax of $2.7 million (US$1.4 million).
This is a 5 percent decrease compared to the same period last year.
The Groups consolidated profit before tax also recorded at $1.2 million (US$649,000), down 80 percent from last year.
Despite that the holding companies overall revenue for the financial year ending 30 June recorded a 14 percent increase to close at $25.7 million (U$13.9 million)
The groups total revenue also sitting at $37.2 million (US$20.1million).
Fiji TV chairman Padam Lala says the results for the Group was “adequate” given the challenges and economic conditions faced in its different areas of operations in the Pacific, including the depreciation of the Kina in PNG.
SOURCE: FIJI TV/PACNEWS
23) EMTV Lead Broadcaster for 2015 Games
By Online Editor
1:17 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2014, Papua New Guinea
EMTV has won the broadcasting rights for the 2015 Pacific Games after months of negotiations.
The announcement was made Wednesday night in Port Moresby.
EMTV will provide LIVE coverage for the duration of the games with state of the art broadcasting equipment.
It will also cover both the opening and closing ceremonies while Click Pacific, another television company, has also won television rights to broadcast in the Pacific.
The hype and excitement around the 2015 Pacific Games is building momentum and is expected to get bigger and better.
Corporate partners as well as potential sponsors gathered to hear the announcement from Peter Stewart the CEO of the Pacific Games.
As PNG’s lead broadcaster, EMTV will have the exclusive rights to broadcast (free to air) the games LIVE from 6 to 9 pm daily including the opening and closing ceremonies. While Click Pacific, a new television company, will broadcast the games on Pay TV in PNG and the pacific.
CEO of EMTV, Bhanu Sud said EMTV’s mass television coverage across PNG means that the people will watch and enjoy the performance of TEAM PNG at the games.
Both EMTV and Click Pacific are investing significant resources into the production to ensure viewers in PNG and the Pacific receive maximum coverage of the Games. EMTV will deploy two outside broadcast teams for the duration of the games.
EMTV’s coverage of the Pacific Games begins on the 10th of September with the launching of a new program, ROAD TO PORT MORESBY 2015. It will feature past, present and upcoming athletes.
24) Conference In New Caledonia Looks At Economic Reforms
Pro-independence Caledonian Union boycotts meeting
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 22, 2014) – A major conference has been underway in New Caledonia on efforts to introduce reforms to revive the economy and reduce inequality.
The meeting is attended by most political parties as well as employers and unions but is being boycotted by the pro-independence Caledonian Union.
The president, Cynthia Ligeard, says the territory has a budget problem at a time of a slowing economy, resulting in tangible unease.
The economy grew at 3.4 percent for the decade until 2011 but has lost momentum.
While 17 percent of households are now in poverty, prices are about a third higher than in mainland France.
An employers’s representative says after years of indecision there is no choice but to make changes.
Radio New Zealand International
25) Solomons Reportedly Close To Lifting Ban On Beche-De-Mer Harvesting
PM accused of politically interfering with Minister of Fisheries
By Jeremy Inifiri
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 22, 2014) – Well-place government sources say the ban on beche-de-mer harvesting and export and may be lifted sooner than anticipated.
One source told the Solomon Star Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo had stepped in to ensure the ban is lifted as soon as possible.
The source also revealed that Prime Minister Lilo has directed the Attorney General to hand in the regulations which will then be signed by the supervising Fisheries Minister, Clay Forau to have the ban lifted.
This came just a week after both the government and the Ministry of Fisheries said that the Cabinet has yet to meet and approve any of such actions to take place.
However, the source said that Cabinet had already met and approved the Management Plan for the lifting of the ban on BDM last month, with only the regulations left to be signed by the Minister of Fisheries before the ban is lifted.
“The Prime Minister has again stepped in and politicised a national issue which should have been addressed by the minister responsible,” the source said.
“The Attorney General had been advised to hand over the regulations so that the Minister of Fisheries or the supervising Minister should he (Minister of Fisheries) be away, can sign it and have the ban lifted.
“Foreign Affairs Minister, Clay Forau has stepped in as supervising Fisheries Minister since the Minister, Alfred Ghiro is still away on his Constituency visit,” he said.
The source also revealed that Mr Forau will sign the regulations today, meaning that the ban will be lifted immediately.
When asked about the matter, the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Douglas Marau and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Robert Iroga both denied the reports.
“We have not heard any of such and Cabinet has not yet met regarding the issue,” Mr Iroga said.
Attorney General, Billy Titiulu could not be reached for comments on the matter as well.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister and his delegation have left the country on Thursday for a Business Forum in Australia.
26) Construction Begins On Highway Linking Port Moresby To Lae
Trans-island highway to link PNG’s 2 largest cities
By Malum Nalu
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 21, 2014) – Work has begun on the multi-million kina road – the Trans-island highway – linking Port Moresby to Lae.
Motorists can travel directly to Lae from Port Moresby through Kerema, Malalaua, Gulf, up to Kaintiba in the hinterland bordering Morobe and Eastern Highlands, and on to Menyamya in Morobe. It then links up with the Bulolo Highway on to Lae.
Works Minister Francis Awesa and Works secretary David Wereh confirmed in interviews with The National yesterday that work began in March on the 20-km portion from Malalaua to Kaintiba.
It will bring much needed services to the remote Anga people in the mountains of Gulf, Morobe and Eastern Highlands.
The highway is expected to go through some rough and rugged terrain. The department views the stretch from Malalaua in Gulf to Menyamya in Morobe as the biggest obstacle.
“One of the important portions is the one from Malalaua to Kaintiba, and on to Menyamya and Aseki, eventually linking up with the Wau-Bulolo Highway,” he said.
“We’ve done more than 20km so far to reach the top of the mountain at Kaintiba.
“We’re very happy as this is the first time that people in the mountains of Kaintiba will be connected to better land transport that will enable them to bring their coffee, agricultural produce, as well as have access to better service delivery. From there, we’ll progress to the other side (Menyamya).”
He said K10 million had been allocated this year while more funding would be expected in the 2015 budget.
Awesa said the earliest people could be driving from Lae to Port Moresby was within two years on a pilot track using four-wheel-drive vehicles initially. The other obstacle is to build a bypass over the constantly-flooded Kumalu River along the main Bulolo Highway.
“Our priority is to get that Kumalu bypass done first so that there is access to Wau and Bulolo,” Awesa said.
“Our priority is that one, and then later on, next year, we’ll allocate money for a pilot track for four-wheel drives and eventually do the major highway.”
27) Bougainville Government Purchases New Transport Ship
Vessel to carry 53 passengers, service atolls and west coast
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 22, 2014) – The Autonomous Bougainville Government has purchased a new vessel to service the outer islands and coastline of the mainland and Buka Island.
The vessel, christened Rapois Chief, is being refurbished in the Philippines and will carry about 53 passengers with a crew of seven.
Much of the vessel’s interior and equipment has not been completed but the two new engines have been fitted with propellers. The steering and gear compartment will be fitted soon. The vessel has a sturdy hull made of steel designed to withstand the rough Bougainvillean seas.
Marala Vitas Central Terminal and Shipyards Corporation president Randolph Tiangco said once the engineering aspect of the ship was completed, they would start on the interior design and painting.
“The vessel is virtually new as we are replacing almost every bit of it with new parts and redesigning it to cater for the needs of the people of Bougainville,” Tiangco said. He said the company was working to meet the PNG National Maritime Safety Authority standards and to guarantee the ship’s sea worthiness.
A Bougainville delegation, led by President Dr John Momis, Minister Assisting the President Thomas Kereri and Haku MP James Beani, inspected the vessel on Tuesday.
They were happy with the workmanship and excited about the new vessel, which will benefit the people of the atolls and coastal Bougainville.
West Coast Bougainville is inaccessible by road.
28) Now calm in Solomons capital after arsons
Updated at 1:08 pm on 23 August 2014
Police in Solomon Islands say it is now calm in the West Honiara settlement of Karaina after clashes between family groups from Temotu Province earlier this week.
Assistant Commissioner for the national capital, Gabriel Manelusi, says six people are in custody after three traditional homes were burnt down during the clash.
He says the tension occurred after a perception financial assistance handed out by community leaders, and derived from the local MP’s development fund, was unevenly distributed.
Mr Manelusi says there has been custom reconciliation while the six in custody will face charges of arson and malicious damage.
But he says it is now peaceful.
“Everything was handled very professionally by the RSIP [Royal Solomon Islands Police] members and also the community and the leaders as well. There is a collaboration networking together to come up to solve this matter. So, very peaceful currently.”Radio New Zealand.
29) Sorcery blamed for teen’s death
The National, Friday August 22nd, 2014
A GROUP of university students in Lae is calling for tougher penalties on sorcery-related activities after one of their female colleagues died in mysterious circumstances on Monday.
Linda Kenewa, 19, was a student at the Missionary Training College at Kamkumung. She was one of the students from Hela attending tertiary institutions in Lae.
Stewart Keyepe, president of the Hela Students Association at Unitech, said Kenewa collapsed and died minutes after complaining of heartburn-like pains on Monday afternoon.
Keyepe, who claims he witnessed the post-mortem examination on Kenewa’s body, said the doctor discovered that some of her internal organs were missing.
He said the doctor described it as “supernatural”. “The doctor said this was the second post-mortem examination he had come across where a person has missing internal organs,” Keyepe said.
“The Government must seriously consider this and accept the fact that sorcery is still alive and must address it,” he said.
“We are trying to protect other students from falling victims to this practice.”
No comment could be obtained from hospital authorities or police.
30) Calls for PNG to implement gun control recommendations
By Online Editor
09:54 am GMT+12, 22/08/2014, Papua New Guinea
The author of a report on gun violence in Papua New Guinea says none of his recommendations have been acted on, nine years after he handed his findings to then prime minister, Sir Michael Somare.
Former PNG Defence Force Commander, General Jerry Singirok, says law and order problems are holding back the country’s economic development.
“Many investors and potential investors in Papua New Guinea have to spend a significant percentage of their investment in physical security,” he told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program.
General Singirok’s 2005 gun control report is the most in-depth study into PNG’s gun culture and put forward a number of sweeping changes to the country’s gun laws.
PNG’s prime minister Peter O’Neill was opposition leader when the report was presented to parliament.
“Nine years later, they have not implemented one single recommendation out of 244,” General Singirok said.
“People have spoken, communities have spoken about the effect of illegal guns [and] my message to Prime Minister O’Neill and this government is to implement the gun control report.”
General Singirok’s comments came as the World Bank released a report showing that eight in 10 businesses in PNG suffered substantial losses as a result of crime and violence.
It found companies suffered a direct loss of an average $US33,000 from stolen property and $26,000 from petty theft by employees every year.
More than two-thirds of companies hire private security firms, which take up an average of five per cent of annual operating budgets.
“It’s all aspects of security. It’s worker’s insurance, investment in communications, in mobility, in their own personal security,” General Singirok said.
“It’s just unbelievable, the security considerations and implications of running a business in Papua New Guinea. It’s horrendous.”
General Singirok says many members of PNG’s police force also earn a living as private security guards.
“You can understand when there’s no leadership, when there’s no control, when policemen and women’s conditions of service are below par, then they will venture into providing their own services for private gain,” he said.
General Singirok, himself a business owner, says the tense security environment affects “every aspect of business considerations”.
“If a person doing a business plan doesn’t take security seriously, they’ll have serious problems operating in Papua New Guinea,” he said.
SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS
CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT
31) European Union Working With Pacific On Climate Change Impacts
Ambassador notes ‘Pacific countries are the most vulnerable’
By Ana Madigibuli
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, August 22, 2014) – The EU is assisting Fiji in trying to get the message across to the biggest pollutants in the world that Pacific countries are the most vulnerable to climate change.
EU ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs said in terms of financial support, the EU was making billions of dollars available for climate change globally.
He said Fiji would receive $3.4million [US$1.8 million] through these initiatives.
He said the National Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change brought people together to manage and work on climate change issues, and they would make a difference at the national platform.
“The fight against the negative consequences and the fight against natural disaster is the key priority, and our work is very important in terms of our commitment to Fiji and its people,” Mr Jacobs said.
“We work alongside the Pacific not only through our development assistance and humanitarian work but in addressing the issue of climate change in international forums.”
He said the EU was trying to get the message across about climate change and working to ensure the issues were taken seriously.
“Globally, EU has made a commitment that 20 per cent of the EU budget should be climate change relevant, so it’s a very big commitment to climate change.
“For the Pacific people, climate change is not just a distant threat, the effects of climate change is felt very directly in the communities.”
Fiji Times Online.
32) SIDS Conference Could Pave Way For International Climate Action
UN meeting will allow Pacific to put case before the world
By Jemima Garrett
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 22, 2014) – The United Nations is hoping the Small Islands Developing States conference which gets underway in Samoa next week will lead the way for international action on climate change.
Heads of state and ministers from around the world are attending the once-in-a-decade conference, which runs September 1-4 with pre-conference activities from August 28-31.
The event is significant for the Pacific but also has the potential to give a significant boost to UN secretary-general Ban ki-Moon’s push for more action on climate change.
The meeting is the last high-level United Nations event before Mr Ban’s September Climate Summit and will be an important input into General Assembly discussions in New York.
The conference will bring to Apia some 3,000 delegates from 193 members states as well as NGOs, the private sector, inter-government organisations, academic institutions, the media and many others.
The third UN Conference on Small Island Developing States is an opportunity for the Pacific islands and their vulnerable counterparts from other regions of the world to put their case for action to address their needs on everything from jobs to climate change.
Nikhil Chandavarkar from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York told Pacific Beat this SIDS Conference is already showing itself to be an innovator, with groundbreaking new partnerships in sustainable development.
“What makes this conference different is we already have a meeting of minds – 193 member states – because the outcome document has quite exceptionally been agreed in principle before the conference so now we can focus on the practical side which is partnerships,” he said.
Partnerships of all kinds – involving communities, churches, women, the private sector, science organisations, governments and donor agencies – will be built to tackle six key priorities ranging from sustainable economic development and climate and disaster preparedness and health to protection of oceans and biodiversity.
Mr Chandavarkar says 350 partnerships have already been registered.
“I think the small islands are hoping that in a world in which official aid is declining, that public private partnerships can somehow fill the gap of resources that these countries need to meet their sustainable development needs,” he said.
Mr Chandavarkar is hoping existing partnerships such as the Sandwatch environmental monitoring project will attract more resources and newer ones such as the campaign for a Tobacco Free Pacific by 2020 will get the backing they need.
“They typically will not be large investment projects although some of them might be,” he said.
“They tend to be more in the line of information sharing, awareness raising.
“They are not really spectacular as they might be if you look at a development bank meeting where they speak of hundreds of millions of dollars.
“We probably won’t see the dollar figures that we might see elsewhere but very interesting qualitative experience sharing, which is what makes this different.”
Heads of state, ministers and many of the United Nations’ most senior staff will be attending.
Later in September, Mr Ban will host a special climate change summit which he hopes will jump-start the world onto a path towards more action.
Daniel Shephard, the environmental focal point for the United Nation’s Department of Public Information, says the SIDS conference is vital to the success of the Secretary-General’s initiative.
“The Small Island Developing States conference sort of sets the stage. It alerts the world that these are the problems that we have to deal with,” he said.
“One of the reasons that Samoa wanted to host the conference was that they wanted to show the world, they wanted to demonstrate what the impacts of climate change are,” he said.
“They also wanted to show the world that small island states are in fact taking steps to address climate change – they need assistance.
“So this is an opportunity for these states to show the world what is happening, to put it back on the top of the international agenda and have people look up and say ‘Hey, we’ve got to move on this’.”
The United Nations says it places such importance on the challenges affecting SIDS that it’s sending the heads of 19 of its agencies including the head of the UN Development Program and former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark.
Conference organisers say all sectors of Samoan society will be taking part in one way or another in hosting the historic event over two weeks – from the farmers supplying the restaurants and hotels to the entertainers and the services industry.
33) Tagimoucia Festival
Saturday, August 23, 2014
FESTIVAL with a difference is paving the way to a greener future.
And it aims to make Fiji a postcard tourist destination once again with a clean environment, clean beach and beautiful sunset.
In its second year, the Tagimoucia Festival, which will be held next month on Taveuni, is expected to attract locals, tourists and also businesses.
The festival symbolises what a group of Taveuni businesses and residents feel is the most important thing in the world: “To conserve, protect and clean up our beautiful Fiji islands.”
The theme of the event this year is Keep Taveuni Clean.
Taveuni and tourists
Taveuni is the third largest island in Fiji, after Vanua Levu and Viti Levu with a cigar shape.
It belongs to the Vanua Levu group of islands and is part of the Cakaudrove Province in the Northern Division.
Taveuni has an abundant flora and is known affectionately as the Garden Island of Fiji.
Tourists are attracted to the excellent diving opportunities, prolific bird life, bushwalks and waterfalls.
Keep Taveuni clean
Island Spirit director and Tagimoucia Festival organiser Kirsty Barnby said it all started a few years ago with an eco-minded collection of folks, both young and old, who were concerned about the increasing effects of rubbish on the local Taveuni environment.
“Rubbish ended up in the ocean, foreshore, rivers and beautiful vacant land areas.
“Taveuni is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled islands in all of Fiji and to see the degradation of the vanua was heartbreaking.”
The group, along with other stakeholders, established a rubbish dump and pilot recycling program. About twice per month clean-ups are organised around the island.
A recycling program was also given a jump-start by the Australian Government’s direct aid program which funded the island’s first recycling bins.
Keep Taveuni Clean Education volunteer Lena Mataitoga has been working with school groups on the island leading up to the festival.
Students have been involved in creative recycling projects and learning ways to help keep Taveuni clean.
Merlene Salzon, a local artist on Taveuni, has been mentoring students with their art development.
“There are a number of very talented children who create beautiful works of art” Ms Salzon said.
Music and dance performances from renowned artist such as Vou, KKU, Tom Mawi and others with art, photography, oratory and open mic competitions with cash and prizes given by local Taveuni businesses are part of the event.
The festival will also feature a fashion show, acoustic song writing and performance with Steve McComber, Sassy, Makarita and Leone, oratory sharing with Taveuni schoolteachers, Ocean Ambassadors will do an interactive presentation on how they can make usable products from their waste and eco bricks with Sally Williams — building using recycled plastic bottles and plastic wrappers.
There are many more activities that the festival will offer.
“We could learn a lot for Taveuni from organisations like POETCom and local producers such as Samoan Women in Business who are reaping the rewards of hard work and farming in a way that will care for the environment for future generations,” said festival committee member Robin Kelly.
The Ocean Ambassadors will be joining the festival to present two different types of solutions to waste plastic in Fiji.
They have an onboard their boat a small processor that converts waste plastic into a light sweet crude oil, that can be used in any diesel engine straight out of the machine. They also have an emerging clothing line made from recycled materials focusing on PET (drink bottles).
Ocean Ambassadors captain Adrian Midwood said they were not looking at staying long in Fiji but the people and businesses in Fiji had opened their arms and provided their team with an opportunity of a lifetime.
“Let’s make Fiji the postcard destination I remember from when I was a child, once again,” he said.
Ms Barnby said the festival was also supported by some businesses and resorts such as Pacific Building Solutions, Clay Energy, Paradise Resort, Coconut Grove, Nakia Resort and Island Spirit.Fijitimes
34) Fading hope
The National, Friday August 22nd, 2014
THE Papua New Guinea Hunters are a mathematical chance of making the Queensland Cup finals starting with a victory over the Souths Logan Magpies on Sunday.
After that the top five hopes of Michael
Marum’s men rest on the results of two other Round 25 matches – Sunshine Coast vs Tweed Heads Seagulls and Northern Pride vs Ipswich Jets.
The Hunters are in sixth place with 29 points, while Tweed Heads are in fifth place with 31 points and Ipswich are in fourth spot with 32 points.
The Hunters must win Sunday’s match at Davies Park, Logan City, Brisbane, against a side they dominated at Kalabond in Kokopo in Round 14.
That day Garry Lo scored four tries as the Hunters belted the Magpies 42-12, but the South Pacific Brewery-sponsored side have had an ordinary away record in 2014, winning only three matches on the road and drawing one. They lost seven, with the biggest defeat being their 60-28 thrashing at the hands of Tweed Heads in Round 19.
The Hunters have beaten three of the top five sides – all at Kalabond – but not the top two sides in the Pride and the Easts Tigers.
Victory over Souths Logan will see the Hunters draw level with Tweed Heads (on 31 points) provided the Seagulls are beaten by the Falcons at Stockland Stadium, Gold Coast tomorrow.
The last-placed Sunshine Coast are not expected to trouble the visiting Seagulls though and a win by the Tweed Heads side will see them move to 33 points, and with a better points differential (plus 80), to the Hunters’ plus 61, the Seagulls would have to lose by a large margin in their final match against the Mackay Cutters the following week to allow the Hunters to edge ahead on for-and against.
The Jets, who play the competition leaders, the Pride, tomorrow on their home ground Barlow Park in Townsville, are not favoured to win and that could pave the way for the Hunters to get within a point of them heading into the last round where the Ipswich side host the out-of-finals-contention but in-form Redcliffe Doplhins.
The Hunters end their season with a bye in Round 26 but will be watching intently the results of the Jets and the Seagulls.
In the only change to the squad over the week, backrower George Benson has been named in the side while fellow forward David Loko was not considered after being injured in the playing for the Enga Mioks in the Digicel Cup semi-final in Kokopo on Sunday.
Marum will look to his side to end their Q-Cup campaign on a positive note and a victory over the Magpies is not out of the question given that they have more to play for and were competitive all theway to the final whistle against Wynnum Manly last week before losing 28-10.
PNG Hunters: 1. Israel Eliab (c) 2. Garry Lo 3. Thompson Teteh 4. Jason Tali 5. Adex Wera 6. Dion Aiye 7. Roger Laka 8. Timothy Lomai 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. George Benson 12. Sebastian Pandia 13. Adam Korave 14. Noel Zemming 15. Willie Minoga 16. Albert Patak 17. Lawrence Tu’u 18. Brandy Peter
35) Mozzies ready to claim cup
The National, Friday August 22nd, 2014
THE Papua New Guinea Mosquitoes are determined to take on long time rivals, the Ireland Warriors, in tomorrow’s AFL International Cup grand final at Melbourne Cricket ground, on Saturday.
Ireland and PNG have met at the MCG in the International Cup decider twice, with the Irish taking the prize both times.
With significant improvements in the squad and the strong showing against International Cup favourites New Zealand, the Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited-sponsored Mosquitoes are looking to draw from their experience in making all five International Cups contested and win the championship for the second time.
Training and rehabilitation, following their emphatic win against the New Zealand Hawks – 12.3 (75) to 4.4 (28) – on Tuesday, is continuing to fully prepare the young Mozzie side against the bigger Warriors.
Star goal-kicker Amua Pirika sustained a minor injury halfway through the fourth quarter of PNG’s semi-final win that saw him taken from the field, however, he recovered and finished the game strongly.
Other injuries of which high hopes are set on to make a difference in this weekend’s grand final include skipper John James Lavai, Emmanuel Tupia and Michael Mecca Jr.
Coach David Lake said: “Our leaders in JJ Lavai, Pirika, John Ikupu Jr, Greg Aki, Willie Aisi and Stanis Agita are standing up and being counted, allowing our willing younger players like Theo Gavuri, Jason So-ong, Gideon Simon, Max Lavai and Brandon Beno to show their skills and class.
“We are willing to learn and we are a little older and smarter than the last time we met,” Lake said.
“We are well-prepared to take our chance. The traits developed in our academies over the last three to four years are now on show. It is our time.
“We appreciate the financial support of MVIL, Coca-Cola and NGCB to allow that development to take place.”
The team met with Ireland in the first tournament in 2002 and and later 2011, where both matches were evenly contested.
The Ireland squad is similar to the 2011 team and is made up of a group of taller players but three years older, while the young PNG team intends to use its superior speed and skills to move the ball wide and forward to win their second cup.
The likely starters for the grand final match will see the likes of Jeffrey Namete, Ikupu Jr, Gavuri, Simon and Aisi, in the centre line, while the back half will be manned by Aki, David Topeni and Laurie Logo. The team will be named tonight.
The International Cup final will be a curtain raiser to the AFL fixture between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats.
The game is expected to draw more than 80,000 fans. It will be streamed live on afl.com.au from 4:50pm.
36) Eels down Sea Eagles
Sunday, August 24, 2014
SYDNEY – Parramatta have produced one of their best second-half performances in years to come from behind and beat NRL table-toppers Manly 22-12 in a thrilling clash at Pirtek Stadium.
Trailing 12-0, the Eels’ looked in real trouble on Friday night as the Sea Eagles took a commanding lead into halftime.
But what followed wasn’t in the script as the Eels, rejuvenated under coach Brad Arthur this year, scored four unanswered tries to clamber back into the top eight in front a delirious home crowd of 17,706.
The Eels went into the game with their season on life support following last week’s controversial loss to Canterbury and things looked ominous when Manly winger Jorge Taufua scored against his former team after four minutes.
Peta Hiku added a second in the other corner on the half-hour mark with Jamie Lyon kicking two goals.
Manly had looked comfortable in dealing with the Eels’ attack but, after halftime, that all changed as the home side blew away one of the best teams in the NRL.
The reborn Chris Sandow looked to have scored a try just after the restart when he scampered under the posts.
Although it was deemed to be good by the on-field officials, video referee Luke Patten overruled it for a very dubious obstruction call against David Gower.
The decision infuriated the home crowd but only served to galvanise their side who produced a dazzling 15-minute spell that produced three tries.
Jarryd Hayne, almost predictably, was the architect of the first with a brilliant run that teed up back-rower Kenny Edwards for the first four-pointer of his NRL career.
The second on the 53rd-minute was a moment of magic from winger Semi Radrardra who hauled in a Kieran Foran bomb, shook off three tackles and raced 95 metres to the line.
Sandow added the extras to level the scores before kicking a 40-20 — his sixth of the season — and from the resulting tap-kick, the ball was spread wide for Will Hopoate to score against his former club.
A shellshocked Manly struggled to get out of their own half for most of the second stanza as Parramatta laid siege to their line.
Vai Toutai iced a vital two points six minutes from time by putting the finishing touches to a sweeping move in the right corner.
37) Bowled out
Sunday, August 24, 2014
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – An abject batting display by Bangladesh, who were bowled out for just 70, paved the way for a crushing 177-run victory by the West Indies in the second one-day international yesterday.
Replying to the home side’s total of 247 for seven in a match they had to win to keep the series alive following a three-wicket defeat in the opening fixture at the same venue two days earlier, the tourists showed little resistance in being routed for 70 off 24.4 overs.
The third and final match will be played next Monday in St Kitts.
In capitulating to their third lowest ODI total, Bangladesh lost their last seven wickets for 13 runs in the space of eight overs.
38) Perfect start for Bayern
Sunday, August 24, 2014
BERLIN – Reigning German champions Bayern Munich have got the new Bundesliga season off to a perfect start with a dramatic 2-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg.
Pep Guardiola’s side looked sluggish early on at the Allianz Arena yesterday but took the lead after 37 minutes when Thomas Mueller poked home from Arjen Robben’s cross.
The home side seemed in control when Robben scored just 67 seconds into the second half before a superb strike from Ivica Olic gave the visitors hope.
And Wolfsburg, who finished fifth last season, missed a glorious chance to steal a point when substitute Junior Malanda somehow missed from a yard out with 11 minutes remaining.
Bayern manager Guardiola went into the game without injured midfielders Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thiago and Javi Martinez as well as suspended defender Jerome Boateng.
The Spaniard responded by handing 17-year-old Gianluca Gaudino a first Bundesliga start.
Gaudino lined up in central midfield alongside David Alaba, one of only three players who made their league debut for Bayern at a younger age.
Former Bayern midfielder Luiz Gustavo started in midfield for the visitors, who handed Bundesliga debuts to new signings Sebastian Jung, Joshua Guilavogui and Aaron Hunt.
39) NZ men join strongest ever Oceania Sevens
By Online Editor
1:16 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2014, Australia
For the first time in the tournament’s history, the All Black Sevens are set to compete in Oceania’s regional Sevens competition.
The Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) has announced that the 2014 Oceania Sevens will be played on 3-4 October, alongside the Noosa International Sevens on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
One week before the kick-off of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series, on 11-12 October on the Gold Coast, the regional showpiece provides the perfect preparation and launch pad.
The New Zealanders join fellow World Series men’s core teams Fiji, Australia and Samoa, who are the reigning champions having beaten Fiji 31-17 in Suva in the 2013 final.
In addition to a high-class men’s event, seven teams will compete in the women’s tournament, including Women’s Sevens World Series champions New Zealand and runners-up Australia. Fiji, who caused the upset of the tournament last year by beating New Zealand in the semi-finals, will be looking to go one better in 2014 after losing to Australia 22-5 in the final.
The strength of the tournament reflects the growing rise of Sevens rugby across the world as the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games tournament edges closer.
While in 2015 the Oceania Sevens will be a direct qualifier for one team into the Olympics, the 2014 tournament offers a route onto this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series. The top performing non-core men’s team will play at the Wellington and Hong Kong rounds of the Series in 2015, while in Hong Kong they will also be joined by the second-ranked non-core team.
The top four nations in the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series will qualify directly for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Huge potential for Olympic medals
IRB General Manager for Oceania, Will Glenwright, stated: “FORU would very much like to thank hosts, the Noosa International Sevens. FORU is delighted to be a part of this wonderful Sevens carnival and this year we are delivering the strongest ever Oceania Sevens. Oceania is home to some of the world’s best Sevens teams including New Zealand, Fiji, Australia and Samoa
“The Oceania Sevens is therefore a very important event for the region. It will also act as an Olympic qualifying event in its own right next year and is part of FORU’s Pacific Podium initiative. A collaborative high performance strategy for maximising medals for Member Unions at the 2016 Rio Games.
“The Pacific Islands have only ever won one medal in the history of Olympic competition. However, FORU, in conjunction with Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC), recognises the potential of the Oceania teams to win Rugby Sevens medals in 2016 and the programme seeks to harness this competitive advantage and counter-act the far greater financial resources that are being committed by other regions to prepare for Rio 2016,” added Glenwright.
The Noosa International 7s Festival was established in 2010 and has since grown to become Australia’s premier rugby Sevens event outside of the IRB Series. The 2013 Festival generated unprecedented interest including the introduction of the inaugural Open School boy’s and girl’s tournament – an exciting development for the growth of the annual festival.
“We’re delighted to incorporate the FORU Oceania Sevens into this year’s Noosa International Sevens,” said Event Director Dene Brooks.
“I can guarantee a warm welcome and a great weekend of action for all the teams and fans that join us on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. With our excellent facilities, experienced organisers and an army of volunteers, Noosa will show why it has become the sevens festival that every team wants to be part of,” he added.
FORU Oceania Sevens – Noosa, 3-4 October 2014
Men’s teams: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga,
Women’s teams: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga.
Philippe Saibir Pako -Tenene