Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1013b

MELANESIA

1a) Fandresing blong ol GJP komiti

Olgeta –

Naoia yumi stap setemap ol GJP sab-komiti long ol defren eria blong Port Vila.

[ ** Kasem naoia i neva bin gat ol GJP Sab-komiti long Port Vila, be afta risal blong Port Vila Munisipol Eleksen we hemi no riflektem sapot blong GJP long Port Vila long nasonal eleksen, mifala i setemap Port Vila Region Exekutiv mo naoia ol Sab-komiti blong ol defren eria i stap setap].

I gat 3 fandresing blong ol GJP sab-komiti tede mo tumoro:

TEDE, 4,30pm: Freswota Ward Sab-Komiti i mekem fandresing blong hem long Grin Spes blong Freswota 5 (folem rod we i kam insaed long Malasitpau Jioj, folem bitim Freswota Skul kasem en wantaem, afta go stret i go yet bitim Survival Skul, afta bae yu luk ples ia).

TUMORO, stat long 3.30pm: Seaside Sab-Komiti i mekem fandresing blong hem long wan spes we i stap bitwin Seaside Tongoa mo Seaside Futuna oposit long Hospital (long rod blong Seaside Tongoa/Seaside Futuna).

TUMORO, stat long 5.00pm: Port Vila Region Exekutiv i mekem fandresing blong hem long Jif Nakamal (Malampa Window).

Sipos yu lukaot ples blong dring kava tede mo tumoro, NO SPENDEM MANE OLBAOT, givim long ol Sab-Komiti blong Pati.

Olsem bae yu givhan blong JENISIM VANUATU.

Ta, Vanuatu Minister for Lands : Ralph Regenvanu.

1b) Vanuatu daily news digest | 28 August 2014

by bobmakin

The process being used for the election of the officers to the executive of the Vanua’aku Pati at its Congress in Port Vila was yesterday queried. A halt was called to the election (for which a secret ballot was held) and the election continues today.This is just as well (to get it right) considering the problems which stemmed from the Tongoa VP elections last time and which – after an ongoing hiatus – are still determining the shape of nationalist politics today. MPP’s Minister Esmon Saemon has been attending in the Congress giving delegates to understand that the party formed with the Sope split from VP is already reconciled with the parent party. VP President Natapei yesterday stressed the need for VP MPs to maintain regular contact with their constituents. He pointed out that this is essential for the strength of the party which, Natapei admitted, had dropped, as seen with the last election results. All sub-committees have reported to the Congress as required. Minutes of the Panita, Tongoa Congress were accepted. Natapei was reported as saying that the presidency of the party should not be continually occupied by one person: flexibility is required and everyone should accept this. He also made a plea for room to be given to new, young leaders.

The first national stakeholder workshop for the National Green Export Review took place yesterday with the support of UNCTAD, the UN conference which concentrates on trade and development. Deputy PM Ham Lini addressed the conference and pointed out how cocoa, coconut and sandalwood are Vanuatu’s premier three green exports. “Sustainable opportunities now exist,” he said, “for Vanuatu producers to increase value-added and diversify markets for these products.” Such green production is also expected to lead to a cleaner worldwide development path and is considered a global imperative in view of climate change. UNCTAD’s Secretary-General is attending the workshop.

Vanuatu Ferry is being detained by police orders with Customs and other departmental interests involved. The vessel was stopped from traveling Monday night.

The Big Blue dive operation has staged a massive cleanup of areas of the Vila Harbour and been assisted in their work by Nambawan Cafe personnel and the Boatyard management. Plastic bags and bottles contributed most to the 400 kg of waste collected.

The Chairman of the Port Vila Town Council of Chiefs, Isaac Worwor, is calling on people with dual citizenship to take part in the programmes of the islanders in their areas – “the surest way of being welcomed and accepted into the community,” he observes. They should also take an interest in the cultural life of the community, rather than just coming here for whatever kind of personal gain, he says.

POLYNESIA

2a ) PNG To Assist Niue Parliament Rebuild
$2M to repair decade old cyclone damage

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 27, 2014) – The Niue and Papua New Guinea governments are to finalise a grant towards the cost of building a new parliament in Niue during next week’s Small Islands Developing States conference in Samoa.

Port Moresby has offered just over two million US dollars for the work.

The island’s present Fale Fono, which is on an elevated coastal site, is said to be in a poor state because damage from Cyclone Heta ten years ago is still to be repaired.

Niue’s Premier Toke Talagi told the Legislative Assembly he is extremely pleased with the assistance from PNG.

He has also been invited by the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to visit PNG in November.

Radio New Zealand International 

2) Tonga Election Candidates Reminded Of Residency Requirements
Exceptions for those with jobs on Tongatapu


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 27, 2014) – Prospective candidates in this year’s election in Tonga have been reminded they must reside in their electorates for the three months left before the poll.

On November the 27th, Tongans will vote for a mostly democratic parliament for just the second time.

17 seats will be publicly contested with another nine to be decided by the nobles.

The Supervisor of Elections, Pita Vuki, says the residential requirements are clearly laid out in the Electoral Act though exceptions are made for candidates with jobs on Tongatapu, where most people live.

“Because they are working here they don’t need to leave their works and go back to their islands. Some of them can go there for a couple of weeks or something like that.”

The Supervisor of Elections, Pita Vuki 

Radio New Zealand International 

3) Tongan Supreme Court Rejects Unlawful Payment Lawsuit
Tongan MP asserted gov had made unlawful payments to nobles

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, August 27, 2014) – A lawsuit filed by Tongan MP Sione Taione against the Tongan government, accusing it of unlawfully making payments to three nobles, was rejected by the Supreme Court on Friday 22 August.

The Plaintiff, a People’s Representative in the Tonga Legislative Assembly, was seeking a declaration, claiming that the Government had made unlawful payments to three nobles in 2011 and 2012.

Two substantial affidavits were filed on behalf of the Crown in August 2013 by the Chief Economist and Head of the Budget Division, Lusitania Latu Eke, and the Acting Head of the Treasury Department, ‘Ana Lemani.

The payments in question were:

1. A payment of $2 Million Pa’anga to Lord Kalaniuvalu on 30 June 2011.

2. A payment of $119,500 Pa’anga to Prince Tungi on 16 June 2011.

3. A payment of $1 Million Pa’anga to the late Prince Tu’ipelehake on 10 February 2012.

The payments were the result of Cabinet decisions made on 23 March 2011 and 12 January 2012, made in relation to the renewal and reorganisation of lease arrangements at Tonga’s Airports including Fua‘amotu International Airport.

The Plaintiff claimed the payments unlawful because they were not approved by the Legislative Assembly as required by Clause 19 of the Constitution. Clause 19 states that no money can be paid out of the Treasury without “…prior vote of the Legislative Assembly…”

He further submitted that the payments were a breach of the Land Act and with Section 9 (1) of the Public Finance Management Act 2002.

Judgement

In a Supreme Court judgement of on 18 August, the Chief Justice Hon. Michael Dishington Scott rejected the Plaintiff’s argument.

In relation to Clause 19, the Chief Justice stated that adjustment provisions in Section 12 allowed the payments to be made without prior approval because they were for reasonably necessary purposes.

“In my opinion the adjustment provisions of section 12 lawfully allow payment for reasonably necessary purposes not specifically identified and beforehand approved by Parliament.”

“Although read literally, Clause 19 seems to disallow expenditure which has not been specifically authorized by Act of Parliament, save only in the emergencies, I am satisfied that it should not be construed.”

In relation to the first ground of objection to these payments that they were in breach of the Land Act, the Chief Justice stated that it was not arguable in this court.

Other submissions by the Plaintiff were rejected because of insufficient evidence.

The defendants (Lord Tu’ivakano and 11 others) and the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga were represented by ‘Aminiasi Kefu SC (Ag. Attorney General). He also submitted that as interested parties, the estate holders should have been either joined as parties or served with the papers as interested parties and that the Defendant should have been “the Kingdom of Tonga” rather than the named Defendants some of whom are no longer members of Cabinet and against several of whom there was no evidence of actual participation in the decisions impuged.

The Chief Justice agreed with Mr Kefu’s submissions but said he did not think that it had resulted in any prejudice to those who should have been affected. 

Matangi Tonga Magazine

4) ‘Pacific voices will be heard’

By Online Editor
8:37 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, Samoa 

The third International Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference may be about small islands and hosted by a small island, but make no mistake, Samoa’s voice will resonate globally.
 
That’s a promise from Samoa’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia.
 
Speaking to the Samoa Observer before the official opening of S.I.D.S, Ali’ioaiga says the conference, bringing more than 3,000 delegates to Samoa, is very much a worldwide conference.
 
“We are at pains to keep reminding the international community,” he says. “This is not a S.I.D.S. conference for S.I.D.S. only, this is a global conference on S.I.D.S. issues.”
 
High on the agenda, he says, are partnership dialogues. He says this will be the first time this style of talks will be tried at such a high level conference.
 
“We are not doing this for Samoa, we are doing this to provide the stage for partnerships. For me, if there are partnerships that will be launched that will benefit Tuvalu, Kiribati and other countries in other regions all the better”
 
Ali’ioaiga says in the lead up to the conference, officials asked him how many roundtables he wanted.
 
“My response was ‘you must be joking? Why are you bringing the leaders (to Samoa) to lock themselves up in a room with prepared statements that were drafted by officials who may not be in the room?’
 
“For us we want to have a focus on partnerships…that is why they have to have these partnership dialogues now.

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS

MICRONESIA

5) Call To Remove Kiribati Minister Rejected
Opposition made call on behavioral grounds


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 27, 2014) – The opposition in Kiribati has called in Parliament for the Minister for Women and Youth to be removed from her job, alleging she behaved badly after drinking alcohol.

It called on President Anote Tong to sack the Betio MP, Tangariki Reete, but he rejected the allegations and chided the opposition for not talking to him directly.

The opposition leader, Dr Tetaua Taitai, claimed one incident took place in Tarawa and another during an overseas trip.

The Kiribati Independent reports Dr Tetaua as saying that as a wife, a mother and a cabinet minister, Ms Reete should have acted as a role model.

He claimed the alleged behaviours are against the Kiribati culture.

But President Tong rejected the allegations, saying they are defamatory and can’t be proven. Radio New Zealand International 

AUSTRALIA 

6) Home-grown terrorists

Abc
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has provided more details about the government’s package of funding to boost counter-terrorism efforts.

Last month the government announced it would provide an extra $630million to the country’s security agencies.

Mr Abbott said $64m would be allocated to supporting community groups and security agencies to reduce the threat of home-grown terrorism.

“Obviously we are boosting our security services generally. We have got new laws to ensure that people who are coming back from terrorist activity in the Middle East can be arrested and detained,” he said.

“It’s also important, though, that we engage with the community so that everyone understands that the enemy here is terrorism.

“It’s not any particular religion. What we are targeting is extremism, not members of any particular community.”

Mr Abbott said there were at least 60 Australians fighting with the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq and eastern Syria and about 100 Australians working to support the movement.

“This is a movement, as we have seen on our TV screens and on the front pages of our newspapers, of utter ferocity, medieval barbarism, that is how serious and dangerous this movement is,” he said.

“Because of the Australians who are involved with this movement, what might otherwise be a problem in a far away country is a problem for us.”

TOK PISIN

7) Ol Solomon ileksan ofisal i lukluk long ol komplen long vota rejistresen

Updated 27 August 2014, 15:43 AEST

Sam Seke 

Ol ofisa blong Solomon Islands Electoral ofis i gohet nau long harim ol keis blong ol vota long kantri husat i gat sampela komplen long sait long nem blong ol long vota rejistresen.

Odio: Solomon Islands Chief Electoral Offisa, Polycarp Haununu i toktok 

Solomon Islands Chief Electoral Offisa, Polycarp Haununu i toktok (Credit: ABC) 

Chief Electoral Offisa, Polycarp Haununu itok ol i nau stap insait long laspela tupela wik long harim ol keis blong Ommissions na Objections kleim.

Em i tok planti long ol samting we ol i lukluk longen em long sait long ol pipol husat i rejista long vout moa long wanpela taim we i rong aninit long loa.

Mr Haununu itok, palamen i wok long toktok nau long 42 million Solomon dollar ol i nidim long karim aut dispela ileksan bihain long dispela yar.

Em i tok Electoral Commission ino makim yet tru tru dei blong ol vout longen.

Tasol em i tok laif blong dispela palamen bai pinis long naba 8 long mun September na ol imas holim ileksan insait long tripela mun bihain.

Em i tok olgeta wok redi long nasenal jeneral ileksan long pinis long dispela yar i gohet gutpela.Radio Australia

8) Vanua’aku Pati rekonsiliesan na re-unifikesan

Postim 26 August 2014, 14:58 AEST

Sam Seke 

Long Vanuatu olgeta politikol pati em oli  ibin buruk lus Vanua’aku Pati bipo, i wanbel nau long ol i wokim rekonsiliesan na kam bek aninit long wanpela pati tasol.


Vanua’aku Pati blong Vanuatu Praim Minista Joe Natuman i laikim re-unification wantaim ol lain i bruk lus bipo (Credit: ABC licensed) 

Odio: Niusman blong VBTC, Allain Simeon i toktok 

Niusman blong VBTC, Allain Simeon i toktok (Credit: ABC) 

Vanua’aku i bikpela moa politikol pati long Vanuatu stat long taim blong Independence long 1980 inap long ol i stat long brukbruk long kamapim ol narapela pati.

Ol dispela politikol pati nau i karamapim ol bikpela pati olsem National United Party em Ham Lini i gopas longen, People’s Progressive Party blong Dunstan Hilton na Melanesian Progressive Party blong Barak Sope.

Niusman blong VBTC, Allain Simeon itok ol lida blong ol dispela pati ibin sainim wanpela Nationalist Re-Unification Agreement wantaim Vanua’aku Party long Sarere igo pinis.

Em i tok ol rekonsiliesan namel long ol pati ia i bin stat pinis ikam inap long aste.Radio australia

9) Fiji i nau gat moa fridom long toktok long ileksan kampen

Updated 26 August 2014, 14:42 AEST

Sam Seke 

Wanpela mansave long rijin i lukim olsem olgeta samting i gohet gutpela long Fiji i holim ileksan long September 17

Odio: Dr Gordon Nanau, Lecturer long Politics na International Affairs long University blong South Pacific long Suva, Fiji i toktok 

Dr Gordon Nanau, Lecturer long Politics na International Affairs long University blong South Pacific long Suva, Fiji i toktok (Credit: ABC) 

Ol pipol blong Fiji i nau inap bihaenim laik blong ol na  toktok moa long ol isiu blong kantri na sait long gavman long taim blong nasenal ileksan kampen – na ino ken wari long polis i pulim kalabusim ol.

Dispela em i lukluk blong Dr Gordon Nanau, Lecturer long Politics na International Affairs long University blong South Pacific long Suva, Fiji.

Dr Nanau itok i luk olsem ol pipol i laik long dispela ileksan blong Fiji long naba 17 long September i mas kamap.

Em i tok aninit long niupela ileksan sistim em ol i bihainim nau, ol kandideit ino sanap makim ol wanwan konstituensi, ol i makim tasol ol politikol pati.

Em i tok olgeta kandidet bai kontest long ileksan long wanpela konstituensi tasol.

Dr Nanau i tok tu olsem ileksan sistim nau ia i rausim tu pasin ol pipol i save vout bihainim kala long race blong ol.

Dispela bai nabawan demokratik ileksan long Fiji stat long 2006.Radio australia

FRENCH

10) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – jeudi 28 août 2014

Mis à jour 28 August 2014, 14:38 AEST

Caroline Lafargue 

Qantas enregistre des pertes historiques. La compagnie aérienne australienne a annoncé ce matin un déficit de 2.8 milliards de dollars en 2013-2014. 

C’est bien pire que prévu. Les causes : moins de passagers en Australie, les prix du kérosène, qui ont grimpé, et le coût de la restructuration en cours. Au début de l’année, Qantas a en effet annoncé le remplacement d’une partie de sa flotte et la suppression de 5000 postes sur les trois prochaines années. 

Tuvalu est envahi par les fourmis folles jaunes. Elles détruisent les cultures, mais attaquent également les poules et sécrètent un liquide acide au contact des animaux et des humains. Cette espèce de fourmi est venue d’Afrique et d’Asie, elle fait aussi des ravages en Australie, à Tahiti et à Christmas. La fourmi folle jaune a donc maintenant débarqué à Tuvalu, sur Funafuti, l’îl-capitale, mais aussi sur Nanumea. Leur éradication est délicate. Il faut tuer la reine, mais le produit utilisé pour la tuer est aussi toxique pour d’autres espèces, comme les crabes. 

Îles Salomon: la chambre de commerce demande la réouverture rapide de la mine de Gold Ridge. Santa Barbara, l’exploitant australien de cette mine d’or située sur Guadalcanal, a tout arrêté depuis les inondations de début avril. En tout, selon la chambre de commerce, 700 Salomonais ont perdu leur emploi. La compagnie minière cherche désormais à vendre. Radio Australia

11) PNG: le sort des forêts vierges de Pomio bientôt fixé

Mis à jour 28 August 2014, 14:41 AEST

Caroline Lafargue 

En Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée,  le conseil national des forêts dira cette semaine s’il renouvelle ou supprime le bail rural spécial de la filiale de Rimbunan Hijau. 

Ce groupe malaysien est l’une des plus grandes compagnies d’exploitation forestière au monde. Il y a quatre ans, Rimbunan Hijau a obtenu un permis pour planter des palmiers à huile à Pomio, sur l’île de Nouvelle-Bretagne, au large de la côte est de la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Axel Wilhelm, le porte-parole de Rimbunan Hijau : 

« Ce projet n’est pas un projet d’exploitation forestière. Nous devons juste abattre des arbres pour planter des palmiers à huile à la place. » 

Mais Global Witness affirme le contraire. Cette ONG basée à Londres mène des campagnes contre les conflits et la corruption liés à l’exploitation des ressources naturelles.

Selon Global Witness, environ 500 000 mètres cubes de grumes ont été coupées à Pomio en quatre ans, et exportés en Chine, où elles ont été transformées en meubles et en contreplaqué pour les planchers. Des produits qui ont ensuite vraisemblablement été vendus en Europe et aux États-Unis.  

L’exploitation des forêts primaires de Pomio est illégale. Il faut dire que l’endroit est absolument exceptionnel. Rick Jacobsen, de Global Witness, décrit ce vrai paradis: 

« Pomio est le plus bel endroit que j’aie jamais vu. C’est sur l’île de Nouvelle-Bretagne, il y a une chaîne de montagnes, les Nakanai, couvertes de forêt vierge. Il y a des grottes partout, un réseau de rivières souterraines d’une pureté inégalée, et ça c’est unique au monde. »

Si l’exploitation forestière illégale de Pomio est avérée, le conseil national des forêts pourrait supprimer la licence d’exploitation de la filiale de Rimbunan Hijau, qui était au départ uniquement autorisé à abattre les arbres pour faire sa plantation de palmiers à huile, mais pas plus. 

La filiale de Rimbunan Hijau était déjà visée par la commission d’enquête nationale sur les baux ruraux spéciaux. Mais le commissaire chargé de l’enquête n’a jamais remis son rapport. Pomio est une exception, car quasiment tous les autres baux ruraux spéciaux ont été révoqués. Motif : ils servaient de couverture à des activités d’exploitation forestière illégale.  Radio Australia

WORLD

12) Cristobal kills 4 in Caribbean

Afp
Thursday, August 28, 2014

MIAMI, Florida – Strengthening Hurricane Cristobal has killed at least four people in the Caribbean and then trained its deadly sights on the holiday paradise of Bermuda, officials and meteorologists say.

The storm dumped torrential rain on the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Dominican Republic, triggering flooding and killing four people, authorities there said on Tuesday.

Cristobal was packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometres an hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in its latest forecast.

It was moving north towards Bermuda at 16km/h, the NHC said, warning its impact was also being felt in the US.

“The centre of Cristobal is expected to pass northwest of Bermuda on Wednesday and Wednesday night,” the NHC said.

It added: “Swells generated by Cristobal are affecting portions of the United States coast from central Florida northward to North Carolina and will spread northwards later this week.”

A tropical storm watch was already in effect for Bermuda, forecasters said, meaning inclement conditions were possible in the next 24 hours.

POLITIC

13a)Missing West Papua leader Yohame found dead

28 august 2014

Reports from West Papua say the body of a senior separatist leader, Martinus Yohame, has been found – six days after he was allegedly abducted in the Indonesian province.

The Tabloid Jubi newspaper says fishermen found a floating sack near Nana island with Mr Yohame’s body inside.

His arms and legs were reportedly tied and he had bullet wounds.

Mr Yohame, who was the chair of the Greater Sorong area branch of the West Papua National Committee, had spoken out against last week’s visit to the area by the outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Mr Yohame was also opposed to illegal logging in the area.

The West Papua National Committee says West Papua should have the right to self-determination.

The only country to support this stance is Vanuatu.Radio New Zealand

13b) Indonesian President- elect Joko Widodo promises to focus on West Papua

By Online Editor
10:39 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, Indonesia 

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 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, 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.”
 
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.
 
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  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.
 
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 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.”.
SOURCE: SMH/PACNEWS

14) Talks urged ahead of New Caledonia summit

By Online Editor
8:27 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, New Caledonia 

The new French High Commissioner to New Caledonia says there should be discussions in the territory before the signatories of the Noumea Accord meet in Paris in October.
 
New Caledonia is in its last phase of the 1998 Accord on greater autonomy and its Congress is tasked with organising an independence referendum by 2018.
 
Speaking on local radio, Vincent Bouvier says the Paris talks are scheduled for October the third and to be chaired by the prime minister, Manuel Valls.
 
The key topics to be tackled include the exit from the Noumea Accord, the make-up of the electoral list of those entitled to vote in the referendum, the transfer of power from Paris to Noumea and the use of the territory’s vast nickel resource.
 
Bouvier says he is collecting views on a court opinion on who is allowed to vote as there have been sharply different interpretations of the Accord’s wording.
 
He says preliminary discussions would help to find a quick way to adopt a mutually agreed position.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

15) Fiji Military plea to political parties to promote non-discminatory policies

By Online Editor
8:39 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, Fiji 

The Commander of the Republic of the Fiji Military Force (RFMF), Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga, has pleaded to all political parties to promote non-discminatory policies.
 
He added the RFMF dearly “holds its views of non-discrminatory policies now in the new Constitution and that remains.”
 
Speaking to the Fiji Sun Brigadier Tikoitoga said, nobody understood discrimination and internal discrimination “more than soldiers did.”
 
In everywhere they served overseas – Lebanon, Iraq, Golan Heights etc, troubles were formed by some forms of discrimination – ethnic, religious, or racial discrimination.
 
“All the places we serve, the problems caused in those countries started from some sort of discrimination,” the Commander said.
 
He said the RFMF was concerned on some policies that would lead the nation again into the events from 2000 onwards.
 
He said the Constitutiion was written in such a way that the RFMF protected all Fijians.
 
Section 131 (2) says – “It shall be the overall responsibility of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to ensure at all times the security, defence and wellbeing of Fiji and all Fijians.”
 
Section 131 (3) says – “The Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces shall be responsible for exercising military executive command of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.”
 
“As Commander RFMF and under my constitutional role, it’s my plea to all political parties to refrain from promoting discriminatory policies so that we can move forward as a nation.”
 
Otherwise the RFMF would have difficulty in balancing its role.
 
“Our role is to protect all Fijians and if there are discriminatory policies it will be very difficult.”
 
And as Commander, he said he had a duty to protect the nation; all Fijians and be neutral all the time.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

16) Two sets of observers for Fiji election 

By Online Editor
10:45 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, Fiji 

Two sets of observers will be in Fiji next month to observe and monitor the electoral process.
 
Andrew Goledzinowski, head of the Multinational Observers Group is currently in Fiji with a few other observers known as long term observers.
 
Earlier in the week, Goledzinowski said the short term observers would be in large numbers.
 
“The short term observers in which we will have a larger number will begin to arrive on or about the 14 or 15th of September.
 
“We intend to have a comprehensive training day for the short term observers on the 15th of Sept and then deploy them also on as many polling stations as we can,” Goledzinowski said.
 
He said they would use a method that they have been using in many elections before.
 
“In terms of the deployment of the Observers, from this week we plan to deploy outside of Suva around Fiji.”.
 
He said his intention was to try and cover as many areas as possible because they would not be able to meet every voter and be at every polling station.
 
“Though we want to be as broad as we can and be at majority of the polling stations and we want to cover the majority of environments in Fiji, the maritime areas, the interior, even where there are a fewer people.”.
 
“I think everyone has to be able to see that we’re doing our best to make sure that their expressions, their views are somehow expressed in our report that’s in sort of the terms for the long term observers,” Goledzinowski said.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

17) Political parties go all out on media campaign

By Online Editor
10:42 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, Fiji 

With just 19 days left, political parties are grabbing every chance to secure voters.
 
But it seems the biggest winners already are the advertising companies and agencies.
 
From pamphlets to vehicle signage’s, or advertising on large digital screens. So with just 19 days to go, political parties are pulling out all the stops.
 
But these don’t come cheap.
 
In the financial reports of political parties published Wednesday, the National Federation Party has set aside more than $69,000 (US$37,073) just for printing expenses.
 
“The screen advertising for example is not that expensive. I think per person, it comes to about $400 (US$217) a month or something. But these are being paid by the candidates themselves,” says NFP Leader Dr Biman Prasad.
 
The Social Democratic Liberal Party also publishing a maximum of 20 thousand pamphlets for each candidate.
 
SODELPA estimates its campaign budget to be more than $100,000 (US$53,730)
 
“This is a time for businesses, graphic artists, advertisers. It has a multiplier effect on the economy. Printers they are getting a lot of money say $5 million to $6 million (US$2 million–US$3 million roughly,’ estimates SODELPA General Secretary Pio Tabaiwalu.
 
Some parties like the Peoples Democratic Party though content with their their limited budget.
 
“One particular 30 second add costs about a thousand dollars. So you can imagine the amount of money you need to be actually to have a TV presence. So you looking at $15,000 to $20,000 (US$8,059 – US$10,000) dollars being spent,” says PDP general secretary Aman Singh.
 
The Fiji Labour Party tight lipped about their campaign expenses.
 
“The party does what it’s suppose to do and the individual candidates also do their own,” says FLP’s Lavenia Padarath.
 
When asked by Fiji One News about total costs so far, she responded, “I am sorry that’s not subject to information for you.”
 
According to financial statements by various political parties released today, Fiji First also shows a campaign expenditure of $431,805 (US$232,000), with a media advertisement allocation of $79,771 (US$42,860), as of 14 August.

SOURCE: FIJI TV/PACNEWS

18) 715,000 ballot papers for Fiji Election, Pre poll votes will be scure: Saneem

By Online Editor
4:51 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, Fiji 

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) confirms it will print 715,000 ballot papers for the 2014 General Elections.
 
Of this, 15,000 which is also expected to be ready by today, has been reserved for postal ballot although the exact number is still to be finalised as application closes at 6pm Wednesday.
 
The ballots for pre-polling would be derived from the remaining 700,000 papers.
 
Printing started Tuesday by Star Printery, a printing company located at Carpenters Street in Raiwai outside Suva which had been awarded the tender.
 
Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said the contract amount was confidential and one that he was not in a position to disclose.
 
“The printing is going ahead of schedule. We anticipate having the first batch of ballot papers for postal ballot as early as tomorrow (Thursday) and then we will be putting it into the envelopes and sending it away via DHL,” Saneem said.
 
The observers have been to the printing complex likewise representatives from political parties for a tour of the facility and an update on the process.
 
He admitted concerns were raised by political parties pertaining to the security of the ballot papers and where it would be housed.
 
Saneem also assured they have strategies in place to ensure the security of ballot papers especially after pre-polling.
 
Printed ballot papers not used for pre-poll and postal ballot would be housed in a secure warehouse in Lami till September 17.
 
Meanwhile, Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem has moved to allay concerns that have been raised over the security of votes cast in pre-poll.  
 
Pre-poll starts on 3 September, but votes will not be counted till polls close at 6pm on September 17.
 
Saneem has assured pre-poll votes would not be taken out till September 17. And no counting takes place prior to that.
 
“Pre-poll votes after they are cast will go inside a secret envelope,” Saneem said.
 
“And the secret envelopes will be put into the ballot box. On September 17 that is when we will start opening the ballot boxes for counting of pre-poll votes.
 
 “No counting will happen before September 17.”.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

MEDIA

19) Clueless on NBC assets’ worth 

Source: 

The National, Thursday August 28th, 2014 

 THE worth of State-owned National Broadcasting Corp has remained unknown because the network does not have an asset registry, says newly-appointed chairman Timothy Tala.
Tala said the board and management have already begun work to take stock of all NBC assets throughout the country.
“The board has given the management directives and timelines from Sept 13 to complete tasks and report back to the board when it meets next month.
“I have only been in office three weeks now and it is certainly disappointing to note that NBC had dwindled, but I will work with the board to help it grow,” he said.
Tala said one of his main tasks is to ensure that NBC has a proper business plan and structure, which will guide its operations.
He said the Broadcasting Act is being reviewed and is expected to be completed by next month.
“We have a vision for NBC … we want to  see it grow because by 2017, we should be shifting from analogue to digital.
“We have been left behind in information, NBC has only been walking and half of the time, its people are sleeping. 
“While other media outlets are running, NBC is still sleeping … then, PNG is in jeopardy because we do not have the information. 
“Papua New Guineans do not know what is happening throughout the country because we at NBC are still sleeping, while other people have already overtaken us.
“The world is moving, the country is running and NBC cannot wait for one person to deliver and the board will not be lenient on anyone who is not doing his or her job,” Tala said.
Tala has yet to hold a formal meeting with the board.

20) Review support

Nz Radio
Thursday, August 28, 2014

THE Australian Democratic Labour Party says the arrest of two French journalists in West Papua is unacceptable, and has called on Australia to review its support to Indonesia.

Robert Dandois and Valentine Bourrat were arrested two weeks ago for allegedly violating their tourist visas by reporting for a French-German television station, Arte. But Anthony Craig says the journalists were just doing their job, and the arrests are an example of the Indonesian military running West Papua like a prison camp.

“If you’re going to hide something, then you stop people looking into things. And to have the French journalists locked up because they actually want to find out what’s going on in Papua, given the atrocity reports that keep coming out of there, then there’s something seriously wrong.”

Anthony Craig says a Royal Commission into Australia’s foreign aid policy and its military support to Indonesia is urgently needed.

21) Business workshop for Pacific journos

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Thomson Reuters’ Mathieu Robbins, left, and Vanuatu journalist Moses Stevens during the IMF Economic Reporting workshop in Suva yesterday. Picture: ROPATE VALEMEI

BUSINESS reporters from around the Pacific gathered at the Reserve Bank of Fiji in Suva on Monday for a three-day workshop organised by the International Monetary Fund on economic reporting.

The workshop aimed to enlighten and upskill business reporters about their role as a financial journalist in their respective countries. Business journalists covered ways to report on the economy, the role of the central bank, monetary policy and ways to help steer the economy.

Interpreting statistics to plain English, debt restructuring talks, legal dangers and learning about ethics in journalism was also presented.

Trainer and chief of Thomson Reuters Australia and New Zealand Bureau Lincoln Feast says financial reporters need to know their central banks and policy makers well in order to know the economy.

Participants were also given an overview of economic indicators and how it could have an impact on the country’s economic activities.

Another trainer Mathieu Robbins said financial markets were essential for the running of a modern economy.

Speaking at the certificate presentation yesterday, Vanuatu journalist Moses Steven said IMF should also organise financial journalists for a Media Summit in Palau in 2016. With the help of the IMF, he said media organisation Thomson Reuters should also organise workshops for financial journalists in the Pacific.Fijitimes.

BUSINESS

22a) PNG locals look to Indonesia for trade

28 august 2014

The acting Governor of Papua New Guinea’s West Sepik says many people in his province are turning to Indonesia for goods and services.

Paul Nengai says that while the political relationship between the province and the neighbouring Indonesian province of Papua is very good, there is a trade imbalance firmly in Indonesia’s favour.

He says it’s hard to compete with Indonesian services such as telecommunications, with mobile phone services for example often preferable to local ones for Papua New Guineans living near the border.

Mr Nengai says that a recent trip to Papua was illuminating.

“It was interesting to note that most Papua New Guineans have moved across, those that are living along the border – they have moved across to Indonesian side and they’re living on the other side. Basically, they’re looking for good services like road network, cheap goods and services on the other side. And as you know, Indonesia provides social services. So for them, it’s very attractive.”

Paul Nengai says a new Asian Development Bank-assisted trade centre at Wutung, just inside West Sepik, is expected to open in October and should begin to address the trade imbalance.Radio New Zealand.

22b Change of ownership ‘misleading’ 

Source: 

The National, Thursday August 28th, 2014 

 PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has branded as misleading statements regarding the change of ownership of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd and compensation for the impacted communities in Western. 
That includes statements on the setting up of the PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP).
He presented to Parliament yesterday the report of the Eminent Persons Group set up by the National Executive Council to mediate and facilitate an agreement between the State, PNGSDP, BHP Billiton and Ok Tedi.
O’Neill said the EPG comprised former Prime Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu, former Lae MP Bart Philemon and Minister for Public Service Sir Puka Temu.  
They recommended to the State and PNGSDP that they immediately sign a heads of agreement which set out very clear commitments and actions agreed by the parties.
“Despite the efforts and recommendations of the EPG, the PNGSDP board rejected the recommendations,” he said. “In noting and anticipating this, the EPG recommended that the State has demonstrated very clearly its genuine efforts, and therefore should undertake direct negotiations with BHP Billiton, with or without PNGSDP.
“The NEC, in considering the EPG report on March 5, 2014, decided that any efforts in further discussions with Sir Mekere (Morauta) and PNGSDP will be unproductive as PNGSDP has no intention to reach agreement with the State.” O’Neill said this was not the first time PNGSDP and Sir Mekere “reneged on agreements they have reached with the State”.
“Sir Mekere and I reached the agreement, confirmed by us shaking hands in Majuro, Marshall Islands, in early September 2013 on the sides of the Pacific Forum meeting,” he said.
“Immediately on return to Port Moresby, Sir Mekere and the PNGSDP board served legal proceedings against the State. At no time in Majuro did Sir Mekere convey any concerns to me.”

23) PNG PM: We Have One Of Best Debt Level Management In World
Well within provisions of Fiscal Responsibility Act

By Isaac Nicholas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 28, 2014) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has told parliament that Papua New Guinea has one of the best debt level management anywhere in the global economy. Mr O’Neill said PNG’s debt to GDP (gross domestic product) is well within the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

“I want to inform the house that we are one of the very few countries in the world that has got a GDP ratio tied to GDP.” The Prime Minister said there are many countries around the world, for example Japan, that has almost 150 percent debt to GDP ratio, United States 110 percent debt to GDP ratio and some European countries having between 70-80 percent above.

“We are well within target and this is in fact one of the best managed debt level anywhere within the global economy comparable, so we don’t intend to breach the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

The Prime Minister also assured Parliament that there was no need to panic as there is macro economic stability in the country with foreign reserves at an all time high, exchange rate has stabilised.

He said in terms of budget deficit, the government planned for a budget deficit for this year and next year and come into a balance budget by 2017.

He was responding to questions from Kandep MP Don Polye during Question Time in parliament on LNG proceeds, the K9 million [US$3,563,000] outside the budget adding onto the deficit of K1.3 billion [US$514,701,000] for this year.

“Can the PM inform this House and the People of PNG what PNG’s debt liabilities are at this very time in terms of PNG’s debt to GDP ratio? Are we on track in line with the 2014 budget or have we deviated from that?” Mr Polye said.

He also asked the Prime Minister to confirm or deny that the BPNG has fixed or packed the foreign exchange rate against the Australian and US dollars at 0.41 and 0.43 respectively.

Mr O’Neill said the exchange rate is not fixed or being packed but curbed in the margins because of the abuses that were done by commercial banks.

“Poor customers were paid enormous amounts of money both in business and individuals who were buying foreign currency, enormous amounts of fees and margins and as a result as managers of the monetary policy of government, the Central Bank has got the right to rein in this kind of practices,” Mr O’Neill said. “It is not packed but the margins are being controlled and as a result you will see that exchange rates have been stabilised.”

PNG Post-Courier

24) Call to urgently resolve flight impasse

By Online Editor
10:56 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, Fiji 

The  unresolved current flight impasse affecting air services between Fiji and Solomon Islands over the past six weeks is costly and must be resolved soon prompting calls for urgent dialogue.
 
Dr Transform Aqorau who heads the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) based in Majuro in Marshall Islands in an interview with the Solomon Star in Suva, Fiji late last week said the impasse should be dragged too long.
 
He said as a Solomon Islander, he was really concern about the impact it had on the travelling public and the business people.
 
Dr Aqorau said although its a commercial decision made by authorities, at the end of the day its the ordinary travellers and business people who are really affected by the problem.
 
“Failing to resolve this problem shows lack of competency to resolve the problem for the good of the travelling public and trade between the two countries.
 
“Because the more this problem drags on, the more difficulty it is to resolve the problem.
 
“And in the end it has an economic cost to both the travellers, business people and the trading activities, giving them additional costs,” he said.
 
He pointed out that Fiji is the get way to other island countries which cannot be avoided and therefore its important to resolve the issue.
 
He added that if the problem is not solved it would also affect local students who supposed to return to home at the end of the year.
 
He appealed to diplomats and the ministry responsible to resolve the impasse because it would also have an impact on the relationship between two countries.
 
“These two countries have long cordial relationship dating back many years ago. The longer it takes to resolve the more it would impact on this relationship especially the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).”
 
The flight impasse has caused so much fear amongst the local students studying here in Fiji.
 
Speaking to the paper some of the students expressed their concern over the flight saga.
 
Most of the students travelled on Solomon Airlines ticket through scheduled and chartered flights.
 
With three more months left before the 2014 academic year concludes in December, the students are also appealing to both governments to step in and resolved the impasse.
 
Its understood, talks are still ongoing between the two civil aviation authorities but with no solutions at this stage.

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

25) Fiji Airways offers complete career path for Fijian pilots

By Online Editor
4:13 pm GMT+12, 26/08/2014, Fiji 

The Fiji Airways Group Tuesday announced that a career progression plan has been put together by both Fiji Airways and Fiji Link to facilitate a full career path for pilots from Fiji Link into Fiji Airways.  
 
The plan has been carefully designed taking into consideration the current and future pilot requirements for both airlines, while enabling Fijian pilots to have a career at home.  
 
Commencing in January 2015, the first of 20 pilots currently flying for Fiji Link will transfer to Fiji Airways as First Officers on Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft and will continue their flying career through to eventual Command (Captain) status. After these 20 pilots have made the transition, which will take place over two years, the remaining Fiji Link pilots who have the necessary qualifications will begin to transfer gradually to Fiji Airways as requirements dictate.  
 
Stefan Pichler, Fiji Airways Group Managing Director and CEO commented: “We are committed and have made provisions in our Five-Year Master Plan to have a pilot localisation policy in place. This Pilot Progression Plan (PPP) has been worked out carefully between the two airlines to cater for operational readiness. It’s tangible and it’s here to stay. It is part of our efforts to become the employer of choice for all Fijians.”
 
Pichler also stated that this Pilot Progression Plan provided an excellent opportunity for all Fijian pilots to have a full flying career from Twin Otter aircraft through to modern wide body aircraft such as the Airbus A330.  
 
He added: “We recognize that so many young Fijians wishing to become aviators link their aspirations with us, as the National Airline Group. We are committed to honouring their career goals right here at home. Of course, we have to ensure the progression occurs methodically, as we need enough pilots to operate Fiji Link flights. And, we need pilots who are the best and most seasoned professionals we can get. The Plan now incentivises recently-hired Fiji Link pilots who currently do not have the necessary qualifications to progress to Fiji Airways, but will do in the near future.“
 
The PPP Pilot Progression Plan has been designed in two stages. The first stage is the transition of 20 identified Fiji Link pilots into Fiji Airways. The second stage will begin in 2017, and will allow pilots to transition to Fiji Airways as First Officers and return to Fiji Link for a period of time as ATR Captain, before returning to Fiji Airways to take up command on the jets.

SOURCE: FIJI AIRWAYS/PACNEWS

26) Be aware and trained, exporters urged

Ropate Valemei
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BUSINESSES need to understand the international market requirements when it comes to exporting goods and services.

Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation CEO Mereia Volavola said this included understanding issues such as labelling, packaging, phytosanitary and sanitary standards, and certification.

“Intending exporters need to be aware and trained on these aspects. Trade agreements in place will only be effective when these are addressed and appropriate support is provided to SMEs,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Development Bank recently launched its small and medium enterprises awards to recognise the contribution of this sector to the economy. The awards night is scheduled for November 27 in Suva.Fijitimes.

LAW&ORDER

27) Officer: Stop taking money 

Source: 

The National, Thursday August 28th, 2014 

 POLICE have been warned about soliciting money from the public in return for favours.
NCD Central Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Jerry Frank said if offending officers were identified, they would face charges, disciplinary action and possibly sacked.
“The abnormal has become normal and we see police taking money to fast-track or release suspects,” he said. “This behaviour must stop, officers are forgetting or disregarding their code of ethics.
“A disciplined officer would never allow himself or herself to lower his or her standards.
“Simply, think before you make unethical decisions, the adverse impact on you and the community.” 
Frank said they had a code of ethics and principles and more importantly morality and accountability should be practised.

28) Minister calls for fair recruitment 

Source: 

The National, Thursday August 28th, 2014 

 DEFENCE Minister Dr Fabian Pok has directed the Defence Force to recruit people from the 89 districts to ensure a fair representation in the military.
He revealed that in Parliament in response to a question from South Fly MP Aide Ganasi  that recruitment was focused only on urban centres. 
“The Papua New Guinea Defence Force not long ago was once the pride of the nation. Our infantry soldiers for example were some of if not the best infantry soldiers in the world,” Ganasi said. 
“It is no secret that infantry recruited from rural settings naturally was responsible of this remarkable achievement. Lately the Defence Force has gone through changes to address issues and challenges to suit the current military trend.”
Ganasi said the current recruitment of new intakes was concentrated only in major centres whether through a change of policy or reasons only known to the PNGDF.
He said it was unfair to men and women in other provinces who wished to join the force. 
“I do admit that there’s recruitment happening only in urban centres but I have directed the new commander to ensure that the recruitment must cover the 89 districts,” Pok said. 

29) Solomon Police Investigating Mass Fight
Arson and injuries follow West Honiara dispute


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 27, 2014) – The police in Solomon Islands have begun an investigation into a mass fight in West Honiara in which houses were torched and a number of people wounded.

The police have already made several arrests following last week’s dispute involving 200 people at the Karaina settlement.

A spokesperson for the police says the row was between the people of the tiny islands of Pileni and Reef Islands in the Temotu Province who have settled at White River.

It’s understood the fighting erupted after a community leader handed out assistance to the settlement, but it was not distributed evenly throughout the group. 

Radio New Zealand International 

30) Illicit drugs in package from Ukraine : Fiji Revenue Customs Authority 

By Online Editor
10:29 pm GMT+12, 26/08/2014, Fiji 

Fiji’s Boarder Control officers intercepted a parcel sent in from Ukraine containing five packets of white powder believed to be illicit drugs, pseudoephedrine.
 
The drug is also used to treat nasal and sinus congestion, or congestion of the tubes that drain fluid from one’s inner ears. It is also a sought-after chemical precursor in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine.
 
In Fiji, pseudoephedrine is a control susbstance under Schedule 2 Part 1 of the Illicit Druugs Control Act 2004. The parcel which was addressed to a local was intercepted by Fiji Revenue Customs Authority (FRCA) officers at the Nadi Airport Post Office.
 
FRCA chief executive Jitoko Tikolevu said people involved in the activity must stop and abide by the law.
 
The package has since been handed over to police for investigation and will be brought to Suva for further testing.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

31) Fly River ‘gone: PNG Enviroment Minister

By Online Editor
10:54 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, Papua New Guinea 

The Fly River in Western “is gone” as a result of the massive damage to the environment caused by mining over the years, according to Environment and Conservation Minister John Pundari.
 
He told Parliament Wednesday that there was no point in putting up a tailing dam (to withhold the waste) now because the damage to the river by the Ok Tedi Mining Limited “cannot be undone”.
 
“What difference will it make when we have the damage already? The Fly River system is gone. The livelihood of our people, if any, is gone,” he said.
 
“We’ve lost it. If we have to build a dam today, just to tell the world and show the world, and tell ourselves that we are doing the right thing for ourselves, and for our future generations, I don’t know what the tailings dam will do.
 
“What will this tailings dam save?”  
 
He was contributing to the debate on the Eminent Persons Group report tabled by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.  

The group was set up by the National Executive Council to mediate and facilitate an agreement between the State, PNGSDP, BHP Billiton and OTML after differences over the impact of mining on the communities in Western.
 
“It will take 50 to 100 years for natural occurrences to help rehabilitate it (Fly River). That is a long time,” Pundari said.
 
North Fly MP Boka Kondra said the people had suffered greatly because of the Ok Tedi mining operation. In a lengthy and emotional address, he told of the plight of his people, who had silently been suffering from various ailments as a direct result of mine pollution on Fly River.
 
“People are dying, mothers are dying, children are dying, with not much benefits (from the mine),” Kondra said.
 
“I brought in a media team from Japan and they went to a village where they found 17 deformed children. When this was shown in Japan, millions of people there were in tears. Look at how many people are dying along the river.”
 
Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather  said it was ironic for the Government to continue operating the Ok Tedi mine after the huge damage to the Fly River by previous operator BHP Billiton.  
 
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the reserves of the Elk-Antelope project in Gulf have not been mortgaged and the project will go ahead as planned.
 
“There’s no mortgaging of Elk-Antelope or PNG LNG for that matter. I think we have not even gone to that stage of negotiations with the developers of Elk-Antelope as yet,” he said in response to questions from Kikori MP Mark Maipakai.  
 
“Only recently, TOTAL has bought into InterOil in this particular project and as a result they  
have conditions which they have put forward as a result of that purchase that includes independent verifications of the reserves Elk-Antelope.”
 
Maipakai has asked O’Neill to reveal the reserves of the project and when it would reach the construction stage.  
 
He said Horizon arrived recently but had already reached the project agreement stage.
 
O’Neill said the Department of Petroleum and Energy had explained that the drilling programme was continuing.  
He said it would be a few more months before they could confirm to Government the actual status of the reserves.  
 
“In terms of the final endorsement decision I’m advised that decision will be made after the reserves have been confirmed and of course it will be in the next 12 months or so but that is again up to the developer which is TOTAL company,” he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

32) Island states propose maritime border extension

By Online Editor
4:53 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, United States 

Papua New Guinea will soon extend its international maritime boundaries in the deep Pacific Ocean seabed between the Federated States of Micronesia and Solomon Islands.
 
This follows the presentation of a single joint submission by senior government officials from PNG, FSM and Solomon Islands on Monday to the United Nations Sub-Commission on the limits of the continental shelf for deliberations and subsequent approval in the near future.
 
The joint submission covers the extended continental shelf in the Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) region between the three Pacific island states.
 
PNG’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, Robert Aisi delivered an address covering specific legal and imperative issues of the claim for the extended continental shelf in the OJP region, while his Solomon Islands counterpart, Collin Beck made the opening statement with FSM Ambassador, Jane Chigiyal concluding the joint submission.
 
Aisi highlighted that in preparing the joint submission, the three countries had applied the relevant provisions of “Article 76” together with the ancillary scientific and technical guidelines, and the rules of procedure of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf respectively.
 
Article 76 of the Convention defines the continental shelf as comprising the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extended beyond the territorial sea of the coastal State throughout the natural prolongation of the land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, up to the limits specifically provided for in the Article.
 
In terms of demonstrating natural prolongation, Ambassador Aisi emphasised to the Sub-Commission that the Otong Java Plateau and its associated landmasses are all physically part of the same morphological feature and are the result of a linked chain of geological processes and events.
 
He said that PNG, FSM and Solomon Islands noted and satisfied the requirements and test of appurtenance in the legal and administrative processes.
 
“Accordingly, we believe that the entitlement to delineate the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles has been conclusively established,” Ambassador Aisi submitted.
 
Ambassador Beck, in the opening remarks, described the joint submission as “ground-breaking” and “first and only submission” to have been made jointly by three small island developing States anywhere in the world.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

WOMAN,YOUTH

33a) Lowy Institute says PNG women still face ‘extreme challenges

28 August 2014

The Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, says women in Papua New Guinea continue to face extreme challenges, including gaining access to the justice system.

The institute has just held a panel discussion to highlight the range of issues Pacific women encounter, particularly in PNG.

Its programme director for Melanesia, Jenny Hayward-Jones, says international partners such as Australia and New Zealand could provide more support, especially when it comes to improving PNG’s justice system.

“One of the big problems identified was that women had to report to hospitals basically with the husband who bashed them in tow, so there was no getting away from the perpetrators which is a huge problem and one that wasn’t going to be resolved quickly.”

Jenny Hayward-Jones says a 2013 Medecins Sans Frontieres study found 70 per cent of PNG women will be raped or assaulted in their lifetime.Radio New Zealand

33b ) Youth projects

Shayal Devi
Thursday, August 28, 2014

NEW and innovative projects are being introduced by the Western Charity Alliance and Vodafone Fiji Foundation to help unemployed youths engage in community work.

Western Charity Alliance executive director Jitendra Naidu says this will help youths and school students develop their communities during school holidays.

“We are engaging and empowering youths or schoolchildren to join subsistence farming to sustain the livelihoods of people in the community,” he said.Fijitimes

SPORTS

34) Fiji 7s vacuum

By Online Editor
11:09 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, Fiji 

Vodafone Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan is confident of finding the perfect player to cover for 2013-2014 IRB 7s Player of the Year Samisoni Viriviri in this season’s IRB 7s series.
 
The no-nonsense Englishman, who was at the national 7s fitness test in Nadroga yesterday, said he had identified seven players from his 41-member training squad to fill in the shoes of the Nadi speed merchant Viriviri.
 
“I was chatting to Viriviri this morning saying I was a little bit worried about finding some cover for him but I think I have found five or six wingers that will be training in camp next week. They are all useful and good,” said Ryan.
 
“I think it is the same for rover and hooker, we have a good depth in the squad and it’s about getting the right combination and getting the fitness required to keep the momentum going into the Gold Coast 7s.”
 
Some of the 7s players who will contest for Viriviri’s spot in the national team are evergreen Nasoni Roko, Isikeli Vuruna, Apisalome Waqatabu, Niko Verekauta, Joeli Lutumailagi, Mosese Mawalu and Jerry Tuwai.
 
Ryan said he was satisfied with the depth of players in his training squad that would also cover for France-based rover Donasio Ratubuli and hooker Benito Masilevu.
 
He said the squad would be reduced today and fans should expect a mixture of experienced and new players.
 
“We have got some good rovers and hookers in the squad that would cover for Benito and Donasio.
 
“You will see some boys that have been around for a long time that I have reintroduced and also some new guys to be in camp next week.
 
“I am picking them on form and it should be a good mix with one or two players from overseas coming into camp next week.”
 
Players who are expected to fight for the rover position are Nadroga’s Savenaca Rawaca, Aisea Katonibau, Ilai Tinai and Eroni Sau.
 
41-member squad: Pio Tuwai, Samuela Saqiwa, Viliame Mata, Jasa Veramalua, Apisai Domolailai, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Semi Kunatani, Sitiveni Waqa, Setefano Cakau, Leo Naikasau, Nasoni Roko, Jone Vota, Emosi Mulevoro, Emori Waqa, Waisea Nacuqu, Jerry Tuwai, Vatemo Ravovou, Emenoni Nasilasila, Osea Kolinisau, Setefano Rasekaia, Sanivalati Ramuwai, Emosi Vucago, Joeli Lutamailagi, Apisalome Waqatabu, Jone Qorovarua, Katonibau, Apilameki Mocekula, Vuruna, Mosese Mawalu, Eremasi Radrodro, Ilai Tinai, Levani Kurimudu, Eroni Sau, Luke Navuwai, Sailosi Rabonaqica, Savenaca Rawaca, Ropate Labalaba, Apisai Naqalevu, Niko Verekauta, Sunia Vosikata, Keponi Paul.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

35) Wes Naiqama quits Penrith Panthers for London Broncos

By Online Editor
11:06 pm GMT+12, 27/08/2014, United Kingdom 

Fiji World Cup centre Wes Naiqama is leaving Penrith to join relegated Super League club London Broncos as their latest and most high-profile signing for 2015.
 
Naiqama, 31, who made four appearances for the Bati in the 2013 World Cup, including the semi-final against Australia, is joining the Broncos on a two-year deal.
 
London coach Joey Grima said over the past four to five weeks, he had spoken to some high-profile people in rugby league, including Penrith players
 
They all have a huge amount of respect for Wes. He holds a senior player role and was part of the Fiji leadership team.
 
“I’m really pleased that the environment and the culture that we’re creating at the club is attracting good players from Super League, the Championships and the NRL. I’m proud that people are buying into what we’re doing.”
 
Naiqama has played more than 120 games in the NRL for St George Illawarra, Newcastle and the Panthers and has won 13 caps for Fiji since making his international debut in 2006.
 
He has made just eight NRL appearances this year, featuring largely in the NSW Cup.
 
Naiqama said he was very happy with his decision to sign with London Broncos.
 
“It was always a goal of mine from early in my career to some stage play in the UK … Thanks to Joey, I’ve been given this opportunity and I can’t wait to get over, meet my new coach, staff, teammates and supporters and start preparing for exciting times ahead.
 
“I got to chat to Joey and his enthusiasm and energy is definitely infectious. He has a great vision for the club going forward and I’m very excited about being a part of the culture and development he is creating there.
 
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of helping London win promotion. It’s unfortunate the club got relegated this year, but I feel the current squad will be better for the experience and will be hungrier than ever for it.”
 
Naiqama is the Broncos’ eighth new face for 2015 and takes Grima’s squad to 19.

SOURCE: PRESS ASSOCIATION/PACNEWS

 36) NRL season over for Newcastle winger Uate

By Online Editor
5:48 pm GMT+12, 26/08/2014, Australia 

Newcastle will be without Akuila Uate for the last two games of the NRL season after the winger underwent knee surgery.
 
The 26-year-old has missed a number of games in 2014 because of issues with his left knee, prompting the decision to go under the knife last week.
 
The surgery will allow Uate to rejoin the team for pre-season training later in the year.
 
The Knights are also set to miss fellow winger James McManus for the rest of the season with a foot injury.
 
Brothers Sione and Chanel Mata’utia have been playing on the wings in the absence of Uate and McManus.
 
The news is another blow for the club, after former Cronulla players Jeremy Smith and Kade Snowden accepted back-dated one-year doping bans from ASADA.
 
The Knights play Parramatta at Hunter Stadium on Saturday, before their last-round clash against St George Illawarra on September 7 also at home.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

37) Samoa start search for Pacific Games women’s players

By Online Editor
10:35 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Samoa 

Samoa’s search for players for next year’s Pacific Games Women’s Football Tournament is underway in Apia.
 
Head coach Papalii Tala Salamasina, alongside assistant coaches Emily Young and Theresa Asiata, began scouring for squad members last week.
 
The trial process began at Joseph S. Blatter Football Complex in Tuanaimato and was extended to include Savaii.
 
Salamasina will finalise the Samoa women’s national team selection in December.
 
The Pacific Games Women’s Football tournament is scheduled for 4-18 July next year in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
 
The winner of the women’s football competition will advance to a home and away playoff with New Zealand’s Football Ferns to decide OFC’s representative at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
 
Samoa’s last participation at this event was in 2007 when they exited at the first round despite a 2-0 win over New Caledonia and a tense 0-0 draw with Tonga.
 
Papua New Guinea have won three consecutive gold medals at the Pacific Games women’s football event since 2003.
 
New Zealand defeated Papua New Guinea in two playoffs for Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

SOURCE: OFC/PACNEWS

38) Duo switch

Arin Kumar
Thursday, August 28, 2014

BADMINTON stars Andrea Whiteside and Gabriella Wong have switched sports in a bid to compete at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.

The two have joined squash and made a start in the National Championships which began earlier this week.

Whiteside beat Wong 3-0 at the Victoria Courts on Tuesday to stake a claim for the Ladies Open title.

National Squad coach Isimeli Cerelala said he was impressed by the performance of the two and they would make his job harder.

“Making a switch from one sport to another is not easy,” he said.

“Especially because our racket is heavier compared to the badminton racket but the two have adapted very well.

“They had to change their strokes and style and now they want to be part of the national side for the Pacific Games.”

Meanwhile, in the men’s competition, veteran Bruce Southwick is among the players that are trying to make the cut for the national side.

“We will name the national training squad for the Pacific Games on Saturday and we are looking at selecting 17 players.

“It would be a tough decision with the amount of talent on show at the National Championships.”

Cerelala also said nine players from Savusavu, led by Tige Young, would also be part of the event.Fijitimes

39) Ram confident

Arin Kumar
Thursday, August 28, 2014

AT 75 years old, Tulsi Ram is expected to be the oldest player to compete at this weekend’s Veterans Open Snooker Tournament.

Only players over the age of 50 are eligible to compete in the Southern Division Billiards and Snooker Association event.

Ram, originally from Labasa, has been played competitive snooker since the 1960s.

The Suva based taxidriver was the champion at the Labasa Club for many years before he joined Nausori Club.

“I am still active in the sport and look forward to playing at the veteran’s tournament,” Ram said.

“I am very lucky that I can still see clearly without glasses and it could be an advantage for me when I compete in the tournament.

“Competition will be tough but I am confident of a good performance.”

Association president Riffat Bhatti said he was expecting more than 20 players to compete in the Sam Super Pool-sponsored tournament at Merchants Club in Suva.

He said the tournament would be played over two days and would allow former stars to showcase their talent on the big stage.

“This is an annual tournament where more than 20 players compete and we are expecting the same players to once again feature in the tournament.

“A-grade players are not allowed to take part in this event so we will get to see former stars shine once again and we thank Sam Super Pool for coming forward to support the event.”

The winner would get a trophy and $100 cash while the runner-up would get $50 and a trophy as well.

Semi-finalists would get $25 and a trophy while the quarter-finalists and the players with the highest break would also win trophies.Fijitimes

40) Sonny Bill Williams set to play for NZ in end-of-year tour

Espnscrum
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams has been granted special dispensation to be included in the All Blacks’ end-of-year tour squad.

Williams, who currently plays in the NRL with the reigning premiers, Sydney Roosters, will return to rugby once his two-year league deal runs out, but the timing of the All Blacks’ tour means he may not play a domestic match in the ITM Cup before the squad is picked.

The New Zealand Rugby board, however, has granted him an exemption to be selected without having played in the national provincial championship, with chief executive Steve Tew saying the All Blacks’ coaching staff can select the Rugby World Cup winner if they want him in the squad.

“It is still expected he will play ITM Cup rugby, but that is dependent on how the Roosters do in the NRL, and if you ask Warriors fans they would say they are doing quite well,” Tew said.

“The board were asked last Friday what they were comfortable with in terms of how many games he had to play to tick the box.”

41) England 2015 announces 41 team bases for RWC, Milton Keynes and MK Dons training base for Fiji and Samoa

By Online Editor
5:55 pm GMT+12, 26/08/2014, United Kingdom 

England 2015 has named the 41 facilities across England and Wales that will act as team bases for the 20 nations competing at next year’s Rugby World Cup.
 
A range of rugby clubs, schools, universities and training centres were selected after just under 100 bids were received from venues as part of an open tender process launched in April last year
 
Among them is St George’s Park, which will be used by Argentina and Ireland, Pennyhill Park, which has been secured by England, and Milton Keynes and MK Dons training base, which will be used by Fiji and Samoa.
 
Eight bases have also been selected for use during the knock out phase of the tournament, namely Celtic Manor and Newport, Swansea University, The Vale Resort, Sport Wales National Centre, Pennyhill Park, Surrey Sports Park, The Lensbury and St Mary’s University and London Irish RFC.
 
A Rugby World Cup 2015 team base will consist of an outdoor and indoor training facility, a swimming pool, gym and hotel and will be utilised by the competing teams in the lead up to and during the six-week event.  
 
The facilities must meet international team training standards and be located on one site or within close proximity of one another. Match venue locations have also been taken into account as part of the selection programme.  
 
RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 will be an event that has players and fans at heart, and I am delighted that the teams participating at England 2015 will have access to exceptional facilities the length and breadth of the host nation.
 
“It is the attention to detail on and off the field that will elevate this event to new levels and this team base selection will ensure that all the teams have everything they need to perform to their peak potential on Rugby’s greatest stage.”  
 
England Rugby 2015 Chief Executive, Debbie Jevans, said: “As the organising committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 we are committed to ensuring that all participating teams have the optimum training environments available to them throughout the tournament and we are delighted to announce the 41 official team bases.  
 
Rugby is at the heart of all our planning and we have worked closely with the teams to ensure that they have access to the best facilities and a team base that meets their individual needs.  
 
“I would like to thank all those who have been part of the team base selection programme.
 
” We are lucky to have some fantastic facilities right across the country and the enthusiasm to be part of the tournament has been really encouraging.
 
“We are confident that we now have 41 high quality training environments which provide a home away from home for the teams. With a wide range of facilities and locations secured we can give players a unique Rugby World Cup 2015 experience whilst spreading the reach of the tournament even further throughout England and in Wales.”.

SOURCE: IRB/ INSIDE THE GAMES/PACNEWS

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