Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1018

MELANESIA

1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 8 September 2014

by bobmakin

  • The Supreme Court as directed by Justice Harrop has thrown out the court application of the Opposition to revive their motion of no confidence. Opposition simply did not have the numbers.
  • Vanuatu helped considerably in setting up the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference PM Natuman said on his return from the big international UN Conference on SIDS in Apia. Natuman told the media of the history of Vanuatu’s involvement with the UN on the matter, starting with our first full time representative in the UN, Robert Van Lierop, and continuing through the 1992 Rio Environment Conference, VBTC News pointed out. Daily Post concentrated on efforts of the PM to have the Commonwealth Secretariat assist in political reform in Vanuatu. A Commonwealth representative is to be in Vanuatu next week to pursue the matter in government efforts to enable stability, Natuman said. Some 28 representatives from government, the private sector, NGOs, women and youth organisations, from Vanuatu, attended the conference in Samoa.
  • The amazing Ark Peace of China , the world’s second largest floating hospital, treated 7,512 people in Port Vila. The ship alone saw to the needs of 3,045 patients with a further 1,322 being seen at Mele and 1,935 at the Chinese Club and 1,210 at Vila Central Hospital. Prime Minister Natuman acknowledged the “tremendous job” of the Ark Peace which has now continued on its Pacific medical mercy tour to PNG, Post reports today.
  • Chinese enterprise continues to assist Vanuatu in many helpful ways. However, questions continue to be raised concerning the Convention Centre project which the former Vanuatu government decided to examine (in its so-called “100 day list”) when it came into power in March 2013. This review was later revoked by the Council of Ministers. Government had contracted the China Jiangsu Provincial Construction Company to build the centre and Vanuatu was assisted by the Chinese Government to the extent of 16 million US dollars worth of funding. Dr Charles Kick asks whether there has been any public screening of the design of the building to ensure minimal future maintenance costs and whether there is any independent oversight of its construction. There have been reports of children at the nearby school suffering from applications of anti-rust treatment used on scaffolding.
  • Daily Post reported 52 workers being re-instated at Le Lagon Saturday after industrial action which saw them being laid off on Friday. The general manager flew in to Vanuatu Friday night. The Vanuatu National Workers Union National Secretary Ephraim Kalsakau pointed out that hotel staff had walked out of a Friday meeting and Police were called in. Unpaid wages and allowances led to the dispute at the hotel which had a convention centre constructed for it for the ACP-EU parliamentary meeting of 2013 here in Port Vila and for which the convention centre near Parliament is unlikely to be ready come the next such meeting.

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 7 September 2014

by bobmakin

  • Opposition Leader Carcasses, in the weekend papers, continues to claim that the deportation of lawyer Robert Herd with long standing real estate connections in Vanuatu was illegal. Acting Prime Minister Lini countered with “the Opposition will require more than the cunning efforts of people like Mr Herd and other like-minded individuals if they should be allowed back into government.” He added that since going back into power in May, the government has had the broad objectives of weeding out corruption, finding lasting solutions to political instability and re-directing the country back on course to economic recovery and self-sufficiency. “As long as we have the mandate and support of the people we will not rest on our laurels until we have delivered on these key broad policy agendas,” he said.
  • Daily Post reports the sad death of Dr John Ondawame, an academic and one of the leaders of the West Papuan independence struggle just before the conference planned for all West Papuan freedom movements. His PhD is in political science from the ANU. It is understood he will be buried here this week.
  • Daily Post says the judgement in the motion of no confidence case, which now has claims of cash payments for its support, will be at 10 Monday morning.
  • Joe Mulders, as an old hand in the tourism industry in this country, points out from Brisbane, concerning the Convention Centre (to be) that such places attract a large number of visitors but for a short period of time. “However, unless you have the many extra hotel rooms or aircraft seats, let us say over 1,200 available in a maximum of a couple of days, this Convention Centre cannot be filled with the required number of participants to a conference and will be a failure.” He wishes Vanuatu luck. It will need a lot of it to make a success of the venture near Parliament (ed.)

POLYNESIA

3) Tonga’s Bid To Write-Off Chinese Loan Yet Unsuccessful
Country borrowed $119 million for reconstruction of Nuku‘alofa

By Pesi Fonua.

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Sept. 5, 2014) – Tonga’s quest for its multi-million loans from the Exim Bank of China for the reconstruction of Nuku’alofa to be written off, so far had been unsuccessful, the former Minister of Finance Lisiate ‘Akolo told parliament before it closed on 28 August.

Lisiate told the House that a proposal for government to plead with the Chinese government to have its $119 million (USD) loan to be turned into a grant assistance had been done at the highest level but to no avail.

He said that he had been to China twice last year, first with the Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano in July, when the loan/grant proposal was raised with the Prime Minister of China.

In November last year Lisiate said he went back to China and met with the Management of the Exim Bank of China and again raised the loan/grant proposal, but the most that the Chinese could offer was to extend the repayment of the loan principal for another five years.

Allegations

The Tonga government’s loan from China for the reconstruction of Nuku’alofa became an issue for debate in House when a report was presented by a parliamentary select committee that was tasked with clarifying claims of inappropriate transfers of a large amount of the loan money overseas and other alleged irregularities.

The debate in legislature, became loud after Sunia Fili, the People’s Representative for ‘Eua, pointed out that the report was incomplete. However, he proposed for the House to bring an end to this rolling investigation into how the loan from China was spent, by simply adding on a paragraph, declaring that the investigation ended here. “Let’s move on forward from here,” he said.

‘Isileli and ‘Akilisi

The report was by the second Parliamentary Select Committee of the House, chaired by ‘Isileli Pulu, to clarify the report of another Parliamentary Select Committee that was chaired by ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

‘Akilisi supported one of the recommendations stated in the report, for government to try and get two of the property owners, the City Assets Ltd. and the Tungi Colonnade to sign their loan agreements with government.

Unusual as it may sound, but millions were lent by government to these two properties, but loan agreements were not signed.

The Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr ‘Aisake Eke told the House the loan agreements had been referred to their legal counsel and that the Tungi Colonnade was willing to sign the loan agreement.

Prisoner of work

‘Akilisi then went on to say that looking into the future, he did not think that government could repay the loan. He said he felt like a prisoner, dressing up in a prisoner’s uniform and going to work every day. He suggested for government to be declared “bankrupt, and dead.”

The Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Samiu Vaipulu refuted the claim that government was going bankrupt.

“I swear, that this government will never go bankrupt,” declared the Hon. Samiu Vaipulu. He then went on to remind the House that if Nuku’alofa was not burnt to the ground they would not have borrowed from China.

‘Akilisi took offence with the mention of the burning of Nuku’alofa. He and other members of parliament were taken to court on charges relating to the riots and the burning of Nuku’alofa, but he reminded the House that the court had made its decision and they were let off.

Lord Nuku, however, rubbed salt into the wound by raising the issue that if the properties were set on fire, then the reconstruction of those properties should be paid for by those who burnt the town – not by the property owners.

Sevele government

He also pointed out that the report did not clarify if the loan was approved by parliament. He said that although the former government of Lord Dr Feleti Sevele had pointed out that the House approved for government to go ahead with the loan from China, the first Parliamentary Select Committee said no, and the report did not clarify that important issue.

At the end of what had became a vociferous debate, the Speaker called for votes on two motions. One motion was by Sunia Fili to add on a new paragraph declaring that the investigation into how the loan money was spent ended here, and then let’s move on forward and look to the future. It was rejected 7-4.

He then called for vote on the report. It was carried 14-1. Against was Lord Nuku.

Concessional loans

Tonga was to start repaying back its concessional loans from China; interest plus principal on 21 September 2013, but with the five years extension the government will start repaying its loan in 2018.

Meanwhile, Tonga will continue to pay the 2% interest which amounts to $11 million annually. By 2018, loan repayments and interest with principal will be $24 million annually.

The Tonga Government borrowed 440m RMB from Exim bank of China in 2007 for the reconstruction of Nuku’alofa after it was burned to the ground by protesters on 16 November 2006.

Investigation

When the new government of Lord Tu’ivakano came into power in 2010, under a new system of government, it made it one of its priorities to investigate how the Nuku’alofa Development Corporation (NDC) managed and spent the loan. It became a costly exercise that required the services of four different committees, and an Australian accountancy firm, and cost government more than $3 million.

Firstly there was a Cabinet selected committee, then an independent committee chaired by ‘Akilisi Pohiva, which later turned into a parliamentary select committee. The House spent weeks debating their report, but it finally ended after the former Prime Minister Lord Dr Feleti Sevele applied to the Supreme Court for a judicial review of the report.

The decision of the Supreme Court was that it could not interfere with the proceeding of parliament. The Tongan Parliament then formed another Select Committee chaired by ‘Isileli Pulu to clarify some of the claims that were made in the report of the first select committee.

The Parliament has not released the final report to the public. The Parliament’s Office said on September 3 that the report was currently being translated into English to be kept in the Parliamentary Library for reference.

Matangi Tonga Magazine

4) Education Severely Underfunded In Cook Islands: Secretary
Government must decide if education is a priority for development

By Emmanuel Samoglou

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Sept. 5, 2014) – It’s not an easy decision, but the head of the Cook Islands Ministry of Education says the government needs to decide if education is a priority area for the nation’s development, and if so, it needs to be backed up with resources and a long-term plan.

“It’s not about politics, it’s about education,” said Secretary Sharyn Paio.

Paio was speaking after recently returning from an education workshop in Singapore, which she attended along with Terry Utanga – the Ministry’s human resources management director.

At the workshop, both education officials were given insight into some of the latest learning tools, so it was a little ironic that CI News was asking for her opinion on recent stories that highlighted the opinions of some that education is severely underfunded in the Cook Islands.

“We’re trying to compete with the giants,” she said.

The problem, she said, is that there’s a level required to maintain basic education, and her fears are that the nation is slowly falling below that level.

When working as a teacher at Tereora College in 1994, Paio said the school ran on an operational budget of approximately $20,000.

In a letter this week published in CI News, written by Rarotonga resident Olivia Heather, she challenged the notion that parents need to send their children overseas, citing her own experience which included a number of years at Tereora.

Paio recalls teaching the young Heather – now a Chartered Accountant – and attributes the school’s success during that era to a “high calibre of teaching”.

Roughly two decades later , this is still a priority for the Ministry in ensuring better educational outcomes for the young and opportunities for the country as a whole, she said.

Currently, the school’s roughly $160,000 budget is spent in three areas – electricity, communications and printing, leaving approximately one third for minor maintenance and resourcing, such as textbooks and information technology equipment.

An additional $20,000 is provided courtesy of the New Zealand Aid Programme in support of ICT initiatives, and further cash injections are sometimes available every March should surplus funds from the year’s budget be available.

Roughly 14 per cent of the government’s budget went towards education in 2013, representing 3.4 per cent of the nation’s GDP.

Those figures are well below what is allocated in New Zealand, where 16 per cent of overall spending goes to education, comprising 7.6 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

But comparisons with big countries can be misleading, like comparing apples and oranges.

So Paio has cross checked the data with other Pacific nations – the results: not including the Solomon Islands, the Cook Islands consistently ranks the lowest in the region in terms of spending as a proportion of GDP.

But evaluating spending as a proportion of GDP can also be deceptive, Paio agrees, so she looked at another measure: analysing spending levels per student.

Still, the Cook Islands finds itself on the bottom.

She said currently $3281 is spent per student here, compared to $7000 in NZ. And according to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States spends over $10,000 per student, while the OECD average is approximately $8,000.

Despite what the funding statistics suggest, Paio said the country is doing well and based on data she’s seen, students here are performing as well, if not better, than their counterparts in New Zealand.

But if the Cook Islands wants to keep up, she said Government needs to make a firm commitment to education.

Based on the numbers, it’s clear that education could use the extra dollars. But if government allocated the money, where would it go?

Paio said the ministry has the programmes and systems in place, but lacks the resources to adequately deploy them. “At the moment we are just treading water.” up-skilling – a priority area – and training for teachers and principals can help remedy that.Presently, she said the Ministry has committed 80 per cent of their human resources budget to up skilling teachers.

“That’s what we believe is the key to improving student outcomes,” she said. “Buying textbooks isn’t always the solution.”

Offering technology as an example, she said the Ministry’s online learning school ‘Te Kura Uira’ has begun providing students with an e-learning experience, however bandwidth and connectivity issues continue to impact on schools in the outer islands.

“It’s not just about getting more computers, but about opportunities for teachers to integrate ICT into their teaching programmes to enhance student learning,” she said.

Additional priority areas included guidance support and additional counsellors to help students in need.

In terms of non-specific education spending, Paio said students and staff will benefit by having extra money allocated to the Cook Islands Investment Corporation for the maintenance of schools, which have been described by Tereora Principal as a “disgrace”.

Government should be commended for its commitment to build a new school called ‘Apii Nikao’, merging the arson-affected Avatea and Nikao Maori Schools, but resources need to be allocated for a long-term commitment – perhaps a 10-year property plan that dedicates resources for the maintenance and replacement of existing buildings.

“There are a lot of conflicting priorities for the government,” she said, acknowledging the difficult decisions that need to be made every year when drafting a budget.

“But unless we educate and develop the people, you won’t be able to grow the economy you also want to develop.”

Cook Islands News

5) French Polynesia President Flosse Removed From Office
Tahoeraa Huiraatira party’s Edouard Fritch likely successor

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 6, 2014) – French Polynesia’s president, Gaston Flosse, has quit his office after failing to get a presidential pardon from Francois Hollande for his corruption conviction.

A statement from his office says the French high commissioner has delivered the document setting an end to his functions.

This comes a day after the court of appeal in Tahiti rejected Flosse’s bid for it to wipe the sentence he received in July.

Last month, Mr Hollande said he would let the judicial process run its course, which now means the corruption conviction stands.

Flosse was convicted for running a vast network of phantom jobs to support his political party in what has been the biggest case of its kind in French legal history.

He was sentenced to a four-year suspended jail term, a 170,000 US dollar fine and banned from public office for three years last year.

The sentence had been confirmed by France’s highest court in July, but the French government refused to serve him the verdict.

He sought a pardon and asked the appeal court in Tahiti not to apply the sentence.

Flosse has insisted he is innocent.

He says a meeting will be called on Monday when he will propose that the president of the territorial assembly, Edouard Fritch, be his party’s candidate for his succession.

The opposition’s Oscar Temaru has called for fresh elections in view of the rejection of the bid for apresidential pardon.

Flosse, who is 83, was elected president five times and was a member of the French Senate since 1998.

Radio New Zealand International 

MICRONESIA

6) Kiribati churches mobilise against death penalty

8 September 2014
Churches in Kiribati are mobilising against a new bill to bring back the death penalty.

The Kiribati parliament has passed the first reading of the bill and leaders are supposed to hold consultations with their electorate before the second reading and the vote in a month.

The President Anote Tong says the bill is a deterrent against deliberate killings in the country.

His comment comes after five women recently lost their lives at the hands of their husbands or former partners.

But the chairman of the Kiribati Council of Churches, Catholic Bishop, Paul Mea, says they will fight the bill because it will not stop the killing in the community.

“The thing that is going to stop them, is the education. Preparing the man and wife before their marriage. To understand what love is, to give them input on what the church teaches about real love between a husband and wife and all that. Counselling, introducing counselling for all those who have problems. But capital punishment is not going to give any solution.”

The chairman of the Kiribati Council of Churches, Catholic Bishop, Paul Mea.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/254021/kiribati-churches-mobilise-against-death-penalty

7) News Release

FSM Information Services
Palikir, Pohnpei, FSM

Sept. 8, 2014

Micronesian Trade And Economic Community Established

On the occasion of the historic signing of the treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community or MTEC, Marion Henry, secretary of the FSM Department of Resources and Development, and interim secretariat of the new organization, indicated that the newly established MTEC provides an “institutional framework as the appropriate channel through which programs and actions related to sustainable economic development, such as the ones identified in the Outcome Document of this 3rd International Conference for SIDS, would be best delivered, implemented and monitored within our sub-region.

In effect Henry was referring to the following actions identified in the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (Samoa Pathway) which have direct linkage with the vision, goals and objectives of the MTEC: (1) enhancing the enabling environment at the national and regional levels to attract more public and private investment in building and maintaining appropriate infrastructure, including ports, roads, transportation, electricity and power generation and information and communications technology infrastructure; (2) fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, building capacity and increasing the competitiveness and social entrepreneurship of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as encouraging inclusive and sustainable industrial development; (3) supporting national, regional and international initiatives that develop and increase the capacity and development impact of the financial services industry in small island developing States; (4) encouraging entrepreneurs to start up environmentally sound businesses through adequate and appropriate incentives; and promoting and fostering an environment conducive to increased public and private sector investment.

The Work Program 2015-2019, which was adopted by the Ministers on July 16, 2014 in preparation for the signing of the Treaty, contains similar actions to be implemented in the FSM, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

“This is not a simple coincidence that there are similitudes between our Work Program 2015-2019 and the actions identified in the Samoa Pathway; but rather, a clear indication that the three entities have a clear idea of what needs to be done in order to advance the economic and social conditions of our people, and ultimately achieve sustainable economic development. We are glad that it is being recognized and articulated in the Samoa Pathway,” Henry said.

The vision and goals pursued by the FSM, the Marshalls and Palau through the Treaty are to “endeavor toward the creation an economic ‘community’ through the promotion of sub-regional trade and economic cooperation and integration to support the achievement of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development of its Member States and improve the standard and quality of life of their People, thus contributing to the progress and development of Asia and the Pacific Region.”

The treaty was signed by Presidents Manny Mori of the FSM, Christopher Loeak of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Tommy Remengesau Jr. of the Republic of Palau on September 3 in Apai, Samoa at the margins of the 3rd International Conference for Small Islands Developing States.

8) Fish Farming Projects In RMI To Get Major U.S. Funding
$2 million from U.S. climate change response fund promised

By Giff Johnson

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, Sept. 8, 2014) – Two marine fisheries projects in the Marshall Islands are set to receive major United States government funding to expand their operations as part of a recently launched U.S. climate change response fund.

A fish farming project that has already successfully exported small numbers of fish to Hawaii as part of a pilot project will be receiving $2 million from the Pacific American Climate Fund. The fish farming project was launched by the Rongelap Atoll Local Government two years ago through its business arm, Aquaculture Technologies of the Marshall Islands.

A fish farming project in the Marshall Islands is getting a big funding boost from a U.S. climate response fund. Technicians piece together large circular cages for growing fish in Majuro Atoll’s lagoon.

“This is a big day” to thank God and Team USAid, Rongelap Mayor James Matayoshi said Friday. The Marshall Islands will now see serious expansion of fish farming, he said, adding that there was good news to report from the fish farm’s hatchery on Majuro. There is “a huge success of the work in the hatchery,” he said. “Eggs are developing and growing well. This is a historic moment for Marshall Islands.”

A black lip pearl oyster farm on remote Namdrik Atoll has received preliminary support for a $150,000 grant from the U.S. climate fund.

The Namdrik community has been producing pearls on a small scale for many years as part of a broader sustainable development initiative that includes production of virgin coconut oil and other local business activities.

These grants were officially announced last week at the Small Island Developing States summit in Samoa. The Pacific American Climate Fund was established early this year with $25 million and with a mandate to fund private sector and non-government organization projects.

Namdrik Sen. Mattlan Zackhras said Friday there is additional follow up for this U.S. grant award to Namdrik. “The award is conditional on the second phase of the review process which is a pre-award survey and negotiations to finalized the budget which is expected to be completed by October,” he said.

Marshall Islands Ambassador to Fiji Frederick Muller, who attended the SIDS summit in Apia, confirmed that U.S. officials said the grant for Rongelap is $2 million and for Namdrik, $150,000.

Ambassador Muller said others who received grants from the Pacific American Climate Fund included non-government organizations, private sector, and regional organizations, which included Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the Federated States of Micronesia in addition to the two grants for local government aquaculture initiatives in the Marshall Islands.

Marianas Variety 

9) CNMI Issues 20-Year Mining Permit For Pagan Island
Years of litigation over issuance of permit settled

By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Sept. 8, 2014) – The CNMI government issued last seek a mining permit to allow businessman John T. Sablan and his JG Sablan Rock Quarry Inc. to conduct mining on Pagan Island for 20 years, according to attorney Michael Dotts.

Dotts, counsel for Sablan and JG Sablan Rock Quarry Inc., disclosed to Saipan Tribune that on Wednesday, the new mining permit was recorded, giving JG Sablan Rock Quarry 20 years to mine on Pagan Island.

Dotts also disclosed that on Thursday, he and the CNMI government advised Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman of their settlement and the recording of the mining permit.

The lawyer said following the settlement and the recording of the permit, more than eight years of litigation in Superior Court has ended.

“JG Sablan is very pleased to have all the litigation over and to have the right to mine on Pagan Island again,” Dotts said yesterday.

Wiseman is handling over the legal action between JG Sablan and the CNMI government in the local court that began in 2006 when DPL terminated the company’s mining permit.

The parties also engaged in legal dispute in federal court arising from the mining permit issue.

The parties recently reached an agreement to settle all the lawsuits both in local and federal courts.

With the settlement, last month U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed Sablan’s and JG Sablan’s lawsuit against DPL.

Sablan and JG Sablan Rock Quarry reportedly reached a $4.8 million settlement with the CNM government.

Sablan has agreed to pay $4.8 million to the CNMI government. In exchange, the government will issue a mining permit to the company for Pagan.

The length of the permit will be for 20 years, with a $100,000 permit fee payable in 120 days from its execution.

Saipan Tribune 

10) Despite Efforts Low Performance Of RMI Students Continues
Target of 5% improvement unmet apart from eighth graders

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 8, 2014) – Results recently released reveal the performance of Marshall Islands schools in most grades has either remained the same or got worse.

That’s despite a target for academic improvement of five percent.

The Marshall Islands national student test have been released by the Minister of Education, Hilda Heine, and indicate only one of five grades tested showed significant improvement.

The Ministry analysed the test results to determine the number of students at or above their grade level, who are considered proficient.

Only eighth graders showed a 2 point 7 percent improvement in proficiency, changing from 37.5 percent in 2013 to 40.2 percent this past school year.

At the start of the this school year, Dr Heine urged public school principals and teachers to aim for a five percent improvement in all schools.

But delivery on this target continues to be hampered by hundreds of unqualified teachers in public elementary schools.

Radio New Zealand International 

FRENCH

11) L’actu calédonienne en bref de ce lundi 8 septembre 2014

Par Martin Charmasson (avec A.P)
Publié le 08/09/2014 | 10:15, mis à jour le 08/09/2014 | 12:20

L’essentiel de l’actualité en Nouvelle-Calédonie de ce lundi 8 septembre 2014.

Réunion sur le corps électoral

Le corps électoral de sortie de l’Accord de Nouméa, sera au centre d’une réunion ce lundi entre le Haut-Commissaire Vincent Bouvier et les formations politiques du territoire. Calédonie Ensemble et le MPC se sont dits favorables à l’automaticité de l’inscription des électeurs  ayant voté au référendum de 1998. Invité du journal télévisé dimanche soir, Pierre Frogier a lui répété sa défiance sur la mission Chrisnacht-Merle. Il demande à collaborer avec une personnalité politique que son mouvement aura choisie et réclame toujours la mise en place à Paris d’une structure dédiée au dossier calédonien. 

MAJ à 11 heures: l’Union Calédonienne a quitté la réunion.
 
L’union des maires?

Les associations des maires de Nouvelle-Calédonie vont-elles se regrouper ? Certains édiles le souhaitent et notamment Corine Voisin pour qui cette réunification va dans le sens de l’Accord de Nouméa. Eric Gay, le président de l’AFM n’est pas opposé à l’idée, mais il propose dans un premier temps la création d’une fédération des associations de maires avec un fonctionnement de co-présidence. L’AMNC de son côté abordera le sujet lors de son assemblée générale extraordinaire fin octobre. Une réunification permettrait de s’accorder sur les textes importants, tout en prenant en compte les spécificités des communes.

Participera, participera pas au Comité des Signataires?

Il n’est pas certain que l’Union Calédonienne prenne part au prochain Comité des Signataires les  3 et 4 octobre prochain à Paris. Le parti a demandé des assurances à la ministre des Outre-Mer sur le règlement définitif du corps électoral citoyen jugé défaillant par rapport à l’Accord de Nouméa. Il attend également du gouvernement une réponse sur les transferts de compétence de l’article 27 qu’il souhaite voir menés avant 2018.
 
Ambiance festive à Nouméa

25 000 personnes lors du Carnaval de Nouméa samedi! L’ambiance était au rendez-vous pour le défilé des 15 chars et le feu d’artifice. Un feu d’artifice qui toutefois a débuté en avance sur le programme, devant un public un peu plus clairsemé qu’à l’accoutumée. Autre manifestation : le premier dimanche en mode doux organisé par la mairie de Nouméa. Les deux roues sans moteur et les piétons étaient prioritaires sur la place des Cocotiers.http://nouvellecaledonie.la1ere.fr/
 
12) Radio Australia : Mis à jour 8 September 2014, 10:43 AEST

Caroline Lafargue 

  • Les rebelles d’al-Nusra rompu les négociations avec l’ONU. Ils ont capturé 45 casques bleus fidjiens il y a 10 jours sur le plateau du Golan.

Les rebelles syrien du front al-Nusra détiennent 45 casques bleus fidjiens depuis 10 jours, quelque part en Syrie ou sur le plateau du Golan.
Ce week-end le général Mosese Tikoitoga, chef d’état-major de l’armée fidjienne, a indiqué que les négociateurs de l’ONU tentaient de rétablir le contact avec les rebelles syriens du front al-Nusra. Les rebelles exigent de l’aide humanitaire, des compensations financières pour la mort de trois d’entre eux dans un échange de tirs avec des casques bleus, et ils demandent la suppression du front al-Nusra de la liste noire des organisations terroristes établie par l’ONU. On ignore toujours où exactement sont détenus les otages fidjiens.

  • Samoa américain: plus de 700 personnes sont infectées par le chikungunya. Les premiers cas ont été diagnostiqués en juillet. 11 malades ont été hospitalisés, mais le chikungunya n’a encore tué personne. Jusqu’à présent, le chikungunya se limitait à Tutuila, l’île principale, mais les médecins ont diagnostiqué un cas sur Ofu la semaine dernière. Les autorités demandent aux habitants des autres îles du Samoa américain de ne pas voyager à Ofu.
  • Fidji est l’un des pays au monde où le taux de suicides est le plus élevé. En 2012 il y a eu 160 suicides et tentatives ratées, et 80 pendant le premier semestre de 2013. Le problème n’est pas nouveau, mais les statistiques continuent à augmenter. Le psychiatre australien Rammohan Rao Malesu constate des progrès dans la prise en charge des patients : à Fidji désormais, chaque hôpital dispose d’une salle de prise en charge du stress, et ce nom neutre est très important, il rassure les patients, qui acceptent plus facilement de s’y rendre que d’aller dans un hôpital psychiatrique.
  • Vanuatu: le ministère de l’agriculture mène une campagne d’information sur la production du kava. En juin, des juges allemands ont décidé qu’il n’y avait aucune preuve de la toxicité du kava, les importations de kava pourraient donc recommencer en Allemagne puis dans d’autres pays européens. Le ministre de l’agriculture, David Tosul, a prévu un encadrement strict : des officiers vérifieront les cargaisons de kava dans les bateaux, d’autres officiers seront sur les quais, pour vérifier la qualité du kava.

EDUCATION

13) Institute to trial e-learning

Source:
The National, Monday September 8th, 2014

THE Papua New Guinea Education Institute (PNGEI) in the National Capital District will trial smart e-learning after it was launched by Education Secretary Dr Michael Tapo last week.
Tapo said the launching was the start of the implementation of e-learning and e-library in teachers’ colleges though out the country.
The PNGEI smart e-learning facility will be fully kitted with touch-screen, interactive white board with laptops and tablets.
Those who were at the launching witnessed a demonstration of the e-learning facility by Korean company Sungwoon International Ltd that partnered the Government to set up the facility.
Teachers who were there were excited.
Tapo said what has demonstrated by the company was a classic example of what would be rolled out in other teachers’ colleges and schools in the country.
He said that e-learning and e-library was a Government policy which was ready to be rolled out.
Once a satellite was put in place, rural schools would also have access to e-learning and e-library.
Director for PNGEI Dr Zui Neofa thanked the government and the Department of Education for allowing the institute to be the first recipient of the government school project.
“We are very proud to be the recipient of the significant donation.”

14) State focused on lifting university standards

Source:
The National, Monday September 8th, 2014

ESTABLISHING new universities, maintaining and equipping existing institutions with funding and resources are the Government’s focus areas to lift the standard and quality of the higher learning in the country, an MP says.
Higher Education Minister Malakai Tabar said that in response to the drop in the academic standards at the University of PNG’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences that was raised at the medical symposium in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, last week.
Tabar said he had raised this with his department and was talking with the universities about the issue.
“More importantly we would like to make sure we can attract professionals to teach at our universities, but if we can retain our qualified nationals to basically to be part of our programmes,” he said in  response to questions by Kandep MP Don Polye in Parliament, last Friday.
Polye asked what Tabar’s plans were to lift the standard of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the progress of the accreditation and modernisation programmes, and how the funding of over K500 million in the budget allocated for these programmes have been used.
In terms of the modernisationprogramme, Tabal said there had been some major issues with financial management.
He told Parliament there had been problems with the audit reports from universities and he had asked for audited reports from 2011 and 2012 from some of the Government-run universities.

POLITIC

15) PNG people aware of leaders’ lawbreaking, says Polye

Updated at 12:48 pm today
Papua New Guinea’s former Treasurer says people are increasingly aware about political leaders circumventing the law.

Don Polye remains on the outer of government after being sacked as Treasurer earlier this year.

However, he continues to criticise Prime Minister Peter O’Neill over various executive decisions such as taking out a controversial 1.1 billion US dollar loan without consulting parliament.

Mr Polye also continues to press Mr O’Neill to clear his name in regard to a major fraud case in which he allegedly approved illegal state payments to a law firm.

“People of this country, most of them are illiterate, but they’re not stupid. They are seeing what is happening and I think sooner or later, the people will… they’ve spoken out already… the people will make their own observations.”

Papua New Guinea’s former Treasurer, Don Polye.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/

16) Australia, PNG To ‘Reset’ Relationship With New Treaty
Shift to more ‘mature relationship’ rather than aid based development

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 4, 2014) – Australia and Papua New Guinea are planning to reset their relationship with a new treaty that aims to move the two countries onto a more even footing.

Australian MP and chairman of Canberra’s treaties committee, Wyatt Roy, says the agreement will transform the links between the two countries into a strategic economic relationship.

Mr Roy says PNG has experienced 10 years of growth and that is expected to continue.

“Essentially what it is about is moving away from a development focussed relationship between Australia and PNG – one where Australia was the aid donor and PNG Government was the aid recipient. We want to mature that relationship to one of greater economic cooperation.”

Wyatt Roy says the treaty is at the final stages of being ratified.

The treaty would mean the two countries would work together to improve trade, investment and business links.

Radio New Zealand International

17) PNG PM Kicks THE Party Out Of Governing Coalition
O’Neill criticizes party leader Polye for not supporting policies

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 7, 2014) – PNG Coalition partner THE Party has been sacked from the O’Neill Government, close to six months after its leader and Kandep MP Don Polye was decommissioned as the treasurer by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Its booting appears to be the finale in a long drawn out battle between the PM and his former minister, who continued to attack the Government and some of its major policy initiatives even while seated in the Government ranks in the National Parliament.

Mr O’Neill wrote to the Kandep MP and the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party (THE Party) to advise that his party was no longer part of the Government according to a statement from the office of the Prime Minister last night.

“We thank the members of THE Party for their support over the past two years. But we need to maintain a cohesive government and the action of THE leaders has not been in the bests interests of the nation. The Government differs with the views of THE Party and it is appropriate that we part ways,” said the PM.

This decision is in the best interest of the Government and country, Mr O’Neill added while thanking the party for contributing to the formulation of government policies including the leadership role that Mr Polye played in putting together the 2013 and 2014 budgets.

The letter was sent last Friday following consultation with other coalition partners and MPs. Attempts by the Post-Courier to contact Mr Polye last night for his comments were unsuccessful.

But the sacking of his party could affect the position of the Tambul-Nebilyer MP Benjamin Poponawa, who is currently the Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations and Wera Mori, the Vice Minister for Mining.

The Leader of Government Business, Finance Minister James Marape, has been advised of the decision and will reorganise seating arrangements in parliament to reflect the change stated the statement from the Office of the PM.

Mr Polye is likely to be seated in the Opposition bench with his member MPs Mark Maipakai (Kikori), Philip Undialu (Koroba-Lake Kopiago), Julie Soso (Eastern Highlands Regional), Mr Mori and Mr Poponawa.

PNG Post-Courier

18) Solomons PM Calls On Politicians To Prevent Election Riots
Lilo says riots during previous elections were ‘engineered’

By Jeremy Inifiri

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 6, 2014) – Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has called on politicians to stop engineering riots during the process of electing prime ministers.

Mr Lilo made the call whilst moving the sine die motion in parliament, Thursday.

Mr Lilo said that it was obvious previously riots that escalated during the election of various prime ministers including himself were engineered by several political operators.

“We do not need these kinds of attitudes or leaders who engineer riots and then go on and hide,” Mr Lilo said.

“Solomon Islands has seen such several times already, especially with the election of Prime Ministers in the past including myself.

“This needs to be stopped if we are to move forward,” Prime Minister Lilo said.

He said the country needs fair, resolute operators to lead the nation forward.

“We need to allow free, fair elections to be carried out and also free time for leaders to negotiate when choosing or deciding on the next prime minister,” he said.

The prime minister meanwhile also called on voters to choose wisely and not to be scared or intimidated in telling their candidates not to side with political operators who engineer riots.

“We need to move forward and allow democracy to prevail in the Solomon Islands,” Mr Lilo said.

Solomon Star

19) Fijians in Tonga upset at missing vote

8 September 2014
About 250 Fijians living in Tonga are upset that they have been unable to register for the upcoming general election.

Fiji Live reports a veteran Fiji journalist Iliesa Tora as saying the Fijian Elections team did not send a team to the kingdom to register them for next week’s general election.

He says it was disappointing for Fijians living in Tonga to learn that while the electronic registration teams traveled as far as Britain to register voters, they did not make a trip to Tonga.

He says they have been in contact with the Fijian Elections Office since 2012 trying to get some assistance to register to vote, but voter registration has now closed.

Fiji Live says the supervisor of elections said Tonga was not on their list, but that Fijians living in Tonga would be considered for the next election.

The total number of registered voters is 591,000.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/254023/fijians-in-tonga-upset-at-missing-vote

20) Fiji’s SODELPA cancels one of two debates

8 September 2014
A scheduled debate between Fiji’s Prime Minister and the leader of the SODELPA party on the public broadcaster has been cancelled.

Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama was to debate Ro Teimumu Kepa on Friday evening, and it was to be broadcast on Fiji Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio Fiji, One Domoiviti and Bula FM, followed by a televised debate on TV4.

However, SODELPA says there was no assurance that questions would not be vetted by FBC and the party suspects the debate would have been controlled.

A member and candidate of SODELPA, Dr Tupeni Baba, says the FM96 debate between the leaders scheduled for Sunday, will go ahead, as the questions will be taken live and direct to the politicians.

“That’s what we want – no interference in the background as to what questions. Bainimarama’s performance, even on the debate on his own constitution, he showed ignorance of certain parts and people are fired because they ask those questions, or allow those questions to be asked.”

Dr Tupeni Baba says they would be happy to have the debate if the questions are live and not vetted.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/254026/fiji’s-sodelpa-cancels-one-of-two-debates

21) Fiji Police Commissioner: Follow Rule Of Law During Election
Groenewald concerned about election-related reports during pre-polling

By Ana Madigibuli and Nasik Swami in Suva

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, Sept. 6, 2014) – Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald has warned all Fijians to exercise discretion, follow the rule of law and be mindful of their actions during this month’s general election – the first in the country since the 2006 military coup eight years ago, The Fiji Times reports.

Commissioner Groenewald said as the country was in its fourth day of pre-polling, he was concerned about the number of election-related reports that have been received from around the divisions.

“This in my view is a show of political intolerance to the election process and as of today we have received a number of reports on election related issues and as stipulated in the Electoral Decree 2014, police will conduct initial investigations before the cases are referred to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC),” he said.

Meanwhile, the latest Tebbutt-Times poll, has shown that Fiji First leader Voreqe Bainimarama’s popularity as preferred choice of Prime Minister ahead of the September 17 election has dropped – but he still leads other aspiring candidates.

According to the poll conducted between September 1-4, Bainimarama’s popularity decreased to 49 percent compared with 60 percent in the second round of the poll last month.

When asked who they preferred to see succeed as prime minister if there was an election held tomorrow, 49 percent of the 1137 survey respondents in Suva, Nasinu, Lami, Nausori, Nadi, Lautoka and Ba chose Bainimarama as their first choice.

Twenty percent chose SODELPA leader Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa as the second – an increase of 3 percent since last month.

National Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad and People’s Democractic Party (PDP) leader Felix Anthony were placed third with 2 percent of those surveyed choosing them as their preferred choice of prime minister.

Pacific Scoop
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 – pmc@aut.ac.nz

BUSINESS

22) G20 making progress

Source:
The National, Monday September 8th, 2014

CANBERRA: The G20 finance ministers meeting in Cairns will be a show-and-tell on how the group is progressing to achieve its two per cent growth target.
The forum of the world’s richest developed and developing countries struck on that commitment under the leadership of Australia’s Treasurer Joe Hockey in February.
He concedes two per cent was an ambitious target when the G20 was suffering policy fatigue after eight years of dealing with the global financial crisis and its aftermath.
“But without a combination of agreed ambition and mutual pressure very little will ever be achieved,” he said. The growth target, which aims for two per cent additional growth over the next five years, has galvanised a new spirit of co-operation across the G20. – AAP

23) Skill gap causes pay disparity

Source:
The National, Monday September 8th, 2014

THE lack of skilled workers in the local market has forced the Government to recruit from abroad, resulting in a disparity of salaries for nationals and expatriates, Public Services Minister Sir Puka Temu  says.
Sir Puka said the public service had a dual pay system which was addressed through a market allowance. “Those overseas officers that are coming to the civil service are given an international market allowance. Those professionals from Papua New Guinea who are in the same level are given a domestic market allowance,” Sir Puka said in response to Anglimp-South Waghi MP Komun Koim, who asked why there was a disparity between expatriates and nationals’ salaries.
“We are aware that there is some degree of enormous disparity. For example university lecturers are complaining very much and that was pointed out to me at the recent Goroka symposium by the professors in the medical faculty and the lecturers.
“So I’ll be taking the leadership in trying to address this complaint that is coming with regards to the disparities.
Komun asked what the Government was doing about the high rate of taxes paid by ordinary workers.
He said workers were paying more than 30% in taxes, which affected their net salaries.
“Those who are on K14-K15,000 salary package are tax free and those earning above the taxes are applied,” Sir Puka said.
“The top bracket tax is 45% at the moment and your savings and your retirement either the civil servants with the Superfund or you as leaders through the Retirement Benefits Scheme are taxed as well.”

24) Real estate promise

Ropate Valemei
Saturday, September 06, 2014

GOVERNMENT is looking forward to working with other squatter settlements in the future for proper real estate development, says Attorney-General and Minister for Local Government, Urban Development Housing and Environment Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Speaking at the launch of the 2014 Housing Expo during the Hibiscus Festival in Suva, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum had said the development would allow families to own a block of land.

“It’s not just a question of owning a property or real estate. It also gives them a sense of belonging to society and knowing that they have a place in the society,” he said.

Earlier he said the State had identified four squatter settlements that would be given a new lease of life after a deal was signed to give proper land titles to the residents.

He encouraged members of the public to build their own homes because it was healthy for Fiji’s economy.

“This year we partnered with mainstream financial institutions to be part of the whole approach to give people an opportunity to own their own homes.”Fijitimes

LAW&ORDER

25) New Solomons Police Commissioner Assumes Post
Prendergast’s focus on leadership development lauded

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 6, 2014) – Former cabinet minister, Alfred Sasako, has welcomed the new Commissioner of Police, Frank Prendergast, who formally took up his controversial appointment last Friday.

Mr Sasako said he’s pleased Mr Prendergast has identified leadership at constable level as a priority area to develop during his two-year tenure at the helm of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).

“I support fully that leadership is the key to the future of the RSIPF,” Mr Sasako said in a statement.

“That leadership, I must add starts at the top. Leadership at the top has been missing since the days of Englishman, Frank Short, who instituted a range of measures that saw a remarkable turnaround in a short time in restoring leadership, image and community respect to the RSIPF,” Mr Sasako said.

“I am so pleased that Commissioner Prendergast has identified leadership as his top priority.

“The people of Solomon Islands as his constituents are very much looking forward to the execution of the visionary leadership the Commissioner now espouses,” he said.

In exercising leadership in the RSIPF, Mr Sasako said the Commissioner must show firmness and focus, adding many before him had lost both virtues during their stint largely because of political interference.

“I urge the Commissioner to be firm and focus on the need to restore respectability to the fine police force he now commands.”

Mr Sasako said one of the areas that the new Commissioner must address is the need to put in place a mechanism that gives members of the PPF a leading role in specific areas of operations where local officers lack expertise and experience.

Salary levels of police officers also need to be addressed as a measure to counter politicisation of the RSIPF through bribery which is rife in the force.

This is an area that has given the public every reason to lose confidence in the force.

“The public believes that the RSIPF has become a security force for the rich and powerful. It should not be.

“For example, criminal cases against national politicians continue to be swept under the carpet because there is no leadership at the top to ensure alleged payment of bribes to senior police officers or investigating officers are stamped out.

“In this regard I urge Commissioner Prendergast to turn his new broom inward so that the RSIPF house is put in order and to form the basis for an extensive cleanup of the RSIPF,” Mr Sasako said.

He said the new Commissioner should never worry about community support because as soon as the police’s house is in order, the community will rally behind the RSIPF.

Solomon Star

26) Fiji Attempting To Reestablish Connections With Al-Nusra
Group holding peacekeepers hostage pulls out of UN negotiations

By Siteri Sauvakacolo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 8, 2014) – State officials are trying to re-establish communication with the al-Nusra Front to resume negotiations for the release of 45 Fijian soldiers held captive in the Golan Heights.

After the al-Nusra Front pulled out of negotiations with the UN on Friday, military commander Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga said they would seek assistance from Middle East countries it had established diplomatic ties with to secure the release of the soldiers.

The rebels want their three main demands — removal of the organisation’s name from the terrorist list, humanitarian aid and compensation for casualties they suffered on the day of the hostage-taking — met in exchange for the Fijian soldiers, who have been moved from their position by the rebels to an undisclosed location.

Brig-Gen Tikoitoga said Fiji’s inclusion in the non-aligned movement was in Fiji’s favour.

“Fiji is now a member of the nonaligned movement which does align itself to some Arab countries. And there is also our embassy being set up in the United Arab Emirates which ambassador Nair is looking after,” Brig- Gen Tikoitoga said.

“Those other ambassadors have continuously worked hard in the last couple of days, travelling from country to country seeking their support and seeking whatever pressure they can put to bear on the situation in Syria. From the Syrian Government and also those that maybe able to influence some of the rebel groups working within Syria.

“I assure you all the efforts of government and the Foreign Affairs Ministry have been brought to bear on anyone that we think can put pressure on the situation, whatever small the influence maybe, there will eventually be results.”

The RFMF is expected to provide another update on the situation today.

Fiji Times Online.

INFRASTRUCTURE

27)New terminal for domestic airline

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, September 08, 2014

FIJI Airways’ domestic subsidiary, Fiji Link, will relocate its operations to a new terminal location at the Nadi International Airport from today.

The airline said Fiji Link customers would not miss the terminal, which was a standalone building housing the Nadi airport medical centre.

In a statement yesterday, Fiji Airways managing director and CEO Stefan Pichler said the move was in line with the redesign and modernisation of the Nadi International Airport into a world-class port.

“The terminal is designed to enable improved passenger convenience with extra check-in counters, quick turnaround of aircraft, and other amenities.

“We are appreciative of AFL’s plans to create a world-class international airport, and are happy to move Fiji Link’s operations into a new space. We’re confident that the move is practical and convenient for both our customers and staff members.

“The change will allow us to provide exceptional customer service as we now have a dedicated space that’s allocated for our customers only. We’ve had exciting progresses this year with Fiji Link and as we continue to expand our fleet with our new ATR 42-600 arriving in September, destination network and customer base, we believe the move to the new terminal will fit in well with our own growth plans.”Fijitimes

28) PM opened tarsealed Naweni road

By SERAFINA SILAITOGA
Monday, September 08, 2014

Update: 11:55AM DAYS of seeing villages and the surrounding environment covered with dust is now over.

That’s how villagers of Naweni and Nagigi in Cakaudrove, Vanua Levu described the newly tarsealed road which was opened by Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama this morning.

District rep Naweni Jone Toroki, in presenting the isevusevu (traditional Fijian welcome ceremony), thanked the government for facilitating the development.

He said the people of Buca Bay and those living along the corridor would be forever grateful to the government of the day.Fijitimes

29) Highway work nears completion

Salaseini Moceiwai
Monday, September 08, 2014

WORK on the Buca Bay highway in Cakaudrove is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Fiji Roads Authority CEO Neil Cook said phase one of the project was nearing completion and officials were planning a celebratory event.

“Phase one is expected to be completed sometime soon but as for the whole project, we expect to finish it by the end of the year,” he said.

“We are planning something for the completion of the phase one roadwork and as of today, the overall project is progressing really well.”

Government had allocated $90million for the project.

Cakaudrove villager Sairusi Biliraki, who lives near Salt Lake Rd, said travelling by bus to Savusavu Town was now faster.Fijitimes

REFUGEE

30) Refugee advocate says opposition to off-shore centres growing

Updated at 11:05 am today
The Refugee Action Coalition in Australia says the death of another asylum seeker is fuelling growing opposition to detaining refugees in off-shore detention centres.

24 year-old Hamid Kehazaei was medivacced from Manus Island to Brisbane last week suffering from septicaemia.

He suffered a heart attack and was later declared brain dead.

Mr Kehazaei is the second person from Manus to die this year, in February Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati was allegedly beaten to death by a group of guards.

The coalition’s Ian Rintoul says its petition calling for the closure of the centre has now attracted over 86,000 signatures.

“It is an indication of the way in which first Reza Barati’s death and now Hamid’s death has really fuelled the concern in the Australian community. The petition is just one example of that. There have been vigils called to pay respects to Hamid and to call for the closure of Manus Island and there are more protests being planned.”

Refugee Action Coalition’s, Ian Rintoul.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/254014/refugee-advocate-says-opposition-to-off-shore-centres-growing

SPORT

31) PNG needs exposure

Source:
The National, Monday September 8th, 2014

By HENRY MORABANG
PAPUA New Guinea needs to play more international soccer matches in order to be competitive according to men’s assistant coach Reginald Davani.
PNG lost 2-1 to Singapore in an international friendly on Saturday but head coach Wynton Ruffer was pleased with the performance.
“This was the first time the two countries have met and played each other at this international level,” Davani said.
Singapore is ranked 48 places above PNG in the FIFA world ranking and is the current South-East Asia champion.
PNG started the game strongly and probably could have won had Tommy Sammy scored in the second minute.
PNG created their best chance through Sammy but he could not find the net.
The team captained by David Muta had few opportunities as the home side enjoyed most of the possession.
Singapore scored through Sahil Suhaimi in the 17th minute after he beat three half-hearted defenders before shooting past PNG goalkeeper Francis Warsin for a 1-0 lead.
The game did not reach any great heights until Fazrul Nawaz scored off a Shahfiq Ghani cross for the Singaporeans to go 2-0 up.
PNG were goaded into action after that and lifted noticeably and held the SE Asia champions to go in at halftime without conceding another goal.
Raymond Gunemba gave the visitors the best start in the second half with a well-taken goal in the 55th minute to get PNG on the board 2-1.
Australia-born Brad McDonald made an impact when he came on as replacement, setting up Gunemba, who rifled the ball past Singapore goalkeeper Hazzan Sunny.
Rufer’s men could have drawn level and even edged ahead but a combination of control and inexperience saw them miss several chances.
Davani said although the side lost the game, the experience they got was invaluable.

32) A star in the making

Maciu Malo
Monday, September 08, 2014

EXPECT the rise of a new Fijan rugby star in the French Top 14 rugby competition soon, says former dual international Mesake Navugona.

While big names such as Napolioni Nalaga, Metuisela Talebula, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Jo Rokocoko, Waisea Nayacalevu, Sireli Bobo, Timoci Nagusa and the likes are hitting rugby headlines in Europe, Navugona is tipping the Bordeaux-Bègles new Fijian signing Jona Turavu as the player to watch for in the future.

The 21-year-old utility backline joined his cousin and Flying Fijian fullback Talebula in France last week to pursue his rugby career.

Like Talebula and former Fiji 7s playmaker Joji Ragamate, the new Fijian signing is a product of the Islands Electric Lautoka Crushers rugby league development program.

Navugona said Turavu started playing rugby league from the under 12-grade rightup to senior level.

He said the multi-talented player also played soccer in the Lautoka Football weekly club games and later made his name in rugby union for Natabua and Lautoka rugby teams.

Navugona said the Kadavu native would be a perfect player needed by any coach.

“I had known Jona during his early rugby league playing days for the U12-grade,” he said.

“He is a good listener and all-rounder and I am confident he has a long way to go.

“Jona is a good package for rugby, the built, the strength, the speed and the kicking skills.

“He just needs good and professional coaching and with Metui on his side, this boy will make it big time in French rugby.”

Turavu was only 17-year-old when he featured alongside Talebula, Ragamate and current national 7s rep Jasa Veremalua in the Natabua 7s team that scooped many major local 7s titles a few years ago.

He made his debut for Lautoka rugby at the age of 19 but was later dropped from the team this year before newly appointed coach Sireli Bulicokocoko brought him back for the last Skipper Cup game against Nadi.

Navugona said on most occasions Turavu played rugby union and league on Saturdays and later featured for competitive soccer on Sundays.Fijitimes

33) Ian Foster praises Savea’s perfomance as he tames the Pumas

Aap
Monday, September 08, 2014

NAPIER, New Zealand – One would expect a player who has scored 26 tries in 25 Tests to know how many times he has dotted down.

Not Julian Savea.

The powerhouse winger crossed the stripe twice in the All Blacks’ 28-9 win over Argentina on a sodden McLean Park, but had to be told post-match how many career five-pointers he has chalked up.

“I honestly don’t know but now I do. It’s awesome I guess. I’m just there finishing things off after the boys put in the work,” the 24-year-old said.

But it was other aspects of his game that had assistant coach Ian Foster lauding the effort of the 106kg flyer, who now has seven tries in five games against the Pumas.

“It’s really the other stuff that’s impressing us his kick and chase game and his defence has improved dramatically and the last few games he’s playing at the top of his game,” the All Blacks’ assistant coach said.

Savea’s brace and further tries to Liam Messam and Aaron Smith, while also keeping the Pumas from crossing the line, helped the All Blacks notch a bonus point win.

“It took a very good defensive effort to keep them tryless,” coach Steve Hansen said.

Argentina had what appeared to be a fair try to No. 8 Leonardo Senatore ruled out for a knock on that only French referee Pascal Gauzere spotted.

The converted try would have taken the Pumas to within five points of the hosts, but Argentina captain Agustin Creevy played it down after the match.

“There are things that happen in a game. Unfortunately the referee didn’t see it,” he said.

In steady drizzle, the hosts resorted to launching bombs and grubber kicks after failing to find a way through a resolute defensive line and their kicking game won the praise of coach Daniel Hourcade.

“A lot of people talk about the All Blacks moving the ball, but I think they are also the best team in the world in terms of kicking and perhaps that was the difference between the teams,” he said.

The victory leaves New Zealand on top of the Rugby Championship table with 12 points after South Africa lost 24-23 to a last gasp Wallabies try in Perth.

34) Scott fails third round at the BMW championship

Aap
Monday, September 08, 2014

DENVER, Colorado – Adam Scott has failed to make a move early in the third round of the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club, leaving the Australian tilt floundering in the penultimate US PGA tour playoff event.

After positioning himself for a potential charge with a four-under 66 in round two leaving him just five off the lead at three-under, world No.2 Scott is two-over at the turn in his third round.

He has dropped back to one-under for the tournament, tied 16th and a distant seven shots off the lead shared by Spain’s Sergio Garcia and American Ryan Palmer.

Playing together in the final group, Garcia is even through his first six holes while Palmer is one-under, leaving the pair at eight-under for the tournament.

World No.1 Rory McIlroy is still lurking with intent in a tie for third with American Billy Horschel just one shot behind at seven under.

Scott had a short putt for birdie on the opening hole but watched his effort power lip out of the cup, perhaps a sign of things to come.

He failed to take advantage of a booming drive down the second, again settling for par before making a mess of the drivable par-four third.

The Queenslander pulled his drive left into trees, compounded the error by chipping into a trunk and having the ball end up behind him, before struggling further to a double bogey six.

The 34-year-old birdied the fifth hole but bogeyed the ninth to be back-pedalling fast.

John Senden sits even par and tied 21st as the next best Australian while Stuart Appleby (+1), Marc Leishman (+2), Geoff Ogilvy (+2), Matt Jones (+7) and Steven Bowditch (+10) continue to struggle.

Jason Day withdrew with a back injury during the second round.

35) Australia dominate Oceania Tennis Champs

8 September 2014

Australia swept all before them at the Oceania Tennis Championships in Cairns, taking out the men’s and women’s titles in both singles and doubles.

Adam Alessandrini won the men’s singles title, beating Vanuatu’s Samuel Journet 6-3 6-0 in the final.

Helen Parsons beat New Caledonia’s Elodie Launay 7-5 6-1 in the women’s final before teaming up with Nicole Sewell in the doubles to beat Launay and Lindsey Moto in straight sets.

Alessandrini also backed up in the doubles with compatriot Andrew Tavella, with the duo too strong for Vanuatu’s Journet and Aymeric Mara.

Earlier in the tournament Australia and New Caledonia won the men’s and women’s teams competition.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/

36) Samoa Rugby Union to make major announcement

8 September 2014
The Samoa Rugby Union is hosting a media conference in Auckland on Monday, where a major announcement will be made about the Manu Samoa team.

SRU officials and a number of former Manu Samoa internationals will be in attendance.

The Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, confirmed in July that New Zealand had accepted the Union’s invitation to play in Apia on July the 8th next year.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/

www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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