Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1019

MELANESIA

1) West Papua Freedom Fighter Buried In Vanuatu
Dr. Ondawame’s funeral attend by PM, Opposition leader

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 12, 2014) – The body of one of West Papua’s most prominent freedom fighters, John Ondawame, was buried in Port Vila Thursday afternoon.

Dr Ondawame, who has been living in Vanuatu, died last week.

Both Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Joe Natuman and the Opposition Leader, Moana Carcasses, referred to him as a freedom fighter for West Papua when they paid their last respects at the funeral service.

They say his death is a great loss for the people of West Papua but his struggle has been taken up by Vanuatu as it aims to help the push to self determination.

Radio New Zealand International 

2) Australia apologises to Solomons Deputy PM

11 September 2014
The Australian Government has apologised to the Solomon Islands Deputy Prime Minister after its customs and immigration officers subjected him to a body search at Brisbane International airport last week.

Manaseh Maelanga was returning from the Small Island Developing States conference in Samoa when the incident occurred.

Mr Maelanga has accepted the apology but asks that Australia reciprocate the hospitality its leaders recieve when visiting the islands.

“This is something for the future, I think it is good for countries to respect leaders from other countries. When a leader comes over there, treat them like they are a leader. Where they have to go through certain protocols like VIP’s and not being searched and all of this.”

Manaseh Maelanga

In recent years, Prime Ministers of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and PNG have also been subject to body searches at airports in Australia despite the normal protocol accorded to national leaders.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

3) Fijian Peacekeepers Held Hostage In Syria Released
45 ‘heroes’ will get rest before returning to duty


By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 12, 2014) – The 45 Fijian soldiers held captive by an al-Qaida affiliated Syrian rebel group – the al-Nusra front in the Golan Heights have been released.

This was confirmed by Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama in a press briefing this morning.

He labelled the soldiers as heroes.

The soldiers were released safe and unharmed last night about 11.50pm (Fiji time) at the Quneitra crossing point in the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan Heights.

Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama says the 45 are now safely back in a United Nations compound.

“They are all healthy, they are in high spirits and they will soon be in contact with their families and loved ones here in Fiji,” he said.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the men would be debriefed and deserve a period of rest before they return to their duties.

“I know all Fijians join me in feeling a great sense of relief and joy, as well as a deep appreciation for all those who had a hand in securing their safe release, including the skilled group of UN negotiators and our superb team in New York and Suva, who worked constantly behind the scenes to produce this outcome. As a nation, we thank you.

“These 45 men are heroes. They kept their cool and showed restraint under the most extreme circumstances imaginable. Because of their discipline, not one militant was killed and none of our soldiers were harmed. They upheld the integrity of UN peacekeeping and as a result have strengthened Fiji’s reputation in the international community.”

Fiji Times Online.

4) Calls for Buka landowners to unite

11 September 2014
The Chief Administrator of the Papua New Guinea area of Bougainville says a split among local landowners may have led to the closing of Buka Airport this week.

A group from Ieta, Village occupied the runway and sent a message to the authorities of the airport’s closure on Tuesday.

The occupation was against the wishes of a rival faction of landowners.

Chris Siriosi negotiated an agreement to reopen the airport and he says they want to know that compensation for the land is coming.

The PNG and Bougainville governments have been given two weeks to prove that over 2-million US dollars is available.

But Mr Siriosi says the money will only be given to one united group.

“Our commitment is for us to make the money available. Now it’s a matter for them to unite. We may have to enlist the help of other regions of Bougainville to work with the chiefs of the village and their landowners to try and unite, using both custom and common sense.”

The Chief Administrator of Bougainville, Chris Siriosi.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

5) Vanuatu MP warns against government deporting foreigners

12 September 2014

A Vanuatu opposition MP has warned that the government’s deportation of foreigners could backfire against the country.

Last week, the government deported an Australian lawyer, Robert Herd, amid allegations he was involved in funding a no confidence motion against the Prime Minister, Joe Natuman.

An MP, Christophe Emelee, says Mr Natuman is happy to deport foreigners based on allegations they are involved in internal affairs when it negatively impacts his Vanuaku Party.

But he says that’s unlikely to be the case when the current opposition is in power again.

Mr Emelee says it is publicly known there are foreign investors helping the Vanuaku Party.

He says Vanuatu needs investors and if the country starts deporting them, it could cost millions if the foreigners challenge their deportation in court.

He says it will also lose revenue from taxes paid by foreigners, and may have to tax small ni-Vanuatu business people.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

6) French national has Vanuatu citizenship revoked

12 September 2014
A political advisor for the government of the former Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, French national Gilles Daniel, has had his Vanuatu citizenship revoked.

Mr Daniel has already been deported from Vanuatu in 2005, but challenged his deportation, with the court ruling in his favour.

The secretary of the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission, John Enock Ware, has confirmed that the commission has revoked Mr Daniel’s citizenship certificate because it was fraudulently obtained.

But Gilles Daniel, who is a close friend of Mr Carcasses, says the decision is a big mistake and unfair, and it’s clear the revocation has something to do with the current political instability.

“Our big people here, our VIP here, our leaders here, I think, I believe, are on the wrong road thinking that a simple man like me is behind the political instability. Or thinking that’s some other investor, I think that they are not pointing the finger at the right person.”

Gilles Daniel says he’s contacted his lawyer, but he will comply with what the government of the day wants him to do, and is ready to leave Vanuatu if he has to.

Last week, an Australian lawyer, Robert Herd, was deported amid allegations he was involved in funding a no confidence motion against the Prime Minister Joe Natuman.

And this week, a Chinese businessman who was Vanuatu’s Deputy ambassador in Beijing under the Carcasses government, Ruihua Yau, had his citizenship revoked, and has been declared stateless.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

7) Vanuatu daily news digest | 12 September 2014

by bobmakin

  • All daily media have covered the funeral of the late Dr John Otto Ondawame yesterday in Port Vila which was attended by many leaders. Sincere tributes were paid to the West Papuan freedom fighter, resident for a number of years in Port Vila, for his attempts to secure self-determination for his countrymen. The Vanuatu capital is to be the location of an up-coming forum of all the freedom movements for West Papua in the near future. Ondawame’s role in that event would have been of great importance. He will be sadly missed by his wantoks.
  • The Transparency page in Daily Post today reports the review of Vanuatu’s adherence to the UN Convention Against Corruption and the 2-day workshop which has followed the Vanuatu review. Mark Bebe of the Ministry of Justice pointed out Vanuatu’s failures in areas of accountability enabling corrupt leaders to get voted back in to Parliament. We can all think of many. Transparency Vanuatu also hoped to strengthen accountability in this regard. John Ezra of the PM’s Office noted how corruption continually transforms itself in Vanuatu. It was said the government must draft an anti-corruption policy and legislation and strengthen the Ombudsman’s Act. The Transparency page also reminded readers of the politicization of the Electoral Office as spelled out in the Vanuatu National Integrity System (NIS).
  • Registration of commercial seagoing vessels of 10 metres in length is now requiredunder amendments to the Shipping Act, now in force following the gazetting of amendments to that Act this month. The Daily Post article points out that vessels now required to register must also report any damage caused to or suffered by that vessel.
  • VBTC News this morning has the government ready to start work on Olal airport in Ambrym next year. Decisions over land ownership remain with the chiefs, and otherwise government’s plans in the matter will soon be finalised by the Development Committee of Officials (DCO) and Council of Ministers (CoM).
  • Waste management is being taken up in new and imaginative ways by Luganville eco-tourism businesses. A TVET workshop was held for personnel concerned and went to destinations as far away from the Canal as Port Olry, Daily Post said, where serious composting was studied.
  • Australia, Kiwanis, Air Vanuatu and Au Bon Marché have united to assist wheelchair access for the disabled in Vanuatu, Post reports.

8) Vanuatu daily news digest | 11 September 2014

by bobmakin

  • Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma pointed out to Prime Minister Natuman in Apia (at the UN Small Island Developing States forum) that for Vanuatu to host CHOGM in 2017 there are likely to be some 50 heads of government or state present in this country. A task force is being appointed, the PM told Radio Vanuatu News. PM Natuman was also reported by Daily Post to have commended the Vanuatu delegation to the UN SIDS Forum for “acknowledging the many challenges relating to financing sustainable development initiatives.” Vanuatu is said to be on a path towards accreditation as a National Implementing Entity (NIE) as regards climate change finance.
  • Daily Post broke the news this morning (taken up by VBTC at noon) that former prime ministerial political appointee Gilles Daniel has had his citizenship revoked. The Citizenship Commission said Daniel’s citizenship was granted in a fraudulent manner. When there is one there are likely to be others.
  • Post also found extensive forgery and misappropriation in the Vanuatu National Training Council (VNTC). A middle-aged woman is in court entering pleas in relation to an amazing 169 charges before the Chief Justice. The charges relate to some 7 million vatu mis-used. Could this be why in our last bulletin (Tuesday) we reported that the Vanuatu Qualifications Authority (VQA) will replace the VNTC? The VNTC bankrupt?? Is this why there was such difficulty finding the total required for scholarships for this year???
  • Government announced yesterday in Daily Post that the Council of Ministers (CoM) has endorsed the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the loss of four lives with the landing craft MGY disaster off Lelepa.
  • Post also said 23 applications had been received for the Head of State position to be decided next Wednesday. And that paper pointed out that three political advisers in the Health Ministry were terminated for their action in representing an Opposition MP in the discussions for the motion of no confidence against the present government.

POLYNESIA

9) Typhoid cases confirmed in Tonga

 11 September 2014

Health officials in Tonga have called for public caution after confirming 3 cases of typhoid.

Radio Tonga reports a senior medical scientist at Vaiola Hospital, Stanley Hoko, has confirmed the presence of typhoid.

He says the bacteria that causes typhoid can spread quickly if efforts are not made to control it.

Mr Hoko has urged the public to follow good hygiene rules, including ensuring food and drinking water are safe and clean for consumption.Radio new Zealand International

10) Two more Tahiti candidates in French Senate race

12 September 2014
French Polynesia’s pro-independence opposition has named its candidates for the election of the territory’s two seats in the French Senate.

They are Tauhiti Nena and Richard Tuheiava, who has held one of the two seats for the past six years.

The ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira earlier chose its two candidates for the election in two weeks.

They are Teura Iriti and Vincent Dubois, who is a son-in-law of the veteran politician, Gaston Flosse.

A week ago, Flosse was given notice of his conviction for corruption and moves are foot to strip him of his office despite his term ending at the end of the month.

The two Tahoeraa candidates are widely tipped to be successful because the party dominates the electoral college tasked with choosing the Senators.Radio New Zealand International

11) Immigration Amnesty Bill Goes To Am. Samoa Governor
Over 4,000 foreigners in territory to benefit from law

By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Sept. 11, 2014) – The Senate version of the Amnesty Bill will now go to the governor to be signed into law after the House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill yesterday in regular session.

This bill establishes the opportunity to grant immigration amnesty to foreigners who are physically present in American Samoa without current lawful immigration status, as well as to those who are lawfully in the territory but subject to specific numerical limitations on their registration by country.

The bill allows more than 2,400 foreign nationals who registered during the recent amnesty campaign to reside legally in the territory and also includes just over 1,000 people lawfully present and already in the Immigration Board queue awaiting their quota to become available. The total number of foreigners to be allowed under the proposed amendment to current law stands at 4,111.

According to the approved measure the territory has a large number of undocumented foreigners currently residing here, and a large backlog of foreigners who have applied to legally reside in American Samoa.

However, due to the American Samoa Code Annotated, the numerical limitation of the law has reached its limit. Furthermore the growing numbers of foreigners have an impact on the local economy, infrastructure, natural resources and government services, putting pressure on the ability of American Samoans and other legal residents to enjoy and fully access these resources.

“If this problem is not corrected it will continue to grow becoming in the future ever more difficult to rectify” says the bill. “As part of the a comprehensive overall plan for the immigration reform in the territory it is in the best interest of the territory to provide deceiving undocumented aliens with the onetime opportunity to become lawful and productive members of society.” The proposed bill seeks to amend the quota for foreign nationals in order to make them legal residents.

THE NUMBERS

By country, the amnesty bill states that there are 2,845 from Samoa; 457 from Tonga; Philippines have 446; Tuvalu 9; Fiji 101; China 19; New Zealand 19; Korea 12; Taiwan 6; Australia 8; Chile 6; Costa Rica 6; Germany 8; Indonesia 9, Micronesia 6; Panama 7; Papua New Guinea 6; Peru 6; Portuguese 7; Romania 7; Singapore 6; Solomon Islands 8; Great Britain and Northern Ireland 6; Uruguay 6; Vanuatu 9 and 17 from Vietnam.

During the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale said the immigration amnesty bill is the first step by the Lolo Administration towards immigration reform, as the governor’s office will in the future submit appropriate legislation to fix any current immigration law “loopholes” which allow more foreigners to stay in the territory than necessary under the annual immigration quota.

Talauega also says that the Immigration Office — as a newly implemented policy — no longer accepts deposits toward bonds for foreigners awaiting their paperwork to go through the Immigration board when the quota for the year is already closed.

He said some of these individuals referred to in the bill are getting government services, but are not paying taxes. Additionally, there are others who are paying taxes — especially those who are already on the Immigration Board queue — but their status is not legal.

Talauega says he is sure that there are also foreigners who didn’t come forth to register during the amnesty registration campaign and that the proposed quota increase is only for fiscal year 2015 which begins Oct. 1, 2014. He also made clear that not all people who registered in the amnesty campaign and put their names on the list will be accepted.

For example, individuals with criminal backgrounds are not accepted, he said, adding that American Samoa doesn’t need these types of individuals. All those who registered will go thru the Immigration Board for the required board hearing and each individual must have the required sponsor, he said.

The Samoa News

12) Equipment For Renewable Energy Project In Northern Cooks Arrives
$16.8 million project to install solar-diesel hybrid power stations


RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Sept. 11, 2014) – Construction associated with a $20.5 million [US$16.8 million] renewable energy project for six islands in the Northern Group is about to begin after the arrival of equipment and materials from New Zealand yesterday.

Prime Minister Henry Puna and New Zealand High Commissioner Joanna Kempkers were on hand at Avatiu Port yesterday morning to inspect the equipment prior to its next journey – the remote islands of Rakahanga and Pukapuka.

The equipment had recently been unloaded from the Tiare Moana for quarantine purposes before being re-loaded back on to the vessel, where it will head over 1000 kilometres north to the islands.

Known as Te Huira Natura ki Tokerau – ‘Natural Energy to the North’ – the project will see eight solar-diesel hybrid power systems installed on Penrhyn, Manihiki, Rakahanga, Pukapuka, Nassau, and Palmerston.

The equipment and material unloaded yesterday will be used to complete civil construction work on Rakahanga and Pukapuka. Included are Hyundai diggers and JX70 tractors, which will be used to dig trenches for the electricity network and to carry equipment around the island.

Gravel is also on board the ship to make concrete and to build the foundations for the new powerhouses.

After discharging the equipment and material on the two islands, the Tiare Moana will return to Auckland to pick up the next load.

A second voyage is planned for October and November and will bring the solar electrical equipment for the Pukapuka and Rakahanga systems, along with more diggers, tractors, and other civil and building materials for Palmerston and Nassau.

A third voyage is scheduled for later in the year to deliver solar equipment for Palmerston and Nassau.

Additional material and solar equipment will be dropped off in Manihiki and Penrhyn.

The renewable energy systems are designed to provide around 95 per cent renewable energy across the year, with a diesel generator back-up in case there isn’t enough sun to recharge the batteries, reads a release issued by the New Zealand High Commission.

The project is funded by the New Zealand Government through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) as part of the European Union/ New Zealand Energy Access Partnership.

As well as the construction and installation of the power systems, the project includes the upgrading existing power networks on Rakahanga, Nassau, and Palmerston, and the installation of a new power network on Pukapuka.

A further component of the project, funded by the Cook Islands Government, includes the installations of new electrical wiring in most of the households on most of the islands for compatibility with the new generation and network systems.

“Te Huira Natura ki Tokerau will provide affordable and reliable electricity through solar power, to all the households in the Northern Group,” reads the release.

“In essence what this project does is change the fuel source for electricity from 100 per cent diesel, to 5 per cent diesel and 95 per cent solar. The same appliances can be used as before, as the type of electricity is the same.

The new electricity systems will be more reliable than the previous ones as they are low-maintenance and do not require the diesel generator as often.

Currently the diesel generators in the Northern Group are only run for a few hours each day, but Te Huira Natura ki Tokerau is expected to provide reliable electricity supply 24 hours a day.

“Even though the system uses solar power, the electricity will not be free. Staff need to be paid, diesel needs to be bought (even if only a little), maintenance needs to be done, and expensive equipment to generation and distribute the power needs to be replaced.

The sun is free but the equipment and operation and maintenance staff aren’t.”

Work is expected to commence in the middle of the month.

Cook Islands News

MICRONESIA

13) Guam Telecom Joins Consortium Building SE Asia-U.S. Cable Link
$250 million project to lay 10,000 mile undersea fiber-optic cable

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Dalenoy

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Sept. 12, 2014) – Guam-based GTA has joined a consortium of global communications companies that’s building a $250 million undersea cable system linking Southeast Asia and the U.S. mainland — via Guam and Hawaii.

The undersea fiber-optic cable will span close to 10,000 miles, the consortium said in a statement.

Known as the SEA-U.S. submarine cable system, it will link Manado, Indonesia; Davao, in the Philippines; Piti, Guam; Oahu, Hawaii; and Los Angeles.

The system will avoid earthquake-prone areas in East Asia, helping to ensure stable connectivity, the consortium announced. The consortium members signed the agreement on Aug. 28 in Indonesia.

Future growth

GTA’s participation in the consortium allows it to have the capacity it will need for future growth as more customers demand faster online connection, watch more videos online, surf more and connect with friends and family online.

Besides meeting future demand locally, GTA’s involvement with the consortium elevates its profile as a co-player in the operation of what will be a major undersea cable network between Southeast Asia and the U.S. mainland, GTA officials said.

“We are partners with big, giant companies, … that’s pretty exciting,” said Roland Certeza, executive vice president for sales and marketing at GTA.

The consortium’s partners include the Philippines’ Globe Telecom; Telekomunikasi Indonesia International, or Telin; U.S.-based RAM Telecom International and Hawaiian Telcom.

Japan-based NEC Corp. will supply the cable system, the consortium stated in a press release.

GTA is a private equity firm and its total investment in the consortium’s project is undisclosed.

GTA is a small player in the consortium, Certeza said. Still, GTA sees its role, considering Guam’s strategic location as a transit point of undersea cable connections between the U.S. and Asia, as valuable to the partnership.

“Guam is a strategic location in the Pacific, which allows GTA to successfully connect the Asia-Pacific region to the United States,” said Robert Haulbrook, CEO and president of GTA. “GTA’s expansive and redundant network enables secure interconnectivity to other cables, increasing Guam’s importance to future cable builds,” Haulbrook said.

Diversity

The SEA-U.S. cable also adds diversity to choices for undersea cable connection between the U.S. and Asia, especially for businesses and governments that want to add redundant pipelines for the flow of their communication and information between the U.S. and Asia.

The need for additional systems was illustrated by an Internet outage in 2001, when the U.S.-China undersea cable broke and caused Internet outages, including on Guam, Pacific Daily News files show.

“The SEA-U.S. Cable will provide much needed Asia-U.S. connectivity and will be the fastest cable connecting Southeast Asia with the United States,” said Russ Matulich, chief executive officer of RTI. “It provides essential route diversity from the North Pacific and taps into the strong economic growth of more than 1.5 billion businesses and consumers who are internet-savvy and data-hungry.”

When completed in the fourth quarter of 2016, the cable system will cater to the exponential growth of bandwidth demand between both Southeast Asia and the U.S. mainland, the consortium stated.

U.S.-based AT&T and India’s Tata Group also own separate undersea cable systems that transit through Guam.

Pacific Daily News 

AUSTRALIA 

14a) Terrorism threat: Australian alert level raised to high; terrorist attack ‘likely’ but not imminent


Updated 12 September 2014, 14:23 AEST
By political correspondent Emma Griffiths

Australia’s terrorist alert level has been raised to high, meaning the risk of an attack is likely.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the increased threat level at a press conference in Melbourne.

It takes the level from medium, when an attack “could” happen, but stops short of the highest warning level of extreme, when an attack is “imminent”.

Mr Abbott said the Government has “no specific intelligence” of a plot to mount a terrorist attack.

“What we do have is intelligence that there are people with the intent and the capability to mount attacks,” he said.

He said security agencies had recommended the increased threat level because of the number of Australians “fighting with and supporting” terrorist groups in the Middle East.

The move is likely to trigger increased security and a bigger police presence at upcoming football finals and other large public events.

But Mr Abbott said most Australians will not feel any difference in “daily life”.

“What people will probably notice though is more security at airports, more security at ports, more security at military bases, more security at government buildings, and more security at large public events,” he said.

A “modest” public awareness campaign will be launched in the coming weeks and the Prime Minister has urged people to report any concerning activity to the national security hotline – 1800 123 400.

On Tuesday, ASIO’s Director-General David Irvine said he was actively considering raising the alert from “medium” to “high” because of the involvement of Australians in the Middle East war zone.

Victoria’s police chief has also said he has “legitimate concerns” about an increased risk of attack.

Late last month the United Kingdom raised its alert from “substantial” to “severe”, meaning that the threat of an attack was rated “highly likely”.

It is the first time Australia’s alert level has moved up from medium in more than a decade.

In 2002, the Government issued a general warning of a credible threat to mainland Australia by Al Qaeda.

Since 2003, Australia’s national terrorism public alert system has had four levels:

Low – terrorist attack is not expected
Medium – terrorist attack could occur
High – terrorist attack is likely
Extreme – terrorist attack is imminent or has occurred

The current four-tier system replaced a three-level system.

The national terror alert level is raised on advice from the ASIO chief.

Mr Irvine is in his last week in the job and will soon hand over the reins to former special forces chief, senior diplomat and Defence department secretary Duncan Lewis.Radio Australia

14b) Battle of Bita Paka: Australia commemorates first military engagement of World War I in Papua New Guinea


Updated 12 September 2014, 11:34 AEST
By Pacific Affairs reporter Liam Fox, staff

Commemorations have taken place in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, to mark Australia’s first significantmilitary engagement of World War I, 100 years ago.

On September 11, 1914, Britain tasked Australia and New Zealand with “a great and urgent and imperial service” to destroy German radio and re-fuelling stations in Germany’s Pacific territories, which posed a serious threat to merchant shipping in the region.

Six Australians were killed in the Battle of Bita Paka after encountering a force of German and Melanesian policemen in East New Britain, PNG.

Among those at the commemorations were brothers Brendan and Liam O’Connor whose grandfather, John O’Connor, fought at Bita Paka.

“I think our grandfather would have been bowled over by it. He wouldn’t have expected it,” Liam said.

During the service, two students from Shore school in Sydney, Hugo Mactier and Ted McLennan, placed crosses at the foot of the memorial to the fallen diggers.

“One of the men who died [was] a Shore old boy and we’re just here representing the school and that’s a significant moment for us,” Hugo said.

The stations were transmitting signals to the German East Asian Cruiser Squadron, a link Australia wanted broken before troopships started leaving for Europe and the Middle East.

The wireless stations were destroyed, allowing those troopship convoys to leave Australia largely unhindered.

Australia remembers men killed in the battle

Senator Michael Ronaldson, Australia’s Minister for Veterans Affairs, delivered the commemorative address and said it was a shame more Australians were not aware of Australia’s first WWI campaign in the Pacific.

“Those who came ashore here 100 years ago today could not have imagined the horror of war,” he said.

“The six Australians who died here did not die in vain. The service, the sacrifice was in defence of values that they held dear.

“Today we mark the centenary of Australia’s first campaign of the First World War and remember in particular those six men. They fell in a brief but bitter encounter at Bita Paka at the beginning of the campaign.”

Papua New Guinea’s deputy prime minister, Leo Deon, said he hoped the soldiers who had been killed had found peace in PNG soil.

Today’s commemoration was one of a series of events being held in and around Rabaul on the island of New Britain this week.

Yesterday, a service was held on board the minehunter HMAS Yarra in the waters off Rabaul to honour the 35 men who disappeared along with Australia’s first submarine AE1.

The submarine vanished without trace days after the Battle of Bita Paka and no sign has been found since.

The Australians killed at Bita Paka were the first of 60,000 killed during The Great War. More than 450 Australians are buried in PNG.

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

TOK PISIN

15) Vanuatu i rausim ol forena husat i wok agensim gavman

Updated 12 September 2014, 14:20 AEST
Sam Seke

Vanuatu gavman i rausim pinis wanpela forena na i tok em i no laspela bai ol i dipotim long kantri.

Praim Minista Joe Natuman blong Vanuatu (Credit: ABC licensed) 
Odio: Niusman long Port Vila, Hilaire Bule i toktok
Gavman blong Vanuatu itok bai em i gohet long dipotim na kanselim citizenship blong ol forena husat i gohet long wok agensim gavman oa citizenship blong ol ino stret aninit long loa.
 
Gavman blong Praim Minista Joe Natuman ibin diportim pinis Australian lawyer Robert Herd long las wik, maski em i tok long kisim gavman long kot long ol i rong long diportim em.
 
Na gavman i rausim tu Vanuatu citizenship blong wanpela Franis man, Gilles Daniel husat ibin wok olsem politikol advaisa blong praim minista bipo, Moana Carcasses.
 
Gavman ibin dipotim pinis Mr Daniel long 2005, tasol em i salensim long kot na em ibin win na gavman i peim em bikpela moni.
 
Niusman long Port Vila, Hilaire Bule i ripot olsem Praim Minista Natuman ibin itok gavman blongen bai gohet long rausim ol forena husat i involv long lokol politik.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

16) Ol Solomon meri i gat bikpela hop long win long 2014 nasinol ileksen

Updated 12 September 2014, 15:13 AEST
Sam Seke

Women in Leadership ofis blong Solomon Islands igat bikpela hop olsem sampela meri bai win long Solomon Islands nasinol ileksen long dispela yar.
Odio: Casper Fa’asala, Desk Ofisa long Women in Leadership long NCW i toktok
Women in Leadership ofis blong Solomon Islands Natioinal Council of Women i tok ol i redim pinis 25-pela meri husat bai sanap olsem kandidet long Nasenal General Ileksan blong kantri long pinis blong dispela yar.
 
Maski sampela meri ibin sanap long nasenal ileksan, tupela meri tasol ibin kamap Memba blong Palamen long Solomon Islands stat long Independens long 1978.
 
Wanpela nau em i Hilda Kari blong Northeast and East-Central Guadalcanal na Vika Lusibaea blong Malaita provins.
 
Tasol Desk Ofisa long Women in Leadership, Casper Fa’asala itok ol igat strongpela bilip olsem samting olsem 5-pela long ol kandidet ol i sapotim nau bai ol i win long dispela ileksan.
 
Mr Fa’asala i tok ol meri ia ibin gat gutpela trening long gutpela pasin long wok olsem politisan na hau ol i ken win long ileksan.
 
Em i tok strongpela point ol iken kampen long en em i ol planti milion dola we i stap long han blong ol pilitisan i kam inap nau ia, na pipol ino lukim benefit longen.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

17) Australia imas halvim Fiji: Jenny Hayward-Jones

Updated 12 September 2014, 15:02 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Wanpela meri save long sait long gavman na politik long Australia na Pacific rijin i tok Australia i mas gohet na halvim Fiji bihain long ol i holim nasinol ileksan.

Odio: Jenny Hayward Jones, Director blong the Myer Foundation Melanesia Program wantem Lowy Institute long Sydney i toktok
Australia imas givim bikpla halvim igo long Fiji bihaenim National ileksan em bai kamap long wik bihaen.
 
Despla em askim blong Jenny Hayward Jones, Director blong the Myer Foundation Melanesia Program wantem Lowy Institute long Sydney.
 
Ms Hayward-Jones i mekim despla askim  insaet long wanpla toktok oa polisi brief we emi lukluk long ileksan long Fiji em oli bin autim tede long Sydney.
 
Emi tok tu olsem Australia iken halvim Fiji long strongim demokrasi na tu ol wok blong loa oa judiciary.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

18) PNG 2015 Pacific Games sekiuriti

Postim 12 September 2014, 15:22 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Papua New Guinea bai involvim tu difens fos soldia long wok sekiuriti long taim blong Pacific games.

Bosman blong Security Planning blong Games Chief Inspector David Manning i toktok (Credit: ABC) 
Papua New Guinea bai iusim samting olsem 300 ol PNG difens fos soljia long halvim long lukautim ol wok lukaut oa sekiuriti long 2015 Pacific Games long Port Moresby.
 
Ol despla soljia bai bung wantem ol polis ofisa long mekim despla bikpla wok.
 
Tasol bosman blong Security Planning blong Games Chief Inspector David Manning, itok emi no laikim ol pipal long wari long despla wok em tupla law enfosman laen bai mekim.
 
Inspector Manning itok olsem wok blong ol em blong lukim olsem despla bikpla pilai i ron gut na nogat trabal bai kamap long en.
 
Olgeta kantri long Micronesia, Melanesia na Polynesia rijin long Pacific nau bai stap long despla games.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

FRENCH

19) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – vendredi 12 septembre 2014

Mis à jour 12 September 2014, 10:44 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Franck Bainimarama salue « le sang-froid des héros fidjiens », après la libération, jeudi, des 45 casques bleus. 

Les 45 casques bleus fidjiens, à leur arrivée en territoire israélien, jeudi. (Credit: Reuters) 
Après deux semaines de détention, les otages ont été conduits jeudi par leurs ravisseurs du front al-Nusra en Israël, où ils sont en train d’être débriefés. Ils seront bientôt rapatriés à Fidji. Franck Bainimarama a remercié l’équipe des négociateurs de l’ONU, qui affirment n’avoir versé aucune rançon au front al-Nusra. 

  1. Vanuatu: une figure du mouvement indépendantiste papou a été enterrée jeudi après-midi à Port-Vila. John Ondawame, exilé au Vanuatu depuis de nombreuses années, est décédé la semaine dernière. Il était le directeur du bureau de représentation du peuple de Papouasie occidentale à Port-Vila, et l’un des porte-parole du Mouvement de Libération de la Papouasie occidentale. Joe Natuman, le Premier ministre, et Moana Carcasses, le chef de l’opposition vanuataise, ont salué la mémoire de ce « combattant de la liberté ».  Ils ont dit que la lutte pour l’autodétermination continuait, et que le Vanuatu continuerait à faire pression pour un référendum.
  • Vanuatu: le gouvernement déchoit un ressortissant français de sa double citoyenneté vanuataise. Il s’agit de Gilles Daniel, un proche de Moana Carcasses, le précédent Premier ministre, qui est aujourd’hui dans l’opposition. Le gouvernement estime que Gilles Daniel a obtenu son passeport vanuatais de manière illégale. Il y a deux semaines, l’opposition a déposé une nouvelle motion de censure contre le gouvernement de Joe Natuman. Gilles Daniel a indiqué hier qu’il ne pouvait pas être tenu responsable de l’instabilité politique dans le pays. La semaine dernière, Robert Herd, un avocat australien, a été expulsé, le gouvernement l’accuse en effet d’avoir financé l’opposition pour qu’elle dépose la motion de censure.
  • Mariannes du Nord: le Paul Russ a été remorqué jusqu’au port jeudi soir. Ce porte-conteneur s’est échoué sur un récif mardi à l’entrée du chenal de Saipan. Les gardes-côtes américains ont du organiser en urgence le remorquage du navire, car les conditions météos se sont détériorées, avec des creux de 6 mètres.
  • Australie occidentale: les autorités ne reconduiront pas le plan d’abattage des requins. L’autorité de protection de l’environnement s’est prononcée contre hier, estimant que l’abattage menacerait la survie des quatre espèces de requin dans la région. En mars dernier pourtant, l’autorité de protection de l’environnement estimait que l’impact serait « négligeable ». Mais depuis, des centaines d’habitants d’Australie occidentale et de nombreux scientifiques ont manifesté contre la reprise de la campagne d’abattage cet été. En janvier dernier, après une série d’attaques de requins,  le gouvernement de l’état avait lancé un programme d’abattage des squales de plus de trois mètres, pris au large des plages les plus fréquentées. 68 requins ont été abattus, et parmi eux, il n’y avait aucun grand requin blanc, le plus dangereux pour l’homme. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

20) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – jeudi 11 septembre 2014

Mis à jour 11 September 2014, 10:28 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

  • Queensland: un jeune homme a été mis sous surveillance dans un hôpital de Gold Coast. Il rentre d’un voyage au Congo, où le virus Ebola sévit également. Les médecins ne peuvent pas confirmer si le voyageur australien est infecté par le virus, mais le risque est faible. La direction de l’hôpital estime que le paludisme est plus probable.
  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: le système d’examen des demandes d’asile est loin, très loin d’être au point. C’est Scott Morrison lui-même, le ministre australien de l’Immigration, qui l’a reconnu hier. 1080 migrants sont détenus au centre de Manus actuellement. Les autorités papoues sont en train d’examiner 84 demandes d’asile, et 600 autres en sont au premier stade d’examen. Si ces migrants sont reconnus comme d’authentiques demandeurs d’asile, ils n’ont nulle part où aller. Le gouvernement papou est censé les accueillir, mais il ne sait pas dans quelle ville, dans quelle région, ni avec quels moyens.
  • Bougainville: les propriétaires coutumiers menacent de fermer à nouveau l’aéroport de Buka, la capitale de la région autonome. Ils ont occupé la piste d’atterrissage mardi. Mais le gouvernement a réussi à les faire évacuer et à rouvrir l’aéroport. Les propriétaires coutumiers ont lancé un ultimatum au gouvernement. Ils ont donné deux semaines au gouvernement pour leur verser 2 millions de dollars en échange de l’occupation de leurs terres par l’aéroport. Faute de quoi ils fermeront à nouveau l’aéroport. Le gouvernement justifie le retard de paiement par des conflits internes entre les propriétaires coutumiers. Il assure ne pas savoir qui payer.
  • L’Australie présente ses excuses au vice-Premier ministre salomonais. Manaseh Maelanga a été soumis à une fouille corporelle à l’aéroport de Brisbane la semaine dernière, alors qu’il rentrait du sommet des petits États insulaires en développement. Le vice-Premier ministre a accepté les excuses australiennes mais demandé à ce que l’accueil en Australie des dirigeants des États insulaires soit à la hauteur de l’accueil réservé aux dirigeants australiens dans les pays du Pacifique. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

PASIFIK

21a) Conference reaffirms Pacific identity

Source: 
The National, Friday 12th of September, 2014

 PEOPLE gathered at the Divine Word University in Madang last week to discuss the importance of restoring Pacific identity.
The gathering coincided with a celebration dance, that signified a protest against western influence of exploiting land and sea resources in the Pacific. .
In attendance were artists, musicians, chiefs, academics, clergy, activists, youth and civil society representatives. 
Spokesperson Rev Francois Pihaatae said the dance was a narrative of decades of exiles, expulsion, persecution and pogrom with the first colonisation of our “sea of islands” to where we are today
He said it was a celebration in protest against the dominant narrative that development means selling or exploiting of Pacific land and sea for the riches within.
“It is about adopting universalist ideals, it is about endless growth in which people and cultures are nothing less than commodities; and it is about not having moral limits to what we can do,” Pihaatae said.
“We live in the world of the faceless empire. We see, think and construct our realities with the frames and lenses of the alternative.” 
Bismark Ramu Group co-ordinator John Chitoa said the celebrations of this unique Pacific gathering centred on reclaiming the Wansolwara: one people, one sea.
Chitoa said the Wansolwara was sacred because it contained the memory of our grandparents and tells the story about ourselves. 
“We will not be portrayed or perceived as victims of the empire(s) or alternative influences, either by ourselves or by others
“We will affirm who we are and will celebrate it, even in our dark, fair or brown skins, and in our perfect imperfections.
“We will frame our language, create and interpret our art, our music, our dance, our poetry, our symbols and our rituals to tell and proclaim to us and others who we are and our place in this universe,” he said.
 
WORLD

21b) Oscar Pistorius found guilty of manslaughter of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Updated 12 September 2014, 19:13 AEST

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of the manslaughter of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year.

The 27-year-old double amputee, one of the biggest names in world athletics, stood impassively in the dock, his hands folded in front of him, as Judge Thokozila Masipa delivered her verdict.

Pistorius was also convicted of an unrelated charge for firing a pistol under the table of a packed Johannesburg restaurant, but he was cleared of possessing illegal ammunition and firing a pistol out of the sun-roof of a car.

On Thursday the judge cleared Pistorius of premeditated murder, saying prosecutors had failed to prove the Olympian explicitly intended to kill Steenkamp.

Judge Masipa handed down the culpable homicide verdict – South Africa’s equivalent to manslaughter – at the end of a two-day judgment of the trial which began in March.

Pistorius fired four shots through the bathroom door of his luxury home in February last year.

He testified that he had thought there was an intruder in the home and that was why he pulled the trigger four times.

It was then that he realised Steenkamp was in the bathroom.

But the prosecution argued Pistorius fired on his girlfriend after the two had a row and that was why she was dressed and cowering beside the toilet.

Judge Masipa said while he was not guilty of premeditated murder, Pistorius had acted “too hastily” in firing the shots and that it was clear his conduct was negligent.

She said Pistorius “took a conscious decision” to arm himself and shoot when he killed Steenkamp.

“The accused clearly wanted to use the firearm,” Judge Masipa told the Pretoria High Court.

The personality of the Paralympic gold medallist, who won worldwide fame when he competed on his prosthetic blades against able-bodied runners at the London Olympics, was a focus of the trial.

Prosecutors described him as an egotistical liar obsessed with guns, fast cars and beautiful women, who was not prepared to take responsibility for his actions.

Defence lawyers said there are “two Oscars” – a world-class athlete and a highly vulnerable individual with a serious disability who acted out of fear, not anger, when he fired the fatal shots.

After testimony from almost 40 witnesses, including neighbours who said they had heard screams and shots and defence experts who said this was impossible, the cast reassembled with Judge Masipa taking a central role.

While Pistorius was doomed to play the star of a show he would rather not be in, prosecutor Gerrie “Pitbull” Nel and defence lawyer Barry “I put it to you” Roux became co-stars with their own following.

And behind Pistorius in the public gallery, as always, was his supportive sister – and the implacable mother of the 29-year-old woman he killed.

ABC/wires

21c) Scottish independence: No vote regains ground in opinion poll with week to go

Posted 12 September 2014, 10:16 AEST
Supporters of keeping Scotland in the United Kingdom have clawed back a narrow lead over separatists, according to a poll released just one week before Scots vote in an independence referendum.

The YouGov survey for The Times and Sun newspapers put support for a No vote at 52 per cent, narrowly ahead of supporters of independence on 48 per cent.

“This is the first time No has gained ground since early August,” YouGov president Peter Kellner said in a commentary.

“Although No is back in front, the Yes campaign has held on to most of its gains since early August.”

YouGov, one of Britain’s most respected pollsters, polled 1,268 people between September 9 and September 11.

At the weekend a YouGov poll had put support for Yes at 51 per cent, overturning a 22-point lead for the anti-independence Better Together campaign in the space of a month to establish a two-point lead.

That poll prompted British prime minister David Cameron to cancel a parliamentary debate and travel to Scotland with rival party leaders to campaign against independence.

Overnight the National Australia Bank said it was making a contingency plan to move its Edinburgh-based subsidiary Clydesdale Bank to England in the event of a Yes vote.

That decision came after two British banks – Edinburgh-based Lloyds and RBS – said they would shift their registered head offices to London if Scotland voted to break away.

Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond, who is leading the push for independence, has accused the British government of orchestrating a campaign by corporate lenders to influence the vote.

The pro-independence camp says it is time for Scots to rule their own country and build a fairer society without being told what to do by a political elite in London whom they accuse of mismanaging Scotland’s wealth.

The unionist campaign, supported by the three main political parties in the Westminster parliament, says Scotland is more prosperous and secure within the United Kingdom and says an independent Scotland would face serious financial and economic hurdles.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

EDUCATION

22) Ministry focuses on quality

Torika Chandra
Friday, September 12, 2014

TEACHING is the most complicated task today because of 21st century demands placed on the education system, acting education permanent secretary Basundra Kumar said.

Speaking at the opening of the National Teachers Seminar yesterday in Suva, she said teaching now demanded a broad knowledge of the subject, curriculum and standard and also a caring attitude and love for learning.

Mrs Kumar challenged stakeholders who were part of the seminar to focus on the fundamental issue which was to ensure quality education in Fiji.

“Study after study shows the single most important factor that determines the quality of education a child receives is the quality of his or her teacher,” Mrs Kumar said.

“Therefore it is quite prevalent that this area requires close partnerships between the ministry, teacher training providers, the school management and the teachers unions.”

Education Minister Filipe Bole said since the declaration of Education for All, Fiji had made great efforts to fulfil its educational commitments.

“However, quality of education still remains a major concern and this seminar will be a good opportunity to reflect on and to address this longstanding issue,” Mr Bole said.

“The roles of teachers are rapidly changing with the advent of technology and globalisation.

“Thus, the teachers are now involved in much broader roles compared to teachers in the past.”

Mr Bole said the seminar was aimed at developing a framework of basic standards for teacher development which was in line with a key strategy proposed for the post-2015 education agenda to be adopted at the World Education Forum in 2015.Fijitimes

POLITIC

23) Seven parties throw hat in ring for Solomon elections

By Online Editor
4:42 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2014, Solomon Islands

Officials say seven political parties have lodged applications to contest this year’s elections in Solomon Islands.
 
The Registrar of the Political Parties Commission made the clarification after the caretaker Prime Minister had earlier stated that eight parties would contest the elections.
 
The registrar says the Commission is currently reviewing all the applications and documents to ensure compliance to the Political Parties Integrity Act.
 
He says the application deadline for all parties to lodge applications will close on the announcement of the polling day.
 
Radio New Zealand International reports it is expected 16 political parties or groupings to eventually contest.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

24) Female Candidates At A Disadvantage In Solomons Islands
Research shows women unlikely to succeed in election


HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Sept. 11, 2014) – New research from the Australian National University (ANU) reveals it is unlikely women candidates will be successful in this year’s National elections.

Professor Terence Wood who authored the study suggests female candidates are at a financial and social disadvantage compared to men which prevent them from gaining the necessary influence to win votes.

Only two women have ever been elected to Parliament in Solomon Islands – former MP of Northeast and East-Central Guadalcanal Hilda Kari and Vika Lusibaea, wife of former Malaitan Eagle Force field commander-turned-politician Jimmy Lusibaea.

In an interview with Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat, Professor Wood says this does not show a very high success rate.

Meanwhile, he says the focus on helping women candidates should not be training them on how to campaign.

He says what needs to be done in the short-term is to help the women establish links to their constituencies, enabling them to have a track record of service to their people for at least a decade.

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

25) No evidence of ‘electoral fraud, misconduct so far’ in Fiji: Multinational Observer Group

By Online Editor
00:05 am GMT+12, 12/09/2014, Fiji

 The Multinational Observer Group (MOG) monitoring Fiji’s election says they have neither witnessed nor receive credible evidence of allegations and concerns of electoral fraud and misconduct since they began their work on August 18.  
 
MOG Coordinator Andrew Goledzinowski says the fear of electoral fraud and misconduct happening in this year’s election is an issue that has been raised with them with increasing frequency.
 
“I’d like to say that so far in all our observation, we have not yet witness any incidents of deliberate misconduct nor have we received such credible evidence of such misconduct,” Goledzinowski said.
 
He said it does not mean that there has not been such incidents happening, but since they started work and have “been watching closely”, they had never seen it happening. “
 
“Let me be very clear, we are not promising that there has not been any misconduct, much less guaranteeing, there will be no misconduct, but we are saying that we have not seen any it yet and we are saying that if it does happen happen in a serious way, we are confident that we would detect it.”  
 
He expressed the MOG’s reassurances they would be focusing on it going forward and are confident that if they do come across such incidents, they would not hesitate to report it.
 
“There are significant safeguards built into the various stages of this electoral process from the printing of the ballot papers, the security protocol embedded and to the physical transport of the election materials secured by police through to the security of the ballot boxes, and the tabulation of the count on 17th.  
 
“We are closely observing all of those safeguards and we have a high degree of confidence that should there be any systematic or widespread misconduct such as would affect the outcome of the election, we would see it and we would blow the whistle on it.”
 
Over the pre-polling period, the MOG reported that it has also made recommendations to the Fijian Elections Office (FEO), all of which with a view to provide more help and assistance to the voters at the pr-polling venues,  
 
“Ad some of these has been taken on board. I will give you some examples, we suggested the pre-folding of ballot papers to assist those voters to then put those ballot papers into envelopes which will save time and particularly make it easier for some of the older voters.
 
“We have also suggested that election officials should help the voters in the sealing of the envelopes. And we have seen that being done and it’s actually helping the process.”  
 
Goledzinowski also gave an update on their program over the next few days, including continuing with monitoring the pre-polling as well as get teams ready for deployment on September 17.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

26) Fiji election only first step to democracy, warns Australian academic

12 September 2014
Australia has been warned against rushing to buddy-up with Fiji after Wednesday’s long-awaited election.

The Lowy Institute says doing so risks setting a low bar for full democratic restoration from the military government and could set a dangerous precedent for the maintenance of democracy throughout the region.

The poll is Fiji’s first since then Commodore, Frank Bainimarama, seized power in a military coup in 2006.

The Institute’s Melanesia programme director, Jenny Hayward-Jones, says even if the elections are free and fair it will not necessarily put the nation back on a solid path to democracy.

She says elections should be seen as the start of a process of restoring democracy, not the end.

Ms Hayward-Jones says press freedom, judicial independence and empowering opposition MPs to hold the government to account are essential building blocks as well.

She says the absence of a credible opposition for many years means Mr Bainimarama and his Fiji First Party have extraordinary election campaign prominence.

Ms Hayward-Jones says Australia needs to be cautious about signalling too quickly its acceptance of his democratic legitimacy,and must avoid compromising efforts to promote democratic change for the sake of increasing regional influence.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

27) NFP leader says Fiji PM is distracting voters

12 September 2014
The leader of the National Federation Party says the Fiji Prime Minister comments against intimidation are merely to distract from the real issues.

During the launch of the Grand Fijian the Rear Admiral Bainimarama said the riots and looting of the 2000 coup will not happen on his watch and he will not tolerate a climate of intimidation and fear.

The NFP’s Biman Prasad says Mr Bainmarama is staying quiet on real problems and stirring up others.

“Poor economic performance, rising level of poverty, high cost of living, unemployment, deteriorating health services. Mr Bainimarama and his General Secretary are scaring the voters away with abstract issues such as the common name, the secular state, such as security and law and order and this is part of the gimmick.”

The leader of the National Federation Party, Biman Prasad.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

28) Islanders vote

By Online Editor
4:40 pm GMT+12, 11/09/2014, Fiji

Pre -polling for the Lau Group ended yesterday with the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) confirming that areas previously inaccessible because of adverse weather conditions have been covered.
 
FEO spokeswoman Talei Tora said the election team from Lau was returning with the ballots.
 
She said 5197 voters were expected yesterday while 38 pre-polling centres would be open today with 4610 voters expected to cast their votes.
 
Tora highlighted that figures for the Western Division showed there had been a 71 per cent voter turnout meaning 13,116 people had voted so far.
 
She said pre-polling in other areas would continue as scheduled.
 
Meanwhile, the FEO confirmed that ballot boxes in each of the respective areas including Lau were kept under lock at respective police stations.
 
Tora said the Police Commissioner, Ben Groenewald, had given his assurance that ballot boxes would be safe at the police stations.
 
She said disabled voters at pre-polling stations would be helped by elections staff members.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

MEDIA 

29) Newspaper for electorate

Source: 
The National, Friday 12th of September, 2014

 PORT Moresby’s North-East electorate now has its own newspaper.
The Northeast Mirror, launched on Wednesday by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, is the initiative of local MP Labi Amaiu.
Amaiu said the free monthly would help expose issues faced by people, provide information on the people and service delivery and help support development in the electorate. 
“I want my people to appreciate the policy and the initiate of the Government which the people of the electorate can benefit through projects,” he said.
He said the paper would help the Government respond to issues faced by people in the electorate. 
Amaiu said about 70% of the people in the electorate lived in settlements and he had plans to transform them into suburbs and the publication would support that.
“The paper can support the growth of small and medium businesses in settlements.
“National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop committed K100,000 to the business and O’Neill committed K200,000.”
Parkop said he would support the publication through paid advertisements.
Publisher Tony Sipa said the newspaper would be free at present but they could decide later if it would be sold.
 
30) Reported threats against Fiji journalists ‘despicable’, says PFF

12 September 2014

A Pacific media watch dog says there is no place for intimidation or violence against journalists, following reports that two Fiji Sun journalists were threatened after reporting that an opposition politician had pulled out of a TV debate.

The chair of the Pacific Freedom Forum, Titi Gabi, says the threats are despicable and cowardly.

She says the cornerstone of any democracy is a free and vibrant media, which is especially important as Fiji approaches its first elections in nearly 8 years.

A second co-chair of the body, Monica Miller, says the threats reflect a society where media coverage of relatively routine political events is no longer seen as normal.

She says the military regime must bear some responsibility for any electoral tension, because they have created an environment where freedom of speech is seen by some as deserving of death.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

31) Alleged Threats Against Fiji Journalists Covering The Election Decried
2 received death threats after reporting on cancelled debate


AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, Sept. 12, 2014) – The Paris-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters covering Fiji’s first parliamentary election campaign since the 2006 coup.

Two women journalists – Vosita Kotowasawasa of the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) and Jyoti Pratibha of the Fiji Sun newspaper – received death threats on Tuesday over their previous day’s coverage of the cancellation of a live TV debate between the leading contenders for the post of prime minister.

According to Pacific Scoop, a news website affiliated with the Pacific Media Centre, Kotowasawasa received several threatening phone calls while Pratibha was threatened via fake Facebook user profiles.

Both had covered the previous day’s last-minute decision by Ro Teimumu Vuikaba Kepa, the Roko Tui Dreketi and head of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), to pull out of the debate with interim Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama.

“We condemn all forms of intimidation of journalists,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk, and Dr David Robie, director of the Pacific Media Centre.

Threatening calls

“Supporters of the various political parties may disagree with journalists and their coverage of events but threatening comments must be punished. The self-censorship generated by these threats seriously endangers the democratic process in these first parliamentary elections.”

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation said it was working with Telecom Fiji to trace the threatening calls. The Fiji Sun said it was doing its own investigation in a bid to identify those behind the fake Facebook profiles

Pratibha told the Fiji Sun: “I’ll not be intimidated or cowed by cowards who use fake profiles to threaten us.”

Ranked 107th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, Fiji is due to undergo a Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council next month.

In a joint submission to the Human Rights Council, Reporters Without Borders and the Pacific Media Centre have recommended a constitutional amendment and adoption of a freedom of information law.

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

32) Trade more with China
Source: 
The National, Friday 12th of September, 2014

 By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
PAPUA New Guinea has been urged to work on growing stronger economic ties with China.
Think Global Consulting chief executive David Thomas said by 2027 China will overtake US to be the largest global economy in the world. 
“No wonder leaders around the world are keen to make friends with China.”
He told PNG Business Advantage Summit in Port Moresby this week that PNG should take note of what was driving foreign investments from China.
“It’s worth thinking for a moment of what’s driving foreign investment from China, because we all can benefit from that region. China is where the money is and they have now a going out strategy which is all about investing overseas. 
He said China was among the growing economies in the world.
Thomas said one area where PNG could learn from and draw investment from China was the agriculture and food safety sector.
“Seventy-three per cent (from information collected in China) said local food in Shanghai is either unsafe or very unsafe. So getting access to sustainable supplies of clean food is a key driver for China right now. Investment in that sector is coming very, very quickly. Everybody, including PNG, needs to think about how they can get access to that. It’s a huge opportunity. Definitely, the food and agriculture is a big one for the future.
“China has a lot of influence globally now and we all need to get involved in attracting foreign investment from China, because it’s a long, long way for that to go.” 
He said countries that make friends and build relationships with China will prosper and grow well when China grows to become the world’s economic power.
Meanwhile he said Australia was an example of a country that has done very well in attracting foreign investment from China especially in the mining resource sector.
 
33) State sells 50% of PNG Power Limited
By Online Editor
11:33 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2014, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Government is to sell 50% of its shares in PNG Power Limited as it continues its privatisation plans on its enterprises which are facing “problems”.  
 
Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Ben Micah told the Investment and Infrastructure Summit in Port Moresby yesterday that some State-owned entities such as PNG Power and Air Niugini did not need to be fully-owned by the Government.
 
“We are thinking of offloading 49% (shareholding) in Air Niugini to private sector investors, predominately Papua New Guineans, and this is now going through the process of approval,” Micah said.
 
PNG Power had declared late last month that it was facing a serious insolvency issue, with Bank South Pacific demanding an immediate payment of K10 million (US$4 million) to clear an overdraft.  
 
Board chairman Larry Andagali said then that the company’s overdraft facility was “getting tough because of the increase in fuel prices”, plus the value of the kina against the US dollar.
 
Micah said fellow Cabinet ministers were trying to work out short, medium and long-term solutions to provide vital services  such as power, water, telephones, ports, airports which the private sector depended on the Government for.

He said there would be a review “of how these companies have been performing over the last two to three years and how we can find solutions to addressing the short-term problems”.
 
They will have to find medium and long-term solutions which will have opportunities for everyone.
 
“Many of the State-owned companies which are now corporatised and operating under the Companies Act although not performing so well are better off than they were 10 years ago,” he said.
 
“With the growing economy that has been created by the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, I believe the State-owned companies can become vehicles to grow the private sector very quickly through your participation and investment.”
 
He said he was working closely with his Cabinet colleagues on it so that they did not give “confusing signals to landowners, private investors, countries and multilateral agencies that have been our partners for many years”.
 
“We want to create an environment of trust and confidence to prove to people around the world who have got K1 million or K1 billion to invest that Papua New Guinea is their destination,” he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

34) ADB: PNG public finances not enough for costs

By Online Editor
9:48 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2014, Papua New Guinea

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says its unlikely that Papua New Guinea can fund its infrastructure needs from its public finances alone.
 
It has recommended that the Government commit itself to a period of lower expenditure growth. This it has advised so that the country can rebuild its fiscal buffers and ensure that any future economic shocks can be managed effectively.
 
Speaking during the PNG Advantage Investment and Infrastructure Summit in Port Moresby ADB’s vice-president Lakshmi Vankatachalam said the expected level of Government debt to gross domestic product ratio (GDP) was to be 37 per cent in 2014.
 
This, she said, was exceeding the Government’s own medium debt strategy (2013-17) ceiling of 35 percent.  

“Moreover, when one includes unpaid superannuation payments, financing of the Government’s equity stake in the PNG LNG project and public enterprise debt, the debt to GDP ratio rises to 63.5 percent,” she said.
 
She said government funding for its four priority development enablers – infrastructure, education, health and law and order – continued to grow rapidly rising from 20 percent of the budget in 2003 to 40 percent in 2013.
 
“While supporting the growth agenda, ADB has recommended that the Government commit itself to a lower expenditure growth so that it can rebuild fiscal buffers and ensure that any future economic shocks can be managed effectively.
 
She said given theses daunting challenges the Government should analyse the use of its public resources and prioritise spending towards activities it could not maintain via alternative means.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

35) Telikom expands network

Source: 
The National, Thursday September 11th, 2014

 TELIKOM continues to expand its prepaid distribution network through Stop and Shop retail outlets in Port Moresby.
Shoppers at Stop N Shop can add to their grocery list a Rait prepaid voucher for internet prepaid services.
The Rait prepaid vouchers with denominations ranging from K5 to K100 will be selling at check-out counters through CPL’s pronto point of sale system.
Telikom PNG divisional manager marketing and business development Xavier Victor said the prepaid expansion programme commenced two months ago with a pilot programme at Stop N Shop Badili.
He said the programme is proving convenient and ease of access for Telikom customers residing in and around Badili.
It has been expanded to other Stop N Shop outlets at North Waigani, Rainbow, Boroko, Down Town and its flagship mall at Central Waigani in the nation’s capital.
 
36) Only FijiFirst has ‘credible economic policy’
By Online Editor
11:31 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2014, Fiji

FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama says his party is the only political party with a credible economic policy.
 
The economy he says is the most important issue in Fiji, to grow the economy, attract investment and generate the jobs that Fijians need to improve their standard of living, an issue he says no opposition party “wants to talk about because they have no idea where to take us.”
 
He said the opposition parties pluck figures from the air, make wild guesses “or in the case of one party, promises to slash VAT by five per cent without ever detailing how the revenue shortfall of $300-million (US$160 million) would be made up.”  
 
“FijiFirst, on the other hand, has a clear vision and a plan to build on our achievements thus far,” Bainimarama said.
 
“It is credible, it is realistic and it is achievable. And alone of the political parties contesting this election, we are worthy of the trust of the investor community and the entire Fijian population to take Fiji forward.”  
 
Referring to next week’s election on Wednesday, September 17, Bainimarama said it would be decision time – a time for every Fijian to take sides and stand up for a united, prosperous Fiji – a day they must choose well.
 
“We must choose the path of unity, of ethnic and religious tolerance. And of love. For each other and the nation we are building together. We must drown out the voices of division and negativity with a chorus of unity and hope. We must turn our backs on the message of division and hatred.”  
 
The FijiFirst leader says he gains strength from meeting people in person who are equally passionate about taking Fiji forward.
 
“I’m especially inspired by our young people, their idealism, their obvious desire to seize the opportunities they have been given, with our free schooling and tertiary loans.
 
“When I look out at their faces shining with youthfulness and hope, it invariably triggers a wave of emotion in me, a determination to finish the job of finally providing them with the future they deserve.” Bainimarama says a vote for FijiFirst means putting Fiji First.
SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

37) Reports Of Fijian Worker Exploitation In New Zealand Investigated
Agricultural workers allegedly paid little, forced to sleep on garage floor

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 11, 2014) – Eight Fijians are believed to have been victims of exploitation in New Zealand where they worked for much less than they were promised and slept on the garage floor.

The Bay of Plenty Times reports the eight people were lured to work in kiwifruit orchards with promise to earn between $15 and $17 per hour, but they claimed to have ended up with $190 after six weeks work – far less than the $F4250 they claimed to have spent to get to New Zealand of which $2000 was paid to an agent to arrange visas and $1080 for air fares.

Instead of the promised one bedroom per person accommodation, they said they ended up paying $80 each out of their wages each week to sleep on a garage floor.

The eight had to seek help from the Salvation Army.

New Zealand Police, Immigration New Zealand, Labour Inspectors are reportedly investigating the case.

Meanwhile, the person who was identified by the Fijians as their employer reportedly denied he was the person under investigation.

Fijilive 

38) High cost of meat

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

THE consumer watchdog has raised concerns about the high cost of meat such as lamb shank, lamb neck and imported goat meat.

According to the Consumer Council of Fiji, consumers had also expressed disappointment at the exorbitant cost of a bundle of fresh fish sold at roadside markets.

Council CEO Premila Kumar said they received phone calls from pensioners and housewives who could no longer afford to pay for a kg of lamb meat, which costs about $17-$19 per kg.

“We have had social welfare food voucher recipients and pensioners, who find it difficult to include chicken, forget about lamb in their shopping basket.

“Their initial focus is on essential basic food items and what can be bought under the food voucher.”

She said landed prices for those imported meat products were dictated by source markets such as New Zealand and Australia.

“The supply in Australia and NZ depends on supply and demand as well. Prices increase when the demand goes up and the supply is limited,” she said.Fijitimes

39) Fiji Link upgrades

Litia Vulaidausiga
Friday, September 12, 2014

FIJI Link last night welcomed the arrival of its new ATR 42-600 aircraft, which joined the domestic airline’s expanding fleet from Toulouse, France.

The plane is being leased from the Denmark -based Nordic Aviation Capital and apart from local routes, will also serve a few regional flights for Fiji Airways, of which Fiji Link is a subsidiary.

“Our customers from Labasa will actually get to experience this aircraft quite a lot due to its flying schedule,” said Fiji Link general manager Shaenaz Voss in a statement.

“This newest series of the ATR 42 seats 40 passengers and is among the latest in regional aircraft operations.”

The aircraft was delivered by ferry pilots Shital Patel and Peter Fraser and engineers Manjit Singh and Vetaia Niubalarua.

Fiji Airways group managing director, Stefan Pichler said the new acquisition fell in line with their five-year master plan to increase their fleet size by 25 per cent and expand relevant Fiji Link capacity by 12.3 per cent in the domestic market.

Fiji Links’ two existing ATR 42-500s will be replaced in December by a second ATR 72-600.Fijitimes

INFRASTRUCTURE

40) Govt to upgrade ‘coastal highway’

Source: 
The National, Friday 12th of September, 2014

 By GABRIEL FITO
THE Government is to upgrade the international highway that runs from Wewak, in East Sepik, to Jayapura, in Indonesia.
Correctional Service Minister Jim Simatab said the West Coast Highway, which is an economical road, has been neglected and allowed to deteriorate over the years by successive governments.
“However, the Government of Prime Minster Peter O’Neill is serious about development and we will open up the highway to allow access to thousands who travel between the two countries for trade, investment and other exchange programmes,” Simatab said.
“I want to assure you that the road from Wewak to Salamin on the border of East and West Sepik provinces will all be sealed by 2017.”
Aitape-Lumi MP and Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch has started work from Salamin to Damap near Aitape, West Sepik, sealing the first 17km. Australia through AusAID is providing the funds.
Wewak-based company Green Hill Investment Ltd has sealed over 20km from Hawain River to Parom, Kringrin and Boikin areas.
They are moving towards Banak and will reach Dagua by the end of the year.
Simatab urged people along the West Coast area to respect Works Department workers and the contractor so that they were at liberty to deliver a vital service.
 
41) $35m court building

Shayal Devi
Friday, September 12, 2014

THE construction of a $35million High Court complex in Lautoka is expected to further develop the judicial system in the Western Division.

Speaking during its groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, Chief Justice Anthony Gates said the users of the existing High Court building in Lautoka knew the facility was inadequate for the amount of business conducted at the premises.

“The enhancement of facilities proved a stumbling block and this is a massive project for Fiji,” he said, adding the infrastructure investment would be borne by government.

“If the Western Division is to develop economically, financially and in its institutions and services, the justice system within the division must be able to respond to society’s needs.

“There must be judges and magistrates, court staff, court facilities and modern equipment for dealing with litigants disputes.”

According to Justice Gates, the facilities would provide for both mediation and conventional courtroom trials.

“The essential jurisdictions of the Court of Appeal, High Court, Magistrates’ Court and various tribunals must be there.

“The High Court facilities must provide for all of the divisions – family court, tax, employment relations, civil and criminal.”Fijitimes

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT


42) Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says PNG refugee resettlement program faces ‘difficult and frustrating problems’
By Online Editor
9:36 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2014, Papua New Guinea

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says there are still major problems with the refugee resettlement arrangements in Papua New Guinea.

PNG authorities have begun assessing the asylum seekers on Manus Island to determine their refugee status but so far, no one has been resettled into the community.

Morrison said the former Labor government ignored the political and practical difficulties of resettling refugees in PNG when it reopened the centre in November 2012.

“Offshore processing and resettlement has been implemented. However, this has not been without challenges,” he said in a National Press Club address on Wednesday.

“There remain difficult and frustrating problems with Papua New Guinea in relation to the resettlement program there.

“Kevin Rudd and Tony Burke signed over $430 million in taxpayers’ funds in additional aid and infrastructure to the PNG government as part of what I described as a panicked announcement before the last election.

“And in return, there was a blank sheet of paper.”Fijitimes

Morrison acknowledged Reza Berati’s death at the Manus Island detention centre in February as a “terrible tragedy”.

The minister said he was “also terribly saddened” by the death last week of Hamid Kehazaei, who cut his foot and developed septicaemia at the Manus facility and died due to complications.

“Where there are issues that need to be addressed at the processing centres this government has taken action to support the PNG and Nauruan governments who run these centres.

“The resettlement plan has now been before the PNG cabinet for several months following the extensive consultations conducted by their expert panel led by Dame Carol Kidu.

“It is important that this now proceed.”

More than 1,080 asylum seekers are being detained at the regional processing centre on Manus Island.

Eighty-four assessments have been undertaken in PNG, and more than 600 have commenced the formal assessment process, according to the Government.

“We remain committed to working through the remaining issues with the government of PNG to ensure that the agreement delivers the resettlement of refugees in PNG in return for the increased aid and infrastructure funding that is being delivered,” he said.
SOURCE: ABC/PACNEWS

43) Marshall Islander selected as opening speaker for UN Climate Summit
By Online Editor
11:28 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2014, Marshall Islands

A Marshall Islands poet activist has been named the opening speaker at U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s one-day Climate Summit in New York City this month.

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a 26-year-old instructor at the College of the Marshall Islands, was selected earlier this month as one of four speakers from over 500 applicants from 115 nations. On Monday, she was informed that she will be the first speaker at the summit that is expected to be attended by over 100 heads of state.

Ban has promoted the Sept. 23 summit at the United Nations as a vehicle to increase momentum for a binding climate agreement in the lead-up to next year’s global summit on climate change.

Over the past several years, Jetnil-Kijiner has gained fame for writing strikingly original poetry that she performs live or on film. In 2012, she was invited to perform an original poem in a program on the Olympic Games in London, a poem she wrote about small islands titled, “Tell Them.” Last year, she aired a controversial poem about racism Micronesians face as the newest immigrants living in Hawaii.

“My poetry mainly focuses on raising awareness surrounding the issues and threats faced by my people,” she says. “Nuclear testing conducted in our islands, militarism, the rising sea level as a result of climate change, forced migration, adaptation and racism in America — these are just a few themes my poetry touches upon.”

Jetnil-Kijiner will have her biggest audience when she appears on stage at the U.N. in two weeks. Her hometown newspaper, the Marshall Islands Journal, featured a front-page story Friday on her selection to appear at the climate summit under a banner headline, “The world is going to listen to Kathy.”

When Jetnil-Kijiner made the shortlist of candidates for the summit late last month, she was asked to submit a video of herself “explaining why I felt I should be chosen to speak at the summit.”

Award-winning local filmmaker Jack Niedenthal filmed her video presentation that was submitted to U.N. headquarters, earning her selection by the U.N. committee.

Several of her performances are posted on YouTube. She is currently teaching Pacific studies-related courses at the College of the Marshall Islands in Majuro.

SOURCE: MARIANAS VARIETY/PACNEWS

44) Nauru detention centres running out of water, emails reveal
By Online Editor
4:41 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2014, Nauru

Detention centres on Nauru are experiencing serious water shortages and reserve supplies may run out, emails seen by Guardian Australia show.

Water restrictions are in place at the island’s three detention centres and one of the resettlement accommodation blocks, with managers concerned they may be unable to immediately replenish stocks for water tanks used throughout the network.

“We are currently nearly out of water,” says an email sent by the Transfield operations manager on Nauru on Wednesday morning. It continues: “Due to recent outages at the DIBP RO (immigration department reverse osmosis facility) we have not been able to build up stock so have been slowly going backwards.”

The email notes that asylum seekers detained at OPC3 camp – which houses families, children, pregnant women and unaccompanied minors – will not have access to laundry “except for emergency”. At OPC2, where single adults males are detained in two camps, there is no access to showers.

Guardian Australia understands that the two water tanks in OPC3 will run dry in eight hours if not replenished and four hours in OPC2. Drinking water is understood to be bottled and unaffected by the shortage.

The emails warn that Transfield is attempting to get water from other suppliers on the island but resources are already stretched.

Managers are aiming to keep water supplies available at OPC1, where children are schooled.

Water outages have been a common occurrence in the Nauru detention centres and asylum seekers regularly complain of a lack of access to basic resources.

A Guardian Australia analysis of a leaked complaints and requests database from Nauru revealed that only 12% of basic requests from asylum seekers – mostly for clothing items – were met between November 2013 and January 2014.

Australian Immigration minister Scott Morrison has been contacted for comment.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

WOMAN/YOUTH

45) PNG women get leadrship skills

12 September 2014

Papua New Guinea’s Community Development Minister says there are encouraging signs that women’s leadership is being increasingly recognised throughout the country.

Delilah Gore has recently returned from attending an Asia Pacific Women Ministers and Parliamentarians Conference in Manila, where gender equality was a prime focus.

Ms Gore, who is one of only three female MPs in PNG’s 111-seat parliament, says there could be more females in the house if they are resourced as adequately as males in election campaigns.

But she says there is progress in the way women are putting up their hands and demonstrating leadership.

“We are working towards seeing more women coming to parliament, and also with the big number increasing of women coming into a lot of CEO positions and in the departments and all this. It’s an indication that leaderhips of women is now being reconised and we can participate equally with our male colleagues.”

Delilah Gore.http://www.radionz.co.nz/

EVENTS

46) Music fest special

Torika Chandra
Friday, September 12, 2014

MUSIC lovers are being encouraged to take advantage of the early bird special for the Corona Uprising Festival of Music, Dance and Lights on November 8 at Pacific Harbour.

“We have extended the early bird special which was to expire at the end of September, now to October 15th,” Uprising Resort general manager James Pridgeon said.

“This is to allow more to take advantage of this great deal and be a part of the festival itself. It’s an amazing opportunity and one great to be a part of.”

Mr Pridgeon said this year’s music festival was expected to be bigger and better.

This year also, the festival organisers introduced hip hop performances from local musicians such as Mr Grim and Jay Deuce.

“We are also partnering with the World Wildlife Fund Pacific and joining the cause on mangrove conservation.

“This is a beach side event so we want to promote cleaner and safer beaches and waterways.

“Two dollars from every ticket sale will go towards WWF Pacific.” Fijitimes

47) Asian singer wows the crowd

Atasa Moceituba
Friday, September 12, 2014

A HONG KONG professional singer wowed crowds including Fiji’s very own vude king Seru Serevi after she performed a couple of hits that mesmerised her audience.

The lass from Hong Kong caught Serevi’s attention after she performed a song with his group on Saturday night.

Coming from a family of musicians, Camay Ng says singing is not a new thing to her and is something she always loved.

For the past 15 years she has sung in different countries all over the world.

“I’m not only a professional singer I write songs and compose my own songs as well. I grew up listening to groups and singers such as Mariah Carey, Boys to Men and hip hop, that’s my music,” Ng said.

Ms Ng will be playing back-to-back and jamming with Fijian bands this Saturday at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

Well-known singer Serevi says they expect about 500 people at their concert.

He said professional artists such as Ng needed to be introduced to the country.

“For me as an experienced musician she gets everyone’s attention when she sings on stage.

“We will also have the house band that will perform and there is no admission fee so people don’t have to worry about anything,” Serevi said.Fijitimes.

SPORTS

48) Frank Farina to help Fiji U20 footballers

11 September 2014
Former Australia and Papua New Guinea football coach Frank Farina has joined the Fiji Under 20 coaching staff as a technical advisor, in the lead-up to next year’s FIFA Under 20 World Cup.

Farina was most recently in charge of Australian A-League club Sydney FC and says the opportunity to work with Fiji came at a good time, after he was relieved of his duties in April.

The 50 year old will work closely with current Fiji Under 20 coach Ravinesh Kumar and took part in his first training session with the team last week.

Fiji qualified for the World Cup in June by winning the Oceania Under 20 Championship.

They will join hosts New Zealand as Oceania representatives at the tournament in May and June of next year.Radio New Zealand International

49) NZ to host EAP U19 Cricket Trophy

11 September 2014
The ICC East Asia Pacific Under 19 trophy will be held in New Zealand early next year, in Blenheim from the end of February until the beginning of March.

The winning country will qualify for the Under 19 Cricket World Cup in 2016, with the runners-up to be placed in a global qualifying event, that offers a second chance to book their place on the world stage.

Papua New Guinea are the defending champions after defeating Vanuatu in the 2013 final.Radio New Zealand International

50) Newcastle, Wests Tigers, Cronulla, Parramatta and St George Illawarra players feature in Samoa squad
By Online Editor
11:39 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2014, Australia

Samoa has announced a train-on squad ahead of this year’s Four Nations tournament.

Newcastle’s BJ Leilua, Wests Tigers’ Tim Simona and Cronulla’s Sam Tagataese will join Parramatta trio Junior Paulo, Pauli Pauli and Kaysa Pritchard in the 24-strong squad, chosen from teams not contesting the NRL finals.

Samoa coach Matt Parish said his squad would be looking to build on the success of last year’s World Cup and this year’s Pacific Test win over Fiji.

“We have been able to pick some exciting players in the train-on squad and we will be able to add some outstanding talent over the course of the NRL finals,” Paris said.

“I’m certainly confident of what we can do in the Four Nations. We aim to be very competitive against strong opposition and showcase some of the great talent we have.

Parish will continue to add players to the train-on squad after NRL teams are eliminated from the finals. A final 24-man squad will then be announced on October 6.

Samoa plays England on October 25 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Samoa Train-On Squad

Ricky Leutele (Sharks)
Fa’amanu Brown (Sharks)
Sam Tagataese (Sharks)
Penani Manumalealii (Sharks)
Leeson Ah Mau (St George Illawarra)
Peter Mata’utia (St George Illawarra)
Kyle Stanley (St George Illawarra)
Junior Tia-Kilifi (St George Illawarra)
Suaia Matagi (Warriors)
Dominique Peyroux (Warriors)
Carlos Tuimavave (Warriors)
Michael Sio (Warriors)
Brad Abby (Warriors)
BJ Leilua (Newcastle Knights)
David Fa’alogo (Newcastle Knights)
Sione Mata’utia (Newcastle Knights)
Chanel Mata’utia (Newcastle Knights)
Junior Paulo (Parramatta)
Pauli Pauli (Parramatta)
Kaysa Pritchard (Parramatta)
Tim Simona (Wests Tigers)
Jessie Sue (Wests Tigers)
James Gavet (Wests Tigers)
Ava Seumanufagai (Wests Tigers).

SOURCE: TRIPLE MMM/PACNEWS

51) Rugby IRB wary of Olympic loophole
By Online Editor
11:40 pm GMT+12, 10/09/2014, United Kingdom
LONDON, 11 SEPTEMBER 2014 (AFP/ FBC SPORTS) —-The International Rugby Board have insisted on Tuesday they were ready to prevent exploitation of their regulations in a bid to prevent a flood of players switching national allegiance in order to compete at the inaugural sevens tournament at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Changes to eligibility rules mean a player can represent a country provided they have the correct passport and have not been capped by another team for 18 months.

An appearance in just one Olympic qualification event could lead to a player being selected for that nation’s 15-a-side team even though the IRB is trying to reduce the number of ‘dual internationals’.

England’s Steffon Armitage, the European player of the year and a star back-row forward with French and European champions Toulon, is reportedly considering his options with France for the 2015 World Cup due to England’s refusal to pick anyone playing club rugby union overseas.

Other cases could see Australia great George Smith join Tonga.

But IRB chief executive Brett Gosper, speaking in London on Tuesday, said the global governing body was aware of the potential pitfalls.

“There is a regulations committee that will look at all applications for transfer and they will look to see if it’s for bona fide sevens reasons,” Gosper explained.

“There is a safety net and any transfer will have to be passed by the committee. They will act according to the spirit of the law,” the Australian added.

“For example, if we have huge props applying for a career in sevens, then we’ll smell a rat.

“That’s an obvious example and there will be some cases that are in a grey area, but we want to ensure the integrity of the regulation and the spirit behind it is upheld.

“Any obvious abuses that go counter to that spirit of why we’re doing this will be caught in the regulations committee net.

“But players will move in both codes by coming into the sevens game — that will happen.”

Meanwhile, Flying Fijians coach John McKee says they remain unfazed by the new rules as Fiji is not really looking at recruiting all available players, who have played for other nations.

“Apart from when it initially came out and all the initial documents and things came out I haven’t really spoken to Ben (Ryan) a lot about it. Probably for Samoa and Tonga, they maybe are looking at it a bit closely. For us, most of the players that will be eligible are in positions that we are quite strong but certainly there has been expression from a number of players overseas who have contacted myself or Ben.”

Some players who Fiji could call upon are Lote Raikabula, Save Tokula, Rocky Khan, Luke Masirewa, Lote Tuqiri, Jo Rokocoko and Sitiveni Sivivatu.

SOURCE: AFP/FBC SPORTS/PACNEWS

52) Fijians finish in 44th place

Zanzeer Singh
Friday, September 12, 2014

THE Fiji team finished tied for 44th place after day one at the World Amateur Golf Team Championship in Karuizawa, Japan.

Sam Lee carded even par 71 while Olaf Frank Grant Allen scored one over par 72.

The scores for both players were totalled for the team score of one over par 143.

Abid Hussain representing the nation for the first time, failed to find his form.

Hussain completed the opening round with ten over par 81.

National Golf Association of Fiji secretary Amitesh Chandra said the national side made a good start.

Chandra said Allen bogeyed on the par six 18th hole at the Oshitate course to finish one over.

“Sam was two under at one stage after a bogey and three consecutive birdies,” he said.

“Both Sam and Olaf have international experience and should improve. One over par is a good score considering the strong field.”

Fiji is aiming for a top 30 finish in the competition after being placed 52nd in 2012 in Antalya, Turkey.

Canada, Sweden and Switzerland led the field after opening round with ten under par.Fijitimes

53) Eels focus on final game of the season

Zanzeer Singh
Friday, September 12, 2014

DISCIPLINE both on and off the field is the key factor that has seen the rise of the Nadi Eels to the Vodafone Cup Top 8 competition.

The Eels will face the Pacific Energy Kinoya Sea Eagles in the premier division final at Churchill Park tomorrow.

With the task for the season complete, a win against the rugged Sea Eagles will be a bonus for the Eels.

The Eels will boast the likes of former Fiji 7s rep Ledua Ratumuri and Fiji Bati squad members Waseroma Turaga and Watisoni Bete.

Ratumuri joined the club’s junior program as a 15-year-old in 2008 and went on to represent the nation in rugby union at the under-20 level and also in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Eels president Waisea Tokikiviro said the club was plagued with financial constraints with a few diehard fans sponsoring the team.

Tokikiviro said they do not have a proper training facility.

“The team trains at the Waqadra ground with is not a full length pitch,” he said.

“We do not have a major sponsor. There are a few people like James Sowane of Pacific Destinations and Bruce Ratakele from the British Army who have been backing the team.

“The rest of the finance is collected through fundraising.

“Last year we implemented a strict discipline policy for the players.

“This is not only on the field but off the field as well.

“There was big change in the attitude of the players.

“They are not only players for the club but role models in the society.”

Tokikiviro said the club had achieved a lot in the difficult period and was now looking forward to a better season in the Top 8.Fijitimes

54) Tailevu Naitasiri to feature in IDC super premier grade

Rashneel Kumar
Friday, September 12, 2014

NEWLY-promoted Tailevu Naitasiri will feature in the 2014 Courts Inter District Championship (IDC) in the super premier grade.

The Tagi Vonolagi-coached side was promoted to the top flight after winning the premier division decider against Savusavu last month.

Fiji Football Association confirmed Tailevu Naitasiri would be one of the teams drawn in the super premier grade in the IDC pool draws tomorrow at the Courts Samabula branch.

“Following the conclusion of the Fiji Sun/Skipper Tuna Premier division, we note that Tailevu Naitasiri has been promoted to the Super Premier division,” said Fiji FA CEO Bob Kumar in a statement.

“Therefore in keeping with the practice adopted last year where the two teams demoted featured in the premier division at the IDC, I would like to confirm that Tailevu Naitasiri will participate in the Super Premier division in the Courts IDC 2014.”

Kumar said Tailevu Naitasiri would replace the team which would finish last in the national league competition.

“It is however not yet decided which team will be relegated, hence we are not able to announce the name of the team that will be relegated after the national league,” Kumar added.

“Out of the three teams (Lautoka, Navua and Nadroga) one of them will be relegated and feature in the premier division at the IDC.”

The Courts IDC will be played from October 8 to 12 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.Fijitimes

55) Fijiana target permanent place on Women’s 7’s Series

12 September 2014

Fiji begin their bid for a permanent spot on the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series on Friday.

The Fijiana team is one of 12 vying for a top four finish in the Hong Kong qualifier.

That would be enough to secure a place at all six tournaments in the expanded series, alongside New Zealand, Australia, Canada, England, Russia, the USA and Spain.

The top four teams on the 2014/15 Series will also earn qualification for sevens’ debut at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Fiji kick off the tournament against Argentina and also take on Japan and Kenya in the group phase.http://www.radionz.co.nz/i

56) Fuzzy Wuzzy touch for town’s national celebrations

Source:
The National, Friday 12th of September, 2014

By JACK AMI
TEN teams will participate in the Oro Provincial Fuzzy Wuzzy Touch Cup in Popondetta which will start today until Tuesday, September 16, at Independence Oval.
The winners of the open men’s, women’s and mixed division will get the David Arore Cup and K10,000 each.
The silverware and cash prizes are sponsored by local MP Arore (Ijivitari), who will kick off the tournament.
The tournament will be used by Team Oro touch selectors to name their squad for the PNG Games.
This is the most lucrative tournament in the province with K30,000 in prize money and competition is expected to be intense with players competing for PNG Games spots as well.Tournament director Finella Borowen Oivo said the 10 teams were Popondetta (2), Kokoda, Buna Sananada, Higaturu, Ioma, Ewa, Oro Bay, Embogo and Central Kaiva.
The teams would be divided into two pools of five.
Pool matches start today and carry on through to Sunday, while the finals will be on Monday to coincide with the Independence celebrations.
Popondetta start as the favourites across the divisions but will have strong opposition from Kokoda, Buna Sananada, Higaturu, Ioma, Ewa, Embogo and Oro Bay while the dark horses are Central Kaiva.
Town-based Popondetta have the experience over the other teams, who are all rural-based.
Tournament founder Copland Gewa said entertainment would be provided by local artists Demas Saul, Shydeez and B Rad.
Gewa said the artists’ trip to Popondetta was made possible by Arore. They would perform at the Independence Day celebrations and the Team Oro ball night at Northern Motel. He said this was the first major fund raising drive for Team Oro and tables were going for K5000.

57) Ipatas Cup invites overseas teams

Source:
The National, Friday 12th of September, 2014

THE Ipatas Cup could see teams from overseas take part if plans by chief executive officer Timothy Lepa come through.
Lepa said the CCIC had already confirmed a team from Vanuatu and was consultating with teams from Tonga and Fiji to participate in the K100,000 tournament.
Lepa added that a team representing New South Wales, including some Papua New Guinean players who play in the NSW Cup would be invited. Lepa, in a statement yesterday, said plans were underway to involve the overseas sides on an invitational basis to raise the profile of the offseason competition.
The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League has yet to endorse the plan, however, it is believed the arrangment would be similar to sides from the region coming to the country to play in a rugby union sevens tournament.
The Ipatas Cup is the country’s premier rugby league offseason competition and involves up to 80 clubs from all four regions of the country.

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