Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1023 ( Sunday 21 September 2014 )


1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 19 September, 2014

by bobmakin

  • Interesting bulletins this morning … beginning with the Presidential Election and concentrating on the cost of the election, albeit with a certain amount of speculation on the result from both Post and VBTC. Neither matter. Conjectures will be driven by sources considered reliable (friends) by the journalist. However, the cost ensures a democratic procedure, and it also provides for our being able to witness that process at work. Nobody can complain later. The sitting continues this afternoon at 2 o’clock.
  • The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, Post reports, has attacked an article in the Vanuatu Times (sorry, we missed it and will now make sure we get Times every week) entitled “CIIP Secrets: The Untold Story”. This is particularly interesting and the VFSC Commissioner confirms to us that the private company Vanuatu Registry Services (VRS) based in Hong Kong is the VFSC Deputy Commissioner, appointed in 2008. VFSC indeed tells us this. VRS is a company not registered here, as various investigations have shown, and “sponsoring” the present lottery offering luxury island homes on land at Santo. And that company is working as Deputy Commissioner of our state owned enterprise (SoE). This is very interesting and has prompted a group of journalists – who come in for a fair bit of flack from the VFSC Commissioner – to request an Ombudsman’s Report. An investigation into how such a company could have been appointed to operate a scheme or “new product” (CIIP) which “the government devised in 2012”, and then proposed itself (that same company) to government as the exclusive operator of the scheme (with tenders?), in the same year, surely needs examining. That the company also holds a position on the executive board of the SoE which appointed it really does need more amplification. As does using foreign companies as board members.
  • The Minister of Lands is negotiating with the Registrar of the Supreme Court over the evacuation of over 300 people from the area known as Destination near the airport (Bauerfield) at Tagabe. Minister Regenvanu said the government is aware of the court order, but wants to find an alternative place for re-settlement first of all, Radio Vanuatu News reported this morning. There are additional reasons important to consider before implementation of the order, the Minister said.
  • The Vanuatu Government will be sponsoring the West Papua Conference to the extent of VT 5 million. This shows remembrance of its own struggles to be free of colonialism and sympathy towards other peoples who seem to have been tricked in the de-colonisation process.


2) Tahiti ombudsman to run for French Senate

19 September 2014

French Polynesia’s ombudsman has fended off a legal challenge by the French High Commission and can now stand for a seat in the French Senate.

Teiva Manutahi, who is also the leader of the Porinetia Ora party, went to court after his candidacy for this month’s election had been struck off when the High Commission deemed his post was incompatible with seeking a Senate seat.

Mr Manutahi became the territory’s first ombudsman in April after the opposition failed to stop the government, which was then led by Gaston Flosse, from creating his office.

In the lead-up to last year’s election, Mr Manutahi campaigned against Mr Flosse’s party and after the loss in the election’s first round, he accused it of cheating and sought to have the elections annulled.

Within days, however, he changed his mind and concluded the election campaign at Mr Flosse’s side.

The election of French Polynesia’s two members of the French Senate will be held on September the 28th.Radio New Zealand International


3) Marshalls president warns of climate emergency

 19 September 2014

The Marshall Islands President, Christopher Loeak, has released a video to demonstrate the need for world leaders to take action for what he describes as a full-blown climate emergency.

In the video, he stands in front of a seawall around his home, which he heightened after king tides and storm surges flooded many parts of the capital, Majuro, damaging buildings and roads.

The video was released ahead of next week’s United Nations Climate Summit in New York where Mr Loeak will join more than 100 other heads of state.

He says in the last year alone the Marshall Islands has suffered through unprecedented droughts in the north, and the biggest ever king tides in the south.

The president says now is the time to build the greatest climate change alliance the world has ever seen, with the science now more alarming, the impacts more severe, and the economics more compelling.

However, a number of top leaders will be no-shows at the summit, including the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.Radio New Zealand International

4) Guam Airport stifles CNMI lin, says carrier

 18 September 2014
Star Marianas Air has accused the Guam International Airport Authority of sabotaging its plans to provide flights between Guam and Saipan in the Northern Marianas.

The Tinian-based airline says proposals to start Guam-Saipan flight have fallen at the wayside after the authority refused the airline access to the Guam commuter terminal, instead offering them an interim location in a freight area of the airport.

The carrier says this would put the airline at a distinct disadvantage to United Airlines and Cape Air, which currently operate the route exclusively.

The airline says it has been trying to gain access to Guam International Airport for two years.Radio New Zealand International


5) New Zealand election: Re-elected prime minister John Key to meet with minor party leaders

Updated 21 September 2014, 11:35 AEST

By Dominique Schwartz

New Zealand prime minister John Key will talk with minor party leaders today about forming a new government after the National Party’s clear victory in Saturday’s election.

The party looks like having a one-seat outright majority in the 121-seat parliament and could govern alone.

But Mr Key said he was keen to work with others and would talk with the leaders of the three parties that were part of his last government.

He confirmed he would talk to the small free-market Act Party, centrist United Future, and indigenous Maori Party, who together have four seats, to rejoin the government.

Mr Key’s party won 48.1 per cent of the vote on Saturday, translating into 61 of 121 parliamentary seats and improving its performance from the 2011 vote.

Supporting minor parties would deliver another four seats giving National a clear majority.

The 61 seats make Mr Key the first New Zealand leader to be able to govern in his own right since the country introduced proportional voting in 1996.

“This is a victory for those who kept the faith,” he told supporters who chanted, “Three more years.”

“This is a victory for those who refused to be distracted and knew that a vote for National was a vote for a brighter future.”

The Opposition Labor Party are dissecting what went wrong after its worst performance in more than 90 years.

The party looks like holding only 32 seats after its vote fell to 24.7 per cent.

Opposition leader David Mr Cunliffe said he had no intention of resigning and wanted to stay on to rebuild the party but said the party needed to “reflect very, very carefully” on what led to the defeat.

“There is a lot more to do. We know that New Zealanders share our values but we clearly have more to do to earn their trust as a party and as a team.

“So Labour’s challenge over the next three years is to show that we are refreshed, united and indeed ready to govern.”



6) Sampela MP long Solomon Islands ino toktok long ol Bills

Updated 19 September 2014, 13:22 AEST

Sam Seke

Transparency Solomon Islands ibin wokim wanpela survey we i soim sampela interesting mak long hau ol memba blong palamen long Solomon islands i save contribute long ol gavman Bills we ol i toktok longen long palamen.

Em i soim tu olsem sampela memba i save stap long miting tasol ol i no save toktok long ol gavman bill we ol i kaik long kamapim olsem loa.
Survey i soim tu olsem sampela memba i no save go long miting.
Executive Ofisa blong Transparency Solomon Islands, Daniel Fenua i tok ol i mekim dispela survey long ol pipol i ken lukim sapos memba blong ol i wokim trutru wok long palamen.
Dispela survey i lukluk long taim we i stat long 1st miting long 1st October 2010, inap long 28th May 2014.
Ol membe we i gat gutpela records nau em ol:
1.  MP for North East Choiseul, Hon. Manasseh Sogavere attended all 37 bills and has contributed 36 times.
2.  MP for West Are’ are, Hon. John Maneniaru , contributed 24 times to 37 bills.
3.  MP for North East Guadalcanal, Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua also contributed 24 times.
4. Prime Minister and MP for Gizo Kolombangara, Hon. Gordon Dalcy Lilo contributed 22 times.
5. Small Malaita MP, Hon. Rick Houenipwela contributed 22 times.
6. MP for Aoke Langalanga Hon. Matthew Cooper contributed 20 times
7. Central Guadalcanal MP, Hon. Peter Shanel Agovaka has contributed 18 times.
Mr Fenua i tok 7 pela memba ol i no bin mekim wanpela toktok long ol bills ia insait long 4 pela yar.
Em I tok i gutpela long ol pipol i save long dispela pastaim long kantri i voutim ol niupela memba long nasinol ileksen long disapela yar.Radio Australia


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

Mis à jour 19 September 2014, 10:46 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Environ 200 Australiens de la communauté musulmane ont manifesté jeudi soir à Sydney. Ils accusent les autorités de créer un climat de psychose, depuis le vaste coup de filet antiterroriste mené par 800 policiers hier matin. 

4 terroristes présumés ont été mis en examen, dont Omarjan Azari, lié à l’État islamique, et soupçonné d’avoir planifié l’assassinat d’Australiens choisis au hasard. Hier Tony Abbott a bien précisé que ces terroristes présumés ne représentent en rien la communauté musulmane d’Australie. 

  • L’opération antiterroriste australienne a coïncidé avec l’audition jeudi de John Kerry, par la commission des Affaires étrangères du Congrès. Le secrétaire d’État américain doit justifier le projet d’attaquer les groupes djihadistes en Irak et en Syrie. « Des sympathisants de l’État islamique préparaient une orgie de violence en Australie (…) nous devons décimer ce culte militant », a déclaré John Kerry.
  • Et parallèlement, Tony Abbott a indiqué ce matin qu’une menace terroriste pesait sur le gouvernement et le Parlement. La sécurité a été renforcée, la police fédérale déployée à l’intérieur du Parlement, ce qui n’était pas le cas avant.
  • Fidji: les résultats définitifs devraient être connus d’ici lundi – les résultats provisoires font toujours état de plus de 60% des voix pour Franck Bainimarama et son parti Fiji First. Jeudi cinq partis ont dénoncé des fraudes électorales systématiques. Accusation rejetée par le ministre des Élections, également Garde des Sceaux du gouvernement sortant, Ayiaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Et les 92 observateurs internationaux, principalement européens et mélanésiens, affirment ne pas avoir constaté d’irrégularités.
  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: la route des Hauts-Plateaux est bloquée depuis le début de la semaine. Des villageois ont érigé plusieurs barrages sur la portion de la route qui passe par la province est des Hauts-Plateaux. Ils rackettent les automobilistes. Ces coupeurs de route réclament justice pour la torture et l’assassinat samedi dernier d’un professeur de la province est. Albert Gibson voyageait dans un bus sur la route des Hauts-Plateaux et il a été victime d’un crime raciste, tué par des gens de la région ouest des Hauts-Plateaux. Les Papous de la région est exigent la peine de mort pour ses meurtriers. Et pour se faire entendre, ils bloquent la principale voie de communication du pays. Car quand l’autoroute des hauts-plateaux est coupée, c’est toute l’économie du pays qui s’arrête. Le numéro 2 de la police s’est donc envolé pour Goroka, la capitale de la province est des Hauts-Plateaux, pour tenter de raisonner les coupeurs de route. Radio Australia


8) Iraq crisis: France launches first air strike on Islamic State militants

Updated 20 September 2014, 10:56 AEST

French jets have carried out their first air strike against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, successfully destroying their target.

French president Francois Hollande made the announcement, vowing that more operations would follow.

“This morning at 9:40, our Rafale planes carried out a first strike against a logistics depot of the terrorist organisation Daesh in north-east Iraq. The objective was hit and completely destroyed,” Mr Hollande’s office said in a statement, using an alternative name for the extremist group.

The Iraqi military said dozens of militants were also killed in the strike.

“Other operations will follow in the coming days. The prime minister will inform parliament next week about the conditions of our forces’ engagement at the side of the Iraqi armed forces and the Peshmerga (Kurdish fighters) to weaken Daesh and restore Iraqi sovereignty,” the statement added.

In a dramatic announcement at a hotly awaited news conference a day earlier, Mr Hollande said France would provide what he called “aerial support” to the Iraqi army in their fight against the militant group which has taken over nearly half of the violence-ridden country.

“I decided to respond to the request of the Iraqi authorities to offer aerial support,” Mr Hollande said.

“As soon as we have identified targets, we will act … within a short time-frame.”

France has already conducted reconnaissance flights over Iraq that started on Monday and dispatched weapons to the Kurdish forces fighting the IS group.

Mr Hollande himself visited Iraq late last week – the most high-profile leader to do so since jihadists stormed across the country – and Paris hosted an international conference on the crisis on Monday.

However, unlike the United States, which has pledged to attack the Islamic State group even in Syria where they hold around a quarter of the country, Mr Hollande said French involvement would be limited to Iraq.

“We will not go further than that. There will be no ground troops and we will only intervene in Iraq,” he said.

France has six Rafale fighter jets and just under 1,000 soldiers based in the United Arab Emirates and could even mobilise an aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle.

Iraq’s most important Shiite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, endorsed international intervention against Islamic State in the country, following US and French air strikes, but called for strict guidelines.

“Even if Iraq is in need of help from its brothers and friends in fighting black terrorism, maintaining the sovereignty and independence of its decisions is of the highest importance,” Ayatollah Sistani’s spokesman Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Karbala’i said during a Friday sermon.

Ayatollah Sistani speaks for millions of Iraqis and has a worldwide following.


9) Tropical Storm Fung-Wong leaves 200,000 displaced in Philippines, heads for Taiwan

Posted 20 September 2014, 15:55 AEST

Storm Fung-Wong is churning towards Taiwan after killing at least five people in the Philippines and forcing some 200,000 people into temporary shelter, including in the capital Manila, to escape massive flooding.

Most schools on the main island of Luzon remained closed for a second day as a huge mopping-up operation began. Some public offices have reopened.

“Some of our things are buried in mud, it will take awhile to clean up,” a resident in Marikina City said while clearing up layers of mud and debris inside their residence.

Fung-Wong, with winds of 95kph and gusts of 120kph, slammed in the northern tip of the Philippines on Friday, cutting power in many areas and soaking rice and corn farms and bringing the capital to a near standstill.

The storm, travelling north at 15kph, is expected to hit the Taiwan on Monday, according to the state weather bureau.

Fung-Wong, locally known as “Mario” centre, is currently around 137km northeast of Laoag City in the Ilocos province in the north. It was expected to be at 647kms north of Batanes on Monday, outside the Philippine area of responsibility.

Alexander Pama, executive-director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said five people died, including a two-year-old girl who drowned in the capital. Two were electrocuted while wading in flood waters.

Mr Pama said seven people were injured and one more was still missing in floods.

A boat capsized in the central Philippines but all 53 crew and passengers were rescued by the navy, Mr Pama said.

Officials have declared a state of calamity in some areas in the capital and in Cebu City in the central Philippines due to floods, that have left some parts of the city 2 metres underwater.

Trading on the city’s stock exchange and local currency market was suspended on Friday and will resume on Monday.

At least 40 domestic flights were grounded and six international flights were diverted by civil aviation authorities.

More than 700,000 people were affected by the storm and about 200,000 people were forced out from their homes and staying in shelter areas, disaster officials said.

Mr Pama said some residents were rescued perching on their roofs or trapped inside their homes in Marikina and Quezon City. More than 300 areas in seven regions in the country were flooded.

Tropical storms regularly hit the Philippines, with Fung-Wong the second to hit in two weeks.

Last year, typhoon Haiyan struck in the central Philippines, killing more 6,300 people. An average of 20 typhoons hit the country every year.



10) Co-op helps with services

The National, Friday September 19th 2014

 THE lack of basic government services in rural areas has prompted a local co-operative to take the lead for Okapa district, in Eastern Highlands.
The Yagusa community of ward 4 LLG will have a water supply for the first time through a community project initiated by the Highlands Organic Agriculture Co-operative.
It has funded community improvement projects in the district, including several water projects and school infrastructure. 
Co-operative chairman Daniel Kinne said they had the support of their development partners Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand to reduce water problems and improve the lives of rural people.
“Such services including the basic government services like health and education were hardly delivered to the people over the years since independence,” Kinne said.
He said roads linking rural communities to towns that would have enabled a smooth flow of services for the rural population had been given little attention.
“But that has not discouraged HOAC that has already established benchmarks and is delivering to assist and making the way forward to make things happen for the farmers as well as the local people of the rural Okapa district,” he said.
The co-operative bought hundreds of manual coffee pulpers and distributed them to assist people processcoffee. 
The co-operative funded the construction of permanent classrooms at PurosaPrimary, Doctor Alper’sPrimary, Ke’efuPrimary and several elementary schools in the north and south Fore constituencies ofOkapa district. 
Kinne thanked development partners FAIRTRADE Australia andNZ for supporting the co-operative since its establishment in 2004. 


11) Colombo Plan Takes PNG-Australia Relationship To ‘Next Level’
60 scholarships to be available to students next year

By Alexander Rheeney 

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 19, 2014) – The Australian government-funded Colombo Plan will take the relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea to the next level and will be ready for implementation from next year.

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop said this on Wednesday evening at a welcome dinner for a symposium organised by the Papua New Guinea-Australia Association (PNGAA) in Sydney from September 17 to 18.

Under the plan, Australian students will be offered undergraduate study scholarships in the Indo-Pacific region including PNG. Ms Bishop recently said the Colombo Plan roll-out will start from January next year in which 60 scholarships and $A8 million (US$7.2 million) in mobility grants will be on offer to potential applicants.

Speaking at the welcome dinner, the foreign minister said PNG and Australia shared long, deep and historical ties which continue to be beneficial to the two neighbouring countries. The good working relationship she has with her PNG colleague Rimbink Pato was also highlighted in her speech, which was epitomised in the duo greeting each other “brother” and “sister”.

Charlie Lynn, an Australian and a member of the NSW legislative council, said the new Colombo Plan was long overdue. He further suggested Melanesian studies should be incorporated into Australian educational curriculum at the primary and secondary school level.

Former Australian governor-general, Major General Michael Jeffrey (retired), echoed similar sentiments on the merits of the new Colombo Plan when he gave a presentation at the PNGAA symposium yesterday.

“Two or three things that did impress me is the development of the new Colombo Plan, I was surprised we didn’t do that 30 years ago. That’s a good plan and to see it being reintroduced, I think, will be terrific,” he said.

The Major General, who was company commander with the 1st Battalion in The Pacific Islands Regiment based at Taurama and later commander of 2nd Battalion in Wewak in his early soldiering years in the early 1960s and late 1970s, is the patron of the PNGAA. 

PNG Post-Courier


12) ABG plan to focus on priorities

The National, Friday September 19th 2014

 THE 2015 Autonomous Region of  Bougainville budget planning process will be driven by its government priorities and local people’s needs, its Minister for Finance says.
Albert Punghau said the framework emerged from district planning and its administration has been engaging with Councils of Elders, Village Assemblies and constituency members to identify the needs to determine priorities.  
“Planning work has been recently completed, a number of sectors such as health, law and justice have been establishing minimum standards for delivery of services,” he said.
Punghau said Bougainville would have an integrated planning and budgeting process, incorporating top-down from the Bougainville executive council priorities to consultations with relevant stakeholders such as the Councils of Elders and Village Assemblies in the districts. 
This approach was formulated in a budget forum in Arawa last month.
“This week requests from the Councils of Elders and districts are being considered and prioritised in joint discussions here in Buka before the executive managers go back to their districts for further consultation,” Punghau said.
He said the other aspect of the formulation is the submission to the Government for funding under guaranteed grants. 
The ABG will be making its detailed submission to the Government by the end of next week.
This year, the submission for the 2015 recurrent unconditional grant is seeking an increase of about K40 million so that costs for government functions are covered.
The submission will detail the cost of services for all 14 departments, parliamentary services, Electoral Commission, the Bougainville police service and the chief collector of taxes.
13) Vanuatu bureaucrat loses court appeal over sacking

 19 September 2014

The former chairman of the Vanuatu Public Service Commission, Maurice Michel, has lost his Supreme Court case disputing his dismissal by the Prime Minister Joe Natuman.

The government’s stand was basically that Mr Michel could not be appointed because of his political affiliation to the Green Confederation of Moana Carcasses.

Mr Michel confirmed in court he had served as a political adviser to two Green Confederation ministers in 2010 and 2012.

He also has a criminal conviction.

Mr Natuman, who is the minister responsible for the commission, has named as its new chairman, Wilson Kanam.Radio New Zealand International

14) Fiji election: Frank Bainimarama claims victory, says he is ‘deeply honoured and humbled’

Updated 21 September 2014, 16:58 AEST

Fiji’s prime minister Frank Bainimarama has claimed victory in the country’s first democratic elections in eight years.

“My fellow Fijians, as you know Fiji First has won the general elections and I will lead the new government to serve the nation,” he told thousands of cheering supporters gathered in a sports stadium.

The 60-year-old ruler, a former naval officer who has twice seized power in Fiji via military coup, has been prime minister of Fiji since 2007.

Although the final vote count has not been released, provisional results show Mr Bainimarama’s Fiji First Party heading towards a clear victory.

Fijian people have put their trust in me to lead them into our new and true democracy

Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama

The latest figures from the Fiji Electoral Office showed Fiji First with 59.1 per cent support after votes had been counted at 88 per cent of the polling booths.

The Social Democratic Liberal Party was a distant second at 28.3 per cent.

Conduct of election wins praise from observers

The poll conducted on Wednesday was broadly praised by a 92-member international observer group, despite opposition accusations of fraud.

On Sunday, with 90 per cent of the vote counted, Mr Bainimarama delivered a victory speech in which he thanked the military forces for standing by him since 2000.

“I am deeply honoured and humbled that the Fijian people have put their trust in me to lead them into our new and true democracy,” Mr Bainimarama told the crowd in Suva.

“My absolute promise [is] that we will govern for the well being of all Fijians.”

Mr Bainimarama seized on a long-simmering rivalry between indigenous Fijian nationalists and minority ethnic Indians, the economically powerful descendants of labourers brought by the British to work sugarcane fields, to justify his coup in 2006.

In 2000, ethnic Fijians held the first Indo-Fijian prime minister hostage in parliament for 56 days, in a coup that began with deadly riots in the streets of the capital Suva.

Mr Bainimarama was brought in to head the interim military government installed after a counter-coup.

Australia said on Friday that it looked forward to working with the new government after provisional results put Mr Bainimarama’s party in the lead.

AFP / Reuters


15) Co-op helps with services

The National, Friday September 19th 2014

 THE lack of basic government services in rural areas has prompted a local co-operative to take the lead for Okapa district, in Eastern Highlands.
The Yagusa community of ward 4 LLG will have a water supply for the first time through a community project initiated by the Highlands Organic Agriculture Co-operative.
It has funded community improvement projects in the district, including several water projects and school infrastructure. 
Co-operative chairman Daniel Kinne said they had the support of their development partners Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand to reduce water problems and improve the lives of rural people.
“Such services including the basic government services like health and education were hardly delivered to the people over the years since independence,” Kinne said.
He said roads linking rural communities to towns that would have enabled a smooth flow of services for the rural population had been given little attention.
“But that has not discouraged HOAC that has already established benchmarks and is delivering to assist and making the way forward to make things happen for the farmers as well as the local people of the rural Okapa district,” he said.
The co-operative bought hundreds of manual coffee pulpers and distributed them to assist people processcoffee. 
The co-operative funded the construction of permanent classrooms at PurosaPrimary, Doctor Alper’sPrimary, Ke’efuPrimary and several elementary schools in the north and south Fore constituencies ofOkapa district. 
Kinne thanked development partners FAIRTRADE Australia andNZ for supporting the co-operative since its establishment in 2004. 


16) Studio manager sees demise of PNG music

The National, Friday September 19th 2014

 THE Papua New Guinea music industry is losing its value and prestige, a former recording studio manager says.
Piracy, through the use of technology and gadgets was not helping it, and radio and television companies should pay artists for playing their songs, he said.
A copyright law should be high on the agenda  to protect the music industry, former CHM producer and Power House Records Studio manager Thomas Mabi said.
He worked with musicians and singers since the 1970s.
“There should be some arrangements in place for radio and TV stations to pay fees to the owner of the music they use to sell their airtime,” he said. 
“It’s not a very hard process. Recording studios will be the ones to submit the music to the radio stations and enter a contract agreement on payments as producers of the work,” Mabi said.
“What our artists don’t realise is that radio stations need and use our music to sell their airtime and make big money, while artists are filled with pride just because their songs are being played on radio,”he said.
He said radio stations could utilise their traffic department to screen a song before playing it on air to give listeners quality music.
“Piracy will always happen. Artists pay the recording and production costs and traders benefit from the sales of their memory cards and mp3 players. The artists get nothing,” he said.


17) Indonesia envoy: Batas trade important

The National, Friday September 19th 2014

PAPUA New Guinea and Indonesia are benefiting from the trade at Batas (border) and it should not be closed due to security reasons, Republic of Indonesia-Vanimo consul Jahar Gultom says.
He said: “There is no detail of our bilateral trade at Batas, but many people said the number is US$7 million per year (K17m)”.  
When asked about the number of Indonesians investors in PNG, he said there are only two investors operating small supermarkets selling foods, drink and building materials. 
He said the consul does not have any information on PNG investments in Indonesia, adding that there may be none at the moment.
“Both nations are benefiting from trade in Batas, right now. Batas Market is open on Tuesday and Thursday and if the situation (security) gets better and situation is under control, it will be open three days in a week as it was. 
“PNG people found that the price of goods is cheaper in Batas than in Vanimo. 
“They come to Batas for shopping and lunch for Indonesian food. 
“Indonesian businessmen found out that PNG people are good shoppers, because they buy till they finish their kina. 
“When Batas close due to security reason, Vanimo suffers because the price always goes up. 
“As neighbours, Indonesia and PNG should work hand in hand and maintain our border for our benefit.” 
In less than a year, following his appointment to Vanimo, Gultom described the bilateral relations between PNG and Indonesia as ‘growing and much better’ compared to three years ago. 
“The Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo is working together with Sandaun (provincial government) and Papua provinces to conduct several joint activities such as sports, cultural, business, farmers training and visits of dignitaries from both countries.” 
The consulate has an excellent cooperation with Sandaun provincial government and administrations churches in Vanimo. 

18) Samar luring Chinese investors

The National, Thursday 18th of September, 2014

 POTENTIAL Chinese investors and financiers have recently been given an insight into Papua New Guinea’s mining investment opportunities.
Mineral Resources Authority managing director Philip Samar – in his presentation at the 7th China International Nickel Industry Summit in Fuzhou, Fujian, China – told participants that PNG was intensifying efforts in diversifying its mineral base and investment in other minerals other than gold, copper and silver.
“Diversification was critical for a mineral dependent country such as PNG given volatile mineral price shifts witnessed recently and in event of a down-turn in world commodity prices for copper and gold, you could still have other minerals to maintain revenue flows into the country,” he said. 
Samar said PNG had world class nickel/cobalt exploration projects some of which needed financing and capital investment in order for these projects to be advanced to next stage of development.
Wowo Gap and Mambare nickel projects along the Owen Stanley Ranges are large projects that boast resources larger than Ramu. 
These two projects were highlights that captured the attention of participants at the conference.
Other known nickel occurrences around the country were highlighted.
PNG was the spotlight of the conference given the fact that two largest nickel exporters, Indonesia and Philippines, were both passing legislation restricting export of nickel ore to China.
Therefore PNG was being targeted as the next supplier of nickel ore to the region particularly China.
The conference acknowledged significant developments to date in the maturity of both the industry and overall government efforts in promoting exploration and mining sector. These include review of Mining Act 1992, creation of new tenements management system and provision of new geological datasets through airborne geophysical surveys that has been done on highly prospective areas of PNG.
Fuzhou Department of Commerce will be visiting MRA next Tuesday with a delegation of 5 business houses to further enquire on prospects of taking up nickel prospects in the country.
The MRA delegation alsoheld a number of meetings on the side lines of the conference with potential investors and financiers including a meetingorganised by China Development Bankand Fujian provincial government’s department of commerce.
This meeting was attended by more than 12 Chinese companies interested in seeking out further exploration and mining opportunities in the country.

19) Renbell mining heads to court

Published: 19 September 2014

MINING Renbel’s multi-million dollar bauxite deposit in West Rennell appears destined to the courts as angry landowners seek a High Court injunction to stop Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) from doing any work on their land.

At the same time the authenticity of a letter granting the mining lease to APID is under the microscope.

The letter was purportedly signed by the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, Moses Gharu, who could not recall having signed such a letter.

The chairman of the West Rennell Resources Lands Owners Association Trust Board (Incorporated), Jonathan Tohuika, confirmed he has instructed his lawyer to apply for a High Court injunction to stop APID from carrying out any work on their land.

“I saw my lawyer this week and I am awaiting feedback from him,” he said.

In a letter to the Minerals Board, Mr Tohuika warned of “serious legal consequences and social chaos or unrest for the country” should the company, APID start work on the project.

“I hope you can recognise your Ministry has committed a serious mistake which might lead to a serious legal consequences and social chaos or unrest for the country,” the letter dated 9th September said.

“(I) hope your Ministry will be able to rectify your mistakes on this illegal mining lease and cancel their (APID’s) Prospecting Licence as soon as possible,” the two-page letter said.

\Meanwhile Minister Gharu said he could not clearly recall signing a letter which granted APID its licence. The letter was dated 5th September 2014.

Mr Gharu was shown a copy of the letter.

“I did sign some documents but I am not sure this is one of them,” he said. 

The letter was dated 05th September 2014, the day MrGharu arrived back in the country after a medical visit to Australia.

The same letter with the Minister’s alleged signature appeared in the Island Sun newspaper as a Paid Notice on the same day.

According to the letter, APID’s Mining Lease is valid for 25 years “and may be renewed (subject to conditions) for a (further) 10-year period and unlimited number of times.”

“The lease may also be transferred, subject to written approval from the Mineral’s Board,” the letter said.

20) Vanuatu eyed for US$1b nickel plant

20 September 2014

A deal has been signed between a New Caledonian and a Chinese company to build a one-billion US dollar nickel plant in Vanuatu.

The agreement provides for a joint venture, which gives New Caledonia’s MKM company a 51 percent stake and China’s Jin Pei 49 percent.

The plan is to mine New Caledonia’s low quality ore reserves, which are valued at 20 billion US dollars, and ship them to Santo in northern Vanuatu to a smelter yet to built.

The head of MKM, Wilfried Mai, has told New Caledonian television that he has advised the Chinese investors to build the plant in Vanuatu because taxes are low and labour is cheap.

The project is to be completed within five years.

He says to have the plant in the south of New Caledonia is difficult because of local opposition to such industries.

This follows unrest over spills at the Vale plant earlier this year, with demonstrators causing more than 30 million US dollars worth of damage.

New Caledonia, which has about a quarter of the world’s nickel reserves, has three major processing plants.Radio New Zealand International

21) Global banker

Ropate Valemei
Saturday, September 20, 2014

WESTPAC Group has been assessed as the most sustainable bank globally in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) Review.

Westpac CEO Gail Kelly said Westpac had achieved sector leadership in the well recognised benchmark, building on Westpac’s award as the world’s most sustainable company in the Global 100 at Davos early this year.

“This clearly shows that our commitment to sustainability is deeply embedded in our business processes, our culture and our operational strategy,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful reflection of the outstanding efforts of 36,000 employees who are working every day to achieve our vision to help our customers, communities and people prosper and grow.”

Westpac has been recognised as a global leader for banks in the DJSI since 2002.

In the 2014 DJSI, the bank said it had achieved its strongest ever score of 93 per cent.

In assessing Westpac’s performance, S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM rated Westpac’s performance strongest in the following areas such as financial inclusion, financial stability and systemic risk, customer relationship management, risk and crisis management, labour practice indicators and human rights, climate strategy, supply chain management, brand management and anti-crime policy and measures, codes of conduct, compliance, corruption and bribery.

“The DJSI RobecoSAM assessment is the most widely accepted global evaluation of how companies manage and perform across social, economic and environmental dimensions and has become the reference point in sustainability investing,” the bank said.

22) Ports vital for growth

Ropate Valemei
Saturday, September 20, 2014

Attorney-General and Minister for Enterprises Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji could be the next Singapore in the world.

At the Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) bonus payout announcement last month, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji was on the path to achieving a particular economic output that had been unsurpassed.

“Never before have we had this type of growth rate in Fiji.

“It is important for you to understand that port plays a very critical role, that the level of economic growth we achieved on a sustainable basis is unprecedented, and that it never happened before.”

He said the country was looking at a growth rate of 3.6 per cent to 3.8 per cent.

“There are also talks on how Fiji can become Singapore and indeed ladies and gentlemen it can become like Singapore.

“Singapore was able to capitalise on its geographical location.

“And they have achieved a high level of efficiency and productivity.

“Today everybody looks up to Singapore.

“Fiji can become the Singapore of the South Pacific.

“In fact, we can do better,” he said.


23) Australia Police Alert PNG To Possible Terror Linkages
Family with investments in PNG alleged to be funneling funds to Syria

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 19, 2014) – Papua New Guinean authorities have been alerted to an investigation by the Australian Federal Police over $9 million [US$8.1 million] in missing funds alleged to have been transferred out of Australia alleged to fund terror activities within and abroad.

A story published in The Australian newspaper detailed that a money-remittance company linked to the family of convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf was being investigated by the Australian Federal Police.

Authorities are also concerned that the company, Bisotel Rieh Global Money Transfer, may have transferred funds to Mohamed Elomar, Khaled Sharrouf’s companion in Syria and a fellow fighter with a terrorist organisation.

One of the alleged persons named in that report has companies operating in PNG. PNG security officials told the Post-Courier yesterday that they had already been made aware and welcomed Australia’s support if there were PNG links.

The officials said the Government-appointed task force team investigating the alleged terror link stories published in the media recently was also working hard to meet their deadline on the matter.

The report said the company that was being investigated over suspicious transfers of funds to individuals in Malaysia, amid admissions from staff that it “actively smuggles” money from Turkey into Lebanon, also has connections in PNG.

According to the reports published yesterday, Khaled Sharrouf and Elomar, being in the business and investigated over the whole issue, fled Australia late last year and allegedly travelled together to Syria, transiting through Malaysia. It was not clear if they were the recipients of the cash.

It was reported yesterday that an Australian company which specialises in money transfers to the Middle East failed to declare $9 million between January and August.

Australian police allege that these funds may have been transferred outside of Australia to companies linked to Khaled Sharrouf and Elomar and that “the figures don’t appear to match.’’

“It’s a fairly big difference in a short space of time,” Australian police were quoted as saying in the newspaper reports. “We are satisfied that the continued registration … may involve a significant financing-of-terrorism risk.’’

Back in PNG task force team investigating the alleged terror links said they were aware of Australian investigations.

PNG Post-Courier

24) OXFAM Supports Victims Of Gender Violence In PNG
Fund to help women escape violence, support themselves

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 19, 2014) – OXFAM plans to end poverty and injustice by providing additional support for victims of gender-based violence in the country.

It includes a fund to repatriate victims and packages for those who want to become economically independent.

Oxfam in an international non-government organisation. 

Its executive director in Australia Dr Helen Szoke made the announcements at the opening of a new office for Papua Hahine, a local women’s network which helps the victims to access counselling and support in Port Moresby.

Szoke said support from Australian and Canadian governments helped set up a pilot repatriation fund for those in the Highlands. It will be extended to the National Capital District, Central, East Sepik, Morobe, Madang and Milne Bay. 

“We are happy that support from Australia and Canada now allow us to extend this life-saving work to another six provinces,” she said. 

“We want the fund to operate in all provinces and we will continue to look at ways to extend this work.”

She said there would be a repatriation fund to provide start-up packages to victims of violence. It is up to K1000.

“The fund is not only about saving lives, it is giving people a chance at a new life beyond the cycle of violence,” she said. 

“There will be items like sewing machines, gardening tools and materials provided to some of the most vulnerable women in PNG to build new houses.”

The National


25) Alotau is next host

The National, Friday September 19th 2014

 ALOTAU will host the next National Netball Championships. 
That was one of several resolutions passed by the Papua New Guinea Netball Federation during its annual general meeting in Kimbe yesterday.
The 2015 championships will take place during the Independence week.
In the meeting’s other significant announcement, the affiliation fee for associations was set at K1000.
All associations are required to pay the amount by a date yet to be set and with an additional K1 per player, official and umpire.
By doing so, the associations will provide information on their numbers and this data will be used by the federation to plan development programmes and help its affiliates.

Selections made at the nationals will represent their respective provinces at November’s PNG Games.

26) Ra ready to host Nadroga

Maciu Malo
Saturday, September 20, 2014

RA Rugby union has welcomed the move by BLK Nadroga to host the HFC Bank Farebrother Sullivan Challenge game against Handy Finance Naitasiri Northen Bulls at the Ra Sports ground this afternoon.

Ra team manager Filimone Dranivesi said the historic rugby battle would be a huge learning curve to the Ra rugby players.

He said the people of Ra were honoured to host the first ever Farebrother game.

“We thank Nadroga for accepting our traditional request to host the Farebrother game at our ground,” said Dranivesi.

“Nadroga played a huge role in our B Division campaign this season by providing our rugby outfit.

“Nadroga also sent former national rep Iliesa Ratuva to assist our boys at training.

“The hosting of the Farebrother in Ra is to strengthen the traditional ties shared by the two provinces.”

Dranivesi urged the people of Ra to make use of this opportunity and to make an effort to watch the game.

He said the game could inspire young Ra players to become a better player in future.

“The game will be a huge learning curve for our boys as we reset out goal for next year’s B Division campaign.”

Ra faces Vatukoula in a friendly game as a curtain-raiser to the Farebrother game.

27) PNGRFL names Q-Cup player of the year in 21-man squad

The National, Friday September 19th 2014

 QUEENSLAND Cup Player of the Year Luke Page has been named in the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII squad for the October 12 match against Australia.
The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League announced their PM’s XIII 21-man squad yesterday, which was signed off by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, before being released in line with protocol for the 10th anniversary of the annual fixture.
Page plays for the Souths Logan Magpies.
The 23-year-old prop is joined by three other overseas-based players, Wellington Albert, Rhys Martin and Mark Mexico.
Page is contracted to the Canberra Raiders and previously played for the Gold Coast Titans Under-20s in 2010.
Page, who stands 186-centimetres and weights 110-kilograms, will add size to the PNG side and will join the squad in Kokopo, East New Britain, once visa requirements are met.
The squad features brothers Wellington and Stanton Albert. 
Wellington’s involvement will depend on clearance from his surgeon which is expected next Tuesday.
Mexico, who played most of the season for the Cronulla Sharks feeder club in the NSW Cup competition, will join the squad on Sunday. 
Rhys Martin – currently in the Sydney Roosters top 25 player list – will finish his senior club commitments before joining the squad. 
James Segeyaro (Penrith Panthers), Ray Thompson (North Queensland Cowboys), Nene McDonald (Sydney Roosters) and Jayden Hodges (Manly Sea Eagles) are unavailable for selection, while South Sydney winger Alex Johnston is unavailable and likely to line up for Australia in the PM13 clash. 
David Mead (Gold Coast Titans) and Rod Griffin (Ipswich Jets) are unavailable due to both getting married next month.
Coach Mal Meninga said he was confident in the squad, which was finalised in consultation with selectors and assistant coach and Hunters mentor Michael Marum. 
“It was a difficult and long process trying to work through which overseas players were available and as it is not a World Cup year it is difficult to secure the services of them due to eligibility guidelines, club commitments and injuries,” Meninga said. 
“Having said that, we are excited about the young talent available and the pathway that has been created in PNG.
“The selection focus was on combinations and youth and the best group of players playing at the highest level possible,” he current Queensland Origin coach said. 
“Luke Page was a welcome addition. He is only 23, big, strong, aggressive and I know the Raiders have a big wrap on him. 
“He is really excited about playing so we are pleased to have him. 
“We are in a rebuilding phase and we have to start now.”
PNG PM’ XIII: Dion Aiye, Luke Page, Wellington Albert, Sebastian Pandia, Stanton Albert, Brandy Peter, Israel Eliab, Wartovo Puara Jr, Adam Korave, Esau Siune, Roger Laka, Jason Tali, Gary Lo, Thompson Tete, Timothy Lomai, Lawrence Tu’u, Rhys Martin, Adex Wera, Mark Mexico, Noel Zeming, Willie Minoga, Edward Goma.
28) Seagulls, Tigers clash in prelim

The National, Friday September 19th 2014

 THE Wynnnum Manly Seagulls are 80 minutes away from a Queensland Cup grand final berth after coming from behind to beat Ipswich 34-22 last Sunday.
The Seagulls meet Easts on Sunday at Langlands Park after the Tigers fell to an 8-7 defeat to the Northern Pride in last Saturday’s qualifying final.
In the junior competition, Wynnum are through to the FOGS Cup (U20) decider on September 28 after beating Redcliffe, 32-24 last Sunday.
Redcliffe will meet Easts Tigers on Sunday for the right to play the Seagulls.
In the FOGS Colts Challenge, Burleigh Bears clinched a 26-12 win over Redcliffe at Pizzey Park last Saturday and Wynnum Manly beat Sunshine Coast 38-14 last Sunday.
Wynnum will play Redcliffe with the winner progressing to the Colts decider against Burleigh. 
In related news, Q-Cup  fans will rock to the music of Thirsty Merc when Queensland’s spiritual home of rugby league, Suncorp Stadium, hosts the grand final on September 28.
The acclaimed Australian band will fire up the entertainment before the 2014 premiership decider sizzles into action.

29) Jittery start for Chelsea

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Update: 2:33AM LONDON – Chelsea have made a spluttering start to their Champions League campaign as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s second-half equaliser earned Schalke a surprise 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Jose Mourinho’s side had been in dominant mood in the early weeks of the season and they looked well in control of their Group G opener after an early strike from Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

But Fabregas’s first goal since his pre-season move from Barcelona was the prelude to a frustrating evening for the Blues, who wasted a string of chances to finish off Schalke and were made to pay when Huntelaar fired home to give the Germans the point their perseverance deserved.

The Premier League leaders will still expect to qualify from a group also including Sporting Lisbon and Maribor, but this was hardly the kind of ruthless performance required to go one step further than last season’s semi-final.

“I’m frustrated because we had very good chances to make it 2-0 and after the 1-1 we had a fantastic reaction and had more chances to win the game,” Mourinho said.

Schalke manager Jens Keller by contrast was ecstatic with his side’s performance.

“I’m very proud of what we did against such a top team. Our plan went perfectly.”

Fuelled by the predatory finishing of Spain striker Diego Costa, who has scored seven times in four matches since arriving from Atletico Madrid, Mourinho’s men had reeled off four successive victories.

But despite Costa’s impressive form, Mourinho opted to rest the Brazil-born star and handed Didier Drogba his first start since his return.

Stretching to win possession, Fabregas lunged in on Max Meyer, missing the ball and leaving the Schalke midfielder writhing in agony.

With furious Schalke players appealing for the foul, Croatian referee Ivan Bebek instead waved play on and Fabregas sprinted to receive a clever back-flicked pass from Eden Hazard in the area before guiding a cool finish past Ralf Faehrmann.

Schalke gradually came into the match and Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng lashed in a fierce long-range effort that brought a fine save from Thibaut Courtois.

In a reversal of Chelsea’s goal, Fabregas was dispossessed after a possible foul from Huntelaar, whose pass released Draxler to launch a rapid counter-attack that ended with Dutch striker Huntelaar planting a clinical low strike past Courtois to stun the Bridge into silence.


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