Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1025 ( Wednesday 24 Septmber 2014 )

MELANESIA

1) Fijian officer seconded to MSG

By Online Editor
11:44 pm GMT+12, 22/09/2014, Fiji 

Fiji’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Erami Raibe has taken up his new role as the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Department of Peacekeeping Officer in Port Villa, Vanuatu.
 
The establishment of the MSG/DPKO was done to strengthen security capability and cooperation between member countries in the MSG region.
 
SSP Raibe’s role will be to conduct awareness on the Formed Police Unit in all MSG Police organizations, develop policies and doctrines and develop real command course structure.
 
Raibe becomes the third Police officer from Fiji to take up the post since 2010.
 
SSP Raibe’s appointment is for a period of three years.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

POLYNESIA

2) Voter Registration In Tonga Exceeds 50,000
8,000 newly registered voters prepare for November election

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Sept. 23, 2014) – More than 50,000 people have registered, including more than 8000 newly registered voters to vote in Tonga’s upcoming General Election on November 27.

The Commissioner and Supervisor of Election, Pita Vuki said today that after the voters registration closed on Tuesday, September 16 they recorded a total of 50,405 people, including 8,175 new voters.

He expected the number to increase slightly after the supplementary election roll is published on November 23 to include people who turn 21 after the voter registration closing date.

Tongatapu holds the majority number with 34,941, which is 69 percent of the total number of registered voters. Vava’u came in second with 7,926, Ha’apai with 3,936 followed by ‘Eua with 2,540. Niuatoputapau and Niuafo’ou recorded 1,062 voters.

At the same time, women are the majority voters coming out at 25,725 while the men lacked slightly behind with 24,680 voters.

Pita said young people between the ages of 21-35 held the majority 38 percent which is 19,162 of the total people registered.

Other age groups ranging from 36-45 followed with 23 percent, 46-55 ages at 17 percent with the last lot those aged 86 and above at 0.38 percent.

Up next is the candidate registration which will be held for two-days on October 23-24.

Preparation is progressing for the election on November 27, 2014, he said.

In Tonga’s last 2010 General Election, around 42,000 people registered while 114 candidates contested, including 11 women. 

Matangi Tonga Magazine

3) Tongan Businessman Jailed For Importing Drugs Into New Zealand
Freight company owner played part in $140 million drug operation

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Sept. 22, 2014) – Mosese Laumanu Uele (48) was sentenced last week to five years and five months in prison for the importation of pseudoephedrine, the largest shipment of illicit drug into New Zealand ever discovered.

The owner of Ezi World Cargo which transports freight for the Pacific Islands had pleaded guilty to the charge after more than 250kg of drugs was swapped with boxes of cornstarch inside an Auckland International Airport cargo zones controlled by Customs.

Mr Justice Mark Woolford said although he was not the prime mover but he played an important role because of his business and license to operate in a customs controlled area.

The New Zealand Herald reported that intercepted phone calls showed one of the main Operation Ghost targets, Da Wen Shao was in frequent contact with a former staff member of Ezi World.

He said Uele had initially rebuffed approaches from his former employee to help smuggle drugs but the financial temptation, an offer of $60,000 [US$49,000] became too great.

She left a van unattended in a supermarket car park in October last year, which Uele drove into Ezi World on George Bolt Memorial Driver. Later that night, police covertly took the van into a nearby customs compound and tested the powder and found genuine cornstarch before resealing the boxes and returned them to Ezi World.

Sometime over the next three days, Uele swapped the cornstarch with boxes labeled potato starch but containing pseudoephedrine. He later left the van in an Onehunga car park, where it was taken and the 250kg drug cache split at safe houses in Avondale and Blockhouse bay.

Justice Woolford accepted Uele’s involvement was a one off and totally out of character, which had previously included generous donations to the Tongan community.

Raids

The total amount of pseudoephedrine seized in October and December raids was nearly 600kg enough to cook $172 million [US$140 million] of P including 260kg disguised as breadcrumbs inside a shipping container at the Ports of Auckland.

Homes, cars and cash worth more than $20 million [US$16.2 million] were also seized and restrained under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act.

Matangi Tonga Magazine

MICRONESIA

4) CNMI Indigenous Organization To Hold First Annual Conference
Chamorro, Carolinian people to talk about indigenous issues

By Richelle Agpoon-Cabang

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Sept. 24, 2014) – To inform the indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian people about their rights and role in the islands’ economic, social and political development, the Northern Marianas Descent Corp. or NMDC, is hosting its first Annual Marianas Indigenous Conference on Sept. 29-30 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the multi-purpose center.

John DLR. “Bolis” Gonzales, a volunteer member and one of the moderators of the event said NMDC is a two-year-old nonprofit organization whose vision is “a self-sustaining and self-governing commonwealth whose destiny shall continue to remain in the hands of the indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian people of Northern Marianas descent.”

Gonzales said the conference is a way to enrich the awareness of indigenous cultural issues.

He said during the event there will be constructive discussion about issues that indigenous people are facing in the community.

According to Gonzales, the islands have become a melting pot of different cultures in the Pacific and their forum will be a good venue for discussing culture.

“Knowledge is power and information helps people understand the importance of their culture and how other people can harmoniously blend with our culture. Respect is important and other cultures should respect our cultural homeland just as we respect theirs [when we visit their countries],” he said.

Individuals from the public and private sectors were invited to speak during the forum.

[PIR editor’s note: Marianas Variety reported that ‘The Northern Marianas Descent Corporation or NMDC, the controversial non-profit organization that is seeking funding from the CNMI government, will hold a delegate candidates forum on Friday, Sept. 26, at the Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. … NMDC volunteer member and one of the event organizers, John DLR. “Bolis” Gonzales, said the forum will allow the public to hear what the candidates have to say about the issues. … NMI Democratic Party candidate Andrew S. Salas accepted the invitation, but incumbent U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said his campaign committee has advised him to decline due to concerns about NMDC.’]

The program includes discussions about the Covenant and the decolonization of the NMI, federalization issues, Article XII, opportunities and threats to the economy as well as indigenous language and culture.

Gonzales noted the importance of discussing language and encouraging Chamorro and Carolinian families not to forget their languages.

He said funding for the conference did not come from any government entity, but from “NMDC’s own pockets.”

Interested participants may register at the Garapan Youth Development Center beside the Carolinian Utt or call 233-8978 for more information.

Marianas Variety 

5) High Infant Mortality Rate In CNMI ‘Alarming’
91% of mothers have risk factors for ‘serious birth complications’

By Jayson Camacho 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Sept. 24, 2014) – The CNMI still has an alarmingly high mortality rate for infants, according to the Department of Public Health’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Based on the latest data from the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., the CNMI has so far a total of 34 infant deaths this year.

What is more alarming is the CNMI has a much higher fetal deaths or miscarriages than the infant mortality rate.

DPH-MCHB data analyst Shawnalei Ogumoro said that in their efforts to address this increasing problem, they are trying to reduce “premature mortality” by providing outreach and knowledge to community members.

“We provide services and incorporate that with providing quality improvement by implementing important measures through early stages of pregnancy,” Ogumoro said.

With an estimated population of over 50,000, 34 infant deaths so far in 2014 is a large number for the CNMI. Ogumoro said that majority of the infant mortality deaths occur among the local indigenous women.

According to Ogumoro, 91 percent of mothers here in the CNMI have risk factors that contributes to serious birth complications.

Ogumoro also said that birth complications usually contribute to the infant mortality rate, compared to the United States, where sudden infant death syndrome rates are higher and where the parents are usually healthy.

“These birth complications usually contribute to miscarriages. These risk factors include sexually transmitted infections, the way the mother treats herself, and usually a non-communicable diseases [such as diabetes],” she said.

Usually risk factors contribute to the life expectancy of an infant. The CNMI’s average life expectancy is from 60 to 74 years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infant deaths per 1,000 live births from 2009 averaged 2.7; 2010 and 2011 averaged 2.9; 2012 averaged 8.1; and 2013 averaged 10.2.

Majority of the causes are non-communicable diseases.

“So far we are starting at a smaller scale in addressing this problem and we are [making little headway] due to funding. But we want to revisit this and address the problem. Because 34 is a large number, and not only that, the premature or miscarriages are even higher,” Ogumoro said.

Saipan Tribune 

TOK PISIN

6) Polisi blong ol bikpela paua long terroris nau bai afektim Pacific: Dr Tara

Updated 24 September 2014, 13:51 AEST

Sam Seke 

Wanpela man save long Pacific itok em ino nid long ol gavman long Pacific Islands long poret tumas long sait long Islamic State terroris na i gohet kamapim ol kainkain niupela loa.
Ol paitman blong Islamic State long Iraq (Credit: Reuters) 

Odio: Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, Associate Professor long School of Pacific na Asian Studies University blong Hawai’i i toktok 

Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, Associate Professor long School of Pacific na Asian Studies University blong Hawai’i itok em i no ting ol IS bai makim ol Paficic kantri.

Dr Kabutaulaka i tok igat ol sistim i stap pinis long ol intenasenal arrangemen long ol kantri long riji i ken bihainim long sait long lukautim boda blong ol.

Em i tok heve long terroris long ol Pacific kantri nap kam long hau Australia na ol arapela paua long rijin i kamapim ol niupela stretegic polisi.

Dr Kabutaulaka itok ol dispela polisi ol ino blong lukautim ol Pacific Island kantri, ol i blong lukautim ol dispela bikpela paua long rijin yet. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

7) Rijin imas sapotim Fiji bihain long ileksan: Dr Kabutaulaka

Updated 24 September 2014, 9:04 AEST

Sam Seke 

Wanpela man save long Pacific i tok maski yumi laikim oa nogat, Fiji inau gat wanpela niupela gavman na ol bikpela paua long riji imas halvim.

Odio: Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, Associate Professor long School of Pacific na Asian Studies University blong Hawai’i i toktok 

Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, Associate Professor long School of Pacific na Asian Studies University blong Hawai’i itok bikpela win blong Frank Bainimarama na Fiji First Party blong en i soim laik blong ol pipol blong Fiji.

Em i tok Australia na New Zealand i mas akseptim laik blong ol pipol blong Fiji bihainim dispela dimokratik ileksan.

Dr Kabutaulaka i tok ol kantri long rijin imas akseptim bek tu Fiji long Pacific Islands Forum na tu long intenasenal body olsem British Commonwealth.

Dr Kabutaulaka i tok rijin i mas halvim Fiji long kamapim ol gutpela samting long sait long dimokrasi olsem fri midia na fridom long ol pipol i ken tokaut. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

FRENCH 

8) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – mercredi 24 septembre 2014 

Mis à jour 24 September 2014, 15:37 AEST

Caroline Lafargue 

Melbourne: la police a abattu un terroriste présumé mardi soir. 

Le jeune homme, un Australien de 18 ans, originaire du Moyen-Orient. Les autorités lui ont retiré récemment son passeport australien, car il était proche du groupe islamiste Al-Furqan. Il faisait donc l’objet d’une surveillance policière depuis quelques mois. Et dans ce cadre, il a été convoqué mardi soir au commissariat pour un interrogatoire. Motif : il aurait proféré des menaces de mort contre le Premier ministre, Tony Abbott. L’homme a alors poignardé deux officiers de police à plusieurs reprises, et l’un d’eux l’a abattu. Les deux policiers sont à l’hôpital, l’un d’eux avec des blessures graves. 

  • Vanuatu: l’ambassade de Chine non plus n’a jamais entendu parler du projet de construction d’usine de nickel à Santo, pourtant annoncé par la compagnie minière calédonienne MKM et son partenaire chinois Jin Peï. Objectif: valoriser le nickel calédonien de moindre qualité. En début de semaine, c’est le ministre des ressources naturelles et des terres, Ralph Regenvanu, qui faisait part de sa surprise, ajoutant qu’il n’approuverait pas la construction d’une usine de nickel sur Santo, pour ne pas compromettre l’industrie touristique. L’autorité de promotion des investissements au Vanuatu, et le mouvement coutumier de Santo, le Nagriamel, affirment aussi ne pas avoir été consultés.
  • Victime de l’agent orange: le délégué samoan américain à la Chambre américaine des Représentants fait campagne pour sa réélection. Il part avec un handicap de taille : son absence prolongée, depuis octobre dernier. Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin a du s’expliquer sur son hospitalisation à Honolulu, puis son transfert dans un centre de repos à Washington. Le délégué est un vétéran du Vietnam, et il a expliqué hier qu’il avait été victime de l’Agent orange, le défoliant hautement toxique employé par l’armée américaine pour empêcher les Vietnamiens de se cacher dans les forêts. Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin souffre d’une maladie des reins et du cœur, mais affirme qu’il est d’attaque pour assumer ses fonctions politiques.
  1. Bougainville: le Président, John Momis, s’en prend à Jubilee Australia. Cette ONG australienne, qui s’attaque à « l’injustice de la dette du tiers-monde », publiera demain jeudi un rapport sur la proposition de réouverture de la mine de Panguna. Selon le rapport, les propriétaires coutumiers auraient été exclus des discussions sur la remise en exploitation. John Momis accuse l’ONG de baser tout son rapport sur 65 témoignages, alors qu’il y a 10 000 riverains autour de la mine. C’est la mine de Panguna, exploitée par Rio Tinto, qui a déclenché la guerre civile à en 1989. Les Bougainvillais s’estimaient spoliés par l’État papou, et accusaient le gouvernement de rafler une bonne partie des royalties.
  • L’Australie transfère ses demandeurs d’asile de Nauru au Cambodge. Le gouvernement cambodgien a indiqué qu’il attendait la visite de Scott Morrison, le ministre australien de l’Immigration, pour la signature de l’accord ce vendredi. Les négociations entre les deux pays ont débuté en février dernier, mais le s détails de l’accord ne sont pas connus. Le Haut-commissariat de l’ONU pour les Réfugiés a néanmoins déjà exprimé ses inquiétudes pour le bien-être de ces demandeurs d’asile qui arriveront au Cambodge, un pays pauvre.
  • New York: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner a ouvert le sommet sur les changements climatiques organisé par Ban Ki-Moon mardi. « Je demande aux dirigeants du monde de nous prendre avec eux dans leur course, nous ne vous ralentirons pas, nous vous aiderons à gagner la plus importante des courses, cette course contre la montre pour sauver l’humanité », a déclaré la poétesse marshallaise. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner a ensuite déclamé un poème sur les conséquences du changement climatique sur les Îles Marshall. Hier à la tribune des Nations-Unies, aucun objectif chiffré de réduction des émissions de CO2 n’a été annoncé. Il faudra patienter encore jusqu’à mars 2015 pour des engagements précis des pays. Plus de 120 chefs d’État, dont François Hollande, Barack Obama et David Cameron, ont participé à ce sommet sur le climat mardi. Mais les Premiers ministres australien, Tony Abbott, et néo-zélandais, John Key, ont brillé par leur absence.
  • Nouvelle-Zélande: les anciens combattants demandent à John Key de ne pas organiser le référendum sur l’adoption d’un nouveau drapeau avant avril 2015. Le 25 avril 2015, les forces de l’ANZAC célèbreront en effet le centenaire du débarquement à Gallipoli – et ils veulent le faire avec le drapeau kiwi actuel, qui porte encore l’Union Jack, héritage du colon britannique. Le Premier ministre, réélu samedi, veut le remplacer par une fougère argentée sur fond noir, le drapeau des All Blacks. L’association des anciens combattants estime que le projet de John Key « n’est pas nécessaire et manque de délicatesse ».
  • Samoa américain: le gouverneur a signé en début de semaine la nouvelle loi sur l’immigration, qui régularisera 2400 étrangers vivant sur le territoire. Il y a une liste d’attente, les autorités ont demandé aux étrangers de venir s’inscrire auprès des services de l’immigration. 2900 Samoans se sont donc inscrits. Mais le quota de titres de séjours reste limité à 2400.  http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

9) Australie: Abdul Numan Haider n’a pas agi sur ordre de l’EI

Mis à jour 24 September 2014, 15:13 AEST

Caroline Lafargue 

À Melbourne, un terroriste présumé a été abattu par la police mardi soir. Abdul Numan Haider, un Australien d’origine afghane, était surveillé depuis trois mois par la police. 

La semaine dernière, le jeune homme de 18 ans aurait brandi le drapeau de l’État islamique dans un centre commercial d’une banlieue de Melbourne. La police a en tout cas une forte présomption, mais ne peut pas confirmer ce geste à ce stade. Ce qu’il y a de sûr, c’est que les autorités lui ont récemment retiré son passeport australien. Et mardi, elle l’a convoqué au commissariat pour avoir des explications sur ce drapeau. Le jeune homme aurait en effet proféré des menaces contre le Premier ministre Tony Abbott – mais cela non plus n’est pas encore confirmé. 

Deux policiers de la cellule antiterroriste ont accueilli Abdul Numan Haider devant le commissariat. L’un d’eux lui a tendu la main pour le saluer. Abdul Numan Haider a alors sorti un couteau et commencé à poignarder les deux policiers. L’un d’eux a sorti son pistolet et a abattu le jeune homme. Les deux policiers ont du être opérés, mais ils sont dans un état stable. 

Tony Abbott s’est exprimé depuis Hawaï, où il a fait escale cette nuit,  en route vers New York, où il doit participer à une réunion d’urgence de l’ONU sur la guerre contre les groupes djihadistes en Syrie et en Irak. Tony Abbott : 

« L’enquête est en cours, mais je peux vous dire que j’ai appelé aux épouses des deux policiers blessés, pour les assurer du soutien et du respect de mon gouvernement pour le professionnalisme dont ils ont fait preuve. »

Ce matin le porte-parole de la police a refusé de confirmer si le jeune homme avait des liens avec un groupe extrémiste, Al Fuqan. En 2012, la police avait fait une descente au centre d’information islamique géré par Al Fuqan, dans une banlieue de Melbourne. Ce matin, Luke Cornelius, le numéro 2 de la police du Victoria, l’État dont Melbourne est la capitale, a surtout joué la carte de l’apaisement. 

« J’adresse ma compassion et mes regrets à sa famille, mais je suis également très inquiet pour la sécurité de mes policiers. Bien sûr que nous craignons des représailles, c’est pour cela que nous vous donnons beaucoup de détails sur le drame, pour éviter toutes les spéculations. » 

Ce qui semble certain, c’est qu’Abdul Numan Haider n’avait aucun lien avec l’État islamique, qui a appelé en début de semaine ses fidèles à tuer autant d’Américains, d’Européens, de Canadiens et d’Australiens que possible. 

Ce nouvel incident intervient une semaine après la grande opération antiterroriste menée à Sydney et à Brisbane, et quelques jours après l’envoi de 600 militaires australiens en Arabie saoudite, pour soutenir la guerre contre les groupes djihabidstes en Irak. 

Selon un sondage paru cette semaine, un Australien sur deux estime que l’engagement militaire de l’Australie contre l’État islamique, aux côtés des Américains, augmente le risque d’attaques terroristes en Australie. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

EDUCATION

9) Enga students plan to revive culture 

Source: 

The National, Tuesday 23rd of September, 2014 

 THE Enga Students Association at the University of Papua New Guinea has promised to revive and retain the Enga culture for future generations.
Under the theme “Preserving and Promoting Enga’s Cultural Diversity,” the Engans in the nation’s capital celebrated their cultural origin and promoted it through traditional dance, songs, attires and costumes last Friday.
The association’s acting president, Luso Nisert, at the Constitutional Park during the Enga Day, said the main reason for hosting the Enga Day was to revive, retain and preserve the Enga culture from western influence for the future.
“The purpose of this show was to restore the Engan culture for the future and share it with others,” Nisert said.
He said their ancestors had never worn modern clothes, and traditional attire and dressing was part of their lifestyle that needed to be promoted and preserved.
He said there were good and bad sides to western influence and Enga people must be cautious about what was good and bad.
“The good part is what we enjoy now in the modern world, the bad part is the killing or actually dying of our culture which we need to restore before its extinction,” he said.
Meanwhile, former UPNG student anti-corruption activist Laken Lepatu praised the association for taking the initiative to mark the day but condemned the absence of Enga leaders, saying that it was disappointment for all those who turned up to witness the celebrations.

POLITIC

10) Restructuring Of PNG Parliamentary Opposition Underway
Unofficially THE party leader Polye to replace Namah

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 24, 2014) – The Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) Party is moving to the Opposition, provided it is restructured – that is official.

What is not official is the suggestion yesterday that THE leader Don Polye wants to be new Opposition Leader, replacing incumbent Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah.

THE Party executive and spokesman Brian Yombon Coppio told the Post-Courier that Mr Polye “and his team” will be moving to the Opposition bench in Parliament but the date of the move would be “appropriately announced”. The move comes three weeks after Prime Minister Peter O’Neill dumped THE Party as a coalition partner and six months after he had sacked Mr Polye as treasury minister for what he claimed were attempts to destabilise his People’s National Congress-led colition government.

Mr Coppio said discussions were underway for a restructure of the Opposition and an announcement is expected before the next session of Parliament next month.

Mr Polye was not available yesterday to confirm his Opposition leadership ambitions.

There was talk in Waigani corridors yesterday that new Pangu Pati leader Sam Basil is a contender for the alternate prime minister’s position but he quickly brushed it aside, saying it was not appropriate to discuss the matter as Mr Namah was officially recognised by Parliament as Opposition Leader.

Mr Namah could not be reached for comment yesterday but his office maintained there was no vacancy.

Mr Coppio continued: “The leader has not made any decision yet to join the Opposition.

“However, there is a need to restructure the Opposition in order to have a strong alternative government.

“It is the personality that matters and Mr Polye has a significant number of followers in the Government side, in addition to his 14 THE members.

“Discussions are ongoing and they haven’t agreed yet but that will come once they sort themselves out.

“You know THE Party MPs number 14 as technically and legally those that defected are still THE Party MPs. They are yet to be released by THE Party.”

When Mr Polye moves to the Opposition, he is likely to be followed by “his team” which include Mark Maipakai (Kikori), Philip Undialu (Koroba-Lake Kopiago), Julie Soso (Eastern Highlands), Wera Mori (Chuave) and Benjamin Poponawa (Tambul-Nebilyer), Mr Mori the vice-minister for Mining and Mr Poponawa the Labour and Industrial Relations Minister in the current government.

PNG Post-Courier

11) Reports That Solomons Elections Will Be November 19 Surface
No official announcement yet, but a ‘reliable source’ confirms date

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept 23, 2014) – Wednesday November 19th is the date Solomon Islands will go to the polls for its historical national general elections it was reported.

A very reliable source confirmed to this paper it is most likely the Governor General Sir Frank Kabui will make the announcement on the 7th of October or a day after.

According to the source, he said since political parties contesting the national general election will not get their certificates until October 7th, it would be unconstitutional under the newly passed Political Parties Integrity Bill to make the announcement before that date.

“So it is very likely, the Governor General will make the announcement of the election date in the evening of October 7th or on October 8th. Having this announcement made, it will therefore points to the 42 days given under the Electoral Act for the process and preparation for intending candidates and parties to prepare before election day which is most likely on November 19th which falls on a Wednesday,” the source revealed.

In the country’s election history it has pointed to having its election day falling on a Wednesday.

“For this reason which has not been changed over the years will surely be the case for this year’s election which falls on a Wednesday November 19th,” the source added.

The source further stressed that it would be better to have the elections earlier than that date but due to the new Political Parties Integrity Bill which was passed in parliament recently, it has allowed parties to be registered and awarded their certificates before any announcement is made.

Adding it would be unconstitutional for the announcement to be made earlier than that if political parties were not registered and issued with certificates.

“Although this falls within the time frame, it would need the new government to really pull up its socks and put things in order before the end of December,” the source said.

The source said it is quite crucial that the new government must pass the resolution by 31st December or it will carry forward to April next year to pass the budget which is not what the country is expecting since it will hit hard on the economic performance of the country more so on the governments provision of social services.

Meanwhile the country has been anxiously waiting to hear from the Governor General to announce the election date.

Solomon Star

12) French Envoy Encourages Dialogue On New Caledonia’s Future
Despite divisions, post-Noumean Accord must be discussed: Christnacht

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 23, 2014) – A French expert assisting New Caledonia says there is no way around discussing what will happen to the territory once the 1998 Noumea Accord comes to an end.

The Accord is the decolonation roadmap, which provides for an independence referendum by 2018.

Alain Christnacht, who spent a week talking to all New Caledonian parties and groups concerned, says the matter needs to be discussed to decide what question will be asked.

He says he and his colleague, Jean-Francois Merle, don’t want to move the various parties’ positions but engage them in a dialogue.

This comes amid deep rifts within both camps.

One key group refused to meet Mr Christnacht and another threatened to boycott upcoming discussions over its objections to the make-up of the electoral roll for the referendum.

In early October, the territory’s leaders are due in Paris for talks under the auspices of the French prime minister, Manuel Valls.

Radio New Zealand International 

13) Bainimarama Becomes Sixth Elected Prime Minister Of Fiji
President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau administers oath after elections

By Torika Chandra

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 23, 2014) – FijiFirst party leader Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama took his oath as the sixth democratically-elected Prime Minister of Fiji before the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, at the Government House in Suva yesterday.

This was after his party’s landslide victory at the general election last week. Mr Bainimarama took his Oath of Allegiance and Oath for Due Execution of Office.

“I, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Fiji according to law and I will obey, observe and uphold and maintain the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji. So help me God,” Mr Bainimarama swore on oath.

In accordance with Section 93(2) of the 2013 Constitution, Mr Bainimarama was sworn in as the democratically-elected Prime Minister as the leader of the political party which won more than 50 per cent of the total number of seats in Parliament.

The swearing in was witnessed by members of the diplomatic corps, high ranking members of the disciplined forces and other invited guests.

Also present was a proud Mary Bainimarama and members of their family.

Former-elected Prime Ministers of Fiji were Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, Dr Timoci Bavadra, Sitiveni Rabuka, Mahendra Chaudhry and Laisenia Qarase.

Fiji Times Online.

14) FijiFirst President Dr Jiko Luveni vacates seat for Tuitubou 

By Online Editor
7:57 pm GMT+12, 23/09/2014, Fiji 

FijiFirst President Dr Jiko Luveni has been told to vacate her seat in the Fijian Parliament to make way way for fellow FijiFirst candidate, Laisenia Bale Tuitubou.
 
The announcement was made a while ago by the Electoral Commission (EC).
 
EC chairman Chen Bunn Young only said the decision was made pursuant to section 64 (1) of the Constitution.
 
He also said he was not in a position to disclose further details. Comments are currently being sought from the FijiFirst office.
 
The announcement today comes hours before the cabinet minister’s swearing in at Government House. The swearing in is scheduled for 2pm.
 
FBC NEWS reports it’s likely that Dr Luveni will be named the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
 
Meanwhile, the Fijian Elections Office has clarified that provisional results for SODELPA candidate Vane Seruvakula were wrongly entered.
 
When provisional votes were released on the night of elections, Seruvakula had up to five thousand seven hundred votes – however this was not reflective in her final result.
 
“The provisional result for Vane Seruvakula was higher than the final and we found that in data entry there was a typo error and that’s what caused the high number of votes. But with the final results – with the three audit systems there is no mistake for the final vote.”
 
Saneem says they had insisted from the beginning that provisional results were to be dropped once final results were released.

SOURCE: FIJI FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

15) Fiji Cabinet Minister To Be Sworn In Today
Three former ministers won’t be in new government


SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 23, 2014) – Fiji’s new-look cabinet ministers are scheduled to be sworn in tomorrow afternoon by the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

The swearing in is set for 2pm at Government House.

The announcement also marks the exit of three government ministers in Commander Viliame Naupoto, Filipe Bole and Jonetani Cokanasiga from their respective offices at the Youth and Sports Ministry, Education Ministry and the Defence Ministry.

Of the three ministers, Naupoto contested the recent election under the FijiFirst banner, but did not qualify for one of the 32-government seats based on vote tally.

Naupoto took up the ministerial position in February, 2012.

Prior to his appointment, Naupoto was the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests permanent secretary.

He also served in the same capacity in the Office of the Prime Minister and was also the former Director of the Immigration Department.

Bole was appointed Education Minister in 2008.

Bole entered politics in 1985 under the Alliance government and the SVT administration in the 1990s.

He was a Cabinet Minister for various portfolios during the two political administrations and as Deputy Prime Minister under the latter.

Cokanasiga steps down as possibly the longest serving government minister having started in 2001 with the Qarase-led interim cabinet as Minister for Public Works and Energy.

Meanwhile, Fiji new parliament members comprise of 32 FijiFirst candidates led by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama whilst the opposition, made up of 18 members, include 15 SODELPA and three NFP candidates.

Fijilive 

16) Ro Teimumu Kepa Officially Selected Leader Of Fiji Opposition
SODELPA leader ‘will hold government accountable’


By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 24, 2014) – Members of the opposition have agreed for SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa to lead them in Parliament.

This was agreed at a meeting between National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad and Ro Teimumu at the SODELPA office in Suva yesterday.

The Marama Roko Tui Dreketi confirmed her appointment and the discussions that transpired with other members yesterday.

She, however, will comment on the role of the opposition today.

And with Fiji’s new 50-member Parliament set to have its first sitting in two weeks, the opposition has assured Fijians it will hold government accountable during the decision-making process.

Prof Prasad said the meeting was about how the opposition will work as a team to ensure that issues affecting Fijians are given priority.

“The real issue now is that we are not in government. So the issues and policies that we wanted to implement while we will continue to articulate those, it will be upon the government of the day to look at some of the policies of the opposition party,” he said.

“We talked about logistics, what resources we will need because she (Ro Teimumu) is going to be opposition leader – she will speak on behalf of all the members of the opposition.

“We will articulate issues such as addressing the huge cost of living. We hope that the Government will still consider reducing VAT, duties on imported items and look at providing for the poor.”

He said the opposition hopes to ensure one of the immediate priorities of the Government was to address the rising cost of living.

Fiji Times Online.

MEDIA:

17) New Zealand Rally Calls For Media Freedom In West Papua
Speakers voice support for release of French journalists

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 24, 2014) – A rally was held today outside New Zealand’s parliament to call for media freedom in West Papua and the release of two French journalists detained in Indonesia’s remote eastern region.

Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois were arrested on the 6th of August in Wamena, and remain detained in Jayapura by Indonesian police, accused of violating their visas.

Police have indicated the pair could face a prison sentence for subversion amid allegations they were involved with pro-independence activists.

However there have been ongoing calls by international rights and media groups for Indonesia to release the pair.

One of the speaker’s at today’s rally in Wellington, Pacific Studies academic Dr Teresia Teaiwa, says it’s imperative that journalists be allowed in to report on the situation in Papua region.

“For today, we’re concerned about the two French journalists and the one West Papuan (who was arrested after allegedly meeting with them) whose own freedom, not just the freedom to report, but their freedom, has been curtailed,” says Dr. Teaiwa.

Radio New Zealand International 

18) Vanuatu PM advises VBTC not to issue any license until law review 

By Online Editor
4:49 pm GMT+12, 23/09/2014, Vanuatu 

The office of Prime Minister Joe Natuman has reportedly written to the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC) not to issue any new licenses pending review of relevant legislations.
 
The Government is looking at setting up an independent regulatory authority that can receive and review new licenses, particularly for television.
 
Daily Post understands that mobile network company, Digicel, is interested in getting a television license.
 
Meanwhile, John Stevens Tougon has been appointed as Acting Citizenship Officer in Hong Kong for the Capital Investment Immigration Plan from September 1, 2014 to February 28, 2014.
 
This appointment was made by Acting Prime Minister, Ham Lini, on 04 September

SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS

BUSINESS

19) Bougainville President Momis attacks report on Panguna mine

By Online Editor
5:10 pm GMT+12, 23/09/2014, Papua New Guinea 

Bougainville President John Momis has attacked a report on the decommissioned Panguna mine, describing it “misleading and irresponsible”.
 
The report by Jubilee Australia will be launched in Sydney tomorrow and tabled in the Australian parliament in Canberra on Friday by the Australian Greens Party leader Christine Milne.
 
Momis said the report was “factually inaccurate, biased and methodologically unsound”.
 
He said it was “dishonest in claiming that interviews with 65 individuals selected by its authors from the 10,000 or so people in the affected areas allows it to represent the voices of them and the 300,000 people of Bougainville”.
 
The report claims the voices of mine-affected communities “have been distant from recent public discussion” about the possible reopening of the Panguna and was critical of Bougainville government consultations with landowner which Jubilee suggested had largely excluded communities around the mine.
 
“Far from being excluded, affected landowners have been at the centre of all discussions regarding Panguna since they commenced in 2009,” Momis said.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER

20) Solomons PM Encourages Churches To Confront Domestic Violence
Lilo notes passage of Family Protection Act, church can ‘take the lead’

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept 24, 2014) – The Caretaker Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has urged Churches to take the lead in addressing domestic violence in the country.

Mr Lilo highlighted this when he officially opened the Adventist Women Congress in Munda, Western province, Monday this week.

He said with the Family Protection Act 2014 which was passed by Parliament in its last sitting; it was not a reference to a legal duty that the church must undertake, rather a duty of the church to address domestic violence based on principles and values which are imparted to the church through the word of God. 

“Does the church have a role to play in this law? Let me emphasise that it is not necessary for a law to compel the church to address domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is a concern for the church because it threatens life which is a gift to us by God.”

He said it is clear in law that domestic violence is wrong.

Therefore, the caretaker Prime Minister said the Church must play an active part in recognising those who suffer domestic violence and to make sure they must be protected and helped to continue to live better lives.

Mr Lilo added that the Family Protection Act 2014 would also require awareness programs on domestic violence.

Therefore, he said Church as a key institution in the country must be encouraged to consider developing messages and awareness programs for domestic violence prevention.

“Ensure that our congregations are not creating or tolerating home environments that are unsafe for those who are already vulnerable including children, women and persons with disabilities,” he said.

Mr Lilo also encouraged Churches to help provide vital information for victims where they could seek help or advice when needed.

“The Church can also help educate victims to understand domestic violence laws so that the response to domestic violence must be holistic,” he said.

“We must look at the national responses and the church’s responses and align them so that a woman who informs you as a church leader or a church member that she has been beaten repeatedly by her husband not only finds reassurance but also is afforded legal protection.

“This means that the woman is informed of other services that are available to address problems with her health, her safety, her children, her maintenance and housing.

“As you know, in this country, many victims of violence in the home will approach church workers, whether a pastor, priest, elder or member of the congregation.

“There is great responsibility on the Church to give hope, support and encouragement for these victims,” he said.

Meanwhile, the caretaker Prime Minister said Solomon Islands has taken a very clear stand on the issue of domestic violence.

He said The UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Forum Leaders Communiques and the Gender Equality Declaration are some examples of legal and policy commitments the country has taken to address the issue of personal security of vulnerable citizens including women and girls. 

Solomon Star

21) Containers Of Allegedly Illegal Logs Held By Solomons Customs
Southern Pacific Woods Trading reportedly exporting under expired license

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, ) – More than sixty containers of tubi round logs have been held again by Solomon Islands customs after a High Court injunction last month.

The containers belong to Southern Pacific Woods Trading Company (SPWTC).

The same company the commissioner of forests order a seizure of its fifty containers in late July and put an order of sale since the company has been illegally exporting under an expired licence.

Despite controversies regarding the legality of their export, the company continue to export tubi.

It was discovered the company has made more than five shipments under an expired licence over the past nine months.

Documents revealed the company SPWTC had exported 49 containers on 11/12/13, 46 containers on 4/01/14, 30 containers on 29/01/14, 19 containers on 14/07/14 and three other unconfirmed shipments.

All these containers were exported under cancelled licence A201334.

But after landowners raised the alarm of the issue of expired licence A201334, SPWTC’s went and use another license in an unsuccessful attempt to export the last 50 tubi containers.

The company was then use licence A20756 issued on the 28th July 2014.

The license was owned by Holitoga Enterprise purposely for concession land at Kia where it was reported to have no tubi tree.

Interestingly this company managed to have 60 plus containers ready for shipment at the ports area within weeks after using the new license.

Comptroller of customs Nathan Kama has confirmed the containers are still held at the Point Cruz wharf awaiting any clearance from court.

Kama said they hold the containers since there was a court order to hold the containers.

“Unless these containers were cleared by court they will not be shipped,” Kama said.

The containers could fetch millions of dollars in total value and could earn 25 percent of these millions in duty for the government it was reported.

Landowners of San George who have applied for the High Court order on the containers believed the tubi logs were harvested on their land at San George in Isabel.

They claimed nowhere in Isabel could these logs be cut, since the new license number which SPWTC use was for a concession area in Kia where there is no Tubi tree.

Meanwhile the fate of the 60 plus containers will await the High Court ruling on the civil case currently before the court.

Early last month concerned land owner Nolan Jolo called on the commissioner of forest to seize the containers because they are “illegally harvested with no valid license to export”.

Mr Jolo claimed that the Tubi logs were harvested from their tribal land and from his understanding, the company has no valid license to operate there.

He said the commissioner must seize the consignment and put an order for sale on it so that the government can benefit from its sale.

He further called on the director of environment not to grant any more permission to export Tubi, Xanthostemon species to South Pacific Woods Trading Company Limited (SPWTCL) using his powers under Section 18 of the Wild Life Protection and Management Act 1998 together with Regulation 9 sub regulation of the Wildlife and Protection and Management regulation 2008 and Cabinet Decision Extract Conclusion C 4[2014] 4 dated 13 February 2014.

Attempts to get the commissioner of forest and the director of environment for comments last week was unsuccessful.

Solomon Star

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

22) In Pacific island nations, there’s nowhere left to run from climate change

By Online Editor
4:55 pm GMT+12, 23/09/2014, United States 

 From around the country and across the globe, an estimated 400,000 marchers came to New York City for the People’s Climate March on Sunday.  
 
The march coincided with the start of the United Nations Climate Summit. The meeting, which began Tuesday in New York, brings 120 world leaders together in an effort to improve upon the last summit, which was held five years ago in Copenhagen and called “disappointing in substance and hectic in progress.”
 
In attendance is the leadership of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. The country is made up of low-lying, ring-shaped islands, the highest of which is only two meters above sea level. To say that the Marshall Islands are vulnerable to the effects of global climate change is an understatement.
 
“Anything that the sea does is felt immediately by our people,” says Tony De Brum, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands. “As the tide comes in a lot higher than it used to, it begins to affect life as we know it — not only as to where you can live or have a family, but also where you can grow your food, where you draw your water and where you bury your dead.”
 
De Brum says the side effects of climate change are already being felt in not just the Marshall Islands, but the Federated States of Micronesia, Tuvalu and other Pacific nations as well.
 
“If we do not keep the temperature under two degrees centigrade, as the United Nations FCCC [Framework Convention on Climate Change] is trying to do, then in 50 years there will be nobody living there,” he says. “Already, communities are having to move from their traditional sites because of erosion and the impending movement of the water.”
 
Many citizens of the Marshall Islands feel their sense of identity is attached to specific localities. And now they are finding that the places they have called home are no longer inhabitable.
 
“The displacement that is occurring now is because of droughts and floods,” he says. “Thousands have been moved from their homes to places that they do not traditionally belong in order for them to get away from the immediate effects of climate change.”
 
And while many are moving to different islands, many other citizens are abandoning the country altogether. As the waters continue to rise, there is nowhere left to run.
 
“Many of our people live in America, but more are moving there because of the threat of climate change — and more will move if it continues to threaten us,” De Brum says. “We will try to do what we can to keep our population in place because moving people threatens our traditions, language, culture — everything that we stand for.”
 
Marshall Island officials are feeling the effects of climate change along with their constitutents: The home of President Christopher Loeak has been touched by rising waters.
 
“He himself had to build a wall around his house to prevent the salt water from inundating,” De Brum says. “Our airport retaining wall that keeps the saltwater out of the landing strip has been breached. You will see buildings being flooded and roads being cut.”
 
And not even the dead are safe from the effects of climate change. “Our graveyards are also being undermined — coffins and bodies are being dug out from the seashore,” De Brum says.
 
As the crisis gets worse, De Brum is hoping an urgent call to action will resonate in the UN’s halls.
 
“We still hold our hopes high that the world will realize that allowing the Islands to go under is not a solution,” he says. “I don’t think that’s an option. We will continue to fight to make sure that the world understands that it’s still possible to do something about the effects of climate change. We hope that this week in New York we can convince those that still have doubts.”.
SOURCE: PRI RADIO/PACNEWS

23) Pacific islands prepare for cyclone season

By Online Editor
9:58 pm GMT+12, 22/09/2014, New Zealand 

Emergency relief experts have been meeting in Auckland to prepare for a tropical cyclone season that’s expected to hit hard in the Pacific islands.
 
They include Red Cross workers from Tonga, where they’re still recovering from a cyclone that left thousands homeless at the start of the year.
 
Emergency shelters and cooking equipment are stacked high in warehouses in south Auckland, ready for the first tropical cyclone of the season to hit.
 
More supplies have already been distributed to stock up Red Cross bases throughout the Pacific islands.
 
The season runs from November to April and they’re expecting this one to be tougher than usual.
 
“There’s a 70 percent chance of a severe El Niño, which means there will be more severe cyclones and we also know the impact of climate change, and the pointy end of that is in the Pacific,” says New Zealand Red Cross secretary general Tony Paine.
 
The pointy end hit the Tongan island group of Ha’apai in January when Cyclone Ian destroyed thousands of homes. Nine months on from that, people are still living in tents.
 
“Some of them are still going back to the evacuation centre, some in the church hall,” says Tonga Red Cross secretary general Sione Taumoefolau. “That’s where they are used to staying at the moment, but they are dreaming of having a new home.”
 
The Tongan government has promised that dream will come true by the end of the year.
 
But the next cyclone could reach them first. It’s already got a name, Nute, followed by Odile, Pam and Reuben.
 
Today Red Cross staff gathered in Auckland to discuss their plan of action, including getting teams of specialists in place before cyclones hit.
 
They also met Pacific islanders living in New Zealand. Pacific island communities here are generous in their response to disasters in the islands, but don’t always donate the right things. The Red Cross is hoping to work more closely with them so the correct aid reaches the right places.

SOURCE: TV3/PACNEWS

SPORTS

24) Sportsmen promote film festival 

Source: 

The National, Tuesday 23rd of September, 2014 

 LOCAL sports stars, including members of the Port Moresby Vipers rugby league team, are getting involved in this year’s PNG Human Rights Film Festival during its first Sports Saturday on Sept 27.
The festival, which opens in Port Moresby Arts Theatre on Thursday, will dedicate its entire Saturday programme to ways that sports can be used to address human rights issues. 
The programme targets families and includes films, panel discussions and sporting activities. 
Festival director Alithia Barampataz says it is timely to focus on the important role that sports play in our community.
“Following the success of Team PNG at this year’s Commonwealth Games and ahead of hosting the Pacific Games in 2015, we are seeing the positive influence sport has on individuals in Papua New Guinea,” Barampataz said.
“Sportsmen and women are given an incredible opportunity to be role models, not only within their own communities but to a much wider audience.
Port Moresby Vipers player Samuel Peter Koim, 25, who will be joining his teammates at the festival on Saturday, agrees that sports stars have an opportunity to positively influence the community and is humbled by the social responsibility he has as a rugby player.
“Rugby league is the toughest sport in the country and so people look up to you and you can really inspire them,” Koim said. 
Koim, who has been involved in the preparations for the fifth annual PNG Human Rights Film Festival, firmly supports the festival’s approach to bringing human rights issues into the forefront.
“Issues such as human rights are sometimes best addressed through film because people remember the stories and the important messages they share,” he said.
Teammate, 23-year-old Stargroth Amen, believes film is an excellent way to open the discussion of human rights with a younger audience. 
“Movies are an interesting and captivating way to talk to people, especially those who cannot read or easily understand complicated issues,” Amen said. 
Amen, who has played with the Vipers for two years, also acknowledges the strong link between life on and off the rugby field.
“Rugby is often an example of life’s hard times as it inspires you to push and come out a winner.This is what I hope to impart to young people,” he said.
Koim and Amen will be joined by teammates Ham Tina, Presley Jay Soto and Blend Abavu at the festival. 
Members of local not-for-profit organisation, Rugby League Against Violence, will also facilitate a game between players and festival goers in the afternoon.
Films screening on Saturday include O Rise All You Sons, which tells ofthe rise of cricket in Papua New Guinea, surfing favourite Splinters and for the first time in PNG Next Goal Wins, a documentary on American Samoa’s football team as they prepare for the World Cup following their world record 31-0 defeat at the hands of Australia.
The PNG Human Rights Film Festival opens in Port Moresby on Sept 25-28, then travels to Goroka from Sept 30 to Oct 2, Madang Oct 4-5 and finishes in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville on Oct 10-20. 

25) Australia welcome Asian Games proposal to allow teams from Oceania to compete 

By Online Editor
6:01 pm GMT+12, 23/09/2014, Korea, Republic of 

A proposal to allow teams from Oceania to compete in the Asian Games has been welcomed by Australia, while it has also been revealed that African countries have made a request to be able to participate in some events.  
 
The 17 countries that make up the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) had already been invited to take part in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.  
 
Now the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has raised the prospect of them taking part in more events, including the Asian Beach Games and Asian Winter Games, and one day the Asian Games themselves.
 
“We would definitely be interested in competing in the Asian Games,” Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) spokesman Mike Tancred told Reuters.
 
“We would view the Asian Winter Games as another opportunity to further develop our young skaters, alpine and freestyle athletes.”
 
Craig Carracher, President of both the Oceania Zonal Volleyball Association and Volleyball Australia, was even more enthusiastic about the idea, which he claimed could dramatically help improve the sport in the area.  
 
“We would encourage that outcome as a matter of priority,” he told insidethegames.  
 
“Australia and New Zealand are also denied participation in the Pacific Games for volleyball and beach volleyball and continue to live in a volleyball no mans land.
 
“Both countries offer wonderful volleyball pedigree with numerous Olympic Games attendances, including a bronze and gold medal in beach volleyball and recent World League Group 2 victory and promotion to the World League top flight
 
“The Australian Volleyroos also created Oceanic history winning through to the World Championships second round in Poland this month.”
 
Australia sent a team to the 2001 East Asian Games in Osaka and in 2006, Football Federation Australia left Oceania to join the Asian Football Confederation, a move that has helped trigger unprecedented success and interest in the game Down Under.
 
Australia qualified for the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups and will host the 2015 Asian Cup.
 
The agreement to let Oceania nations compete at the Games in Ashgabat is due to be formally signed between Sheikh Ahmad and Robin Mitchell, President of ONOC, in November, when the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) meet in Bangkok.
 
A spokeswoman for the New Zealand Olympic Committee said it was too early to speculate on the possibility of joining the Asian Games because the issue had still not been formally discussed.
 
“It’s something at this stage we haven’t had formal notification of and it hasn’t been presented to the Oceania National Olympic Committees yet,” she told Reuters.
 
“So it would need to go through that stage.
 
“There is a meeting in November and if this has some legs it might be raised at that point.”
 
It has also emerged that representatives of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa have approached OCA about the possibility of being allowed to compete at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
 
“We have put it on hold for now,” OCA secretary general Randhir Singh told The Hindustan Times during an interview here.
 
“They will not compete in Ashgabat, but we will seriously consider them for future meets.”.


SOURCE: INSIDE THE GAMES/PACNEWS

www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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