Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1029 ( Wednesday 1 October 2014 )


1) Solomons Malaita Province Conducts Resource Mapping Workshop
Effort to help resource owners select projects suitable to their location

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Sept. 29, 2014) – Malaita Province has conducted a resource mapping workshop for the Province in efforts to promote effective development of resources on the island, and to enable resource owners to select development projects suitable to their location. 

Held in North Malaita earlier this month, the three-day workshop had focused mainly on effectively developing resources in Malaita. 

SIBC Stringer in North Malaita, Lensley Kwaimani reports a Chris Daokalia said the resource mapping project was also important to enable government, donors and investors select suitable projects for certain locations. 

Mr Kwaimani also reports, Mr Daokalia, who is the World Field Officer for Malaita Province, said the resource mapping workshop will cover all the development regions in the Province. 

The Malaita Province resource mapping workshop ended on September 19 in North Malaita.

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 1 October 2014

by bobmakin

  • Pacnews reports Vanuatu Prime Minister Joe Natuman focusing on the unique development challenges there are for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in addressing the United Nations General Assembly this week. “For some Pacific States, we are facing existential threats and we cannot address the issue of sustainable development alone, unless climate change challenges are addressed seriously by the international community,” said Natuman. The international community needs to act now and fast” to ensure that “we steer clear of the dangerous path of the current carbon pollution trajectory,” he added. Vanuatu is scheduled to graduate from Least Developed Country status in December 2017. Natuman said “We appreciate the UN’s focus on a smooth transition for graduating countries but we also urge the UN not to divert from the real question, the question of the way we will be treated as SIDS after graduation,” he said. He added that future development must address ocean management, energy security and gender equity. And he also highlighted the UN’s responsibility to “bring to closure” its “unfinished business” – the de-colonisation of neighbouring New Caledonia.
  • The “unfinished business” of the would-be smelters on Cape de Queiros at Santo is taken up by Professor Sue Farran in the UK who writes that “one reason the company may be keen to relocate their smelting operation is the tightening up of environmental protection and more stringent national policy in New Caledonia. “Let’s hope,” she says, “Vanuatu is not seen as a walkover option.” Sadly it seems to be thought of exactly in that manner.
  • The following cartoon concerning the Big Bay smelter seems regionally much appreciated…

… and here is another cartoon issued when Trinidad was about to start smelting …

  • Daily Post starts the day today with former Police Commissioner Joshua Bong labeling the allegations against him as a joke and lie. He joins his erstwhile colleague Acting Commissioner Aru Maralau in discussing the Police mutiny issue. Maralau says all investigations relating to the alleged mutiny case of 2012 have been suspended. One wonders why, and also why “the mutiny case of 2012 is no longer of public interest.” Suspended Commissioner Caulton does not rush to the press with his views in this matter, waiting for the judicial inquiry, and surely this is the time (and place) for all such questions to be resolved. Daily Post adds that the Acting Police Commissioner (Maralau) gave his comments after recent media reports that a foreign prosecutor had been brought in to prosecute the alleged mutiny case of former Commissioner Bong, at which Bong is said to have said he was “dismayed and disgusted to have read about the Public Prosecutor’s office bringing in a foreign prosecutor.” This matter needs serious governmental attention quickly when so many viewpoints are being addressed by persons possibly implicated in the events of 2012.
  • A letter in Post from The Secretary General of the Citizenship Commission points out thatGilles Daniel had indeed acquired his Vanuatu citizenship by fraudulent means, but that revocation of it had not rendered him stateless: he still has his French citizenship.


3) Happy 25th birthday, Radio Polynesia!

By Online Editor
10:58 pm GMT+12, 30/09/2014, Samoa 

 Radio Polynesia celebrated its 25th birthday Tuesday at its Savalalo office.
For the Owner and businessman, Maposua Rudolf Keil, it was a time to reflect on the station’s journey from its humble beginnings when it first opened on 30 September 1989, at Mauga o Fiamoe.
Acting Prime Minister, Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau, congratulated Maposua and his staff, noting that Radio Polynesia only started with one station.
“After twenty five years, Radio Polynesia has now five stations,” said Tuisuga.
“I acknowledge the hard work that Maposua has put in his business and today we have witnessed the blessings that he received after years of hard work and sweat, and having been criticized by so many people as he was trying to build his business.
“Therefore, thank you for the great service in entertaining the country through this magnificent radio station.”
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Maposua said the journey has not been easy.
“I was called ‘stupid’ by some of my friends because I had no experience in starting a business like this and that I had never worked in a radio station,” he said. “However, this was something that I have always wanted to achieve. I have always dreamt of owning a radio station and so I did, but it wasn’t easy.”
Radio Polynesia started with six employees. Fast forward to today, it employs 25 people.
“It’s something that I will always and forever thank God for,” he said. “If it wasn’t for his kindness and love, I wouldn’t be able to come this far and achieve so much”.
In 2000, the station relocated from Mauga Fiamoe to Savalalo, where it is still serving and entertaining thousands of Samoans.
Asked why it relocated, Maposua said the radiofrequency (RF Radiation) was affecting his health and his doctor, Professor Harvey White, advised him to move from the area.
Yesterday, Maposua acknowledged his son, Maposua Corey Keil and wife Olga Keil for their dedication to make the station work.
Maposua also thanked the former Prime Minister, the late Tofilau Eti Alesana and his government for giving him the opportunity to open a radio station that has only grown from strength to strength since 1989.


4) Commissioners’ resignation in Tonga rejected

By Online Editor
7:55 pm GMT+12, 30/09/2014, Tonga 

Tonga’s acting prime minister has refused to accept the resignation of four Public Servants Commission commissioners.
Radio Tonga reports that Litili ‘Ofanoa, Finau Tutone, Simione Sefanaina and Mishka Tu’ifua resigned because they felt a lack of trust from the Prime Minister and his cabinet in terms of performing their duties.
But acting prime minister, Samiu Vaipulu, says he has replied to their concerns and says there was a communication breakdown between the commissioners and the government and he has told them to continue with their duties.
Vaipulu says he believes the commissioners will accept cabinet’s decision.


5) Cook Islands New Parliament Likely To Convene Next Week
PM Puna requests October 8 sitting with slim working majority of MPs

By Emmanuel Samoglou

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Sept, 30, 2014) – Prime Minister Henry Puna has advised the Head of State to summons Parliament for a sitting to commence on October 8.

Yesterday, Puna had a scheduled appointment with Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters, where it is believed he made his request for the first gathering of Parliament since July’s general elections, said Advisor Trevor Pitt with the Office of the Prime Minister.

Pitt said the request for the sitting was the sole purpose of the visit.

As of 4pm yesterday afternoon, Clerk of Parliament John Tangi said he had yet to receive a warrant from Marsters for the October 8 start date.

Should that date proceed, Puna will be leading his Cook Islands Party into the House with a working majority of 12 MP’s out of 23 seats currently occupied.

Remaining seats are distributed amongst the Democratic Party with 9, and One Cook Islands with 2. An empty seat, representing the constituency of Mitiaro, will remain vacant until a by-election – currently scheduled for November 11.

The expected first order of business for the sitting will be the tabling of the 2014-15 appropriation bill, which will include details on how much and in which areas the Government intends to spend money for the current financial year.

Today, Puna departs for the Northern group island of Manihiki, where he will be attending the official opening of the island’s new harbours. Minister of Health and Atiu MP Nandi Glassie is also expected to make the trip.

He returns Thursday.

Cook Islands News

6) Am. Samoa Participates In Hawaii Community Education Talks
Teaching to be designed around canoes’ Worldwide Voyage

By B. Chen

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Sept. 28, 2014) – The Wa’a Talks will include the participation of the American Samoa Dept. of Education on February 15, 2015.

The Wa’a Talks — community grounded and globally connected — is sponsored by the Hawai’i Dept. of Education, Kamehameha Schools, and Punahou School, and administered locally by the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

According to the flyer, the Wa’a Talks encourages teacher-to-teacher interaction, connecting their classrooms around the globe with the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

(A Malama Honua open forum was held last evening at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center).

“Participants should be ready to share an activity, lesson or idea of how to integrate the voyage into instructional practice.” In addition, “Teachers will be grouped in grade-level teams to talk story within a supportive learning community of 4-6 teachers.”

The most recent Wa’a Talks was held this past Tuesday at Lunalilo Elementary School in Honolulu, and included a segment on Google Hangout with guests that included educators from Tahiti and Hawaii DOE Initiatives Strategist Marlene Zeug discussing the educational program in Samoa.

The Samoa News


7) New grant to support the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA)

By Online Editor
7:22 pm GMT+12, 28/09/2014, Kiribati 

The Waitt Foundation and Oceans 5 have agreed to make a new joint grant of $1 million per year for 5 years to implement the full closure of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area to commercial fishing in the Republic of Kiribati. This was announced at the recent Pacific Remote Island National Monument event hosted by the US Secretary of State Kerry in Washington DC. The grant underscores the commitment of these two private organisations to reducing overfishing and creating marine reserves as a tool for achieving that goal.

The grant is a result of the remarkable commitment made by President Anote Tong in 2008 to establish the protected area, and then last June at US Secretary of State Kerry’s Oceans conference where the President announced the accelerated full closure of the protected area to all commercial fishing. Beginning in January 2015, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area will become the world’s third largest protected area closed to commercial fishing.

The joint grant will be paid through the PIPA Trust, an independent nonprofit organization that provides financial support to the PIPA Implementation Office and the government of Kiribati. It will support staff salaries, enforcement activities, equipment, capacity building, and an independent evaluator to monitor progress.

Chairman of the PIPA Trust Board and chief scientist for Conservation International, Dr. Greg Stone said: “The Kiribati commitment in June was inspiring, but it was also a call for action and the Waitt Foundation and Oceans 5 answered. Private support for conservation efforts like the PIPA, which are led by developing nations, is necessary for their long term success.”

Reacting to this exciting news, the Executive Director of the PIPA Trust, Dr Teuea Toatu, said, “This is a very generous and significant contribution from private organisations that will go a long way to bolstering the financial strength of the PIPA Trust – thereby ensuring that PIPA successfully achieves its conservation goals and, by extension, the wider socio-economic benefits that will accrue as a result of the closure”.

Today, PIPA is the largest and deepest World Heritage site on earth.

About The Waitt Foundation

The Waitt Foundation (, established by Gateway, Inc. co-founder Ted Waitt in 1993, specializes in public-private partnership and supports a variety of national and international programs concentrating on ocean health.  Partnering with unique coalitions of government, foundations & philanthropists, NGOs, academics, and business, the Waitt Foundation supports high impact projects with the ultimate aim to “restore our oceans to full productivity.”

About Oceans 5

Oceans 5 is an international funders’ collaborative comprised of new and experienced philanthropists dedicated to protecting the world’s five oceans. Oceans 5 is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc. Projects are focused on stopping overfishing and establishing marine reserves, the two highest ecological priorities identified by marine scientists. Oceans 5 is inspired by opportunities, particularly ones that can bring lasting benefits to coastal communities. For more information, please visit 



8) New Zealand, in UN address, voices support for small island developing nations

By Online Editor
8:27 pm GMT+12, 29/09/2014, United States 

Not enough attention is focused on the challenges of small island developing nations, the Foreign Minister of New Zealand told the annual United Nations General Assembly calling for greater efforts to share experiences and skills with the so-called SIDS regions.
Addressing the 69th high-level debate in New York, Murray McCully highlighted fisheries management as one potential area for greater cooperation, particularly since the tuna harvested from the Pacific last year was worth other US$3.3 billion.
“Our objective is to see the owners of the Pacific tuna resource receive a significantly greater share of the value of that resource, and to ensure that it is sustainably managed for the future,” the Foreign Minister said.
The UN recently held the third international conference on SIDS partnerships in Apia, Samoa, in which New Zealand participated.
Among other issues highlighted in his address, the Foreign Minister noted the importance of action on climate change and shifting to renewable energies.
New Zealand is campaigning for one of the five seats on the Security Council. Member States that will hold the non-permanent two-year seats will be elected by the UN General Assembly on 16 October.
New Zealand has demonstrated in the past that it is a Council member that acts strongly, effectively and independent; champions the rights of small states and for the voices of all to be heard, Mr. McCully said.



9) PNG Human Rights Film Festival i kamap long Goroka

Updated 1 October 2014, 17:22 AEST

Sam Seke

Papua New Guinea Human Rights Film Festival blong dispela yar i gohet nau ia long Goroka long Eastern Highlands Provins bihain long em i open long Port Moresby last wik.

Dispela festival we i kamap long wanwan yar, em blong soim ol film blong PNG na ol i holim tu ol kumuniti diskasin long ol human rights issiu long PNG.
Festival director Alithia Barampataz itok ol film ol save soim em blong ol long PNG yet.
Ol human rights isiu ol i save toktok long en i karamapim planti samting olsem sait long youth na ol meri, ol disabled, na samting olsem sexual identity na helt.
Ms Barampataz itok bihain long Goroka bai festival i go long Madang long dispela wiken na long naba 10 inap long 20 bai ol i raun long Bougainville.

10) PNG TB Emergency

Postim 30 September 2014, 13:24 AEST
Sam Seke

Gavman blong Papua New Guinea ibin diklearim pinis stet blong emergency long sait long sik Tuberculosis or TB long National Capital District, Central na Gulf provins.

Odio: Dr Rendi Moke, husat i go pas long TB treatment long Port Moresby General Hospital i toktok
Dispela em long wanem mak blong sik TB i wok long kamap bikpela na ol i nid long kontrolim na stopim spred blongen.
Dr Rendi Moke, husat i go pas long TB treatment long Port Moresby General Hospital itok hospital bai nogat spes sapos planti moa long ol TB sik pipol i admit.
Maski mak blong ol husat i sik long TB i inkris long ol Clinic na long ol husat i admit, ol helt otoriti long kantri i bilip ol i ken kontrolim dispela sik.
Dr Moke i tok em i hamamas long sapot blong Praim Minista Peter O’Neill long ol wok long kontrolim sik TB na tu bikpela luksave na halvim blong ol arapela dipatmen long Port Moresby General.
Em i tok wantaim dispela na wokbung blong ol pipol husat i kisim sik TB na tu ol komuniti na olgeta helt senta long olgeta hap blong kantri, ol i bilip bai ol i nap kontrolim dispela sik.


11) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – mercredi 1er octobre 2014 

Mis à jour 1 October 2014, 14:50 AEST

Caroline Lafargue 

Australie: les autorités ont fermé les comptes bancaires d’une ONG soupçonnée d’envoyer de l’argent aux djihadistes en Syrie. 

Australians for Syria a réuni 400 000 dollars de dons et envoyé une grande partie de cette somme au Moyen-Orient, via l’entreprise Bisotel  Rieh, basée à Sydney. Or elle appartient à la famille de Khaled Sharrouf, le terroriste australien qui a réussi à quitter l’Australie pour aller combattre avec l’État islamique, et qui a posté il y a un mois des photos choquantes d’un de ses fils brandissant la tête d’un soldat loyaliste syrien. 

  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: la tuberculose se propage car les malades arrêtent trop tôt leur traitement. Cette semaine le Premier ministre a donc lancé une nouvelle campagne de sensibilisation. 23 000 Papous ont contracté la tuberculose en 2013, et selon les prévisions, ils seront 29 000 en 2014. Le traitement contre la tuberculose doit être pris scrupuleusement pendant 6 mois. Mais beaucoup de malades arrêtent dès qu’ils se sentent mieux.
  • Niue lutte contre la sécheresse. L’île est à sec depuis près de deux mois. Les cultures les plus touchées sont les légumes à feuilles, les pastèques, les concombres, et les taros dans une moindre mesure. Le ministère de l’agriculture est en train de créer une banque de semences, qui, elle bénéficie toujours de l’irrigation, pour pouvoir replanter très vite quand la pluie reviendra. Et il demande aux agriculteurs de cesser de faire des brûlis pour défricher leurs terres.
  • L’Australie fait partie des pays de la planète qui ont l’empreinte écologique la plus lourde. L’île-continent est en 13ème position dans le classement de 152 pays, établi par l’ONG WWF, et présenté mardi à l’ONU. L’Australie se place entre autres derrière le Koweit et les États-Unis. En 2013, l’Australie était classée 7ème. Son empreinte écologique reste très importante, en raison de la superficie requise pour les cultures et l’élevage extensif, et aussi, bien sûr, de son niveau d’émissions de CO2 – le charbon est encore très largement utilisé pour produire l’électricité.
  • Guam organise un référendum sur le cannabis thérapeutique. La commission électorale envoie cette semaine 50 000 brochures explicatives sur le cannabis thérapeutique, qui liste les arguments pour et contre. En novembre, les Guaméens se rendront aux urnes pour élire leurs sénateurs et se prononcer sur la légalisation du cannabis médical.
  • États-Unis: le premier F-35 acheté par l’Australie a réussi son vol d’essai hier. En mai dernier, le gouvernement australien a acheté 72 de ces avions de chasse au fabricant américain Lockheed Martin.  C’est la plus grosse commande dans l’histoire de l’armée australienne, pour un coût de 24 milliards de dollars. Le premier F-35 sera livré à l’armée de l’air australienne d’ici la fin de l’année, mais restera à la base aérienne américaine de l’Arizona, où les pilotes australiens seront entraînés à manier leurs nouveaux avions.
  • Fidji: le Forum Constitutionnel des citoyens fidjiens prépare une proposition de loi sur la liberté des médias. Le nouveau Parlement débutera sa première session la semaine prochaine. Les médias sont soumis à la censure depuis de nombreuses années, avant même le coup d’État de Franck Bainimarama en 2006. Le Forum Constitutionnel des citoyens fidjiens avait déjà présenté une proposition de loi pour lever la censure en 2004, sans succès.

Australie: la campagne anti-burqa n’a pas fait long feu 

Mis à jour 1 October 2014, 14:59 AEST

Caroline Lafargue 

Et ce, malgré un climat général de malaise vis-à-vis de la communauté musulmane australienne et les opérations antiterroristes des dernières semaines. 

Ces événements ont déclenché des  agressions verbales contre des musulmans, voire pire – par exemple à Sydney une femme s’est fait cracher dessus par un passant remonté contre les musulmans. 

Malgré cela donc, et les appels d’une sénatrice du Parti Uni de Palmer et de deux sénateurs de la majorité, le Premier ministre a pris position contre l’interdiction de la burqa ce matin : 

« J’ai déjà dit que je trouve cet habit assez dérangeant et franchement, je préfèrerais qu’il ne soit pas porté. Mais l’Australie est un pays libre, ce n’est pas au gouvernement d’imposer à ses citoyens ce qu’ils doivent ou ne doivent pas porter. Ceci étant, il y a des exceptions, dans les lieux où l’identité des gens doit être établie, dans les cours de justice par exemple, dans certains bâtiments, ont peut demander aux gens de montrer leur visage, et je considère que c’est tout à fait justifié. »  

Ainsi les femmes qui portent la burqa devront l’ôter si elles veulent entrer au Parlement australien.


12) Pacific People United Against Seabed Mining: UN Told
Solomon Island doctor calls for moratorium until regulations in place

By Daniel Namosuaia 

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 30, 2014) – Pacific Indigenous peoples have voiced their united stand against any proposed seabed mining.

Solomon Islands Dr Samson Viulu who spoke on behalf of the Pacific indigenous peoples made it clear before world leaders during the UN General Assembly in New York.

He said its important to halt any plans to carryout seabed mining in the pacific.

Dr Viulu said inhabitants of the Pacific treat and relies on their marine environment as the most important resource supporting their livelihood.

“The people of the Pacific seeks to obtain a moratorium against any seabed mining activities in the Pacific until such time that national governments establish relevant institutional, proper regulatory, legal, monitoring, enforcement and fiscal frameworks involving indigenous peoples,” Dr Viulu said

He stressed that national governments must establish proper frameworks in a meaningful, participatory manner throughout the process including but not limited to maximum benefit sharing mechanisms and compensations. 

“Since the marine environment is source of islanders’ livelihood, the Pacific urges full commitment from all UN member states to achieve the goals outlined in the outcome document by the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.”

He urged the full participation of indigenous people in the implementation process of these goals. 

Dr Viulu made special mention of the unsustainable practice of overfishing and request developed states to take total responsibility to manage the demand and ensure indigenous peoples have access to fisheries and marine food sources now and in future (sustainable fisheries).

He said these issues are closely linked with Climate Change (CC).

“Pacific indigenous people are gravely concerned with the lack of any tangible progress made on climate change mitigation by member states since the Kyoto protocol expired in 2012,” Dr Viulu said 

He pointed out that there are real sad stories of internally displaced people due to climate change.

Solomon Star


13) PNG Prime Minister Launches Tuberculosis Awareness Campaign
23,000 reported cases of TB in country with numbers increasing

By Donald Willie

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 1, 2014) – The PNG Prime Minister officially launched a national awareness campaign yesterday as part of the ongoing fight against tuberculosis.

The campaign targets various locations nationwide, but specifically National Capital District, Gulf and Western provinces where TB is hitting the hardest.

“TB is a very concerning issue for our country,” Mr O’Neill said, adding that the Government has increased its investment in infrastructure and equipment for the health sector which continues to improve the lives of many.

There are 23,000 reported cases in Papua New Guinea and the number is increasing every year.

“That is the reason why the Government is increasing resources, funding and manpower in the support that we give to contain, control and eventually eliminate TB cases,” the PM said.

“We are aware that the disease is preventable and also curable and many of you know that if we continue to adhere to medicines and treatment plans given by doctors, we can be able to treat this once and for all.”

The awareness campaign will run alongside current activities to combat spread of TB and the Governments effort to make the community aware of the disease itself and will come at a cost of up to K1 million. This will make people aware of essential information relating to TB that is often overlooked leading to contraction of the disease, as well as increased potential for further transmission, especially to family members.

The key message is to be aware of the symptoms and seek medical help, there is a cure and it is free, and people who contract TB must complete their treatment.

Posters are being placed around the nation, there will be newspapers, leaflets, and SMS information, and we have already released some early television and radio commercials to enhance awareness on the rising issue. 

PNG Post-Courier


14) Answers To PNG National Math Exams Reportedly Sold On Street
3-week national examination period kicks off under cloud

By Nellie Setepano 

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 1, 2014) – Answers to mathematics examination questions were widely circulated yesterday as more than 50,000 Grade 10 students sat for their national examinations. The authenticity of the mathematic answers could not be confirmed as Education Department authorities declined to comment.

The three-week examinations started yesterday and mathematics was the first paper. It is understood the scammers started circulating copies of the mathematics answers last month through street sales. The Post-Courier is in receipt a copy of a text message containing what appeared to be correct answers to the mathematics paper.

The newspaper could not verify the authenticity of these answers with the education authorities concerned, the Measurement Services Unit. Officers at MSU refused to comment because the examinations are currently in progress.

There are also concerns raised on social media that a man selling examination papers recently was chopped at a school in Enga Province. Public concerns have been raised with Post- Courier that similar issues that had happened in previous years are being repeated this year.

The Post-Courier also understands in previous years, Grade 12 students in some schools in the highlands region reportedly bought answers for examination papers sold to them. These were investigated by national and provincial authorities although the result of the investigation was never made public nor the students involved penalised for cheating.

Describing the latest alleged leakage as damaging to the Education Department, concerned citizens in Port Moresby want this illegal activity to stop.

Two people in receipt of some of the examination answers told the Post-Courier that they did not circulate this to any student but wanted quick action to redress by the Education Department.

Also a man came forward claiming he witnessed the sale of these examination papers just next to Post-Courier office. Yesterday, attempts to get comments from Education Secretary Michael Tapo failed.

PNG Post-Courier


15) ‘I was a millionaire before politics’: Namah

By Online Editor
10:51 pm GMT+12, 30/09/2014, Papua New Guinea 

 Papua New Guinea Opposition leader Belden Namah says he is a self-made millionaire involved in logging and palm oil in West Sepik long before he became a politician.
He said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was well aware of that.
He was responding o O’Neill’s call for Namah to explain where he got a reported K50 million (US$20 million) to fund his party’s campaign during the 2012 general election. O’Neill said Namah “was not a successful businessman before he went into politics”.
Namah said he was told by O’Neill after he took him to Bewani: Why should you become a Member of Parliament when you can relax and enjoy what’s here?
“So if it’s anything to do with my business affairs, Peter O’Neill already went there. I drove him around Vanimo town to my village and back to Vanimo town,” he said.
 He said O’Neill saw the business activities that he was doing in Vanimo, especially with logging and palm oil projects.
“Everybody knows I was already doing business before I became a Member of Parliament. It’s no secret.
“Every Papua New Guinean knows that. I’ve taken media people there to see my businesses so it’s no secret.”

He challenged O’Neill to make public any businesses he was involved in.
Namah has accused Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of directly attacking the Ombudsman Commission by questioning its decision not to investigate a reported K50 million general election funding.
O’Neill has asked the commission to investigate claims by Namah that he had spent K50 million on Members of Parliament during the 2012 general election.
“The prime minister’s outburst is a direct attack on the Ombudsman Commission of PNG,” Namah said.
“I wish to state at the outset, for the people of this country to know that the funding of my (PNG Party) party’s election in 2012 did not involve any single toea of public money.  
“I am proud of that, and I have made announcements, in fact, prior to the 2012 elections.
“It must be noted that the funds I spent for my party in the 2012 general elections, whatever amount I spent for my party during the elections, I’m not accountable to Peter O’Neill (for it).”  
Namah said he would cooperate with any authority if an official investigation was required.
“It is not for Peter O’Neill to push these authorities to come against me just because he has a vendetta against me,” he said.
Namah said his criticism of O’Neill’s leadership style did not “give him the right to call on independent State institutions to come after me”.  
“They do their jobs, at their own timing, and with care, and with due diligence before they refer any leader to appropriate authorities,” he said.  
“The Ombudsman Commission is an independent and neutral constitutional authority which deserves absolute respect from all of us and that includes Peter O’Neill.  
He has to respect this independent constitutional office.” .


16) Fiji Constitutional Forum Want Freedom Of Information Bill Revived
CCF helped draft bill before 2006 coup

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 1, 2014) – Fiji’s Citizens Constitutional Forum is moving to revive a bill on freedom of information as the new parliament prepares to sit for the first time next week.

The civil society group helped draw up a draft bill ten years ago but it never came to fruition due to the 2006 coup.

The Forum’s CEO Akuila Yabaki says such a law was stipulated in the 1997 constitution but never implemented.

He says a freedom of information law is important as under the 2013 constitution access to information may be limited.

“And I think the fact that we’ve been hindered by newspaper censorship, media censorship all these years I think it will be a breath of fresh air, to be able to take this through and provide the framework for freedom of information into the future.”

The Reverend Yabaki says now it’s business as usual, CCF is looking forward to engaging critically with the government and the opposition. 

Radio New Zealand International 

17) Fiji Parliamentary Complex Ready For First Sitting
State of the art facility most advanced, modern in the Pacific

By Torika Chandra

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 1, 2014) – We are ready for the first sitting of Parliament. These were the words of the new Secretary-General to Parliament, Viniana Namosimalua.

Mrs Namosimalua said while the President of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was yet to make a declaration for the first parliament sitting, her team and the Parliament complex were ready for the first sitting scheduled for October 6.

“The technical side and the staff are ready for the first sitting. We are ready,” Mrs Namosimalua said.

She said the induction of Members of Parliament in Suva yesterday was the final preparation phase for the first sitting of parliament.

She said her staff members who were all relatively new to parliament procedures were continuously going through rehearsals to help prepare them for the big day.

According to UNDP resident representative Osnat Lubrani, the new Parliament complex had state-of-the-art equipment, technology and expertise which made it the most advanced and modern parliament in the Pacific.

“The parliament will have the latest Hansard reporting software that will make it easier to ensure there are accurate records of the proceedings in parliament,” Ms Lubrani said.

Members of Parliament, she said, would be voting electronically “which will have the benefit of speeding up the proceedings” and also ensure votes were “fully recorded”.

Ms Lubrani said parliament would now be the central institution where the people of Fiji expected their voices to be heard.

“We very much hope that the parliament will be the place and the space for very robust, but respectful, debate and discussion, a parliament where differing opinions can be voiced but also where consensus can be found.”

Fiji Times Online.


18) Training for journalists

Geraldine Panapasa
Wednesday, October 01, 2014

JOURNALISTS from the Asia-Pacific region gathered at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines for a week-long training on building capacities of journalists in reporting development issues.

The program aimed to create awareness on ADB’s efforts to boost development projects as well as equip practising journalists with the right tools and resources to report on development issues in their countries.

Several issues will be discussed during the week such as challenges of a transforming Asia and the Pacific, climate change and energy, inequality and inclusive growth, public-private partnerships and infrastructure development.

While rapid economic growth in Asia and the Pacific has led to a dramatic reduction in extreme poverty, the impact of climate change remains on the priority list for the bank.

ADB vice-president Bindu Lohani said ensuring their investments were climate resilient was important, particularly when 70-80 per cent of their investments were centered on infrastructure, energy, transport and urban development projects.

“Before 2006, we had made a commitment that we will have about $US2billion ($F3.838b) a year in clean energy (projects) — we’ve been meeting that (commitment). Hopefully in the next few years, we will be able to do more,” he said.


19) PNG to supply Japan’s LNG

The National, Tuesday 30th of September, 2014

 PAPUA New Guinea and the United States will be the important sources for Japan’s LNG supplies in the coming years, LNG News reports.
Japan, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importing country, is forecast to have a strong demand for LNG starting next year up to 2020.
Last year, the country imported 87.5 million tonnes of LNG to meet power generation and city gas needs.
Electric utilities such as Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Chubu Electric, Kansai Electric and city gas distribution companies, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas and Toho Gas, are among the country’s largest LNG importers.
They account for 65% of the LNG imported into the country.
With nuclear power facilities shut down, the power generation segment had been heavily dependent on natural gas and coal for the past three years.
The first commercial cargo from the PNG’s US$19 billion (K47b) project was shipped to Japan four months ago.
Earlier this month, TEPCO christened a new LNG carrier, Pacific Arcadia. 
The ship will be assigned to transport liquefied natural gas for TEPCO from Papua New Guinea for 15 years under the operational management of LNG Marine Transport Ltd.
According to the National Petroleum Company PNG, a single shipment costs between US$50 million (K119.1 million) to US$60 million (K143.9million).

20) Varivao exports kava to US 

By Online Editor
10:59 pm GMT+12, 30/09/2014, Solomon Islands 

 Varivao Holdings Ltd in Solomon Islands has secured a new market in the United States (US) to sell its locally produced kava.
Duddley Longamei the company’s managing director said this was made possible after months of conducting its own market research, initiatives and resources.
“In order to reach this market it has costs us asubstantial amount of money and it was not easy as one may think. Though that the kava market is open its door in US the big challenge is that there is a short supply of dried kava from the local kava farmers,” Mr Longamei.
Varivao Holdings now needs 20 to 50 tons of quality dried kava products in every month in order to meet all its three overseas markets.
“This is really a big money for the rural people to go along with cocoa, copra, fish and timber products,” the company boss said.
With its own business development plan the company now has established its own kava farming of 10 hectares and to increase to 30 hectaresat Kolomola in Isabel province.
“Having our own kava farm supply and also to buy from all other kava farmers around Solomon Islands thiswould increases production that can meet the demand of the overseas market in the coming years.
“Solomon Islands can sustain its economy if all our rural people work harder and more over the national government must have an ultimate political will to drive our rural people and must devise a clear policy in area of rural development for exports.
“This is only the way forward for our beloved country to stop the hand to mouth policy.”.


21) *First Business Licenses Issued In Controversial Honiara Building
Town Ground Grand Plaza provides retail, office, residential spaces

By Daniel Namosuaia 

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 30, 2014) – Honiara city council (HCC) has finally started issuing business license to interested business operators within Town Ground Grand Plaza.

The Solomon Star was told business licenses have already been issued to more than five interested business occupants.

Council when contacted has confirmed issuing business licenses following its environmental health assessment and physical planning inspection of the building three weeks ago.

Managing Director of China United Shaiyo Guo said about ten businesses had already got their business license.

He said this has shown council’s commitment to ensure business activities in the capital opens up to create more opportunities for citizens and also to assist council improve its much needed revenue to provide services that people within the city need.

He said this is good news not only for him as an investor but it is a win-win situation for everyone including council, the government, business houses and the public.

“It’s time to move forward and forget the experiences of the past with regards to issues that has put on hold the opening of the building for public use. It’s time to concentrate on moving things forward and ensure business activities grow to help this economy to benefit everyone,” Guo said.

He said with the demand for business activities and employment soaring, the opening of new businesses within the building will provide more opportunities for people in the country.

Gua added more business and office space should be made available once the eastern wing of the complex completes by the end of the year.

“This will provide more opportunities for employment.”

Some of the businesses who have shown interest include retail, fast food, printing, hardware, bakery shops.

Meanwhile some of the business operators who have already engaged some of the shopping space have expressed their appreciation to the council in finally giving the green light for business license.

Grand Plaza provides shopping and office space plus apartments which will hopefully ease the problem of accessing business space currently facing the city.

Solomon Star

22) Company Releases Premium Chocolate From Solomons Cocoa Beans
Six years of work getting quality beans recognized comes to fruition 

By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 30, 2014) – The country’s first ever single origin premium chocolate is now out in the market after the first batch was produced in Australia last month.

The breakthrough which was made by C-Corp Solomon Islands Limited has also seen local cocoa beans being recognised by chocolate producers.

C-Corp Limited has been working on this project for the past six years.

Speaking to the Solomon Star on Friday to officially announce the good news C-Corp managing director Clive Carroll said it’s a breakthrough for Solomon Islands cocoa beans, the company and the country as a whole to have a single origin premium chocolate.

He said it has been the dream of the company to see Solomon Islands cocoa being used to produce a single premium chocolate.

“Over the years we have been focusing on trying to get recognition for Solomon Islands cocoa and we have been doing this through a number of areas where we have established a processing centre in Taranga, New Zealand where we are now producing intermediate cocoa products such as cacao liquor and cacao nibs which we are now distributing into the food industry in New Zealand.”

Mr Carroll said the other area they have been working on was with the plan to produce chocolate.

“We have been working on hard to produce high quality premium boutique chocolate and we are working with a small boutique chocolate manufacturer in Australia called Charley’s Chocolate.”

He said Charley’s Chocolate had been working with C-Corp in a number of fronts and cooperatively and last month they have produced the first single Solomon Islands origin chocolate of high quality.

He said it’s a pure organic chocolate with no added flavour except for sugar.

Currently the chocolate in Australia as well as online and has been subject to quality assessment tasting.

“In both cases it has been very highly and comparatively best single origin chocolate from any country.”

The managing director said its step forward for the local farmers, the company and the country to venture into this lucrative market.

“Step by step we are getting there and slowly getting some recognition as a company.

“This is was produced last month and we are still developing the product and want to work with a range of top quality producers because we want this product to go specifically into the premium market.”

The chocolate product is expected to hit the local market towards the end of this year and it would be sold at hotels, bars, resorts and supermarkets.

In Australia, the chocolate costs AUD$8.50 (SBD$50.00 [US$7.40]) and the price for local market would be determined after consultation with the government.

Mr Carroll said the company has been working on this project for over three years and its huge achievement.

“We are very happy we’ve achieved our dream of producing high quality chocolate using Solomon Islands origin cocoa beans and I guess its our dream to realise the commercial distribution of this product and the range of SI cocoa products not only in Australia and New Zealand but more increasingly in the United States to Europe and Japan.

“The dream has been coming for six years, but in reality we have been working on this project for three years.”

He added its also a big achievement for the cocoa industry, which Mr Carroll said his company will work hard to make sure that with other stakeholders they can continue the development of the industry to ensure there’s production for high quality cocoa beans and to allow the growers get a fair return for their extra efforts.

He said with the demand for the premium cocoa beans, it means farmers need to produce high quality beans.

“Our target is to produce quality beans for the premium chocolate market.”

At the moment C-Corp is currently working with cocoa farmers in Guadalcanal, Makira and Temotu to produce these high quality beans for export to New Zealand and Australia.

One of the main producers of the high quality beans in Guadalcanal province Mark Poghula was excited about the country’s single origin chocolate.

His family also received a bar of chocolate to taste.

He said his family are happy to know that some of the beans they have produced is now produced into a chocolate.

C-Corp staff also got the opportunity to taste the new chocolate and have acknowledged its taste.

Mr Carroll explained most of the cocoa beans were brought in from mainly Guadalcanal and Makira, graded, blended and then packed into bags being sent overseas.

Solomon Star

23) New Caledonian, Chinese companies plan Vanuatu nickel partnership

By Online Editor
5:07 pm GMT+12, 30/09/2014, Vanuatu 

 The South Pacific islands of New Caledonia and Vanuatu are studying a plan to jointly mine and process nickel ores into refined metal to help produce stainless steel in China.
The acting prime minister of Vanuatu, Ham Lini, has expressed interest in the proposal and has asked the partners to lodge a formal application to construct the smelter in his country.
The move comes as Chinese steel mills scour the Asia-Pacific region for alternative supplies of nickel after top supplier Indonesia imposed a ban on such exports in January.
Under the proposed partnership, New Caledonian company MKM Group and China’s Jin Pei Century Investment (Group) Co Ltd plan to mine low-purity nickel ore in the French Pacific territory and ship it to Santo in northern Vanuatu for smelting.
Media reports in New Caledonia said the project would be owned 51 percent by MKM and 49 percent by Jin Pei.
The head of MKM, Wilfried Mai, told New Caledonian television he had advised the Chinese investors to build the plant in Vanuatu.
“It’s a country in Melanesia, there is no tax, labour is not expensive and it’s not far away from our country – all the advantages,” Mai said.
Vanuatu has no history of mining or refining.
In contrast, New Caledonia is awash with nickel ore, holding as much as a quarter of the world’s known reserves. Nickel dominates the economy, with than 6,000 people employed in processing of the ore.
But building a new plant there would prove difficult, given mounting local opposition to such industries following half a dozen environmental incidents at Goro nickel plant, owned by Vale of Brazil, the latest involving the discharge of 100,000 litres of acid-tainted effluent in May..
Another smelter in the capital, Noumea, operated by Societe Le Nickel and part owned by France’s Eramet, has long been criticised for filling the sky with smoke and marring the natural beauty of the area.
Vanuatu’s government is sensitive to such concerns.
“The government wishes to stress the importance of ensuring that landowners receive maximum benefits from the refinery if it is established, and that the plant does not adversely impact their environment or compromise the lives of their future generations,” Lini said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
The Indonesian ban removed a third of global nickel mine supply, driving nickel prices up by as much as 50 percent this year.
South Pacific countries are vying to play a bigger role in supplying nickel, which is required to make stainless steel.
This month, a court in the Solomon Islands finally unlocked a large nickel deposit that geologists have known about for half a century but have been unable to exploit because of ownership changes and legal wrangling.
A nickel mine in Papua New Guinea developed by Ramu NiCo and majority-owned by Metallurgical Corp of China is already operating.


24) Consumer Council receives complaint against online supermarket – The Consumer Council of Fiji has received a few complaint against an online supermarket who have been receiving money from people and not delivering them with the goods purchased. CEO Premila Kumar said these complaint are mostly from the rural areas. Kumar said they have compensated one of the consumers who lodged a complaint against the online supermarket which has been operating in Fiji for some time now.

Fiji TV News 6PM

25) Solomons Islands Central Bank Expects Economic Growth
Monetary policy shifted to ‘accommodative’: currency to float

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 30, 2014) – The Central Bank of Solomon Islands says the economy is growing more strongly than it had anticipated after the massive flooding disaster in April.

The growth is expected to come from the agriculture, fisheries and communications sectors.

There has also been an increase in construction activity.

To support the growth, the Bank has changed its monetary policy from neutral to accommodative.

It will allow the currency to float with a global basket of currencies to allow for more balanced growth in trade.

The Bank says the outlook for gross foreign reserves is positive and expected to rise and while inflation will be just under six percent, depending on the impact of conflicts in regions such as the Middle East. 

Radio New Zealand International 


26) Roads for Buka underway

The National, Wednesday 01st of October, 2014

 By ELIZABETH MIAE in Bougainville
THE upgrading and sealing of the Buka town road in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will cost an additional K6 million, according to an official.
Minister for Technical Services of the Autonomous Bougainville Government Luke Karaston said the initial cost for work on the 2.6-km road was K3 million.
“However due to no proper drainage for the Buka township roads, the department of technical services through the Programme Management Unit requested for additional funds to do a proper survey, design and the inclusion of proper drainage,” Karaston said.
He was addressing people at the Bel Isi Park in Buka. 
“The request for additional funds was justified because Buka town is low-lying. An additional K6m was therefore approved for the additional work.”
He said work was planned to start last May but delayed because of the shipment of additional machinery from Lae.
Dekenai Construction is expected to complete the project at the end of December. “The decision to seal Buka town road is long overdue. This is the township that provides many opportunities for Bougainvilleans and foreigners,” he said. 
“The road in the town deserves to be improved because Buka is the interim headquarter of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.”
National Planning and Monitoring Minister Charles Abel said the Government was the first to direct funding down to the sub-national governments. But the government system was slow in service delivery.

27) Locals to benefit from road upgrade

The National, Wednesday 01st of October, 2014

THE people of North Fly living along the road from Kiunga and Strickland are looking forward to the completion of its upgrading.
Western  Governor Ati Wobiro launched the project last Saturday at Iowara station with a seed capital of K5 million.
The people had been walking for days to Ram Site (along Fly River) to catch a dinghy for Kiunga to access government services.
Wobiro said there would be additional funding to complete the project later.
 “We are building a permanent gravel road so you can travel on the road even when it is raining,”he said.
“It is a need of the people I have recognised.”
Wobiro appealed to the people to free up their land and provide gravels for the road.
The people shed tears of joy during the project launching because they saw it as an historic moment for them.
A group of people performed a drama and sang about the hardships they have been facing.
Kiunga Rural LLG president James Donald described the moment as important and would bring relief to the people who had suffered because of poor road access to Kiunga for services.

Momi Bay Project to commence next year– The Fiji National Provident Fund has revealed plans to start construction on the previously troubled Momi Bay Project in the first quarter of next year. The fund has signed a 25 year deal with international renowned resort brand Marriot Hotels to manage the resort when it’s completed. In its 2014 annual report the FNPF says final negotiations are being undertaken with preferred developers with contracting to follow.


28) Fiji songwriter allegedly bashed by officers after row with PM Frank Bainimarama over song rights

Updated 1 October 2014, 19:58 AEST

Liam Fox

Amnesty International has urged Fiji authorities to fully investigate allegations army officers bashed a man who sent angry text messages to prime minister Frank Bainimarama.

Fijian authorities must fully investigate allegations army officers bashed a man who sent angry text messages to prime minister Frank Bainimarama, Amnesty International says.

The human rights group said it has credible information four army officers assaulted 60-year-old teacher Josefa Bilitaki at his home last week.

It said the man earlier had an angry exchange of text messages with Mr Bainimarama, alleging that his songs were used without permission during the recent election campaign.

Mr Bainimarama’s Fiji First Party won 59.2 per cent of the vote in last month’s election.

Mr Bilitaki’s daughter said four army officers appeared at her father’s house on Friday night to question him.

She said her father was then taken to another location and was punched by the officers.

She said he had some bruises and a cut lip and is in hospital being treated for health issues not related to the alleged bashing.

Fiji’s police commissioner Ben Groenewald released a statement saying the incident was being investigated.

He said a “task team” visited Mr Bilitaki and took him to a police station for the “alleged offence of annoyance”.

What we need to see is a clear indication from the top that these sorts of cases will be investigated

Amnesty International’s pacific researcher Kate Schuetze

Commissioner Groenewald said Mr Bilitaki fell ill the next day and was taken to hospital with high blood pressure.

“I visited him today and he is in a satisfactory condition. The allegation of assault against Mr Bilitaki is void of all truth,” he said in the statement.

“I am urging people not to jump to conclusions [based] on what they read on social media.

“The case is under investigation and will be submitted to the Office of Director Public Prosecution once completed.”

He said the interference of military personnel in policing issues was “unacceptable” and would be discussed further.

Amnesty International’s pacific researcher Kate Schuetze said Fiji needs to show it is taking human rights issues seriously.

“Change within security forces doesn’t happen overnight. But what we need to see is a clear indication from the top that these sorts of cases will be investigated,” she said.

“That people, if found to be involved in them, will be held accountable and that anyone that orders these attacks will also be held responsible.”

Allegation consistent with previous reports: Amnesty

Ms Schuetze said the allegation is consistent with previous reports of assault by military and police authorities in Fiji.

Last month, Vilikesa Soko died in custody after police arrested him in August in relation to the robbery of a foreign exchange store.

An autopsy revealed he died from massive internal injuries. Four police officers have been suspended over his death but no charges have been laid.

That case followed the circulation of a video last year showing what appeared to be prison officers torturing two prisoners.

One man was savagely beaten with batons and metal bars while handcuffed.

The other was set upon by a dog as its handler urged the animal on.

At the time Mr Bainimarama said he would stand by the officers in the video and argued they were just doing their job.

No-one has been arrested in relation to that case.

Fiji’s military head Brigadier Mosese Tikoitonga has not responded to the ABC’s request for comment.

29a ) Regional police training on violence against women – Twenty-three police officers from Pacific Island Countries have gathered in Nadi to participate in a regional police training program sponsored by the Australian Federal Police. FWCC coordinator Shamima Ali says the training also aims to sensitize regional police officers to develop better responses towards reports of violence against women and girls.

29b ) RFMF receives new ceremonial weapons – Korea has donated 105-millimetre Howitzer guns to the Fiji Military Force. These guns will replace the old 25-pounders that have been used since the 1920’s. The outgoing 25 pounders were replaced since no other country is making the ammunition for it.
Fiji TV News 6PM

29c) Ministry of Defense Week underway – The Republic of the Fiji Military Forces, the Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Immigration Department are part of the ongoing week long Ministry of Defense Week at the Government Information Center. Republic of the Fiji Military Forces Warrant Officer Sitima Nacani said there have been a lot of people coming to visit their tent especially youths.

29d) 45 Fijian peacekeepers staying on: Tikoitoga – The 45 Fijian peacekeepers that were held in Golan Heights for two weeks will stay on till June next year after having taken “downtime” paid for by the United Nations. The men were taken from their post on August 28 by the Syrian Al Nusra group and were not released until two weeks later. Speaking to FijiLive, Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga said the men will stay on with the rest of the Fijian contingent serving with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) till June next year when the next rotation of soldiers is due.


30) Kiribati is now benefiting from the recently purchased land on Vanua Levu. The 6 thousand acres of land is now being utilized for agriculture. Kiribati President Anote Tong who is in the country also revealed for the first time the value of the land. It’s a step taken by Kiribati to maintain food security as a result of climate change, now very much affecting the small island nation which has a population of  just over 100,000 people. Kiribati President Anote Tong revealed his country purchased the freehold land in Vanua Levu for 9.3 million Australian dollars from the Anglican church. Also acknowledging Fiji’s return to democracy , he says the country is an important ally.
Fiji TV News 6PM


31a) Agriculture affected in West – The lack of rain has affected agriculture and livestock in the West. The dry spell has hit the hardest in agriculture dependent Tavua, Rakiraki and Ba. Principal Agriculture Officer West, Vinesh Kumar says there is very little pasture left for livestock. The high price of vegetables also indicates that farmers aren’t able to meet demand. Principal Agriculture Officer West Vinesh Kumar adds that milk is also declining. at:

31b) Two ministries work together to manage dry weather situation – The Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu met with the Minster for Infrastructure and Transport, Pio Tikoduadua and the CEO of Water Authority, Opetaia Ravai to discuss the way forward as the dry weather situation continues in the country. Seruiratu said the two ministries will now work together to deal with the issue. Seruiratu added that as the Minister for Agriculture he is also looking into the effects of the dry season to livestock and crops.


32) Resurgent Rabbitohs ready for NRL grand final

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Update: 6:10PM To the casual observer, South Sydney appears the epitome of sporting success.

The Rabbitohs have got the big names – Greg Inglis, the Burgess boys, Lote Tuqiri.

They have the facilities, a refurbished home base in Redfern, and they have the fans – 5000 turned up to training on Monday.

Now they are in a grand final. As club legend Mario Fenech put it, “we’re the pride of the league.”

But it was not always so.

Rewind 15 years and the famous Rabbitohs were effectively kicked out of the league.

Super League merged with the ARL to form the NRL and by the end of 1999 there was no room for South Sydney.

Fans openly cried in the street.

“They’re my life, the Rabbits,” one fan said outside the Federal Court in 1999.

“Now they’re gone and I’ve got nothing.”

Enter George Piggins.

He played in Souths’ last premiership in 1971 and later coached the club.

But his biggest role came when he headed the campaign to readmit the Bunnies to the top flight.

In the end the court battles were lost but when 70,000 fans from all clubs took to the streets in protest, people power won the day.

“I think by that time, you realised that the public wanted Souths, it wasn’t just the South Sydney public, it was football and sport in general wanted them, and it came out the right way for us,” Piggins said.

So the red and green reappeared in 2002, but Piggins soon began another fight, this time against Peter Holmes a Court and Russell Crowe.

Internal change the start of modern era

In 2006 the pair offered $3 million to take over the famous club. Peter Holmes a Court summed up the need for change in simple terms.

“No money and boardroom fighting,” he said.

A members vote sealed the deal, beginning the modern era at Redfern.

Talk to the fans at Monday’s training session, and you were left in doubt what they think about that tumultuous change.

“They took us from being a park footy team, to a very well-run football club. A great front office, a huge fan base and an excellent playing group,” Fenech said.

George Piggins has refused to attend a Souths game since the take over.

But that will change come Sunday. A $120,000 donation to charity has convinced him to go to the grand final.

He is even prepared to compliment his former enemies.

“They deserve all the credit, you know they’ve put a pretty fair side together,” he said.

Souths chairman Nick Pappas summed up the feeling at Redfern.

“Courtroom battles are long behind us now. They were difficult days and we never forget them, but we’ve moved on. Sunday’s about the players and what they deliver for us on the field,” he said.

As the club song goes … South Sydney marches on.

Forty-three years and waiting.

33) Stricter Eligibility Criteria For International Rugby Hurts Samoa
PM: World Cup rules tighter than Olympics lacks justice, fairness

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 29, 2014) – The Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U) has lamented the “lack of justice and fairness” over the International Rugby Board’s (I.R.B) decision to tighten eligibility laws governing the game.

Prime Minister and the Chairman of S.R.U, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, makes the point in a statement issued yesterday about the I.R.B’s u-turn on legibility laws.

Last week, it was revealed that International Olympic Committee’s widely discussed eligibility loophole, which allows players who have played Test rugby at any level for one nation to represent another if they hold that nation’s passport, was tightened further by the I.R.B.

Previously, players who hadn’t played an international for 18 months could participate in the Sevens World Series and become eligible to play for that same nation in all forms of rugby.

However, the I.R.B. now requires players to take the field in a minimum of four World Series tournaments for their conversion to be approved.

The Chairman of the I.R.B. Bernard Lapasset, defended the change.

“These rulings of the I.R.B. Regulations Committee will further assist our unions with their preparation and underscores our commitment to ensure a successful and spectacular Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016 and beyond,” he said.

Not so, according to Tuilaepa.

The S.R.U Chairman said the “lack of justice and fairness in this amendment does not exemplify a fair level playing field nor encourage member unions to sustain support of the processes utilized in this case to arrive at such decision.

“In the spirit of Unions, having access to the best available to participate in the Olympics, Samoa would like to seek further understanding of how this process has come about.

“It is critical for fair representation of the national game, that all ethnic players have a fair eligibility process to qualify themselves for the Olympics in 2016 and beyond as expressed under the Olympic Movement Charter.

“The initial process of eligibility expressed by the IRB earlier this year and prior to this latest advice was judged as fair.

“Significantly the latest restriction will push beyond small Unions like Samoa the ability to access the best elite players for the 2016, Olympics as well as making sure that eligibility rules are fair and transparent in any other form of the Game.

“There should be one eligibility criteria for all forms of the game and 1 SWS Tournament should be sufficient for qualification. The Olympic eligibility rule should be the gold standard and adopted by other forms of the game.”

The statement from the S.R.U quotes Tuilaepa as saying: “Therefore I urged everyone to work towards protecting and promoting the ideals of the Olympics in rugby.”

“The International Rugby Board has toughened up on eligibility rules for players looking to switch allegiance in countries ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The World Sevens series has eight rounds so any player wanting to switch country would have to play in half of the Sevens events.

“The new rules further stated that players who start the process but do not complete it will be prevented from reverting back to their original country.”

Samoa Observer


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