Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1039 ( Thursday 30 October 2014 )


1) PNG PM wants more business and jobs within Melanesia

By Online Editor
28/10/2014, Papua New Guinea 

Papua New Guinea is looking  to the 20 million people of Melanesia as a new market of opportunities for trade.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill foreshadowed the new approach to our neighbours who are represented by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and also to the Melanesians in West Papua and other parts of Indonesia.
He spoke of these plans at a cocktail party held to solicit funds from the private sector to stage the annual MSG road show and trade fair next month.
He said with a smile that 80 per cent of Melanesians living in  West Papua and other parts of Indonesia had made the difference in getting Indonesia’s new President into power.
“I think it comes from Melanesia so we have every right to demand a few things from him as a member of his constituency,” said the smiling Prime Minister, “but I think that country again offers unique opportunities for PNG.”
O’Neill derived his figure of 20 million Melanesians by counting eight million in Indonesia, PNG’s own seven and a half million, nearly a million in Fiji and similar in the Solomon Islands, close to 300,000 in Vanuatu, 250,000 in Noumea and New Caledonia.
“I think a population base of 20 million or so in Melanesian countries is a market base for any company,” he said.
Papua New Guinea had not taken advantage of these opportunities however, PNG was trying to open doors with other Melanesian countries to make trade easier for PNG based companies.
“As a result, Papua New Guina is virtually taking the first step in making sure that when we talk about issues like labour and mobility. We are trying to get everybody who wants to visit from Melanesian countries to Papua New Guinea without any visa, without any restrictions on work permits so people can move between countries without any issues,” he told a business audience.
“These are mainly our own people so we have to allow them to come in and participate in our economy and also when we talk about investments, we are trying to get them to relax the rule of restorations and all the other permits and requirements that we normally expect of companies and expect of people who are setting up businesses in those countries to be made easier.’’
In PNG, there is a chronic shortage across all sectors and industries where “skilled labour is on high demand’’.
“That is why it is important that we work closely with countries like Fiji,”  O’Neill said.
“We’ve got a large pool of retired workmen and women who can come and work in our country on a short term embedment. Places like Vanuatu, very highly skilled people. Solomon Islands for that matter, where there are not enough opportunities in their country.’’.


2) Jubilee Australia confirms Bougainville report

 29 October 2014

An NGO, Jubilee Australia, says it stands by its report, Voices of Bougainville, which sparked an uproar in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province.

The report contained the views of 65 people living around the closed Panguna mine, which had been the focus of ten year long civil war.

Don Wiseman has more.

“The Bougainville Government is keen to open the mine to grow its economy and was strongly critical of the report which, if felt, claimed many Bougainvilleans opposed such a move. The NGO’s report detailed the worries of people living near the mine and lingering social issues needing to be dealt with. Bougainville’s President, John Momis, in a formal letter to Jubilee Australia, complained about the methodology and the conclusions drawn. But the NGO has defended its researchers and stressed the report is based on the opinions of 65 individuals and was not to be considered as the views of all Pangunans or the people of wider Bougainville. It says, in its response to Mr Momis, that it recognises the serious risks in engaging in public discussion on such difficult issues but says there is also a need for informed debate.”

3) Piece of Australia discovered under Vanuatu

29 October 2014

A groundbreaking discovery has been made in Vanuatu, with Australian researchers saying it could change theories on how continents were formed.

Researchers from James Cook University found a fragment of volcanic rock from the ‘geological basement’ of Vanuatu that hasn’t been found anywhere else in the Pacific but matches ancient material from Australia.

The crystals called ‘zircon’ were dated at up to three billion years old.

One of the co-authors of the paper, Dr Carl Spandler, says the crystals, matching material from northern Australia, may have separated from the Australian mainland prior to the Cenozoic Era, around 100 million years ago.

Dr Spandler says the find calls for a rethink of how the rates and processes of generating the Earth’s new crust are calculated.

The findings were made by one of the university’s honours students, Janrich Buys, who completed his Geology degree in 2013.

4) Doubt cast on Vanuatu airport upgrade

 30 October 2014

An aviation expert working with a Singaporean company that wants to undertake a huge airport development in Vanuatu, says a long term upgrade of Bauerfield International Airport is not feasible.

This comes as the Vanuatu Government seeks advice from the World Bank on how to make urgent repairs to the Bauerfield runway.

Don Wiseman has more:

“Aviation engineer, Victor Craig, is the chair of Leading Edge Aviation Planning Professionals, part of the consortium with the Singaporean company Vanuatu Trade Development Ltd. The consortium plans a 350 million US dollar development that would give it control of the airport for 50 years. It had a commitment from the previous Vanuatu Government but few details have been made public and the new Government now wants to repair Bauerfield instead. In a statement Mr Craig says an extension of Bauerfield is unworkable and if a cosmetic asphalt layer is put on the runway it will be a waste of money. He says Bauerfield also does not meet international aviation requirements, because obstacles, such as hills and buildings, are too near the runway. Mr Craig says Vanuatu has an opportunity to redefine its travel and tourism capacity and to access the greater economic benefits that will bring.”

5) Vanuatu daily news digest | 30 October 2014

by bobmakin

  • Princess Anne has left after a visit to our Save the Children branch, of which international charity she has been President for 40 years.
  • X-ray machines for the wharf and the airport have arrived in the country. And the next Air Vanuatu ATR plane is undergoing final checks in Malaysia before arriving here.
  • Vanuatu has successfully completed the second cycle reviews under the Human Rights Council periodic review for developing a national human rights framework. These are to protect our most vulnerable people – women, children and those with a disability.
  • The World Bank recognizes Vanuatu’s efforts to digitise the Lands Registry, and the country’s efforts made to hire new Lands Department staff and have therm appropriately trained.
  • Sheila and Douglas of TVL have greatly assisted your editor to get the newsblog going again after it was unfortunately switched off yesterday. Thank you Sheila and Douglas! Full service will be restored tomorrow.

 6) Foreign interests trying to exploit my fragile nation, says Timor PM Xanana Gusmao 

By Online Editor
 27/10/2014, Timor-leste 

Foreign interests are trying to “dominate” East Timor, exploiting the fragility of the tiny nation to deny its rightful share of the oil and gas revenues in the Timor Sea and sow unrest, its Prime Minister says.
Xanana Gusmao made the remarks as the fledgling state is embroiled in bitter fights with the Australian government and multinational oil companies over the resources that contribute 90 per cent of its income.
It emerged last year that Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)  agents bugged Timorese government offices to gain an advantage in treaty negotiations over the lucrative reserves that lie between the two countries.
In a rare and wide-ranging interview with Fairfax Media in the Timorese capital, Dili, the former resistance leader and political prisoner also rebuffed suggestions that the country will exhaust its sovereign wealth fund and become effectively bankrupt in a decade.
At the heart of East Timor’s grievance is the belief it was exploited by the Australian government during negotiations between the two countries over the untapped resources in the Timor Sea, conservatively worth more than AUD$40 billion.
“We are fighting for our sovereignty,” Gusmao said. “We are fighting to say ‘it’s our right’. If we gave 200,000 lives to save this small nation, we cannot accept that.
“If you are a fragile country, if you don’t open your eyes, if you don’t have any intelligence structure to know what’s going on, other people from outside will dominate you.”
After negotiating a highly favourable deal on the boundary with Indonesia when East Timor was still occupied, Australia withdrew from the dispute-resolution procedures governed by the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea two months before East Timor achieved independence in 2002.
Australia then negotiated two agreements while East Timor was extremely vulnerable – in 2002, when it had no income and a traumatised people, and 2006, when it was racked by internal divisions and violence that displaced 150,000 people – 15 per cent of its population.
East Timor is now seeking to have the treaties nullified because they were not negotiated in “good faith” as required by the Vienna convention, using the spying by ASIS as its main argument.   
Gusmao said he was “shocked” by Australia’s withdrawal from the Law of the Sea Treaty and “disappointed” by the spying.
East Timor and Australia are in negotiations to resolve the spy case and the dispute over the maritime boundary.
“We have accepted the proposition of Australia to negotiate,” Gusmao said in New York last month. “If it doesn’t bring settlement we will go again to the court – this is a condition [of the talks].”
As well as the espionage by ASIS, security agencies had uncovered a “white” foreigner apparently paying gangs to create unrest, Gusmao said.
“Three years ago, in the Christmas period, there was some violence between youth. Someone was killed and stabbed,” he said.
“I was in hospital visiting the patients and then [protesters] start to come…. they wanted to make a big noise outside the hospital,” he said.
“I saw a taxi with a foreigner giving them money …I said ‘well, well, well … you are helping to destabilise the country’.”
Gusmao said he discovered the identity of the man, but declined to reveal who it was.
He also attacked the tax minimisation practices of multinational corporations.
“We see tax avoidance, trillions not billions of dollars each year [globally],” he said.
East Timor is in a dispute with oil giant ConocoPhillips, Woodside Petroleum and Santos over taxes as the resource companies contest $US362 million in payments – big money for a country with an annual budget of $US1.5 billion.
East Timor banks its proceeds from oil royalties and taxation in a sovereign wealth fund to avoid the “resource curse” – uncontrolled spending followed by economic collapse – that has afflicted many developing countries.
Investment income from the fund – which currently stands at $US16.6 billion – is spent on infrastructure, health and education, although East Timor has repeatedly drawn down more from the fund than recommended.
As existing oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea are depleted and East Timor refuses to approve the development of the $40 billion Greater Sunrise project until it gets a processing facility on its territory, a widely quoted analysis from non-government organisation La’o Hamutuk suggests the fund will run out by 2025.
However, Gusmao dismissed the analysis. The latest IMF estimates forecast that, on worst case scenario of no further diversification of the economy and no further development of oil and gas fields, the fund would still have more than $10 billion by 2025.
Even so, East Timor remains poor with high unemployment, widespread poverty and malnutrition, and poor health outcomes.
Bureaucratic inertia and corruption is stymieing investment and efforts to diversify the economy have been slow, despite the potential for agriculture and tourism and the low tax rate of 10 per cent.
“We lack nutrition in what we eat, but we are not starving,” said Gusmao, before acknowledging that more needs to be spent on health and education.
“So far, we are only doing the big things, electricity … roads and the water supply and telecommunications. We are [concentrating on] big infrastructure projects because it will be the basis of our development.”.


7) UN report on PNG development to set out local solutions

By Online Editor
 29/10/2014, Papua New Guinea 

The United Nations says there is a lot of good practice in Papua New Guinea, that needs to be scaled up in order to boost development.
The UN resident coordinator in PNG, Roy Trivedy, says continued growth in the extraction industries has not delivered a boost to employment and social conditions.
He says PNG’s government is set to receive some new recommendations from the United Nations, with a development report due out next month.
“So based on evidence across the world, saying here is some of the best practice, if you want to ensure that there are better outcomes let’s say for women and girls, these are some of the kinds of investments that we need to consider. If we want to ensure better outcomes in education, here are the kinds of things that we might need to think through.”
Trivedy says the report will be launched in Port Moresby in late November and then taken to the provincial areas, where many of the policy options should be considered by local leaders.



8) Lava flow close to Hawaii homes

 29 October 2014

A stream of lava on Hawaii’s Big Island has crossed onto a residential property, where it is threatening to consume it’s first home.

The slow-moving flow from the continuously erupting Kilauea volcano has been advancing on the town of Pahoa for weeks, and residents in its path have been told to prepare for evacuation.

Hawaii’s County Civil Defence officials say the lava flow front is currently moving in a northeast direction and has entered a private residential property.

The lava has burnt grass and other vegetation, and has been advancing at an average speed of about 5 to 10 meters an hour.

It has already overrun a cemetery and a road on its path toward Pahoa village, which consists of small shops and homes, and a population of about 800 people.

A geologist, Janet Babb, says the lava has triggered methane explosions as it advances, likely due to decomposing vegetation that produces pools of the gas under the surface.

Meanwhile, crews have been building temporary access roads and trying to protect Highway 130, a route traveled by as many as 10,000 cars a day, and two other roads have closed.

9) Parliamentary candidates for the outer islands

By Online Editor
4:43 pm GMT+12, 28/10/2014, Tonga 

Forty-five parliamentary candidates, including three women have registered to contest Tonga’s seven outer islands constituencies in the 27 November General Election.
The outer islands have 26 candidates in Vava’u, 11 in Ha’apai, five in ‘Eua and three for Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou. Of its women candidates, two are in Vava’u, one in ‘Eua and none from Ha’apai and the two Niuas.
Nationally, a total of 106 candidates, including 16 women, have registered to contest Tonga’s 17 constituencies after two-days of nomination ended last week on Friday, October 24.
The Electoral Commission confirmed Tongatapu had the most candidates with 61 including 13 women contesting its 10 seats.
At the same time, all outer islands incumbents are running except for ‘Uliti Uata in Ha’apai 13.
The outer islands incumbents are Sunia Fili for ‘Eua 11, Mo’ale Finau in Ha’apai 12, Lisiate ‘Akolo in Vava’u 14, Samiu Vaipulu in Vava’u 15, Viliami Uasike Latu in Vava’u 16 and Fe’ao Vakata for Niuas 17.


10) Samoa Village Rejects Chinese Tourism Project
Fear of losing their lands leads to last minute pull-out 

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Oct. 30, 2014) – The Alii ma Faipule of Sale’aula village in Savai’i has turned down the proposal by a Chinese company for a tourism development project in their village for fear of losing their lands.

The Alii ma Faipule supported the idea when it was first proposed to them in 2012 by their Member of Parliament Levaopolo Talatonu Vaai.

According to Levaopolo, the project planned for Sale’aula was a hotel to be built on a 4 acres land at the coastal side of the village.

“It would feature floating units and a water park already drawn into the plan utilizing nature’s natural resources,” said Levaopolo.

The Chinese company the Grand Ocean Company Ltd approached Levaopolo with the idea and targeting the beautiful island off-coast the coast of Sale’aula village.

Levaopolo then contacted the four top decision makers from four sub villages – fuaiala – of Sale’aula for a meeting to discuss the proposal.

“My intention was to talk to the top four first so by the time the whole village meets, they would understand where I was coming from,” said Levaopolo.

However, the village never met due to a decision by the four decision makers who believed the four of them represent the village as a whole.

A decision was then made that they would come to Apia to meet with the lawyers and sign the agreement allowing Grand Ocean to lease 4 acres of land from Saleaula.

Levaopolo said he decided not to be part of the village but rather, a representative of the company.

“That way I could monitor that the village was being treated well with the deal,” said Levaopolo.

Levaopolo also asked the village to set up a committee to monitor the deal.

On the week of the endorsement of the deal, Levaopolo had to travel overseas for a family commitments leaving the village committee to deal with the lawyers.

“I heard from New Zealand that the village had pulled out of the deal,” said Levaopolo.

“They pulled out at the last minute when they were about to sign the lease agreement with the company,” said Levaopolo.

“I was told that they decided against the development because they were afraid the Chinese company might take their land,” said Levaopolo.

According to Levaopolo, the project was supposed to help the village and the district in terms of employment and financial stability.


11) New Zealand Company To Manage Niue’s Only Hotel
Matavai Resort recently was renovated

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 29, 2014) – A New Zealand company will soon take over the management of Niue’s only hotel, the Matavai Resort, in a bid to boost tourism to the island.

The hotel recently underwent a major refurbishment funded by the New Zealand taxpayer, and is being run by a trust.

The managing director of the Scenic Hotel Group, Brendan Taylor, says the hotel will be rebranded as the Scenic Matavai from December, and a management team will focus on raising the hotel’s service standards and the training of staff.

“It is just the service standards that need to be picked up more into an international style. If we can increase the tourism into Niue then it helps also to support the other activities like the restaurants, the growers of produce, the dive teams, the fishing, basically it helps the economy.”

Brendan Taylor says Scenic is also keen to work with other accommodation operators to lift standards across the island. 

Radio New Zealand International 

12) Tuvalu Receives EU Funding To Support Agriculture
Climate resilient crop initiative vital for survival: PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 29, 2014) – The Tuvalu government says US$600,000 of funding from the European Union for climate resilent crop initiatives is important to the country’s survival.

The Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga was at the recent opening of a four day agriculture workshop attended by farmers from all nine islands of Tuvalu.

He says the effects of climate change have already begun to make themselves felt withTuvalu one of the worst affected countries, and the nation has to adapt to survive.

The training covered improved planting systems, composting methods and seedling propagation, teaching farmers how to grow more resilient crops and secure food sources. 

Radio New Zealand International 


13) United Airlines Launches Twice Weekly Guam-Shanghai Flights
Tourism industry has goal of 200,000 visitors from China

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Oct. 30, 2014) – Guam now has a regularly scheduled air link from China with United Airlines’ launch yesterday of twice-weekly flights from Shanghai.

“We are delighted to celebrate the launch of this historic Guam-Shanghai service and add this route to the most comprehensive U.S.-China network,” said Sam Shinohara, United’s managing director of business development in the Asia-Pacific region.

Before United opened the first scheduled service between Guam and a China city, mainland Chinese tourists waited for chartered flights or had to travel via Hong Kong, Seoul or other stopover cities before reaching the island.

The direct air link could help Guam’s tourism industry reach its goal of 2 million tourists a year under the Tourism 2020 master plan. Of that number, 200,000 would originate from mainland China.

Guam saw 14,542 visitor arrivals from China in fiscal 2014, which ended last month. Guam welcomed 1.34 million tourists last fiscal year.

Jake Cefolia, vice president of sales in the Pacific and Atlantic for United Airlines, said the new direct scheduled service from Shanghai “is a dream come true for Guam.”

Based at United’s corporate headquarters in Chicago, Cefolia visited Guam as part of the launch of United’s new Shanghai-Guam service. United also on Monday launched its Seoul-Guam service.

“As Guam’s hometown airline, we have been working hard to develop the China market, offering annual charter operations between mainland China and Guam since 2008,” Shinohara said. “We now shift our focus with this scheduled service to build stronger and more sustainable traffic from mainland China to Guam.”

United has a strong network of salespeople in China, Cefolia said.

Karl Pangelinan, general manager of the Guam Visitors Bureau, said in a press release he’s “thrilled that this inaugural flight from Shanghai represents the first-ever scheduled service from mainland China to Guam.” Pangelinan and other Guam dignitaries left yesterday for the inaugural Guam-Shanghai flight.

“We thank United for their partnership and look forward to growing Guam’s No. 1 industry,” Pangelinan said.

Pacific Daily News 


14) Seasonal workers scheme to start in January

By Online Editor
7:58 pm GMT+12, 27/10/2014, Fiji 

The seasonal workers’ program with Australia and New Zealand for locals is set to start early next year, as preparatory work on the Work and Holiday Visa with the Australian Government continues.
Speaking to FijiLive,  Fiji Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said the seasonal workers scheme has been agreed to by Australia and New Zealand, and begins from January next year.
But, as for the Work and Holiday Visa, Ratu Inoke said Fiji is still working on how to reciprocate the programme for the benefit of Australian youths.
The visa programme allows Fijian youths between the ages of 18 and 30 to work and study while on an extended holiday of up to 12 months in Australia.
In his visit to Fiji in April this year, Australian Senator Brett Mason had said the go-ahead of the programme would depend on whether the Fijian Govt can offer the same arrangement for Australian youths.
“That is still under discussion between Fiji and Australia,” Ratu Inoke said.
“We need to tidy up a few things. It is reciprocal and we are still working on ours.”.



15) PNG oposisan itok Praim Minista i laik hait bihaen long Polis Task Fos

Updated 30 October 2014, 15:18 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Sam Basil i mekim despla toktok bihaen long Mr Peter O’Neill itokaut long kirapim Polis Task Fos long daonim brutaliti

Odio: Caroline Tiriman i ripot long bikpla wari blong ol polis isave kamapim bikpla trabal na faitim natingting ol PNG pipal

Deputi oposisan lida blong Papua New Guinea itok tingting blong Praim Minista  Peter O’Neill long kamapim wanpla Hotline long ol pipal iken ripotim ol polis sopos oli paitim na bagarapim ol pipal bai no nap kamapim wanpla gutpla samting.

Sam Basil  itok tingting tru blong Praim Minista em blong grisim ol polis long noken lukluk tumas long ol rong emi bin kamapim.

Tasol Praim Minista itok emi laik kirapim wanpla Polis task fos long lukluk long ol pasin nogut oa brutaliti em ol polis isave mekim egensim ol pipal.

Wari blong ol pasin nogut we ol polis isave paitim nating ol pipal maski sopos oli no brukim wanpla loa i wok long kamapim planti heve na kros long Papua New Guinea.

Long stat blong despla mun oli bin sutim tok long ol polis long ronim wanpla lapun mama na emi bin dai bihaen long bus ibin bamim em long Port Moresby.

Despla wari i stap antap tu long ol heve emi kamap namel long ol polis, we sampla laen isave sapotim Praim Minista na sampla i laik pulim kalabusim em bihaenim ol toktok em oli sutim long en olsem emi mekim sampla korap pasin.

Long despla wik despla wari blong Praim Minista igo bek long ol jas i lukluk ken long em, olsem na deputi oposisan lida Sam Basil itok despla nupla polis task fos em PM iwok long toktok long en em blong karamapim tasol ol rong em Praim minista i kamapim.

Despla wari blong ol polis isave paitim nating ol pipal i kamap bikpla moa long port moresby, stat long taem oli bin stopim ol pipal long salim buai long siti. olsem na wanpla lapun mama ibin dai long wonem emi bin salim buai na ol polis ibin ronim em na bus i lilim em.

Esther Igo i memba blong Women Arise PNG emi save toktok egensim vailans long communiti na emi tok planti isave dai long han blong polis.

16) Airline kros namel long Fiji na Solomon Islands i givim bisnis pipal trabal

Updated 30 October 2014, 15:30 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Despla em toktok blong Honiara bisnisman Mathew Quan

Odio: Caroline Tiriman i ripot long bikpla wari blong Solomon Airlines na Fiji Airways na wok turisam na ol bisnis

Wanpla bisnisman blong Solomon Islands itok emi sapotim tingting blong gavman long salim wanpla laen igo long Fiji long stretim ol wari emi stap namel long ol balus kampani blong ol.

Mathew  Quan  itok despla kros namel long Solomon Airlines na  Fiji Airways i wok long kamapim heve long ol turis na tu ol bisnis pipal.

Despla tupla balus kampani ibin stopim ol sevis namel long Fiji na Solomon Islands long mun July na despla kaen heve istap iet.

Oli bin stopim ol flights bihaen long Fiji Airways ibin traem long mekim narapla ron blong balus long ol Saturday  igo long Honiara, tasol Solomon Islands ibin tok olsem despla tingting blong Fiji ino bihaenim tok oraet em i stap long despla taem.

Fopla mun bihaen long oli bin stopim ol ron blong balus namel long despla tupla kantri, na planti pipal iwok long tok olsem, taem i kamap pinis blong ol lida blong despla tupla kantri long stretim despla heve. Tasol taem despla heve istap, planti pipal olsem ol turis na bisnis pipal iwok long kisim taem.

Mathew Quan i wanpla bisnisman long Honiara na tu emi president blong Chinese association na emi tok planti memba blong en iwok long painim hard long go bek long China long lukim ol femili blong ol.

Na bosman blong Green Turisam na direkta bifo blong Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau itok despla trabal i kamapim heve long ol turis.


18) Brèves du Pacifique – mercredi 29 octobre 2014 

Mis à jour 29 October 2014, 18:24 AEDT

Caroline Lafargue 

Il était l’ennemi public numéro 1 en Australie. Mohammad Ali Baryalei aurait été tué au Moyen-Orient ce week-end. 

Mohammad Ali Baryalei (au 1er plan). En septembre, le chef terroriste ordonnait à son réseau d’exécuter des Australiens pris au hazard dans les rues.  

  • Sa mort n’a pas encore pu être confirmée par les autorités australiennes. Mohammad Ali Baryalei était l’Australien le plus haut placé dans la hiérarchie du Daech. C’est lui qui a déclenché la plus grande descente antiterroriste jamais menée en Australie, en septembre dernier. Les autorités ont intercepté son appel à un contact resté en Australie. Dans cet appel, le chef terroriste ordonnait à son réseau australien d’exécuter des Australiens pris au hazard dans les rues.
  • Narendra Modi se rendra à Fidji le 19 novembre. Le Premier ministre indien fera un crochet par Suva depuis l’Australie, où il doit participer au G20. Il s’agira de la première visite d’un Premier ministre indien à Fidji depuis celle d’Indira Gandhi en 1981. Élu en mai dernier, Narendra Modi a déclaré peu après le scrutin qu’il voulait renforcer les liens avec Fidji. 37.5% des Fidjiens sont d’origine indienne, Fidji est le pays au monde qui a la plus large proportion d’Indiens.
  • Le ballet judiciaire continue entre Firebird et le gouvernement de Nauru. Nauru doit 31 millions de dollars australiens à ce fonds américain, mais n’a pas les moyens de rembourser. Firebird réclame donc le gel des comptes de Nauru, tous hébergés en Australie. Depuis septembre, les deux parties font appel, chacun leur tour. La semaine dernière les juges de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud ont réautorisé l’accès de Nauru à ses comptes. Et cette fois-ci, Firebird fait appel auprès de la Haute-Cour fédérale, la plus haute jurisdiction du pays. Si Firebird gagne, Nauru pourrait faire faillite.
  • Saipan: il mesure 45 cm et il a fait disjoncter le réseau d’électricité de l’île. Il s’agit d’un rongeur – l’histoire ne dit pas de quelle espèce. En tout cas, il a causé l’explosion de l’arc électrique dans une station électrique secondaire. Résultat: toute l’île a été plongée dans le noir pendant trois heures très tôt samedi matin.


18) Former diplomat says Fiji’s stance on PIF could mellow

By Online Editor
10:37 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2014, New Zealand 

A former New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji says Fiji’s stance over New Zealand and Australia’s membership in the Pacific Islands Forum could mellow with time.
Fiji has been invited to rejoin the Forum after carrying out elections last month.
However the country appears to be in no hurry to return and has publicly called for New Zealand and Australia’s role in the Forum to be reassessed.
But Michael Powles says Fiji could change its mind.
“It’s a legacy of the ill-will which has developed over the years and which [Frank] Bainimarama has expressed quite strongly towards Australia and New Zealand. I wouldn’t read too much into it actually. I mean, I don’t necessarily think it is the last word on the subject.”
Powles says he doesn’t believe the majority of Forum members want New Zealand and Australia out of the Forum and at this stage it still makes sense for the two countries to remain.



19) Tikoduadua: Consider security of nurses

Luke Rawalai | Thursday, October 30, 2014

THE security of nurses should be considered when constructing masonite quarters, says Transport and Infrastructure Minister Lieutenant Colonel Pio Tikoduadua.

Speaking during a presentation made to him by the Works Department in the North, Lt-Col Tikoduadua instructed personnel to ensure the security of nurses especially those in remote rural areas.

Lt-Col Tikoduadua said young nurses have had some rather bad experiences in the past, especially single nurses.

“Some of our young single nurses have been subjected to harassment from members of the public and we need to take this into account when carrying out construction works for nursing quarters,” he said.

“During our deliberations with the Ministry of Health we can maybe highlight these issues to them and discuss how we can ensure security in government quarters.

“The fencings of these quarters do not only need to demarcate the boundaries of the houses but it should also provide a form of security to its occupants.”

Lt-Col Tikoduadua said young nurses may be vulnerable especially at night when their stations were located in vacant remote areas.

“This may not be true for bigger nursing stations and those near to villages but I am referring to the ones that are located on vacant spots and at a distance away from necessary help if a situation arises,” he said.

“We should ensure their security is incorporated into the buildings we construct for them.”


10) Pro-France Rally Planned In New Caledonia
Anti-independence groups to express wishes to Hollande

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 30, 2014) – New Caledonia’s two main anti-independence political groups have drawn up plans for a pro-French rally to coincide with next month’s visit of the French president.

Both the Union for Caledonia within France and the Front for Unity have called for a midday march on November the 17th from a Noumea square to the French High Commission.

The rally is to express the wish of the territory’s majority to stay French as the new Congress is tasked with organising an independence referendum by 2018.

Mr Hollande is scheduled to spend only one full day in New Caledonia and his preliminary itinerary suggests he won’t be in the town centre when the march is to be on.

Anti-independence politicians have accused the Socialists of abandoning the French state’s neutrality and favouring the pro-independence camp.

Radio New Zealand International 

11) French military in talks to rekindle Fiji ties 

By Online Editor
4:53 pm GMT+12, 27/10/2014, Fiji 

Commander of the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia, Brigadier-General Luc de Revel met with his Fijian counterpart Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga in Suva today with a view to rekindle ties.
Brig-Gen De Revel says the meeting is to develop and deepen military relations and co-operation between the two countries
“It’s the aim of my visit, to meet officials and to discuss our military co-operation,” he said.  
He said the first visit was to initiate talks and set the platform for further discussions and understanding each other’s perspective as well as priority areas and objectives.
“The aim is today, is not to determine exactly what kind of action, but to understand each other, find out what are our common objectives after that then we able to determine our co-operation. It important for us as well as Fiji.”
Brig-Gen De Revel also expressed hope to see the relationship progress to the next level in 2015.
The French military delegation returns to New Caledonia today.  
Meanwhile, Outgoing French ambassador Gilles Montagnier said they also wanted to be the first country to officially restart military relations with Fiji after the conclusion of the September 17 election.
 The last time Fiji had French military personnel over for training was in 2006.


12) Fiji govt for all people of Fiji, says MP– A senior member of Fiji’s ruling party says the government is to serve all Fijians, despite controversial comments by the Prime Minister. A senior member of the ruling Fiji First Party says the government is there to serve all Fijians. This comes amid reports that Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has said he would give priority to his supporters in carrying out developments in the country’s north. A report initally carried in the Fiji Sun newspaper reported the Prime Minsiter saying it was only fair the government looks after its supporters first as without them his Fiji First Party would not be in government. But the government’s Deputy Whip, Sanjit Patel, who is part of a group of Fiji MPs visiting the New Zealand parliament this week says there has surely been a misunderstanding. “We as a government are here to serve everyone, there may be some misunderstanding but the fact is that the government of Fiji is there to serve each and every person in Fiji.”,-says-mp


13) Indonesia’s democractic credentials questioned

 30 October 2014

A group of New Zealand protestors have questioned whether Indonesia’s new President will support genuine media freedom in West Papua.

The group gathered outside Indonesia’s embassy in Wellington yesterday, calling for media freedom in West Papua.

This follow’s last week’s conviction of two French journalists for misusing their tourist visas to work in Indonesia’s Papua province.

The pair, who were arrested and detained in August, were sentenced in Jayapura to two and half months in prison.

One of the protestors, the New Zealand MP Catherine Delahunty, says Indonesia seems unprepared to open up Papua region to journalists because it has something to hide.

“Will the new President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, who claims to want a new approach to West Papua and is in fact visiting West Papua as a first act of his Presidency, will he support genuine media freedom?”

Catherine Delahunty says unlike in West Papua, journalists are still able to report in the most troubled parts of the world such as Syria and Palestine.RNZI

14) Australia Channel Replaces ABC’s Australia Network

By Online Editor
5:12 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2014, Australia 

The Australia Channel will take to the airwaves in international markets in a place previously occupied by the Australia Network, which closed definitively at the end of September.
The new international-facing channel is backed by private sector media Sky News Australia, a joint venture of Australia’s two biggest free to air networks Seven and Nine and BSkyB.
Available from 01 November, Australia Channel will deliver 24/7 coverage of news, business and sport, targeted at Australian expatriates and a wider audience in North Asia, SE Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Indian sub-continent. Former CNN anchor, Stan Grant will be among the presenters.
The channel will be distributed by content distributor and consultancy Lightning International, based in Hong Kong. Depending on territory, Australia Channel will be available as either a premium channel, or formatted for a broader audience.  
“Our production centres across Australia are committed to produce high-quality news, business, weather and sports programming in real-time,” said Australian News Channel CEO, Angelos Frangopoulos.
The country’s federal government earlier this year removed funding for the Australia Network, which had been operated by public broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Some A$223 million (US$197 million) had been spent operating it over the previous decade.
For several months, until the end of September, the Australia Network continued to transmit a four hour programming loop.
The service broadcast content to 46 countries in the Asia and Pacific region including Solomon Islands, India, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, in the May budget. The ABC was one year into a 10 year contract when the government pulled the plug.

15) MIDA wants a trained and strong media 

By Online Editor
10:29 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2014, Switzerland 

Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) chairman, Ashwin Raj says they want to build “a trained and strong media” in Fiji.
This was part of his statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today.  
Raj also set out the challenges of promoting ethical journalism in Fiji and the efforts of the Media Industry Development Authority to build a trained and strong media
He also addressed the relationship between the Media Industry Development Decree, freedom of expression in the Constitution and the permissible limitations on freedom of expression such as hate speeches and defamation of character.
Some countries asked about the way in which media freedom was protected under the Media Development Decree 2010 and the Constitution where Raj explained the code of ethics in the Media Decree 2010 and the limitations to freedom of expression in the Bill of Rights.
He said they align with the jurisprudence on European Court of Human Rights and that media laws in Fiji were not an exception to those practised in other jurisdictions.
Meanwhile, MIDA has accused Al Jazeera and Radio New Zealand of racism in their reporting of last month’s election in Fiji.
Al-Jazeera and Radio New Zealand were among several foreign media organisations covering the event.
The allegation of racism was made by the head of MIDA, Ashwin Raj, in an address to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“During the elections MIDA called for and received retractions and apologies from Radio New Zealand and Al Jazeera in relation to stories about Fiji which were racist, unbalanced and inaccurate.”  
Raj gave no details of the alleged racism or imbalance.
Radio New Zealand International rejects the allegations.



16) U.S. to lift sanctions on Fiji

By Online Editor
7:49 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2014, United States 

The U.S. is lifting sanctions on the pacific island nation of Fiji after democratic elections were held last month, according to a U.S. State Department spokesperson.
The spokesperson said that the U.S. is lifting restrictions on financing assistance to the government of Fiji and has also lifted certain foreign-policy based visa restrictions on leaders of the coup and government.
“We are also exploring opportunities to resume engagement with Fiji’s military to include training and cooperation on issues of global concern,” the spokesperson said in an email.
Fiji’s democratic government was overthrown by the country’s military in 2006, with retired Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama appointing himself the country’s leader.
The U.S. along with New Zealand and Australia, demanded a return to democracy placing sanctions on Fiji’s government until this occurred.
Last month the now-retired military leader was democratically elected, with his party Fiji First winning 59% of the vote.  
The international observer group said immediately following the election that they felt it was “on track to broadly represent the will of the Fijian voters.”.


17) World Bank Recognizes Four Pacific Islands For Reform Efforts
Palau, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu encouraging business growth

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Oct. 30, 2014) – Palau, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu are the Pacific economies that have implemented reforms to encourage business growth over the past year, according to a World Bank Group report measuring the ease of doing business in 189 economies across the globe.

“Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency” finds that between June 2013 and June 2014, Timor-Leste made the biggest improvement in starting a business while Solomon Islands improved the most in the ease of getting electricity. Palau made trading across borders easier and Vanuatu made property transfers faster.

“This year, we see the results of key reforms put in place in Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands to tackle impediments that have been hampering entrepreneurship for years, ” said Jonathon Kirkby, senior operations officer at the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group member focused exclusively on the private sector. “It is also very encouraging to see Palau and Vanuatu continuing to introduce new measures that improve the business environment and attract investment.”

The 2015 report’s methodology has been revised and the ease of doing business ranking is calculated based on the distance-to-frontier score, which measures how close an economy is to global best practices in business regulation. A higher score indicates a more efficient business environment and stronger legal institutions, with 100 being a perfect score. Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu all recorded an improvement in their distance-to-frontier score.

This year’s report finds that entrepreneurs in East Asia and the Pacific continue to see improvements in the business environment, with 24 regulatory reforms implemented by the region’s economies between June 2013 and June 2014.

“Since 2005, the East Asia and the Pacific region has narrowed the gap with global good practices,” said Rita Ramalho, the lead author of the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2015 report. “Consistent regulatory reforms have improved the ease of doing business in the region in the past decade and contributed to more business opportunities for local entrepreneurs.”

The 2015 report finds that many East Asia Pacific economies made it easier for businesses to pay taxes; for example, China enhanced its electronic filing and payment system as well as making business incorporation less expensive. Indonesia implemented three regulatory reforms to improve prospects for small enterprises, while Vietnam reduced its corporate income tax rate. In Mongolia, local businesses saw the average time needed to pay taxes fall from 192 hours a year in 2013 to 148 hours — less than in Austria.

The top 10 economies in this year’s ease of doing business rankings are, in this order: Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, Norway, the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland and Australia.

Reform count excludes Australia, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand, which are classified as Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development high-income economies.

Marianas Variety 


18) Port Moresby Main Wharf To Be Relocated To Motukea Facility
Purchase agreement of $465 million finalized

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 30, 2014) – Port Moresby’s main wharf will now be relocated to Motukea after the signing of the K1.2 billion [$465 million] purchase agreement on Tuesday night.

The purchase agreement was signed by Public Enterprise Minister Ben Micah and Curtain Brothers and was witnessed by Moresby Northwest MP and Health Minister Michael Malabag and Governor Powes Parkop.

It was a six-hour wait as the legal and financial arrangements were being formalised and approved by the State Solicitor for the signing to eventually take place at around 8pm.

Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) managing director Wasantha Kumarasiri said at the signing that the Port Moresby port relocation will completely change the economy and the city of Port Moresby.

Governor Parkop said the development is very crucial for the city and the economy and will cater for the growing population.

“This is one of the major live changing intervention that the government has decided to make. Since I became governor in 2007, this is one of the projects that I have been pushing. Now it is happening at last.”

Minister Micah said: “Two ideas came up either for us to build our own wharf which will take 2-3 years and cost maybe K1 or K2 billion or acquire the existing port facilities constructed by Curtain Brothers on Motukea Island. Finally the IPBC, PNG Ports and the NEC saw the wisdom of acquiring the existing port facility that has already proven to service large cargo for the LNG construction for the last six years.”

Minister Micah said this will also be the first time that a major project will be funded by a consortium of commercial banks led by ANZ and BSP.

“Papua New Guinea will be transformed if you look at all the big infrastructure that is taking place in Port Moresby, Lae, along the highlands highway and in some of the centres around the country.”

“These are things that are supposed to have been done over the last 40 years.”

PNG Post-Courier

19) PNG PM opens port extension in Lae

 30 October 2014
Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister has opened a new wharf extension to the international shipping port in Lae.

Peter O’Neill says Lae International Port is going to be the hub of trading activity for the Pacific and can cater for large ships carrying bigger loads.

He says the expanded facility will help support nearby mining projects.

He says staff at the port must deliver world class customer service and make sure ships are checked and cleared in record time.

The Prime Minister says the government has inherited a range of infrastructure deficiencies following decades of neglect, but is now working through these problems and allocating funding to key projects.RNZI

Infrastructure tops investment allocation

20) Geraldine Panapasa | Thursday, October 30, 2014

INVESTMENTS in the infrastructure sector entities comprised majority of Government’s investments last year, totalling about $271.98m or 55 per cent of the total government investments.

The economic services sector entities investments, according to the Auditor-General’s report on whole of government financial statements and annual appropriation statements for 2013, comprised 44 per cent or about $216.7m.

The remaining 1 per cent or about $7.28m comprised government’s investments in the social services sector entities.

“Return on investments provides information on performance to evaluate the efficiency of government’s investments and how well government has generated cash flow in relation to the funds being invested.” The report said an analysis of government’s return on investments indicated that the overall average rate of return on investments of 2 per cent was recorded in 2013 and this had remained constant over the past three years.

“Over the 10-year period, an overall average rate of return on investments of 4 per cent has been recorded with the highest overall average of 6 per cent attained during the year 2006,” it said.


21) Illegal fishing boats seized in PNG

By Online Editor
8:11 pm GMT+12, 28/10/2014, Papua New Guinea 

Papua New Guinea defence Sea Surveillance team have captured five illegal Asian fishing vessels along the west coast of Daru in the Western Province.
The illegal vessels believed to be from Thailand have been conducting illegal fishing for some time until the PNGDF sea surveillance team closed in on them. The vessels are currently grounded at the PNGDF Lancron Naval Base in Port Moresby.
The crews of the vessels were believed to have been conducting illegal fishing in the area for some time undetected until they were apprehended early this month.
During the capture, the officials confiscated several contraband items and a firearm on the vessels.
The vessels would be handed over to the PNG Customs and the National Fisheries Authorities to carry out further checks before appropriate charges are laid on the owners of the vessels.


22) Fake Fijian passport found in Pakistan

By Online Editor
4:45 pm GMT+12, 28/10/2014, Fiji 

Fake Fiji passports were among those of other nations seized in a raid in Lahore in Pakistan two weeks ago.
According to Pakistani media, the country’s Federal Investigation Agency raided a printing press in Lahore and seized equipment used for printing fake passports.
The FIA team seized hundreds of Pakistani, American, Fijian, Bruneian and Cypriot passports from the suspects along with American visas, fake traveller’s cheques valued at hundreds of thousands of US dollars, blank holographic images, stamps, printing materials and printers.
But Immigration Minister Timoci Natuva says Fiji is safe as the fake passports could not be used to gain entry into Fiji.
“Our passport has been quite technically designed,” Natuva said.
“There is an electronic security feature in Fiji passports which is scanned when people enter into our country with Fijian passports,” Natuva said.
“I can’t say the same for ports of entry in other countries and if they are able to detect fake passports or not.
“But as for Fiji, no matter who and with whatever intent, can not enter Fiji on a fake passport.”
The Pakistan authorities seized printing plates, UV lights, UV ink, three computers, two laptops from the printing press.
The key suspect in the case is Javed Yousaf Hamdani who is also wanted in the United States and Canada.
He was arrested in the USA as well as Canada on charges of fraud and forgery.
Canadian police had deported Hamdani in 2008.
Hamdani had moved to Canada in 1994. In 2003, the Federal Bureau of Investigation accused Hamdani of helping five people enter the US from Canada on fake travel documents.
But Immigration Minister Timoci Natuva says Fiji is safe as the fake passports could not be used to gain entry here.
“Our passports have been quite technically designed,” Natuva said.
“There is an electronic security feature in Fiji passports which is scanned when people enter into our country with Fijian passports,” Natuva said.
“I can’t say the same for ports of entry in other countries and if they are able to detect fake passports or not.
“But as for Fiji, no matter who and with whatever intent, cannot enter Fiji on a fake passport.”
The Pakistan authorities seized printing plates, UV lights, UV ink, three computers, two laptops from the printing press.
The key suspect in the case is Javed Yousaf Hamdani who is also wanted in the US and Canada.
He was arrested in the US as well as Canada on charges of fraud and forgery.
Canadian police had deported Hamdani in 2008.
Hamdani had moved to Canada in 1994. In 2003, the Federal Bureau of Investigation accused Hamdani of helping five people enter the US from Canada on fake travel documents.


23) Fiji promises to ratify human rights treaties, addressing brutality concerns

By Online Editor
5:10 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2014, Switzerland 

Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji is committed to ratifying several international human rights treaties.
Fiji is undergoing a review of its human rights record under the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review.
Many of the countries speaking in Geneva said Fiji should make it a priority to finally approve remaining treaties like the Convention against Torture.
Countries also called on Fiji to allow into the country independent experts like the Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Sayed-Khaiyum told the Human Rights Council gathering approval for ratifying the treaties is up to Fiji’s new parliament.
“Fiji of course has come along way since the last cycle including extensive reforms that go beyond the requirements of international instruments making us compliant even without raitification. However we do recognise that ratification also helps develop new partnerships and international co-operation and we therefore remain committed to ratify these international instruments,” Khaiyum explained.
Senior judicial figures from Fiji also told the UN gathering the country is addressing concerns about police brutality.
The Fiji delegation said plans are underway for training police interrogators, videotaping their interviews with suspects and stricter procedures under a review of the Police Act next year.
Chief Justice Anthony Gates says the problem is due to a cultural misconception.
“Torture during interrogation has been a long-standing problem in Fiji. Members of the police or prison service or others in authority have thought they had a right to impose an extra-judicial punishment on an arrested suspect or an escaped prisoner”
Justice Gates says the judiciary is helping fund videotaping and interrogation training as courts waste much time having to resolve whether confessions have been given voluntarily.
Meanwhile, Fiji has been urged to ratify several international human rights conventions.
Most countries speaking at a council meeting in Geneva overnight commended Fiji for steps taken since 2010 including holding elections and bringing in a new constitution.
Several, including Germany, called for the repeal of decrees which restricted freedom of expression, association and assembly.
“Germany recommends bringing legislation on freedom of expression, assembly and association in line with international human rights standards in particular by repealing the Media Industry Development Decree 2010 in order to end intimidation and harrassment of those that expressed criticism of the state,” a German delegate said.
Germany’s delegate was among 56 country representatives who spoke on Fiji, which is among 14 countries being reviewed in the current session of the Council.
The Fiji delegation which attended the meeting defended Fiji’s record and said it was trying to address cultural attitudes in cases of violence against women and torture during interrogation by security forces..



24) Pacific plans limits on albacore take

By Online Editor
10:42 pm GMT+12, 27/10/2014, Solomon Islands 

Pacific nations are taking a plan to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission that they hope will restore the health of their albacore fisheries.
The Deputy Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency, Wez Norris, says albacore fishing in the Pacific has become uneconomic for all nations except those whose fleets are subsidised.
He says the Pacific countries want to restrict the albacore catch to a level that is economically viable.
Norris says firstly they want limits on the albacore catch within the exclusive economic zones of the Forum Island countries.
“So a limit that they hold and then they can attract either domestic vessels or foreign vessels to come in and catch those limits. And we want to complement that with limits on the high seas which each flag state would control. Again we are looking for a degree of co-operation so that we can stitch up both types of areas that don’t necessarily put anyone out of place in the short term”.



25) Geological Discovery In Vanuatu Challenges Existing Theories
Rock crystals from ancient Australia reportedly found in Vanuatu

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 29, 2014) – A groundbreaking discovery has been made in Vanuatu, with Australian researchers saying it could change theories on how continents were formed.

Researchers from James Cook University found a fragment of volcanic rock from the ‘geological basement’ of Vanuatu that hasn’t been found anywhere else in the Pacific but matches ancient material from Australia.

The crystals called ‘zircon’ were dated at up to three billion years old.

One of the co-authors of the paper, Dr Carl Spandler, says the crystals, matching material from northern Australia, may have separated from the Australian mainland prior to the Cenozoic Era, around 100 million years ago.

Dr Spandler says the find calls for a rethink of how the rates and processes of generating the Earth’s new crust are calculated.

The findings were made by one of the university’s honours students, Janrich Buys, who completed his Geology degree in 2013. 

Radio New Zealand International 

26) Mangrove depletion

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, October 30, 2014

SAWENI Beach in Lautoka has fallen out of favour in recent times with parts of the popular picnic spot succumbing to mangrove depletion, pollution and sand erosion. A recent study by Fiji National University’s Department of Environment Science head Dr Ajantha Perera has revealed that apart from being used as a dump site, Saweni Beach has also been severely impacted by recent tourism developments.

“Saweni Beach is used by a large number of people who live in and around Lautoka as a place for bathing and leisure time,” said Dr Perera.

“When one enters the beach today, one of the most noticeable sights is the dwindling mangroves.

“The mangroves and the mangrove associates have been destroyed to a large extent.

“Some mangrove plants are removed to be used as firewood while some were cut down to make passageways for boats and for recreational purposes.”

She said because of the continuous trampling of mangroves and dumping of non-biodegradable waste, the plant cover had diminished to a large extent.

“Items such as plastic plates, plastic cups and plastic bags are thrown into the seas hence disturbing the area’s food webs.

“Boats carrying cargo as well as tourist boats are at times moored close to the beach, releasing oil into habitats of marine organisms.”

Dr Perera added an environment management plan was needed for the picnic area.

“The purpose of the plan would be to allow use of the beaches economic gain through tourism while simultaneously ensuring the protection of intertidal zones for the sustainability of the marine ecosystem.”

The FNU lecturer presented her findings during the three-day International Oceans and Rivers Conference held at the FNU campus in Nadi.


27) UN Asia-Pacific forum helps foster youth volunteerism to counter unemployment

By Online Editor
10:45 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2014, Thailand 

The United Nations has helped set up a youth alliance committed to serving their communities through volunteerism in the Asia-Pacific region, where more than 80 million young people of working age are unemployed, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said today.
“Today we celebrate young people, while reaffirming our commitment to a better future for them and our future generations,” said the Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Shamshad Akhtar.
“Without youth playing an active role in the development process, we cannot progress or build the future we want,” Akhtar said. “Tapping youth potential is critical to shape our shared destiny, as they are a source of new ideas, talent and inspiration.
“A dynamic youth agenda is vital to ensure the success of post-2015 sustainable development,” she said.
According to ESCAP, 80 million young people of working age in the region are unemployed and in several countries youth are as much as seven times more likely to be unemployed than adults.
“Lacking sufficient economic and social opportunities, many of them are forced into high-risk and vulnerable forms of employment, while others have given up on the job search altogether,” ESCAP said in a press release issued today.
Recognizing these challenges, the United Nations brought 300 participants from all sectors of society and from over 40 nations together for a forum in Bangkok, Thailand, this week to enhance knowledge and strategies with regard to youth participation in the post-2015 development agenda, and to form cross-regional and cross-cultural youth service networks in the region.
Following these discussions, participants established the Asia-Pacific Peace Service Alliance, a group of partnerships made up of young people across the region committed to serving their communities through volunteerism.
Among the participants at the Bangkok Forum were representatives of Government agencies dealing with youth issues, civil society, development partners and the private sector, who engaged in lively debates and discussions on enhancing partnerships in the sectors of environment, health, disaster response, peace and development, entrepreneurship and education.
A post-forum report will be prepared and the co-conveners to summarize best practices, key findings, outcomes and recommendations to guide the further development of youth volunteerism across the region, ESCAP said.
ESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. Made up of 53 Member States and nine Associate Members, the region is home to 4.1 billion people, or two thirds of the world’s population. This makes ESCAP the most comprehensive of the five regional UN commissions.



28) Vanuatu volleyball pair win in Asia

 29 October 2014

Vanuatu’s beach volleyball women continue to excel on the world stage.

Over the weekend the new pairing of Miller Pata and Linline Mansale defeated Australia in the final of the Asian Beach Volleyball Tour Event in Hong Kong.

The women lost a close first set 21-18 but responded strongly and took the second set 21-17. In an exciting fight to the finish, they eventually won the third 17-15.

They lost only one set during the entire tournament.

Pata and Mansale played extremely well throughout the tournament, convincingly defeating teams from Japan, Thailand, China and Kazakhstan on the way to the final.

 29) Vanuatu football club signs All White

30 October 2014
All Whites defender Ian Hogg has joined Vanuatu football club Amicale as they prepare for next month’s inaugural OFC President’s Cup in Auckland.

Hogg, who played for Waitakere United last season, becomes the first All Whites player to sign for a Vanuatu club.

Amicale have had major changes to their squad since last season’s run to the OFC Champions League final.

Gone are Sanni Issa, Colin Marshall and Marko Dordevic with new coach Jean Robert Yelou focussing on local and Oceania-based talent.

Alongside the acquisition of Hogg, Amicale have re-signed Esava Naqaleca of Fiji and Vanuatu international midfielder Francois Sakama, back from a stint in Tahiti’s Division Federale with Central Sport.

Amicale’s next big assignment is the OFC President’s Cup in Auckland.

Their campaign kicks off with a match against Fiji U-20 on Monday 17 November.

30a) MRDC backs Pacific Games

By Online Editor
8:13 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2014, Papua New Guinea 

The mineral resources development company (MRDC) has come on board to enhance next years XV Pacific Games.
MRDC now joins the list of corporate entities who have joined the Pacific Games with a Gold sponsorship worth K1 million.
MRDC Managing Director Augustine Mano said as a supporter of sports in the country, this sponsorship is a show of the companies support to the Pacific Games.
He added that the company has been impressed with all stakeholders that have rallied together to support the games.
“Come July next year, PNG will be the center stage as it plays host to the biggest sporting event in the region, We are proud to come on board as a sponsor. We envisage the games will strengthen and enhance the relationship between the athletes of the Pacific.”
Emma Waiwai the games organising committee Chairperson was thankful for the sponsorship and welcomed MRDC to the games family of sponsors.
” We are thrilled to have MRDC aboard, the company has done an excellent job of investing on behalf of its landowner groups and this sponsorship will lift the company to greater heights.”
Minister for Sports and Pacific Games Justin Tkatchenko said that it was uplifting to see corporate entities support the Pacific Games.
While thanking MRDC, Minister Tkatchenko announced that a law was passed that all sponsors that backed the Pacific Games would have a tax deduction of 150%.
“Last week in cabinent, a law was passed that any company that wanted to sponsor the Pacific Games would get a 150% tax deduction. That is now law and is only for the Pacific Games and no other sporting events.”
He added that with the kind of support the games is getting, it should be a great games with a lasting legacy for future generations.


30b) Kiwis prepare for physical Samoans

By Online Editor
8:15 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2014, New Zealand 

The Kiwis are expecting to confront a confident and physical Samoan side in Saturday’s Four Nations clash in Whangarei.
Winger Manu Vatuvei is excited to be back in the Kiwis side after sitting out their emphatic win over the Kangaroos in Brisbane, but is wAfter debuting for the Kiwis back in 2005, the 28-year-old is set to make his 25th test appearance in the black jersey.
The Kiwis are sure to rely on his strong running on kick-returns to get their sets started with momentum and Vatuvei is clear about the boxes he needs to tick in his preparation.
“I’ve just got to stick to what I do best, stick to my game, because that’s how I got here. There are little things on defence and attack that I need to focus on. They’ve got Daniel Vidot on my side so I’ve got a lot to work on.”
One of those work-on’s is his handling under the high ball, but Vatuvei is confident he’ll be prepared for any aerial assault after catching Shaun Johnson’s towering spiral punts.
“Any punt, any day is really hard but if you catch a few of those it gives you confidence every time. We’ve just got to keep practicing that before and after training. Definitely, they’ll be testing us, especially if the weather is like this. They will try to get the ball up high just to try to stop us from getting our momentum. We’ve just got to catch the ball, take it up and carry the next one.”
Kiwis management have been mindful of not over-loading the players early in the week, with several still recovering from bumps and bruises from Saturday’s test.
“The coaching staff has taken that on board and given the boys a bit of a rest because we’ve had a long season and coming to the end of the year it is pretty tough but the workload has been good.”
Centre Dean Whare was rested from today’s session after limping out of yesterday’s training with a groin complaint but Vatuvei was confident he will be right to take his place in the side.
“Dean’s form has been awesome this whole year to get his body right is the most important thing. We want every person to be 100 per cent when they take the field and we’ve got confidence that he will be and it will just come down to him and how he feels.”
The mood in the Kiwis camp was still high after Saturday’s success but the squad are intent on building their performances each week throughout the tournament.
“It’s always a good feeling when you get a win especially over Australia but that’s just the start of it. We’ve just got to carry that on and take it up another level every week.”.


30c) Hayne attended US college’s practice

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Update: 5:41PM Jarryd Hayne has been visiting a US college in a bid to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL less than two weeks after arriving in the US.

Will Peddie, the director of football operations, revealed on Twitter that the former NRL star has spent time at practice with the University of Los Angeles.

Peddie sent Hayne a tweet saying it was a privilege to have him at practice before adding, Big things are on the horizon mate!

Hayne replied, appreciate the hospitality bro. Real fun checking you guys out. Thank you for your time.

The revelation comes a week after Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush, who met Hayne during the 2014 Origin series, gave the former Eels NFL bid another boost while in London for the clash against the Atlanta Falcons.

I spoke to (teammate) Joique (Bell) about him and some of the running backs about him. We actually watched some of his highlight films and hes a really good player, Bush said.

I got a chance to watch him play in Australia in the State of Origin. It was really exciting.

Like I said, hes a great player, hes fast, hes big, hes strong and has everything it takes to play in this league.

Bush said he had spoken with Hayne during the promotional trip to Australia about going for his NFL dream.

I just told him: If you really want to do this than you should definitely go for it.

The former Parramatta captain has been quiet on social media since arriving in the US on October, 20.

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