Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1050 (Thursday 4 December 2014 )
1) Ni-Vanuatu convinced about West Papua path
3 December 2014
Vanuatu’s former prime minister, Barak Sope, says the people of his country are convinced that West Papua will one day gain its independence from Indonesia.
In 2000, Mr Sope asked the United Nations for West Papua to be officially added to its decolonisation list.
Mr Sope says this week’s West Papua Unification meeting will provide an important step in forming a unified West Papuan bid for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
He says that once in the MSG, West Papuans will push for independence.
“That’s the next step. The MSG countries, like they did for New Caledonia and Tahiti, they will do so for West Papua, for them to become listed on the committee for decolonisation of the UN.
Vanuatu’s former prime minister Barak Sope.RNZI
2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 3 December 2014
- Motions and constitutional cases were quickly put aside as might have been interpreted from yesterday’s brief Vanuatu daily news digest. The constitutional case of the suspension of the 16 MPs alleged to have been involved in bribery was dismissed and the MPs returned to Parliament. Justice Saksak stated that the Speaker should have had the petitioners tried by a competent court of law in the matter of the offences against them first of all. And in a truly ni-Vanuatu and Melanesian fashion, the Opposition then dropped its motion of no confidence against PM Natuman.
- Radio Vanuatu News was then able to launch its bulletin today off to a flying start with the encouraging news that government will take out a loan of 8 billion vatu from the Exim Bank of China to upgrade Luganville wharf and facilities. Finance Minister Simelum tabled the motion in which certain translation mistakes had been made, causing a delay in the Bill getting to members. The full House supported the motion as very important for Vanuatu’s economy. Leader of the Opposition Carcasses was pleased the Natuman Government shares his concern (earlier expressed) for the northern wharf facility.
- Prime Minister Natuman, at the launch of the West Papua Leaders’ Forum on their Independence, yesterday, pointed out how the very small nation of Vanuatu had been able to influence the course of history to some degree with the position it took on French testing of nuclear weapons. Vanuatu was heard in international forums in which the world’s rich and powerful countries were also speaking, VBTC listeners were reminded. Natuman was speaking in support of Vanuatu’s stand to assist West Papuan independence objectives
- A one-day consultation of police commissioners from MSG countries took place last week in Port Vila. Information sharing and working together were on the agenda.
- PM Natuman stressed the need for maintenance of government buildings in Parliament, Radio Vanuatu News reported today. “We have let government buildings run down since Independence,” he said. “We have no proper government policy in place. Government housing rent for civil servants – especially police – is totally insufficient to maintain the buildings concerned.” He mentioned the poor state of Parliament’s building causing his hearers to wonder how the new convention centre will be able to cope with maintenance.
- The Asian Development Bank expects the Vanuatu economy to grow by 4% next year. Daily Post reports the ADB saying “amid the threat of a weakening global economy dampening growth prospects in the Pacific, Vanuatu’s growth outlook of 4% for 2015 remains strong. Daily Post carries the page one story.
3) Sabotage concerns in talks to resolve airline impasse- Fiji’s Minister for Public Enterprise Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says there appears to be a move to sabotage efforts to resolve the impasse between the Fiji Airways and the Solomon Airlines. Responding to Member of Opposition Semesa Karavaki in the House today, Sayed-Khaiyum said the Fijian Government remains keen to resolve the issue. “We are still very keen, we would like to fly back to Honiara,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.
4) Lord Vaea set to be nominated as Tongan Prime Minister
3 December 2014
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A potential candidate for Prime Minister of Tonga says the nobility will forward Lord Vaea as their preferred PM.
The nine Noble’s Representatives and 17 People’s Representatives are preparing to nominate candidates for the Prime Minister Designate which is expected to be appointed by the King before Christmas.
The leader of the Democracy Party ‘Akilisi Pohiva says he has met with the seven independent MPs and sought their feedback on the process.
He says the independents have already met with the noble representatives who indicated they will put forward the previous Minister of Internal Affairs, Vaea.
Mr Pohiva says his party will decide on a nomination by the end of the week and has suggested he is a favourite for a nomination.
“Well as a leader, normally as a leader of a party he would be or he should be the Prime Minister but remember we also have the independent candidates. They may come forward with a nomination.”
The leader of the Democracy Party ‘Akilisi Pohiva.RNZI
5) Vanuatu daily news digest | Kava keeps Tongans out of trouble
Kava keeps young Tongans out of trouble: AUT study
AUCKLAND, 03 DECEMBER 2014 (NZ HERALD) — Regular attendance at kava clubs can help keep young Tongan men away from drugs, alcohol and gangs, a study has found.
The Auckland University of Technology (AUT) study analysed the kava club attendance of New Zealand-born Tongans aged between 16 and 30. It revealed that participation in these clubs helped foster a strong sense of cultural identity and diverted young Tongan males from drug and alcohol abuse, and youth gang participation.
AUT Master’s Degree student Edmond Fehoko undertook the research and says kava clubs have existed in New Zealand since early days of Tongan immigration; his research focused particularly on the role the clubs play in the lives of New Zealand-born Tongan males.
“There has been research conducted on the practice of faikava [kava club attendance] with older, Tongan-born males in New Zealand, but there has been no research undertaken on younger generations born here,” he says.
Kava clubs in Auckland are affiliated with the participant’s Tongan village of origin. They often take place
on a Friday night and can include up to 30 men of all ages.
Fehoko says the faikava ritual can be seen as a “cultural classroom” where the Tongan language is celebrated and nourished through singing, proverbs and metaphors and casual discussions on a range of subjects.
“It is a place to establish and reinforce identity,” he says. “Kava clubs create inter-generational harmony as the elders pass on their customary knowledge and in turn listen to the views of the younger participants.”
The clubs are also a place where fathers can pass on knowledge to their sons, helping to strengthen filial relationships and further forge cultural identity.
Fehoko says that he was introduced to faikava by his father at an early age: “I began to attend kava club when I was 14. At first I didn’t want to go and sit around listening to other people talk but I soon started learning new words and began to realise how important my language and culture were.”
The kava club is a male-only domain with women acting as servers of the kava; a role that has been traditionally considered a great honour. While Fehoko’s study did not look at the female perspective on kava clubs, he feels that is worthy of further study.
Kava has had a troubled existence in Northern Territories in Australia due to misuse by Aboriginal communities there. Police have had to crack down on criminal activity supporting the distribution, sale and misuse of kava; in 2012 they seized over 2000 kilograms of the cheaply-purchased plant for re-sale in Australia.
There are no signs of such misuse here (or in other parts of Australia) and Fehoko believes that kava clubs are an important cultural marker and of huge value to the Tongan experience of life in New Zealand.
“Kava drinking is part of our identity. If we lose this, we lose everything,” he says.
Fehoko recently presented his findings at the inaugural Pacific Leo Symposium last month on AUT’s South Campus. This symposium is the first in what is expected to be an annual event and featured lectures by Pacific Island postgraduate students on a range of subjects.
Orchestrated by AUT professor of Pacific Studies Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop (who supervised Fehoko’s thesis), the symposium allowed those post-graduate students to share their work with the public.
“Such events allow the research to get out in the public arena,” says Fairbairn-Dunlop. “This research tells us how we are living our lives and celebrates our language, identity and community.”
Fairbairn-Dunlop believes such research is essential for a robust analysis of the Pacific communities in New Zealand and can help inform policy at government and community/family levels.
Her main research interest is the safety and vulnerability of Pacific families in contemporary New Zealand.
“Families are a source of love and belonging. They are the source of language and the sharing of Pacific knowledge.”
But 21st-century New Zealand life can be a challenge for the traditional Pacific family.
“Contemporary society has a huge impact on the way in which the Pacific family functions,” she says.
“Information technology, mobile phones, being in a new culture and having new friends – these are things that young people have to adapt to in a new society; the challenges can be huge, says Fairbairn-Dunlop…
6a) Tongan officials to recount votes in Ha’apai
Updated at 9:11 pm on 4 December 2014
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An electoral challenge has been launched at the last minute in Tonga, meaning one of the Ha’apai constituencies will be recounted.
Radio Tonga reports an application was submitted to the Governors office in Ha’apai by Mo’ale Finau, who lost last week’s vote to Viliami Hingano by just three votes.
The application was made a matter of hours before the deadline for such challenges.
Election Office officials are expected to travel to Ha’apai to conduct the recount.
The Interim Speaker Lord Tupou says he is hopeful the process is complete soon so the selection process for a Prime Minister designate can be complete by Christmas.RNZI
6b) New Tongan Parliament To Convene On December 9
Lord Tupou appointed as Interim Speaker
NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Dec. 2, 2014) – The 26 new elected Members of Parliament MPs will meet for the first time at 10:00am. Tuesday, 9 December at the Fa’onelua Convention Center.
The meeting will be hosted by the interim speaker, Lord Tupou to explain the process, the rules and procedures for the election of the Prime Minister designate as well as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
According to a Press Statement released by the Tongan Legislative Assembly today it will be a closed meeting, but a press briefing will be held later.
King Tupou VI appointed the Rt. Hon. Lord Tupou K.C as the Interim Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, effective from 28 November.
Matangi Tonga Magazine
7) Consensus Reached On Conservation Of Bluefin Tuna
Catch levels to remain below 2002-2004 levels
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Dec. 2, 2014) – Consensus has been reached on new measures for the conservation of Pacific Bluefin tuna, a commercially-valuable species that has dropped to critically low levels.
The agreement was reached at the 11th session of the Western & Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) today in Apia.
Scientists advising the Commission say Pacific Bluefin tuna numbers are down to just 4% of their original levels.
Only a tiny breeding stock now approaching the end of its lifecycle is holding that population together, according to Alfred Cook, the Worldwide Fund for Nature’s Western and Central Pacific Tuna Programme Manager.
The new conservation rules agreed today require bluefin tuna fleets to keep catches below the 2002-2004 annual average levels.
Catches of bluefin tuna under 30kg each are to be reduced to 50% of the 2002-2004.
If the catch limit is exceeded, the over-catch will be deducted from the following year’s catch limit.
Bluefin is a North Pacific species not found in the waters of Pacific Island nations.
The proposal initiated by Japan was tabled this morning and is expected to be officially announced, with other decisions of the Commission, at the end of the week.
8) France Rebukes French Polynesia Nuclear Compensation Effort
French High Commissioner calls attempt an ‘unfriendly gesture’
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 2, 2014) – The French high commissioner in Tahiti has rebuked the French Polynesian assembly for passing a resolution, which calls on France to pay compensation for the environmental damage caused by its 193 nuclear weapons tests.
Lionel Beffre says the resolution is astonishing and while it can be seen as an unfriendly gesture towards the French state, it is the result of special circumstances that he needs to explain to Paris.
It was tabled by the ruling anti-independence Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, but failed to get the territorial government’s support in what is seen as the biggest ever rift within the party.
The votes needed for it to pass came from the pro-independence camp, which says it will now take the resolution to this week’s meeting of the United Nations Decolonisation Committee in New York.
In his response, Mr Beffre dismissed calls for rent payments for the former test sites of Moruroa and Fangataufa as legally flawed, saying the two atolls were excised in 1964 and are now part of France’s inalienable domain.
The resolution calls for France to own up to its nuclear past and for international experts to determine the compensation sum.
The draft called for about one billion US dollars, which the opposition says is far too little.
Radio New Zealand International
9) Leprosy Continues To Be Serious Problem In RMI, FSM, Kiribati
Marshalls sets goal to eradicate disease by 2017
By Giff Johnson
MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, Dec. 3, 2014) – Hansen’s Disease, better known as leprosy, has been largely eradicated globally but remains a serious problem in three Pacific islands.
The Marshall Islands Ministry of Health’s latest report issued late last week says that despite significant effort in recent years, the country has been unable to control the communicable disease. The Marshall Islands is joined by neighbors Federated States of Micronesia and Kiribati with the world’s highest rates of leprosy, according to the World Health Organization.
The Marshall Islands has set a goal to eliminate leprosy as a public health problem by 2017 by reducing the prevalence rate to two cases per 10,000 population. To meet this goal, the Marshall Islands would need to limit new cases to no more than 11 cases per year.
But at present the known rate is more than eight times this level in the Marshall Islands. The ministry’s report shows that there were 94 new and old cases being treated for leprosy as of September 30, a rate of 17 people with leprosy per 10,000 people. The actual rate is likely substantially higher than this.
The report shows a steady flow of newly identified cases of leprosy in adults and children during the Marshall Islands fiscal year from October last year to September this year, with 59 new adult cases and 24 new cases among children 14 years and younger.
Globally, there are few nations with more than two leprosy cases per 10,000 population — and all of them are in the Pacific. A World Health Organization report shows there are a handful of nations in Asia, Africa and South America with a rate between one and two per
Federated States of Micronesia reports leprosy at 19.5 cases per 10,000, the Marshall Islands is at 17, and Kiribati is about 14.
Cook Islands, Palau, Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu either report no cases or at most, a handful.
10) Tropical Depression South Of Chuuk Could Threaten Yap
Storm likely to track far south of Marianas
By Cameron Miculka
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 2, 2014) – Forecasters with the National Weather Service are watching a weather disturbance forming south-southeast of Chuuk, according to the agency.
A statement from the agency states that “all indications” show the system will stay south of the Mariana Islands.
At 2 p.m. yesterday, the National Weather Service reported that a tropical depression had formed south-southeast of Chuuk.
At that time, it was 875 miles southeast of Guam and moving west-northwest at 8 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph.
The Weather Service expects the system to pass “near and just to the south” of Chuuk through today and head toward Yap.
Landon Aydlett, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said models mostly show the system tracking far south of the Marianas.
He said it’s possible Guam could experience some clouds and winds but probably nothing very severe.
Although Guam is moving out of typhoon season, Aydlett said it’s too soon to say whether the island will see any major storms for the rest of the year.
He said forecasters “can’t rule out” any late-season weather systems, noting that the typhoon season typically runs through December.
As the island moves into the dry season, Aydlett said, residents can expect drier, breezy weather.
He added that the dry season can bring with it mid-latitude swells, which Aydlett said are swells coming from areas outside of the tropics and can bring high surf to Guam’s north-facing reefs.
High-surf conditions, he said, can cause hazardous conditions for inattentive swimmers.
Aydlett said high surf becomes a concern when surf exceeds 7 feet and currents become exceedingly strong.
Another concern for the dry season is the potential for wildfires.
As Guam’s ridges get drier, a risk of fire becomes greater, especially in breezy conditions.
Although that’s not a big concern right now, he said, fires become more likely to occur early in the new year, peaking during April, May and June.
A high-surf advisory for Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan currently is in effect until this evening.
The advisory is in effect for north-facing reefs. Hazardous surf between 7 and 9 feet will persist throughout the day, falling below hazardous levels this evening.
The high surf in the region is attributable to a north swell from a strong low-pressure system in the north Pacific, according to the agency’s statement.
Pacific Daily News
11) Recount Confirms Election Win By Tinian Mayoral Challenger
San Nicolas defeated incumbent Dela Cruz by 9 votes
By Ferdie De La Torre
SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Dec. 2, 2014) – Tinian mayor-elect Joey Patrick San Nicolas still prevailed over incumbent Tinian Mayor Ramon Ramon M. Dela Cruz, this time by nine votes, 705-696, during a recount of ballots for the Tinian mayoral race at a packed Tinian Superior Court.
Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja, who presided over the recount, will hold a motions hearing today, Tuesday, at 1:30pm, at the Saipan Superior Court.
Naraja will hold an evidentiary hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, at 9am, at the Tinian Superior Court.
Saipan Tribune learned that three tabulating machines were used during the recount process that started after 9am and ended about 6:30pm.
Naraja confirmed that the recount showed that San Nicolas got 705 votes, Dela Cruz received 696 and David Cing garnered 47.
This means that San Nicolas picked up two more votes after the recount.
San Nicolas of the Republican Party won by seven votes, 703-696, over Dela Cruz (Independent) during the first counting of votes that CEC has already certified.
“It’s just a long process,” attorney Viola Alepuyo said when asked why the recounting took many hours.
Alepuyo, on behalf of San Nicolas, said this recount will inspire confidence in the election process.
“The CEC and staff worked hard and diligently to ensure a clean and transparent election. I thank them and the people of Tinian for their vote of confidence,” San Nicolas said.
Saipan Tribune tried to obtain comments from Dela Cruz through his counsel but there was no reply as of press time. Dela Cruz appeared with his counsel, Mark Hanson. San Nicolas appeared with counsel, Matthew Gregory and Alepuyo.
The entire Commonwealth Election Commission board, CEC counsel and Chief Prosecutor Brian Flaherty, executive director Robert A. Guerrero, and staff were present. Police officers and CNMI court marshals as well as Office of the Public Auditor staff were also present. A lot of Tinian residents also witnessed the recounting process.
In his lawsuit, Dela Cruz alleged several irregularities during the Nov. 4 election, including a discrepancy between the votes cast for Tinian mayor tabulated on Tinian and the tabulation on Saipan of the votes physically cast on Tinian for Tinian mayor. CEC denied the allegations.
12) Salary Increases For Guam Elected Officials Becomes Law
Raises based on recommendation of consultant’s study
By Jerick Sablan
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 2, 2014) – Guam’s elected officials and the administration’s Cabinet members will receive a salary increase after corresponding legislation was signed into law last month.
Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio signed Bill 1 (8-S) into law on Nov. 21, the same day it was passed by members of the Legislature in a 10-1 vote.
Tenorio called the Legislature for a special session on that Friday to discuss amending a previously passed law that excludes elected officials and appointees to the governor’s Cabinet from getting a salary bump.
Lawmakers approved the bill that raises the salaries of the attorney general, governor, lieutenant governor, senators and members of the governor’s Cabinet in accordance with the Competitive Wage Act of 2014.
The Wage Act, submitted to the Legislature in January, included recommended pay increases to GovGuam employees. The recommendations were based on a 2010 assessment by the consulting firm Hay Group.
The current annual base salary for senators is nearly $61,000, with the exception of the speaker’s salary, which is set at $67,600, according to government staffing reports. The governor and lieutenant governor’s base salaries are set at $90,000 and $85,000, respectively.
Under the Wage Act, senators would earn an annual base salary of $85,000.
The governor’s pay would increase to $130,000 and the lieutenant governor would receive $110,000 annually.
The new law authorizes appropriations from the Fiscal 2015 budget to pay for the raises.
In March, Public Law 32-136 provided salary increases to most of the GovGuam’s classified employees. The bill capped elected officials’ and Cabinet members’ salaries to their salary rates from Oct. 1, 2013. It also capped senators’ pay.
All sections of Public Law 32-136 were either amended or repealed in the bill passed on Nov. 21, which is now Public Law 32-208.
Before the pay raises were revoked, salary hikes for the 45 elected officials, including the island’s mayors and vice mayors who were given raises earlier this year, amounted to about $1.1 million annually, according to Pacific Daily News files. The pay increases for 36 Cabinet members and political appointees was about $157,000, files state.
However, Julius Santos, the governor’s spokesman, yesterday said the raises for senators would cost around $400,000.
An analysis of the Competitive Wage Act of 2014 for elected officials, excluding mayors and vice mayors, amounted to about $430,000.
Gov. Eddie Calvo said in March that he was disappointed that Cabinet members and other elected officials were denied just compensation.
He wrote that he and Tenorio didn’t take their pay raises and instead donated them to the Guam Memorial Hospital and several of the island’s public schools.
“As I’ve said several times, Ray and I are not taking the recommended pay raise, and senators could have simply declined theirs as well, if they wanted to,” Calvo wrote in March.
It’s unclear if the administration would continue to donate its raises to the government agencies.
Tenorio, in his message to the Legislature after signing the bill into law, wrote that the administration is grateful the Legislature recognizes the good work of all government employees, including Cabinet members.
“Every employee counts,” he wrote.
He said it’s because of focused and collective efforts from all employees that the government finances are being managed properly.
“By passing Bill 1 (8-S) we tell these employees that their dedication and efforts are deserving of recognition and reward,” he wrote.
Tenorio wrote, as the new term for their administration starts soon, they hope a spirit of bipartisan collaboration will continue.
“We must be ever mindful that public office is a public trust and that we have a common obligation to serve Guam and its people,” he wrote.
Pacific Daily News
13) Sam Basil i tokaut long senis long PNG oposisan long palamen
Updated 4 December 2014, 17:14 AEDT
Deputy Lida blong Opposition long Papua New Guinea, Sam Basil itok pipol imas luksave olsem sistim blong gavman long PNG em i democracy wea majority nau i rul.
Odio: Sam Basil, PNG Deputy Opposition Leader i toktok
Mr Basil i mekim dispela toktok bihain long ol toktok long midia long lida blong The Party, Don Polye i kamap niupela Lida blong Opposition.
Em i tok Mr Polye igat bikpela moa namba long 5 pela memba long oposisan, so em nau i gat namba long lidim opposition.
Em i tok sapos wanpela bikpela moa lain blong wanpela politikol pati i lusim gavman, na em igat namba, ol iken makim wanpela long ol long kamap lida blong opposition.
Mr Basil i tok tu olsem, opposition bai wok had long lukim olsem gavman em i bihainim ol stretpela pasin na imas lusim ol korap pasin.
Em i tok gavman blong Peter O’Neill ibin kamapim sampela gutpela samting, tasol igat planti samting tu ano stret na em i wok blong opposition long tokaut na meksua gavman i bihainim loa na gutpela pasin blong gavman.
Em i tok dispela wok bai isi moa nau ia olsem Opposition igat bikpela moa namba.Radio Australia
14) Brèves du Pacifique – jeudi 4 décembre 2014
Mis à jour 4 December 2014, 19:29 AEDT
Deux Papous ont passé cinq mois à la dérive dans le Pacifique. Ils ont finalement croisé la route d’un navire des États Fédérés de Micronésie, qui les a débarqués samedi dernier à Pohnpei.
Michael Bolong et Ambros Wavut débarquent du Yap Seagull à Pohnpei (États Fédérés de Micronésie), samedi 29 novembre. Après 5 mois de dérive, par miracle, leur pirogue a croisé la route de ce bateau de pêche. (Source: FSM Public Information Office)
Michael Bolong et Ambros Wavut et Francis Dimansol ont été pris dans une tempête en juillet dernier, alors qu’ils effectuaient un court trajet entre deux îles de la province de Nouvelle-Irlande, en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Francis Dimansol est mort pendant leur longue dérive. Mais Michael Bolong et Ambros Wavut ont tenu, grâce à l’eau de pluie, et aux poissons qu’ils ont pu pêcher. Les deux survivants ont été admis à l’hôpital dès leur arrivée à Pohnpei, l’un des quatre États de la Fédération de Micronésie.
- Australie: les familles des victimes du MH17 vont poursuivre en justice la Russie, l’Ukraine et la Malaisie devant la Cour Européenne des Droits de l’Homme. AU moins 5 familles des victimes australiennes ont embauché Jerry Skinner, l’avocat américain qui a représenté les familles des victimes de l’attentat de Lockerbie, et obtenu 2.7 milliards de dollars américains de dommages et intérêts de l’État lybien. Pour Jerry Skinner, il s’agira de faire payer la Russie, l’Ukraine et la Malaisie, mais surtout d’obtenir des réponses. Entre autres: qui a tiré le missile? Est-ce que les passagers ont eu le temps de souffrir?
- Grand Theft Auto V: elles ont cédé à la pression populaire. Deux enseignes australiennes de la grande distribution retirent de la vente le jeu vidéo Grand Theft Auto V. Target et Kmart ont renoncé à vendre le jeu, accuse de promouvoir les violences faites aux femmes. Plus de 44 000 Australiens ont signé une petition en ligne pour l’interdiction jeu vidéo d’action et d’aventure. Dans Grand Theft Auto V, les joueurs se livrent à une série de braquages violents. – Radio Australia
15) Brèves du Pacifique – mercredi 3 décembre 2014
Mis à jour 3 December 2014, 18:54 AEDT
Sommet d’unification des indépendantistes papous au Vanuatu: la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, pays de transit des délégués, subit les pressions de l’Indonésie.
Powes Parkop (à gc), le gouverneur de Port-Moresby, soutient la cause des Papous d’Indonésie qui veulent l’indépendance. Ici, en mars 2013 avec Benny Wenda, l’icône indépendantiste. Parkop est attendu à Port-Vila pour assister au sommet.
Le sommet d’unification des mouvements indépendantistes papous a du être reporté d’un jour. Il devrait démarrer demain jeudi. Car plus de 70 délégués sont bloqués à Port-Moresby, en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Selon le gouvernement vanuatais, le gouvernement papou aurait promis d’affréter un charter pour les transporter jusqu’à Port-Vila, mais le gouvernement papou nie. Le comité organisateur du sommet accuse l’Indonésie d’avoir fait pression sur la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée pour qu’elle abandonne l’idée d’aider les indépendantistes. Trois ministres papous et le gouverneur de Port-Moresby seraient néanmoins en route vers Port-Vila, pour assister au sommet, dans le jet privé du Premier ministre papou, Peter O’Neill.
Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: l’opération de pacification est avortée dans la province d’Hela, faute de budget. Un conflit a éclaté en octobre entre plusieurs tribus., une vendetta en chaîne dont on ne connaît pas l’origine. La police et l’armée ont du interrompre leur opération de pacification après deux semaines seulement, pendant lesquelles elles ont arrêté 145 personnes. Le bilan provisoire du conflit tribal est d’environ trente morts. Le commissaire de police de la province assure que la situation s’est améliorée mais que le conflit pourrait repartir à tout moment.
- Les Tongiens connaîtront le nom de leur nouveau Premier ministre d’ici Noël. C’est ce que promet Lord Tupou (à ne pas confondre avec le Roi, Tupou VI), qui assure l’intérim en attendant que le nouveau Parlement élu la semaine dernière choisisse un Premier ministre. Il s’agissait du 2ème scrutin depuis la réforme de 2010 qui a fait de Tonga une monarchie constitutionnelle. 9 des 26 membres du Parlement ont été choisis parmi les nobles du pays, les 17 autres parlementaires ont été élus démocratiquement par le peuple tongien. Le Parti Démocratique d’Akilisi Pohiva, l’homme qui a joué un grand rôle a enregistré une sévère défaite, ne remportant que 8 des 17 sièges populaires.
- Australie: le gouvernement promet d’accueillir 7500 réfugiés supplementaires sur les quatre prochaines années. En échange, il demande à l’opposition de voter le rétablissement des visas de protection temporaire, un dispositif inventé par le gouvernement Howard en 1999. Les migrants sous visa de protection temporaire doivent prouver tous les trois ans qu’ils sont toujours menacés dans leur pays. Si la situation a changé, ils peuvent être renvoyés dans leur pays.
- Australie: Julie Bishop en assez de faire la nounou. La ministre des Affaires étrangères a prévenu les citoyens australiens: elle envisage de leur faire rembourser les frais de l’assistance consulaire dans certains cas, particulièrement s’ils commettent des délits à l’étranger. « L’assistance consulaire, c’est un privilege, pas un dû », a précisé Julie Bishop. Radio Australia
16) Philippines on alert as Typhoon Hagupit heads towards Haiyan-hit areas
Posted 4 December 2014, 18:53 AEDT
By Shirley Escalante in Manila, wires
The Philippines is bracing for the arrival of a strong typhoon which is expected to hit areas devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan last year.
Typhoon Hagupit was churning across the Pacific about 860 kilometres east of the Philippines on Thursday, the local weather bureau said, packing winds gusts of up to 230 kph.
It was expected to strengthen to a category 5 storm before slamming into Eastern Samar province in the central Philippines on Saturday, the weather bureau said.
Schools and government offices in the city of Tacloban, which bore the brunt of Haiyan last year, have been closed and coastal villages have been evacuated ahead of the storm.
Eastern Samar and the island of Leyte were worst-hit when Super Typhoon Haiyan struck in November, leaving more than 7,000 dead or missing and more than 4 million homeless or with damaged houses.
Local government officials and emergency teams from the Red Cross, army and coastguard were on alert for possible swollen rivers, landslides, flash floods and storm surges, said Roger Mercado, governor of Southern Leyte province.
“All radios and televisions are open, cell phones are being charged. People are buying food stuff, preparing fuel and gasoline supply,” Mr Mercado told local radio DZMM.
“People are now conscious of preparations.”
Tacloban city vice mayor Jerry Yaokasin said about 500 families were still living in tents after waves triggered by Haiyan destroyed their homes.
He said they and some 3,000 other families housed in temporary shelters were the priority in case authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation.
The local weather bureau and the Japan Meteorological Agency predicted that Typhoon Hagupit – Filipino for lash – would directly hit the central Philippines.
However, forecasting website Tropical Storm Risk and the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre of the US Navy showed the storm veering north, closer to Manila.
The Philippines was hardest hit by extreme weather in 2013, according to a report by German think-tank Germanwatch.
Concerns over extreme weather have been exacerbated by an apparent shift in storm paths, with southern regions hit by powerful typhoons in the past three years.
About 20 typhoons strike the country each year, most hitting the north along the main island of Luzon.
17) Better medical transport needed for remote Fiji islands
3 December 2014
People living in the remote Yasawa Island group will have a new medical centre built.
Currently a small and run-down facility on Nacula island has one doctor and nurse on hand for over 3,000 people.
As the new centre won’t be ready for another two years, the island’s doctor is also asking for some repairs to the current building.
But the village head man of Vuaki village on Matacawalevu island, Etuate Ratudradra, says a bigger problem is getting to the centre, with remote villages relying on tides, and having enough fuel.
“Sometimes we have problems with boats and fuel. Like low tide, depends on the tides going in, going out. Depends on the fuel we have because we have supply in a week or two weeks, we have supply from the mainland to our village in the Yasawa group.”
Etuate Ratudradra says the district school is on his island, with 200 students, but the nearest nurse is a half-hour boat trip away.RNZI
18) O’Neill: My government is stable
By Online Editor
11:17 pm GMT+12, 02/12/2014, Papua New Guinea
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has told the Sydney mining conference that the government he leads has overwhelming parliamentary support and its underlying political stability remains strong.
Mining tycoons, mining giants, corporate investors and multi-billion kina businesses interested in PNG investment are currently attending the PNG and petroleum investment conference in Sydney this week.
“The assurance I give you is that in our country we manage our political interaction in a way that does not damage ‘good government’. We manage these issues in a way that does not undermine investor confidence or harm business certainty,” O’Neill said.
“These attempted distractions might keep the lawyers busy, but for the government we get on with the job of managing the economy and improving quality of life for our people. This is the mandate that our people have given to us as elected leaders,” he said.
“As Prime Minister I have always regarded the maintenance of political stability and business certainty to be one of my key responsibilities.
“We are now well into our third year of benefiting from that certainty and I am confident we will continue to do so until the people of Papua New Guinea have the opportunity to judge our government’s performance at the 2017 national election,” O’Neill stressed.
“Last week we secured the passage of the largest budget in our nation’s history, with expenditure of K16 billion (US$6.1 billion), and there is other important legislation before the Parliament, including the Sovereign Wealth Fund, that will further strengthen the economic future of the Nation,” he said.
“There is no doubt that there have been some political disturbances from outside the parliament this year that has caused some “confusion” to the casual spectator but this is far from being an issue relating to stability.
“For any long-term observer of PNG they will know that this is just part of the robust nature of our democratic political process,” he said.
“Certainly there is never a dull moment, fortunately we have a very capable judiciary that addresses such matters and deals with false claims. These events have the potential to concern some new investors, and can unsettle some in our own business community as well.
“As we move our nation forward, stability is key,” PM O’Neill said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
19) Polye Appointed New PNG Opposition Leader
Namah reluctantly accepts being dumped
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 3, 2014) – Kandep MP Don Polye is the new Opposition Leader but dumped leader Belden Namah says he has not been consulted with the moves to topple him.
Mr Namah (Vanimo-Green) said yesterday he reluctantly accepted the “appointment” but he was not party to the six-member Opposition caucus which met last Thursday to dump him.
The caucus had resolved to appoint Mr Polye, the leader of Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) Party to lead the Opposition, with Bulolo MP Sam Basil as his deputy.
Speaker Theo Zurenuoc has announced that he recognises Mr Polye as the new leader.
However, when contacted yesterday Mr Namah said: “Let my brother have it”.
“I as the incumbent never convened any Opposition caucus meeting to elect a new Opposition Leader. I am the incumbent Opposition Leader and I should call the caucus meeting.
“I have no issue with my brother Don Polye.”
Mr Polye said last night he would call a media conference today to answer any queries to his new position.
But Mr Namah told the Post-Courier his concern was whether Mr Polye was the fit and proper person to occupy the position.
“Don Polye has been heavily implicated along with James Marape and Peter O’Neill in Paraka gate. He has been laughing away on the other side of the House while issues of national importance had been raised and fought from the Opposition side.
“I am concerned about the high profile corruption issues I have been fighting to address and I am equally concerned whether under the new leadership the Opposition will continue the fight against corruption.
“I will continue to fight as an ordinary MP to ensure good governance, transparency and accountably by the Government are upheld,” he said.
Speaker Mr Zurenuoc sent a letter to Mr Polye which read: “In the absence of any expressed legal provision in the Constitution or any Act of Parliament, the Chair (Speaker) accepts that there was a proper Opposition Caucus meeting convened.
Member of the Opposition confirmed this in your (collectively signed) letter as well as in person during the meeting in my office.” Mr Zurenuoc sent another letter to Mr Namah which read: “I am also in receipt of instrument signed by six Opposition Members of Parliament informing me of the decision of the Opposition Caucus which unanimously resolved to elect Hon.
Don Pomb Polye, MP leader of the (THE) Party, as the new Leader of the Opposition.
20) Sogavare seeks third Solomons prime ministership
3 December 2014
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A two-time former Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has been put forward as the prime ministerial candidate for a second coalition grouping which came out publicly with its membership last night.
Both the Solomon Star and the Island Sun newspapers say 26 of the 50 newly elected MPs claim allegiance to the group and posed for a group photo.
The new group which is yet to be named is made up of MPs from three political parties, the Kadere Party, the United Democratic Party and break away MPs from the People’s Alliance Party which is aligned to the opposing political block.
Meanwhile a spokesperson for the rival Solomon Islands People’s Democratic Coalition, Douglas Marau, says it is too early for anyone to be claiming they have the numbers to rule.
“The Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition has not finalised any names as yet, to who would be the candidate for the Prime Ministers post it is still open. We are just working around the clock, we have more time, we do not want to rush into, you know anything as yet.”
Date set for Solomons PM election
Solomons first coalition attempt falls over
PM election expected in next two days in Solomons
Portfolio call for only woman MP in Solomon Islands
21) Reports From Solomons, SIPRA To Lead Coalition Government
Election of Manasseh Maelanga as PM a ‘foregone conclusion’
By Tony Kando
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Dec. 2, 2014) – The Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement (SIPRA) is expected to lead the newly formed government, with an election date for the PM likely to be announced by the Governor General this week.
The newly formed coalition group consists of the Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement (SIPRA), Democratic Alliance Party (DAP), Solomon Islands People First Party (SIPFP) and the Peoples’ Alliance Party (PAP.
It is understood the content of the agreement sets out the terms of the coalition, put forward by the various political parties, on matters relating to policy. The agreement will be submitted to the Political Parties Commission – with the coalition to be called the Solomon Islands People’s Democratic Coalition.
The Integrity Act makes specific reference to the formation of a coalition government, appended as schedule 2 of the Act, stating that the leader of the party with the highest number of seats in Parliament be nominated as Prime Minister. It also states that the party with the second highest number of seats be given the Deputy position.
Multiple sources have confirmed that the party with the highest number of seats in the recently formed coalition is the Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement (SIPRA). It is understood a good number of the former NCRA government have renounced their status as independent MPs and have since joined SIPRA.
The second highest is the Democratic Alliance Party (DAP), followed by the People’s Alliance Party (PAP) and the Solomon Islands People First Party (SIPF).
It seems likely that SIPRA, with its Parliamentary Wing Leader being Manasseh Maelanga, will lead the government, with the possibility of the deputy position going to PAP or DAP. Sources say few independents MPs have also joined PAP and DAP – increasing its numbers within the coalition.
[PIR editor’s note: Solomon Star reported that ‘President of People’s Alliance Party Sir Nathaniel Waena could be the next Speaker of Parliament. … He was tipped for the job after he led his party to sign a coalition agreement with three other parties on Friday night, to form the next government.’]
“We have done everything according to the Integrity Act, beginning with the 7 days timeframe for the formation of a coalition group after election results are declared,” a source close to the coalition told Solomon Times.
“The coalition has signed relevant agreements which will be submitted to the Commission, in compliance with the Act. It is very difficult to imagine a Party within the coalition will withdraw at this point in time, it would be a long drawn out process to withdraw, and the Act makes it very clear.”
He says for now it is a foregone conclusion who will lead the new government, what is not yet clear is who the Deputy position will go to.
22) Vanuatu Court Declares Suspension Of MPs Invalid
Opposition prevails, to attend vote of no confidence today
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 2, 2014) – The Supreme Court in Vanuatu has ruled that the suspension of the opposition leader and 15 of his MPs from parliament is invalid.
Last week, the government succeeded in pushing through the suspension of the MPs, alleging they had contravened the Leadership Code in accepting money from the opposition leader, Moana Carcasses.
The MPs challenged their suspension, and Justice Oliver Saksak has ruled that a parliamentary standing order does not provide a motion to suspend an MP on an allegation of something committed outside of parliament.
This ruling means the MPs will be able to attend a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, at parliament this afternoon.
Mr Natuman currently has the support of 32 MPs in the 54-member house.
Radio New Zealand International
23) Vanuatu Opposition Withdraws No Confidence Motion
Carcasses acknowledges lack of support in parliament
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 2, 2014) – Vanuatu’s parliamentary opposition has withdrawn its motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Joe Natuman this afternoon.
The opposition leader Moana Carcasses withdrew its motion due to lack of support in parliament.
This comes shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that last week’s suspension of Mr Carcasses and the 15 other opposition MPs from parliament was invalid.
The government had succeeded in pushing through the suspension, alleging the MPs contravened the Leadership Code in accepting money from the opposition leader.
The MPs challenged their suspension, and Justice Oliver Saksak has ruled that the suspension was in breach of the constitution.
The opposition MPs returned to parliament this afternoon but were unable to muster the numbers to successfully pass the motion as the government has the support of at least 30 MPs in the 52-seat parliament.
Radio New Zealand International
24) Fijian PM meets Israeli counterpart– Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has held a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Binyamin Netanyahu. Bainimarama began his visit in the Golan Heights, meeting with Fiji’s UN peacekeeping troops who were kidnapped by Al-Nusra terrorists in the summer. The peacekeepers were captured after rebels stormed a crossing on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, however the soldiers were later released.
25) Fiji Attorney General: No Need To Constitutional Commission
Sayed-Khaiyum dismisses UN Human Rights Review recommendations
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 2, 2014) – Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has told the Fijian Parliament there is no need for a Constitutional Commission.
This was one of the 137 recommendations put to the Fijian delegation at the recent Human Rights Review in Geneva to appoint a commission that will review the constitution to ensure it is “reflective of the will of the Fijian people.”
Sayed-Khaiyum told the House today the 2013 Constitution includes passages from the Ghai draft constitution, regarded by many as the people’s choice, including the common identity that everyone is a Fijian.
He further said the constitution already has a provision which caters for any review of the document.
“There is no commission in place and there won’t be any commission in place has the mechanism for the review of the constitution,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“The Fijian Constitution is quite clear. The Fijian Constitution says that the way to review the constitution is by a way of referendum – that this Honourable House has 3/4 support to amend the constitution then it can amend the constitution subject to 3/4 of the voters are registered then we can amend the constitution.”
Under the constitution, amending the constitution first requires an approval by at least 3/4 of parliament, then a 75 per cent majority vote by the registered voters.
26) Debate Over Budget Takes Place In Fiji Parliament
Opposition questions military spending, sale of government assets
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 2, 2014) – Fijian Government MPs spoke highly and in support of the 2015 Budget with the Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Iliesa Delana describing it as the “Mother of all Budgets.” All four government MPs that spoke today including the Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Children Sofia Akbar submitted before the Fijian Parliament their support for the 2015 Budget.
On the 2015 Budget, Akbar said it lived up to its promise to “turning promises into deeds” and reflective of a “government in action.” Assistant Minister for Industry and Trade Lorna Eden and Assistant Minister for National Disaster Management Organisation and Agriculture Joeli Cawaki also made submissions before the house today.
Cawaki said the budget is geared towards sustainable development which would boost the country to new heights.
Opposition’s response, all of which voted against the 2015 Budget, was led by their Shadow Finance Biman Prasad and included Mosese Bulitavu, Tupou Draunidalo and Jiosefa Dulakiverata.
Bulitavu questioned the Fijian Government to justify the employment of people in some influential roles in government and board of various organisations.
He also raised concerns about the proposed sale of government assets over it’s control, suggesting that it be put before the house for debate first before it is passed.
[PIR editor’s note: Fijilive reported that ‘Government asset sales does not mean whole sale of assets but rather small shares to allow growth and create greater efficiency, says Fiji’s Minister for Finance and Public Enterprise Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He was responding to concerns raised by the Fijian Opposition about the possible loss of control to government by the sales.’]
Draunidalo asked government to justify the need for the significant allocation to the military which according her would be better used if it is diverted to benefit people across the board like job creation to provide employment for the young people, or used to ensure more scholarships for more Fijian students to pursue higher education or used to give the proper training to Fijians and increase their chances of finding better employment.
Debate on the budget address continues tomorrow, scheduled for a 9.40am start.
Those scheduled to make their presentations tomorrow include Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jioje Konrote, Government Whip Semi Koroilavesau, Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment Parveen Kumar.
27) Reporting on PNG downhill – Professor Robie
4 December 2014
The director of the Pacific Media Centre in Auckland says reporting on Papua New Guinea has gone downhill in the year since the Australian Associated Press closed its PNG bureau.
The editor in chief of AAP, Tony Gillies, says they now use a combination of freelancers, global agency partnerships and former PNG correspondent staff to keep abreast of developments in PNG.
But the director of the Pacific Media Centre and editor of Pacific Media Watch, Professor David Robie, says it’s clear that things have deteriorated since the AAP closure.
“Of course the major crises, for example, developments with asylum seekers and so on, they still get intensive media coverage, but largely it’s a sort of a parachute journalism type approach now. Whereas before, when AAP were operating, you were getting fairly comprehensive coverage of what is the most complex country in the Pacific.”
David Robie says as a flow-on effect, media in the region is suffering as a result.
He says for example, New Zealand has often relied on Australian media for its coverage of PNG, so New Zealand’s PNG reporting is likely worse now.RNZI
28) Australia scrutiny softened in PNG
4 December 2014
A Papua New Guinea journalist says the Australian government doesn’t come under the same scrutiny it did when the Australian Associated Press operated locally.
It’s been just over a year since AAP announced the decision to close its PNG office, after a 60-year presence in the country.
The editor’s chief of staff at the Post Courier, Todagia Kelola, says since AAP left, the Australian audience is likely to be missing out on stories that would have previously been covered.
He says as an example, Australia is a big player in PNG in terms of aid, and the new police assistance programme.
“When AAP was in the country they basically questioned if those Australian federal police who are here assisting in the Papua New Guinea constabulary, ‘Are they performing?’ ‘Is it worth the Australian tax-payers [money]?’ All these questions now, the PNG media are really not interested in addressing, or finding out.”
He says previously the AAP would break PNG stories, and local media would then follow it up, but the roles have now reversed.RNZI
29) Pacific Journalism Review Celebrates 20 Years Of Publishing
Three-day Asia-Pacific political media conference held in Auckland
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, Dec. 1, 2014) – Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of publishing in style last week with a three-day Asia-Pacific political media conference, a tapas and drinks celebration and the unveiling of a mega cartoon featuring editorial characters.
Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack congratulated the research journal’s founding editor, professor David Robie, and his team for reaching such a milestone.
Australian Journalism Review editor Professor Ian Richards also spoke at the birthday celebration, saying how the journal’s unique character for the Asia-Pacific region had been beneficial for the research culture in both Australia and New Zealand as well as the Pacific.
Many current and past co-editors and contributors also praised the journal, some sending messages from afar, such as Vanuatu-based photojournalist Ben Bohane, communications director for the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, who is featured with a portfolio of “The Black Islands” photographs in the latest edition of PJR.
“Congratulations for all your hard work over 20 years with the journal and all your other initiatives which have contributed hugely to building up Pacific journalism,” said Bohane, one of the editorial personalities featured in the cartoon by Malcolm Evans, who has created many of PJR’s distinctive covers.
Evans, a former NZ cartoonist of the year, had both a digital and print exhibition of his cartoons on display at the conference.
Vice-president Dr Angela Romano of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) also congratulated the journal.
“Congratulations to David and everyone else associated with the latest issue of Pacific Journalism Review. It’s another great edition, and a superb achievement to have reached the 20-year milestone,” she said.
Shailendra Singh of the University of the South Pacific, where PJR was based for five years, praised the journal’s support for emerging Pacific media researchers.
“PJR has played a critical role providing opportunities and space for upcoming Pacific Island academics and journalists. For me it was thrilling to see USP’s Eliki Drugunalevu and Republika editor Ricardo Morris on thePJR programme this year,” he said.
Speaking about the last two decades, Dr Robie said a research paper about the journal presented to the conference by Dr Lee Duffield of Queensland University of Technology provided statistics on the achievements.
This would be published as a peer-reviewed document in the special birthday edition of PJR next May.
But Dr Robie wanted to “acknowledge a few people who have contributed to our vaka on this journey”.
“As I noted at the opening of the conference, as founding editor, perhaps I can be excused for being rather biased, but I do believe that PJR has quite a unique character,” he said.
“It is more than just a research journal. It has given strong support to investigative journalism, photojournalism and political cartooning in its two decades, which have all been strongly reflected in the character of the journal.”
Many people had helped along the way and he wanted to “do justice” to their contribution.
“First of all, I must acknowledge the Australian Journalism Review which is almost double the age of PJRbecause this is where I first got the inspiration. While I was head of journalism at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1993 I was really frustrated at the lack of good Pacific-specific media and journalism literature and research,” Dr Robie said.
“So I looked longingly at AJR, and even contributed to it, and I also looked longingly at the London-based Index on Censorship.
“I thought, ‘Why not? We can do that’. And so I got the University of Papua New Guinea Press on board and started the first edition of PJR in November 1994.
“So this really is the actual birthday edition, although you wouldn’t know it looking at the cover. But the editorial does acknowledge the birthday.
“The real special anniversary edition with a larger book format will be in May next year.”
AJR’s John Henningham, Mark Pearson – also a regular contributor and editorial board adviser – and Ian Richards had been journal mentors. It was appropriate that Professor Ian Richards had agreed to speak at the celebration.
“But the biggest inspiration I have had over many years is Professor Wendy Bacon, who has been co-editor and been involved over many issues from right back in the Papua New Guinea days,” he said.
She had also started the Frontline investigative journalism and “journalism as research” section.
Chris Nash had also been a major contributor and co-editor, along with Trevor Cullen.
The idea for Lee Duffield’s PJR 20 years audit paper had evolved from “a fine submission” he made about the journal to the Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) national audit in 2010.
After five years in PNG and five years in Fiji, the journal relocated to AUT where it had taken on a completely new lease of life. But it had retained the USP links from Fiji with both Pat Craddock and Shailendra Singh being major contributors.
“At AUT, Professor Barry King was the critical supporter who got us going in 2003, and also Allison Oosterman and Valia Papoutsaki; and more recently Philip Cass from Unitec – but Philip was previously among the early contributors. He was born in Wewak, PNG,” Dr Robie said.
He singled out three people who were not on the editorial board, or who had editorial roles, for special mention. They were Tui O’Sullivan, a key PJR supporter at AUT; School of Communication Studies manager Kevin Upton; and Tony Murrow of Little Island Press who redesigned the PJR website in 2011.
None of this could have been done without the support of the school, faculty – the dean, Professor Desna Jury, and associate professor Tony Clear – and university, and also the Pacific Media Centre board members, including associate professor Camille Nakhid.
Designer and video
He especially acknowledged unpaid organiser Del Abcede, “who has worked tirelessly on the journal for many years as the designer – as you saw in the video The Life of Pacific Journalism Review – and keeping me sane.”
For several years she had coordinated the mailing lists, inventory and many other essential tasks of PJR.
“Frankly, without her voluntary work I would have found it really difficult to publish the journal all these years,” he said.
“Finally, in the very first edition of the PJR, I wrote in the editorial:
“There is surprisingly little reflective journalism or analysis of the state of the media today in the Pacific, or of issues such as freedom of information, freedom of expression, ethics, ownership ….
“PJR will combine the characteristics of an academic journal and a professional industry publication. It will include both research and articles of general interest by journalists and media people – anything that will enhance the quality of journalism and the study of it in the South Pacific will be considered for publication by the editorial board.”
“Our first edition dealt with threats of secession from the state of Papua New Guinea by the Islands Region provinces – and censorship. Over the years, PJR authors and researchers have tackled the Sandline mercenary crisis and the Bougainville war in Papua New Guinea, two coups in Fiji, West Papuan repression and now climate change.
“I believe that in 20 years we have achieved what we set out to do, being a critical conscience of Asia-Pacific society through a media prism, and look forward to the future challenges.”
All editorial and news content produced under the principles of Creative Commons. Permission to republish with attribution may be obtained from the Pacific Media Centre – email@example.com
30) PNG Mining sector expects billions with future projects
4 December 2014
Papua New Guinea’s Mining Minister says the country expects to see around five mining development projects with a combined capital investment expected to exceed $US 10 billion within the next decade.
Byron Chan made the comment in Sydney at this week’s PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference.
PNG currently has 12 mining operations approved under special mining lease or mining lease tenements at production or development stages.
The Minister said that within the next decade, PNG expects to witness the development of projects such as Frieda copper in West Sepik, Wafi/Golpu copper in Morobe, Yandera copper molybdenium in Madang, Mt Kare gold in Enga province and a host of other alluvial mining projects.
The Post Courier reports Mr Chan as conveying that the country’s mining legislation will be revised so it can accommodate those projects.RNZI
31) Report highlights rewards for Pacific from wealthy Asians
3 December 2014
Pacific island countries should be planning now to cater for the hunger for luxury goods and holidays from Asia’s growing middle class.
That’s the view of economists at the Asian Development Bank who’ve just put out their latest economic report for the region.
A senior economist with the ADB, Christopher Edmonds, says the region is already benefitting from stronger links with the Asian economies and can gain more with targeted policy reforms and investment around niche products and services.
“It could be the aquaculture products like pearls, sea cucumber things like that, the cosmetics which Fiji, Vanuatu have so much success with already, taking advantage of the virgin coconut oil and obviously tourism.”
Mr Edmonds says countries need to work on their infrastructure if they’re to benefit from wealthy retirees, for example improving communication links and investing in health services.RNZI
32) PNG Defence Force To Take Part In Bougainville Peace-Building
Agreement between ABG, PNGDF, Ex-Combatants being finalized
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 3, 2014) – The PNG Defence Force, the Autonomous Bougainville Government and Bougainville Ex-Combatants are now in the process of formalising an agreement to engage soldiers in peace-building and civic efforts on the island.
High-level discussions were held by the three parties, with all three expressing their commitment to the initiatives outlined in the agreement.
ABG’s director for peace, unity and reconciliation Nick Peniai said the “missing link” in the Bougainville peace process was the PNGDF as it was a party to the crisis and should therefore be part of the overall efforts to restore normalcy and services in Bougainville.
Peniai said after the agreement was signed, the PNGDF would be engaged in joint operations with Ex-Combatants, conducting surveillance work in Bougainville waters.
He said the joint operation would be crucial in rebuilding trust between all parties, especially after the Bougainville Crisis, and would be the first practical step towards national reconciliation.
Col Walter Enuma said the PNGDF was committed to the peace process on Bougainville and he commended the ABG for taking the initiative to invite the PNGDF to be part of the peace and restoration process. Enuma acknowledged the support of prominent Ex-Combatants like Thomas Tari and Ishmael Toroama, who had shown maturity and come out to show their support for reconciliation with the PNGDF.
Enuma said the reconciliation process between the PNGDF and Ex-Combatants had already begun as demonstrated by Ex-Combatants in Buin, led by Tari in a small traditional ceremony where pigs were exchanged and traditional spears broken.
Enuma was the leader of a small contingent of PNGDF soldiers and navy who were in Bougainville last week.
33) PNG MP Convicted Of Bribery, Has 2012 Election Declared Invalid
Wesley convicted for giving truck to village during campaign
By Jacob Pok
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 2, 2014) – Samarai-Murua MP Gordon Wesley’s election victory in the 2012 National Election has been declared null and void after the National Court found him guilty of bribery.
This means Mr Wesley, who is also the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, is no longer a Member of Parliament.
Justice Ere Kariko made the ruling in a 17-page judgement on Saturday at the National Court in Alotau, Milne Bay Province.
He found Mr Wesley, a third-term MP, guilty of one of five bribery allegations levelled against him in an election petition filed by runner-up Isi Henry Leonard.
The bribery allegation that the court upheld was the presentation of a PMV truck Mr Wesley made to the Bagalina village on Misima Island on May 23, 2012, while the campaign for the 2012 National Election had started.
The court heard that the Bagalina ward development committee has asked the MP by letter in September 2009 for a vehicle to assist the villagers transport their garden produce to the market at Bwagaoia.
The Joint District Planning and Budget Priorities Committee approved the request in August 2010 and the vehicle was bought in Port Moresby in December 2011 and shipped to Alotau in January 2012.
In Alotau it was used by members of the Bagalina ward development committee before being shipped by MV Samarai-Murua to Bwagaoia wharf on May 23, and delivered to the Bagalina people.
The question the court considered critical was whether the presentation of the keys of the vehicle amounted to an inducement for electors of Bagilina to vote for Mr Wesley in the elections.
Justice Kariko questioned why Mr Wesley had decided to travel to Bwagaoia by sea with his District Services Improvement Program goods when he could have travelled by air to nominate as there was evidence of three flights a week to Bwagaoia from Alotau.
“I have no doubt that Mr Wesley travelled on the MV Samarai-Murua as an integral part of his campaign launching.
“He travelled with a barge full of goods purchased by DSIP funds. The barge was used as a campaign vessel rather than a public transport.
“It was decorated with Mr Wesley’s election posters and he had a live band on board. Music has become a tool of campaigning in PNG elections and it is common knowledge that live electric bands attract crowds. Not only did Mr Wesly intend to arrive at Bwagoia in style but in an elaborate way,” Justice Kariko said.
The judge also found that the manner in which Mr Wesley approached the people at the time and presented the key of the truck to the councillor amounted to bribery and therefore ruled that the election of Mr Wesley in the 2012 national election be declared void.
34) Fiji Govt’s use of PR company queried
4 December 2014
An opposition MP in Fiji has questioned the government about it hiring an American public relations company for half a million US dollars a year.
According to Fiji Village reports, Kiniviliama Kiliraki asked in parliament why the government was paying Qorvis Communications such a sum and whether a local company could have done the work.
Qorvis represents a range of firms, such as Halliburton, and the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sri Lanka.
Replying to the question, the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said no local company could carry out the work and that Qorvis was hired to counter the negative publicity that was propagated against Fiji.
He said many regional media organisations, whether in New Zealand or Australia, had only one side of the story to tell, using images of soldiers on the streets with guns, which he says was not an accurate image.
In 2009, the Fiji regime imposed media censorship, which was lifted in 2012 and replaced with a controversial media decree.RNZI
35) Attitude change needed to combat gender violence
3 December 2014
A professor at the Fiji National University says something must be done about the high rates of violence against women.
A study by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre showed 64% of Fiji women reported they were assaulted during a relationship.
The Dean of Fiji National University College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor Ian Rouse, says based on the surveys, about 3,000 pregnant women are assaulted each year.
A United Nations campaign against gender-based violence is underway, and Professor Rouse says the message must get through to young men.
“I just personally cannot accept that there’s any creed, or culture or religion which would accept that half the population are inferior, namely women, and we just have to challenge that. What we need to do is get in front of young boys, or young men, we’ve got to somehow change the generation, change the attitude.”
Professor Rouse says an assault on a pregnant woman means there are two assaults in one.
Violence against women continues to be dire in region
Bougainville president furious at “flawed report” on gender violence
Fiji woman calls for end to violence and abuse secrecy
Cooks domestic violence tackled by NZ police and rugby stars
UN highlights violence against women in Pacific
36) Pacific fishing measures raise concerns
3 December 2014
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Calls from Pacific island countries to reduce catch rates for big eye tuna seems unlikely to get the support of some distant water nations.
Representatives of the Philippines and South Korea told reporters in Samoa, where the week long annual meeting of the Pacific Tuna Commission is underway, that it’s too early to tell if conservation measures for big eye adopted by the Commission last year are effective.
The Philippines undersecretary for Fisheries, Asis Perez, says tuna doesn’t grow in six months and it takes time to assess whether measures passed last year are working.
“The Philippines delegation is willing to cooperate with everybody …but we should not rush into doing measures every year, changing measures every year or adding measures every year, simply because we are yet to see the results.”
The Philippines undersecretary for Fisheries, Asis Perez.
Meanwhile, an official of a fishing company from South Korea, Silla Co Ltd takes the same position.
Silla Co Ltd owns purse seiners and longliners that fish in the Pacific.
Purse Seiner Team Manager, Anthony Kim, says while he supports a reduction in quotas for big eye catches, he feels it’s too early to evaluate the effectiveness of existing measures.RNZI
37) Tokelau Arrangement On Tuna Fishery Comes Into Force
Islands take ‘back balance of power’ of albacore management
By Sophie Budvietas
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Dec. 1, 2014) – The Island states have taken back the balance of power over a key albacore fishery with the Tokelau Arrangement coming into force yesterday.
At a ceremony held in Samoa yesterday, eight more nations added their signatures to the historic Tokelau Arrangement for the Management of the South Pacific Albacore Fishery.
The C.E.O. for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.) Fonoiava Seali’itu Sesega signed on behalf of Samoa.
He was unavailable for comment following the signing.
However, during the event the Chair of the Forum Fisheries Committee (F.F.C.) and leader of Toeklau, Te Ulu O Tokelau Te Aliki Faipule Kuresa Nasau, noted the importance of the event.
“United, we hold the balance of power in this fishery,” he said.
“The majority of the south Pacific albacore catch is taken in our waters, and as coastal States we have a vested interest in making sure that the stock is managed according to objectives that support our economies.
“A healthy fishery contributes to a healthy economy, but it also requires a healthy stock.
“Right now, albacore is being fished according to an objective that only supports overcapitalised foreign fishing fleets, particularly on the high seas.
“And if the Commission agrees the measure that we are proposing next week, it will establish your rights as Exclusive Economic Zone (E.E.Z.) owners to decide how the zone limits that you have set for yourselves should be fished, and by whom.”
He said as Chair of the F.F.C., and as a representative of the Pacific Islands that has given its name to this historic instrument, it gave him great pleasure to invite the other nations to add their signatures to the Arrangement.
“I was privileged to be the first signatory to the Arrangement,” he said. “And I note that with your signatures added to that of the Vanuatu Minister for Fisheries, the Arrangement will come into force, and we will go into the Commission tomorrow with a firm basis for requiring compatible measures to be set in place across the whole range of the fishery, including the high seas.” He said with the Tokelau Arrangement coming into effect, the parties could now also invite American Samoa, French Polynesia and New Caledonia to associate themselves with the Arrangement.
“And form an operational alliance of south Pacific coastal States that can use its joint influence to set standards that will restore our albacore stock to a level where it can once more support profitable and sustainable fisheries,” he said. The Ulu o Tokelau said the Arrangement is a zone-based management arrangement.
“This may just sound like empty words. But in regional fisheries management organisations around the world, it is normal for fishing nations to share out fishing opportunities among themselves – to claim rights in highly migratory stock fisheries according to flag, not according to the ownership of the areas that actually host the fish stocks,” he said. “As E.E.Z. owners, the Tokelau Arrangement stakes your claim to the fishery in your own E.E.Z.”
He said that it is is a difficult path to travel before we see the full benefit.
“And it will require considerable diplomacy. But the signing of this Arrangement marks the turning point in an argument that has been taking place, on and off, for the past 25 years – ever since we signed the Wellington Convention and embarked on the first negotiations towards a management arrangement for Southern Albacore,” said the Ulu o Tokelau.
“It is the first time there has been a formal agreement between Pacific Island states on the management of this fishery, and with this, we put our own house in order.” In addition to Tokelau and Vanuatu, the states who signed yesterday were
New Zealand, Australia, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. The 11th Regular Session of the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean begins today.
38) Fiji women begin push for Olympic sevens spot
4 December 2014
The Fijiana team kick off their bid to qualify for the 2016 Olympics at the Dubai round of the Women’s Sevens World Series on Thursday.
The top four teams at the end of the six-round competition will secure a direct path to the Rio Games.
Fiji earned a full-time berth on the World Series by winning the Hong Kong qualifier event in September.
Defending series champions New Zealand and Australia are again expected to set the pace but Australian captain Sharni Williams believes their Pacific neighbours will also be a threat.
“Fiji’s won themselves a card into this World Series and they’ve won it very well because they’re starting to play like their men. It’s very exciting and a lot of experience for them as well”.
The Fijiana begin the tournament with group matches against England, Canada and Brazil.RNZI
39) Five teams still unbeaten at Oceania Jr Basketball Champs
4 December 2014
Five teams remain unbeaten after four rounds of the Oceania Junior Basketball Championships.
In the men’s draw, New Caledonia and Tahiti remain atop their groups after convincing victories over Samoa and Papua New Guinea in Suva.
The French territories have both won three and lost one game but have the bye today.
New Zealand whipped the Fiji mens team 115-20 while Australia thrashed Guam 103-40 to make it three from three.
The Trans-tasman rivals will go top of their respective groups if they beat American Samoa and the Solomon Islands on Thursday.
In the women’s draw, Australia, New Zealand and Guam are all unbeaten with three wins from as many starts, with Guam and Australia to go head to head for top billing in Group A.
The Junior Tall Ferns lead Group B and will take on Fiji next, who were pipped 62-60 by Tahiti.RNZI