Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1051 ( Monday 8 December 2014 )


MELANESIA

1) Meeting To Solve Solomons, Fiji Airline Impasse Scheduled
Governments reportedly to iron out differences next month

By Litia Vulaidausiga

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Dec 05, 2014) – The impasse between Solomon Airlines and Fiji Airways could possibly be resolved next month, some six months after the suspension of international flights between Honiara and Nadi.

Solomon Airlines Operations and Commercial Services general manager Gus Kraus said a meeting between the two parties was being arranged.

“The principle is that we want to have an arrangement going and I think that the two governments are setting up January 25 for talks on a full air services agreement,” Mr Kraus said.

Fiji Airways CEO Stefan Pichler did not confirm this meeting, insisting it was an issue between the respective governments.

Mr Kraus said his country’s general election had just finished and a new government was expected to be formed towards the end of next week.

“Having said that, I think it’s still incumbent on the two airlines to get together and discuss the issues involved and there is intent by the two parties.

“The problem is coming to strike medium ground that allows us discussions until the end of January.”

He said while the matter would not be directly raised at the ASPA meet, there were only corridor discussions as “the agreement is to disagree still.”

“The January meeting is definitely on by the Government but between the two airlines, we will continue discussions.”

Mr Kraus commended the Government for allowing chartered flights to transport a large host of Solomon Island students back to Honiara, with the last batch returning on Wednesday night.

“There must be 12 to 1,400 students in Fiji and with seven flights, that is maybe 900, so there is still quite a number of students going via Vanuatu and Brisbane, and is costly.”

Flights ceased between the two countries in July after the Solomons banned two Fiji Airways flights.

Fiji responded by banning Solomons Airlines flights to Nadi.

Both governments claimed breaches of the air services agreement.

In Parliament on Wednesday, Civil Aviation Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the two governments had met last month where they reached an agreement.

But the next day when the agreement was to be signed, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Solomon’s officials backed out saying they had been advised not to enter into the agreement.

Fiji Times Online.

2) Bougainville’s Me’ekamui Forms New Military Government
Me’ekamui Defence Force disbands Tribal Unity Government

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 5, 2014) – The Me’ekamui Defence Force (MDF) on Bougainville has announced the termination of the interim Me’ekamui Tribal Unity Government, originally appointed and supported by the MDF.

This was in response to the policies followed by the former president and the vice president, which they say did not have the support of the MDF.

In order to ensure the continued stability and proper representation for the Me’ekamui Nation going forward, the MDF announced in a press release the formation of the new Me’ekamui Military Government (MMG). The inaugural meeting of the MMG was held at the former Arawa Technical College grounds on November 22. Present at the meeting were the principal members of northern command, the central command and the southern command of the MDF.

The MDF representatives voted to vest as custodians of the right and gains of “the struggle” the power to represent the Me’ekamui Nation to a new Me’ekamui Military Government.

The following were elected to office: General Chris Uma as president, Colonel Felix Ragu as vice president, chief Peter Nerau as minister for foreign affairs, chief Benedict Ienu as minister for Defence, colonel Alex Dakanari as minister for finance, and chief Mark Nauma as minister for planning

The president, vice president and the ministers took their oath of the office and undertook to exercise their duties without fear or favour.

PNG Post-Courier

3) Vanuatu daily news digest | 8 December 2014

by bobmakin

  • Radio Vanuatu began the news today with the Ministry of Health declaring still more nurses are much needed. The acting DG Viran Tovu spoke at the graduation of nurses last week. “There will be a big space from next year because many nurses are retiring, and the increasing population means the need for treatment is growing,” Tovu said. “Nurses are the backbone of the service.” However the Australian Government is to help the Vanuatu College of Nursing Education with additional funds next year. Deputy High Commissioner Tanya Parkin said that in January Australia will give funds to train rural based nurses in maternal health.
  • The big news out of Vanuatu today is not about Vanuatu but of the West Papuans uniting in a new umbrella group – the United Liberation Movement for West Papua or ULMWP. It has brought together the groups called the Federal Republic of West Papua (NRFPB), National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) and the National Parliament of West Papua (NPWP). Five elected members from the various groups will now coordinate the ULMWP activities. Octovianus Mote is General Secretary, and Benny Wenda the spokesperson. Rex Rumakiek (well known to Vanuatu leaders), Leone Tangahma and Jacob Rumbiak are members Daily Post advises us today. It also carries the text of what they signed. A big signing and reconciliation ceremony took place on Saturday at the Chiefs Nakamal in the presence of Vanuatu’s PM, DPM and other ministers. Church and chiefly leaders from Vanuatu were also present.
  • Daily Post today again highlights the upgrading of Bauerfield as a priority of the Natuman Government. The PM announced the formation of a new committee to see to the upgrade work, and his DG Johnson Naviti will oversee this. The World Bank is interested to work with the government.

4) Vanuatu daily news digest | 6 December 2014

by bobmakin

  • Radio Vanuatu was yesterday first with the news that the Citizenship Commission had awarded 79 new applicants their citizenship status for Vanuatu. The news follows hard on the heels of some ten or a dozen previous winners of citizenship having theirs annulled owing to their failing to meet the conditions, or lodging fraudulent applications.
  • The Independent today has 36 people whose citizenship has been revoked facing deportation. There has been a legal challenge by one person. The Indy also states that a Corrections officer was involved in the escape recently of the two high risk prisoners, and says 24 people are being charged with themurders allegedly combatting witchcraft on Akam island. The Independent also sadly records the death of Kely Ihrig, an Australian accountant well-known to many in the business community in Port Vila, and to many journalist colleagues.
  • VBTC yesterday announced that the appointment of the Lands Ombudsman should take place next week. This is a new post which follows the various lands summits concerning land and recommendations which have emerged from them. Monday is the date for the appointment.
  • The weekend Daily Post carries well over a page of criticism of present management techniques at the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) from a former senior executive of the Fund. He directly attacks the present General Manager, especially over his needing to “use the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu to cease a VT 1.8 billion investment in Erangorango Estate (130 hectares) when the decision should have come from him in the first place.” The former executive blames poor management of the Fund’s finances for the impossibility of the Fund to provide interest to members’ accounts on the 2013 figures. The submarine cable and Wilco are investments criticised. Other allegedly “non-performing investments” are mentioned.
  • Post today also records the first ever direct export of copra to the Philippines from south Malekula farmers. Copra and Cocoa Exporters (VCCE) used the company’s own wharf at Port Sandwich (or Lamap).Over a hundred metric tons were transported to the waiting cargo vessel from the wharf. VCCE is buying at VT 32,000 a ton.
  • Yesterday saw the launch of the Vanuatu Teachers’ Standard by Education Minister Bob Loughman. It deals with professional development, student learning working in collaborations with communities, and teachers as professionals. 32 standards are identified. Teachers College (VITE) Principal Jack Daniels Matariki said the standards are basically to improve students learning inside and outside the classroom. In Bislama, the text has required much dedicated and professional hard work of many, says Daily Post.
  • Epi now has issued its new customary land laws to protect the land of the indigenous people and to safeguard the rights of their custom owners. This would seem to have been done in conformity with the newly revised land leasing legislation. Post reports yesterday’s celebration hosted by the Tarpumamele Chairman, Peter Norman, in the presence of Shefa councillors and dignitaries. The law carefully distinguishes between owners and users and covers the laws of adoption, chiefly titles, customary land ownership, women’s rights and penalties for offences. Post reports Shefa SG Kalworai saying he felt the document was important in guaranteeing peace and unity in Epi villages. Kastom accompanied the launch.
  • Post also reports Westpac Banking Corporation as a major sponsor of the Vanuatu Tourism Awards for Excellence.
  • And further VBTC reporting … not adequately covered during the last days … has Unelco electricity reaching Siviri village in their push to circle the island. It was said they hope to do this by 2020.
  • And there will be a new structure for the Health Department and Ministry before the end of the year to formalize permanent positions for the medical staff. Health DG Viran Tovu gave the assurance to those attending the graduation of eleven new nurses who had all achieved the Vanuatu diploma in nursing. The new structure is hoped to overcome difficulties experienced in recent years. The Nursing College is heavily assisted by Australian aid.
  • TVET and the Tourism Department announced they were pleased with the re-opening of the Craig Cove airport on Ambrym, the gateway to tourism related to Marum and Benbow volcanoes, this week. Radio Vanuatu covered the event.
  • And to end this resume of the main stories on VBTC missed in this Digest so far this week, MP Willie Jimmy praised the work of the donor partners at the time of the budget debate this week. They relieve the government of much of the burden of providing services, he said, and specified a number of them.

 

POLYNESIA

5) Cook Islands Politicians Frustrated With Mitiaro Delays
Fate of final seat remains unknown despite ballot recount

By Phillipa Webb

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Dec. 3, 2014) – Frustration is growing among politicians as the fate of the infamous Mitiaro electoral seat recount remains unknown, despite a recount last week.

The Court’s Deputy Registrar said the recount had been conducted last week but the Court of Appeal had instructed them not to release the result until an order by the Chief Justice, Thomas Weston.

The Chief Justice is in New Zealand and could not be reached.

Democratic Party Deputy Leader William (Smiley) Heather and Leader of the Opposition said he shared the public’s growing frustration of not knowing the result.

“We are also waiting for other petition results so it’s frustrating to not know where we are at the moment.

“We can’t do much and we do not know if the current Government will continue.”

But Heather said they are confident the results will swing in their favour.

“But we thought we had done well in the appeal but that went against us.

“We are confident – but we are keeping our fingers crossed too.”

Heather said the party looked forward to a decision so they could get back to business.

The outcome of July’s general election has been uncertain for months with several petitions and appeals being lodged and a by-election held but not counted after a tie in the seat of Mitiaro.

Chief Justice Thomas Weston says one vote has now been deleted as the voter did not meet the qualification requirements.

He did not specify who the person had voted for.

Depending on the result of the recount, an outcome will finally be announced on who has won the Mitiaro seat, or a decision between the Judge and Counsel will be made to re-hear the electoral petition.

This follows a decision by the Court of Appeal to uphold a counter-petition submitted by the Cook Islands Party.

On Election Day Tuakeu Tangatapoto of the Cook Islands Party and the island’s previous MP, Tangata Vavia of the Democratic Party each received 50 votes.

But Vavia lodged a petition with the High Court, claiming Tangatapoto committed acts of bribery and treating in the election run-up.

The Cook Islands Party lodged an appeal against the decision with their own counter petition.

Cook Islands News

6) Four Deaths From Chikungunya In French Polynesia Reported
With 18,000 suspected cases, officials hopeful Tahiti outbreak has peaked

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec 4, 2014) – In French Polynesia, a total of four people have died including a newborn baby from chikungunya since the outbreak began in early October.

The head of surveillance at the Ministry of Health says the most recent death was a baby who contracted the illness at delivery.

The other three of the deaths were of elderly people with chronic diseases.

Dr Henri Pierre Mallet says the number of suspected cases is now estimated to be 18,000 people, with a surge in the number of people seeking medical care in the past week.

He says the illness is usually not severe but the elderly and pregnant women should take special care to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes which may carry chikungunya.

“We’ve had four people who died since the beginning of the outbreaks; who were three old people and one newborn from infected mother.”

Dr Henri Pierre Mallet says he hopes the outbreak has nearly peaked in Tahiti but numbers may continue to go up for some weeks in the rest of the territory.

Radio New Zealand International 

7) Pro-Independence Camp From Tahiti Cancels UN Trip
Group skips Decolonization Committee meeting to avoid expense

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 4, 2014) – A pro-independence assembly member in French Polynesia says the pro-independence camp will not be travelling to New York for this week’s meeting of the United Nations Decolonisation Committee.

Richard Tuheiava, a former French Senator, says he had originally planned to attend the meeting to submit a resolution by the territorial assembly, which calls for compensation from France for environmental damage caused by its 193 nuclear weapons tests.

However, he now says he won’t be going to avoid what he calls useless expenses.

“The resolution that is being considered for Friday is already expected to be a consensus resolution regarding French Polynesia and, secondly, we will not be allowed to address the UN General Assembly, and it means that the only time we will be allowed to address the United Nations will be next year’s session [for the Committee on Decolonisation].”

Richard Tuheiava says the resolution will still be submitted through friendly embassies and connections in New York.

Radio New Zealand International 

MICRONESIA

8) Palau signs on to continue the Kyoto Protocol

By Online Editor
9:38 pm GMT+12, 07/12/2014, Palau

Palau is the third Pacific island  to ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the Doha Amendment.  The first two being the Federated States of Micronesia and the Solomon Islands.

“Palau firmly believes in walking the talk, we are here at the International climate change conference these two weeks, asking the rest of the world to commit to lowering their greenhouse gas emissions and sign up,” said Ambassador Caleb Otto, the United Nations Permanent Representative for Palau.

“We must continue to lead by example and are pleased to have announced that we have taken steps to ratify the Doha Amendment.”

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. 

The goal of the Kyoto Protocol is to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. 

In Doha, Qatar in 2012 the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted  which includes new commitments in a second period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2020 as well as a revised list of greenhouse gases to be reported on by parties.

The Doha Amendment will enter into force 90 days after 144 parties have submitted  ‘instruments of acceptance’. As of 19 November this year 19 parties had done so, the Federated States of Micronesia ratified in February this year and the Solomon Islands did so in September this year.  Palau is the newest Pacific island to do so.

“The bottom line for us was if not the Doha Agreement, then what is the alternative?  Back home, we are aware that we don’t contribute to this huge problem of climate change, but we also understand that we have to play our part as a party to the Climate Convention to help lower the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere,” stated Charlene Mersai, of the Office of the Environmental Response and Coordination in Palau.

“Furthermore, as long as we continue to feel the negative impacts of climate change, how can we sit back and do nothing, while we wait for others to save us?  We just can’t do that.”

Mersai, along with staff from the President’s Office worked through the process for ratifying the Doha Amendment at the national level, ensuring that there was sufficient consultation and explanation to the  key stakeholders, particularly those in the Palau National Congress. 

Starting from the very beginning she sought feedback from the Pacific, obtaining a copy from FSM of their instrument of acceptance.  From there she ensured that lawyers, congressmen and chairs of relevant committees as well as had one on one meetings to ensure they were consulted an well informed.

“I believe that the fact that our President  also convened a meeting with members of congress  to share his views on the Doha Amendment, along with other national issues, including the National Marine Sanctuary, that require their support, also helped  to secure their support.  The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol passed the House of Delegates on November 17th, 2014 and passed the Senate unanimously the following day.”  

Led by Ambassador Otto, the key issues for the island nation span three general areas – climate change mitigation, climate finance and climate change adaptation as well as  loss and damage  from  slow-onset events  and which cannot be addressed through adaptation efforts and activities.  Other members of the delegation include Xavier Erbai Matsutaro, Joe Aitaro and Nicholas Kloulubak.

The 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Framework on Climate Change is hosted in Lima, Peru from 1 – 12 December, 2014.

SOURCE: SPREP/PACNEWS

9) CNMI Election Results To Be Certified Today
Inos/Torres win by 1,599 votes

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Dec. 5, 2014) – The Commonwealth Election Commission will certify the results of the Nov. 21 runoff election today and declare the official winner of the 2014 gubernatorial race.

Commission Executive Director Robert A. Guerrero said the board will meet at 6 p.m. today and on the agenda is the certification of results in the runoff election.

Also today, absentee ballots will be counted at the Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.

Guerrero said there are still some 1,900 ballots that have to be counted.

The election commission sent out over 2,300 absentee ballots to different off-island locations and the mainland, and 444 were mailed back and have been counted already.

Guerrero said they will start collecting the absentee ballots between 3 and 4 p.m. today before the post office closes.

After the board finishes tabulating the absentee ballots, the official winner of the runoff election will be announced.

Republican Gov. Eloy S. Inos and his running mate Senate President Ralph D.L.G. Torres have a lead of 1,599 votes over the Independent team of former Speaker Heinz S. Hofschneider and former Sen. Ray Yumul.

A total of 11,495 cast their votes in the runoff election compared to the 13,798 who cast their votes in the Nov. 4 general elections.

In the Nov. 21 runoff, Inos and Torres garnered 6,547 vote while Hofschneider and Yumul received 4,948.

Marianas Variety 

10) Typhoon Passes Between Palau And Yap, No Damage Reported
Storm warnings cancelled as storm heads toward Philippines

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Dec. 4, 2014) – It was a relief for all knowing that Typhoon Hagupit has passed through Palau without any damage to properties or loss of lives.

In a special weather statement issued by the National Emergency Management Office in collaboration with the National Weather Service in Koror around 8 a.m. of December 4, it stated that Typhoon Hagupit has passed North of Palau at approximately 2 a.m. of the same date.

It also stated that Typhoon Hagupit has intensified to a category 4 typhoon with sustained winds of 130 kts or 150 mph. Typhoon Hagupit has now been upgraded to Super Typhoon status but due to its west-northwesterly track and relatively small diameter, Palau will not likely feel typhoon level conditions, however, a large swell generated by Super Typhoon Hagupit will maintain hazardous surf across the Republic.

[PIR editor’s note: WesternPacificWeather.com reported that the storm ‘did clip the southern coastline of Yap’ with maximum winds of 91km/h. No reports of damage at this time.]

The Tropical Storm Warning and Typhoon Watch for Palau have been cancelled as of 9 a.m. Thursday as Hagupit’s current path is moving away toward the Philippines.

A Tropical Storm warning means a warning for tropical storm conditions, including 1-minute sustained surface winds within the range of 39 to 73 mph, expected in a specified coastal area within 24 hours.

As of 8:15 a.m. Thursday (December 1) the eye of Super Typhoon Hagupit was seen in infrared satellite imagery at 9.8 degrees North and 133.9 degrees East or 130 miles North-northwest of Kayangel and 175 miles North-northwest of Koror with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph moving west-northwest at 20 mph.

Surf will remain hazardous for the Republic of Palau for the next few days. At this time, the public is advised to remain cautious and to secure all loose items and boats.

Due to current weather and marine conditions, the Small Craft warning has been issued and the warning flags have been raised. Travel to Kayangel, Angaur, Ollei, Peleliu and/or outside the reef is Strictly Prohibited as marine conditions are rough.

Initial reports from Kayangel are that there are no injures, casualties or major structural damage. All schools and government offices will be open today.

NEMO office and the National Weather Office monitoring the progress of Typhoon Hagupit and will update the public accordingly.

Island Times 

TOK PISIN

11) Ol PNG Sios imas halvim long daonim maus kensa

Updated 8 December 2014, 13:20 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Maus Kensa i namba tu sik emi save kilim ol PNG pipal

PNg Cancer

Odio: Caroline Tiriman i ripot long pasin blong kaikai bua isave kamapim maus kensa na emi bikpla wari nau long PNG

Wanpla dokta long saed blong mouth kensa long Papua New Guinea i mekim bikpla askim igo long ol sios long givim planti toksave igo long ol pipal long noken kaikai buai tumas.

Dr Rose Andrew ibin mekim despla askim long World Cancer Congress emi bin pinis long Fraide  hia long  Melbourne.

Dr Adnrew itok, mouth kensa nau i kamap olsem namba tu sik bihaen long cervical kensa em oli save kilim ol pipal long PNG.

Planti wok painimaut em ol dokta isave mekim i soim olsem, pasin blong kaikai buai wantem kambang isave kamapim despla kaen kensa, tasol ol pipal isave tok olsem pasin blong kaikai buai emi pasin kalsa, tasol Dr Andrew itok, emi tru emi pasin tumbuna long ol ples long nambis, tasol nau planti pipal long Highlands rijan isave kaikai buai na mekim olsem wok bisnis. Olsem na emi askim ol laen lotu long helpim long daonim despla wari.

 Tasol sopos ol pipal long Highlands rijan ino save bin kaikai buai bifo, blong wonem na nau emi kamap olsem bikpla samting long Highlands rijan. Dr Andrew i tok wok blong transpot i halvim long bringim despla pasin igo long Highlands rijan.

Dr Rose Andrew itok tu olsem, bifo liklik laen pipal tasol isave kisim mouth kensa, tasol nau ol dokta isave lukim tripla pipal wantem despla sik long wanwan wik.Radio Australia.

12) Oli go hed iet long toktok long makim nupla Solomon Islands PM

Updated 8 December 2014, 12:53 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Wanpla hour emi longpla taem long ol wok politik long Solomon Islands na ol kaen samting emi nap kamap pastem oli makim nupla  Praim Minista tumora.

Tara

Dr Tarcicius Tara Kabutaulaka Associate Professor long University blong Hawai’i’  

Odio: Dr Tarcicius Tara Kabutaulaka Associate Professor long University blong Hawai’i’ itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Wanpla hour emi longpla taem long ol wok politik long Solomon Islands na ol kaen samting emi nap kamap pastem oli makim nupla  Praim Minista tumora.

Despla em toktok blong wanpla politikal saintis blong Solomon Islands, taem ol memba blong palaman i mekim planti tok gris namel long ol iet long husat tru bai kamap lida blong kantri.

Associate Professor Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka blong University blong Hawaii long Honolulu itok ol pipal bai mekim ol kaen kaen kempein tede igo inap tumora.

Long Fraide oli bin makim tupla man husat inap kamap Praim Minista, despla tupla man em Praim Minista bifo Manasseh Sogavare na wanpla sinia gavman ofisa bifo, Jeremiah Manele.

Long despla yia, olpla Palaman ibin oraetim Politikal Integrity Loa blong traem stopim ol Palaman memba i kalap lusim ol Party blong ol na joinim ol narapla Party, tasol Dr Kabutaulaka itok sampla heve bai kamap iet, maski sopos despla loa istap pinis.Radio Australia

13) Vanuatu Lida Football tim i pinisim season

Updated 8 December 2014, 13:47 AEDT

Sam Seke

Vanuatu TVL Premier League ibin pleim ol laspela gem long regula kompetisin long dispela yar long last wiken.

Vanuatu soka

Media Ofisa blong Vanuatu Football Federation, Harry Atisson itok dispela 2014-2015 sisin bai stat bek gen long February.

Long nau ia, Erakor Golden Star FC em i topim league bihain long win blong ol agensim Amicale FC long 2 – 1 long Port Vila Stadium long Sarere.

Dispela i nabawan lus blong Amicale long dispela 2014-15 season.

TVL Premier League ladder em i olsem Erakor Golden Star 15 points, Amicale FC 13,  Ifira Black Bird FC 12, Tafea FC 11,  Tupuji Imere FC 7, Narak FC 7,  Shepherds United FC 6 na  Spirit 08 FC ino gat wanpela win yet.Radio Australia

FRENCH

14a) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 8 décembre 2014

Mis à jour 8 December 2014, 18:36 AEDT

Caroline Lafargue

Le Mouvement uni pour la libération de la Papouasie occidentale est né samedi à Port-Vila. 

March in support of West Papua in Vanuatu’s Port Vila Photo: RNZI / Hilaire Bule

Manifestation pour l’indépendance de la Papouasie occidentale, à Port-Vila, Vanuatu. (RNZI/Hilaire Bule) 

Il fédère les différents groupes indépendantistes papous: la Coalition nationale pour la libération de la Papouasie occidentale, le Comité national de la Papouasie occidentale, ainsi que la République fédérale de Papouasie occidentale, proclamée en octobre 2011. Le sommet de ces mouvements s’est clos samedi au Vanuatu. Le Mouvement uni va pouvoir rédiger une candidature commune au Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance, en janvier, toujours à Port-Vila. La candidature sera présentée à l’organisation mélanésienne lors de son prochain sommet aux Îles Salomon en juin 2015. En juillet 2014, le Groupe mélanésien fer de lance a rejeté la première candidature présentée par la Coalition Nationale pour la Libération de la Papousie occidentale. Motif: cette coalition ne représente pas tout le peuple papou d’Indonésie, selon l’organisation mélanésienne. 

Papouasie indonésienne: c’est la fin de l’ultimatum. La police avait donné trois jours à l’auteur d’une fusillade qui a tué deux officiers mercredi dernier. Les deux policiers étaient en train de déménager des chaises dans le cadre de la préparation du Noël chrétien à Ilaga, un village dans les montagnes du centre de la province.  L’attaquant ne s’est pas rendu. La police indonésienne de Papouasie lance donc la traque – 100 hommes ont été déployés hier. 

Jokowi ira passer Noël en Papouasie occidentale. Le Président du plus grand pays musulman de la planète célèbre la plus grande fête chrétienne. C’est la première fois qu’un Président indonésien se déplace en Papouasie pour fêter à Noël. Normalement ça se fait à Jakarta. Pendnat sa campagne électorale, Jokowi a fait de la Papouasie une de ses priorités. Il veut pacifier la région. 

  • Le kayakiste Stuart Cleary abandonne sa tentative de traversée en solitaire de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud à la Nouvelle-Zélande. Il est parti de Ballina, à 200 km au sud de Brisbane, dimanche soir. Stuart Cleary tente une traversée en solitaire vers la Nouvelle-Zélande. Mais il a lancé un signal de détresse lundi matin, alors qu’il pagayait à 40 milles nautiques au large de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud. Le kayak qu’il a construit lui même aurait un défaut technique. La sécurité civile a envoyé un hélicoptère pour secourir Stuart Cleary. C’est le septième kayakiste à tenter cette traversée. Jusqu’à présent, toutes les tentatives se sont soldées par des échecs. En 2007, le kayakiste Andrew McAuley s’est noyé en mer de Tasman. Radio Australia.

14b) Commission des Pêches du Pacifique Centre et Ouest: le Copenhague du thon

Mis à jour 8 December 2014, 18:33 AEDT

Caroline Lafargue

Les pays du Pacifique et les pays de l’extérieur n’ont pas réussi à se mettre d’accord sur des quotas de prises de thons.

A Japanese fisherman loads tuna fish onto a boat Posted 3 Oct 2013, 6:38pmThu 3 Oct 2013, 6:38pm  The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission is trying to achieve a 30 per cent cut in the Bigeye tuna catch.  AFP

Le sommet de la Commission s’est clos samedi au Samoa, sur un échec retentissant, comme le sommet de Copenhague l’a été pour la lutte contre le changement climatique.

Du côté des ONG, l’amertume est grande. Certains pays du Pacifique sont aussi très déçus, comme le Samoa et Palau. Les deux pays ont tenté d’obtenir une limitation des prises de thon obèse, le favori des restaurants à sushis. Les stocks de thon obèse sont au plus bas – il reste 16% de la population recensée dans les années 1950.

Pourtant, aucun accord n’a été trouvé sur les quotas de thon obèse, pas plus que ceux de thon albacore et de thon jaune. Ce n’est pas la première fois que le sommet annuel de la Commission des Pêches du Pacifique Centre et Ouest se termine en impasse.

Le bureau de Greenpeace pour l’Australie et le Pacifique décide donc de changer de stratégie, en faisant pression directement sur les investisseurs, plutôt que sur les industriels de la pêche d’Asie, d’Europe et des États-Unis. Lagi Toribau, le spécialiste du thon à Greenpeace Australie-Pacifique:

« Nous nous concentrons sur les investisseurs désormais, car nous espérons qu’ils comprendront ceci: la pêche au thon, c’est un secteur qui est en train de mourir. Or la première chose que regardent les investisseurs, c’est la durabilité du secteur dans lequel ils investissent. Donc nous espérons qu’ils vont y regarder à deux fois avant de mettre leur argent dans cette industrie. »

Une seule note positive dans ce concert lugubre: les pays de la Commission des Pêches du Pacifique Centre et Ouest ont adopté une mesure pour mieux protéger les requins. Mais selon Greenpeace, ce n’est qu’une mesurette. Lagi Toribau:

« Il a fallu faire beaucoup de compromis pour parvenir à un accord sur cette mesure. Certains pays ont déposé une motion pour interdire le dépeçage des requins en vue de prélever les ailerons et de rejecter le reste à la mer. Mais les pays étrangers se sont opposés à cela, particulièrement les pays asiatiques. Le seule mesure adoptee pour protéger les requins, c’est l’interdiction de l’utilisation de certaines techniques de pêche pour réduire les prises de requins avec le thon. C’est un début, mais ce n’est vraiment pas l’idéal. »

Lors du sommet à Apia la semaine dernière, les dissensions étaient telles que chaque pays a lu sa déclaration finale à huis-clos. Radio Australia

WORLD

15) 80 to join Ebola fight

Aap

Monday, December 08, 2014

WELLINGTON – More than 80 New Zealanders want to join an Australian mission in Sierra Leone to fight Ebola.

Initial registrations for deployment close on Sunday with 82 Kiwis putting their names forward to help operate a 100-bed treatment centre, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

“People with a range of skills have registered, including nurses, GPs, pharmacists, and administrators.”

The Australian Government has contracted Aspen Medical, a private medical provider, to manage the mission in Sierra Leone.

Aspen will be responsible for selecting, training, contracting and deploying all volunteers, including those from New Zealand.

The government asked for expressions of interest in November and said it would deploy up to 24 New Zealanders as part of its $NZ2million ($F3.03m) practical contribution to combat Ebola in West Africa, Dr Coleman said.

The first deployment was expected to take place in the new year.

16) Typhoon Hagupit churns across Philippines leaving two dead as more than 1 million flee

Updated 7 December 2014, 17:48 AEDT

A powerful typhoon ploughs through the central Philippines, bringing howling winds that topple trees and power poles and cut off communications.

A powerful typhoon ploughed through the central Philippines on Sunday, bringing howling winds that toppled trees and power poles and cut off communications to areas where thousands were killed by a massive storm just over a year ago.

More than 1 million people fled to shelters away from coastal areas and landslide-prone villages by the time Typhoon Hagupit made landfall on Saturday night, in what a UN agency said was one of the world’s biggest peacetime evacuations.

As the storm barrelled in from the Pacific, power was cut across most of the eastern island of Samar and nearby Leyte province, including Tacloban City, considered ground zero of the devastating super typhoon Haiyan last year.

“I can’t penetrate the areas, I can’t go north or south because of fallen trees and power lines. Many areas are flooded,” Ben Evardone, congressman for Eastern Samar, said from his base in the provincial capital Borongan.

Local radio reported at least two people were killed in Eastern Samar, but that could not be confirmed by officials. The Philippine Red Cross said they were also verifying the report.

Hagupit – known locally as Typhoon Ruby – had weakened to a category three storm, two notches below “super typhoon”, when it hit land, but still brought torrential rain and the risk of potentially disastrous storm surges of up to 4.5 metres.

“This storm is still very strong, it could bring massive devastation,” weather forecaster Alvin Pura said.

Relief as emergency efforts proceed smoothly

Aid agencies said they were relieved the powerful typhoon was not as devastating as Typhoon Haiyan – which killed thousands of people just over a year ago.

“When Ruby first made landfall, we did see high winds, a lot of rain, but not the wind speeds that we saw during Haiyan,” Jacqui Symonds, the Senior Program Officer for Emergencies for Care Australia, told the ABC from Manila.

“Ruby is moving very, very slowly … We’re seeing it moving at less than 10 kilometres an hour. So while the wind speeds are still quite high at around 200 kilometres an hour, we’re not seeing the damage that we saw as part of Haiyan.”

The Philippine government is co-ordinating emergency relief efforts, she said, and has not yet sought international assistance.

“They’re definitely taking more of a lead this time,” Ms Symonds said.

“I guess the main difference is that Haiyan was such a huge typhoon – it was the biggest that’s ever been recorded – and so they were just overwhelmed.

“What we’re seeing in the case of Ruby is it’s a lot smaller and it’s much more manageable for the authorities here.”

The weather bureau said Hagupit – which means “lash” in Filipino – maintained its projected path towards Masbate, Romblon and Oriental Mindoro provinces, slightly north of areas devastated by super typhoon Haiyan last year and missing the capital Manila.

More than a million people in mass evacuations

Residents of low-lying villages and landslide-prone areas had been evacuated to schools, civic centres, town halls, gyms and churches, the national disaster agency said.

There were more than 1.2 million people crowding over 1,500 evacuation centres across central Philippines, said Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, adding local governments were providing the evacuees’ basic needs.

But there were worries about sanitation and the impact on health of the evacuees in cramped spaces especially in urban areas.

“The critical issue is in evacuation centres where there is a high number of evacuees,” Social Work Secretary Corazon Soliman said.

“We are concerned that the congestion will cause more threat on health.”

But Ms Symonds said most evacuees were likely to return to their homes relatively soon.

“If you do have people staying (in the centres) for weeks on end … there is potential for there to be the passing on of communicable diseases but we’re not anticipating this at that stage,” she said.

Environment and humanitarian groups are hoping the typhoon would spur action at UN climate talks in Lima, where almost 200 nations are meeting to work out an accord to slow global warming, due at a summit in Paris next year.

“My country is under water, farms have been wiped away, homes destroyed, families separated,” Shubert Ciencia of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement and a member of global relief organisation Oxfam, said in Lima.

“Nobody should have to live under the threat of destruction year after year. But we want action, not pity. Negotiators have a chance to make history by standing up for those who have already lost so much and the millions more who will suffer the same fate unless we act now,” Mr Ciencia said.

An Oxfam report in November showed Asia is highly vulnerable to increasingly severe and frequent weather extremes and woefully underprepared to manage growing crises.

ABC/Wires

Gallery: Typhoon Hagupit in pictures

POLITIC

17) Ousted PNG Opposition Leader Disappointed In Process
Namah: Short cuts were taken in effort to replace him

By Donald Willie

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 5, 2014) – Vanimo Green MP and ousted Opposition leader, Belden Namah, expressed disappointment with how the new opposition leader was elected, saying that due processes were not followed.

Mr Namah and Rabaul MP Allan Marat said the election followed the recent trend in the Papua New Guinea politics — katim kona, where short cuts are done and proper processes not followed.

He was questioning what the rush to become the opposition leader, was.

“The meeting held in this room on Thursday, last week was not called by me, who was the incumbent opposition leader,” Mr Namah said.

“As far as I am concerned, to call a parliamentary caucus, it will be the prerogative of the incumbent opposition leader to call all the members of the Opposition to discuss issues of importance, and if it has to do with leadership, I will have to call the caucus and put on the table the issue of opposition leader if it is required.”

He said he had informed the members of the opposition that he had been sick for the two days prior to the re-election, and expected commonsense to prevail and have some curtesy for him as the leader of the opposition.

He said in the caucus that gathered for the meeting which Mr Marat was not part of, there was an absence of the agendas of meeting in the minute that had been circulated.

He said there was a “hidden agenda” of the issue of opposition leader’s position.

[PIR editor’s note: RNZI reported that ‘Papua New Guinea’s new opposition leader says his side will establish an alternative government by January, launching policy on all major issues confronting PNG. … The opposition has more than doubled in numbers to eight MPs with Don Polye’s Triumph, Heritage Empowerment Party recently joining the ranks. … Although far outnumbered in the 111-seat parliament by the Peter O’Neill-led government, the opposition has MPs from each of PNG’s four regions and includes the country’s only female provincial Governor, Julie Soso. … Mr Polye says his vibrant line-up offers a viable alternative leadership for PNG.’]

Messrs Namah and Marat were also disappointed with Parliament Speaker Theodore Zurenuoc’s, involvement in the leadership tussle, saying he was the right person to have advised otherwise.

“The Speaker made a fundamental mistake by leaving his chair and coming into the opposition caucus to dictate what should be done,” Mr Namah said.

“The opposition caucus is not the turf of the Speaker, with due respect, matters relating to the opposition caucus is best left for the opposition,” said Mr Marat.

He said that with the Speaker’s recent statements of having no constitutional law provision governing this situation, the next best thing should have been commonsense and democratic fairness.

PNG Post-Courier

18) Solomons PM Candidate Allegedly Offering $330,000 For Support
People’s Alliance Party leader makes accusation against Mathew Wale

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 4, 2014) – A top Solomon Islands politician has reportedly offered 2.5 million Solomon Island dollars for five MPs to join his camp as efforts continue to form a new government.

The President of the People’s Alliance Party, Sir Nathaniel Waena, says the offer of 330,000 US dollars was made by Mathew Wale in talks in a hotel with several other MPs, including two former Prime Ministers.

This comes as two camps vie to form a majority after last month’s election, and nominations for the post of Prime Minister close today.

Sir Nathaniel says he is deeply saddened that an MP who has spoken out so strongly against corruption and the importance of Christian principles would make such offers.

“He said should Alliance MP’s move to join with the Executive, I [Mathew Wale] should be able to bring five more members from this other camp by having to pay 500,000 dollars each for the five members. As we speak he has not done that but he has made that bold statement.”

Sir Nathaniel, who is a former minister and Governor General, says he reprimanded Mr Wale in front of the elected members present.

Radio New Zealand International 

19) Former PM Sogavare, bureaucrat Manele to contest prime Ministership

By Online Editor
9:42 pm GMT+12, 07/12/2014, Solomon Islands

Two candidates have confirmed their nominations for Solomon Islands prime minister, after weeks of horse trading following last month’s general election.

The Solomons parliament will vote on Tuesday for former two-time prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, or former permanent secretary of foreign affairs, Jeremiah Manele.

The Governor-General’s office received the nominations just before the deadline of 4pm (local time) on Friday.

Manele is being backed by the coalition known as the Solomon Islands People’s Democratic Coalition.

The Solomon Island’s Political Parties Commission has not yet received official registration for the two coalitions, which have been referred to as the Honiara Hotel camp and the Mendana Hotel camp.

For more than a week, two camps of MPs formed in Honiara and have been based at the two hotels.

The possibility of so-called grass hopping between the two parties is still possible before Tuesday, as parties and MPs rally behind their chosen PM.

Sogavare served as prime minister from 2000 to 2001 and again from 2006 to 2007.

High-profile New Zealand politician Winston Peters said the potential return of Sogavare did not give confidence in the country’s future foreign relations.

Peters was New Zealand’s foreign minister during Sogavare’s previous prime ministership, including the 2006 Honiara riots.

He told Radio Australia the former PM had a poor relationship with Australia, which impacted on the country’s foreign relations at a time when Solomon Islands needed a lot of help.

“You recall the Australian police kicked down his door and took a fax machine or some technology at a time when the relationships were so stretched that he went on to boycott the next Pacific Islands Forum and not long after that he was replaced,” he said.

“The past history does not look good with respect to Solomon Islands and Australia’s connection, particularly because at that time he said he was going to replace the contingent of the RAMSI mission in Solomon Islands.”

Sogavare previously accused Australia of bullying over its opposition to re-arm the pacific nation’s police force, following the 2006 riots.

In 2007, the then Australian head of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Tim George, said he opposed Sogavare’s push to return weapons to the police.

SOURCE: ABC NEWS/PACNEWS

MEDIA

20) Live stream for local TV shows

Ropate Valemei

Monday, December 08, 2014

FIJIAN families and friends overseas will be able to stream their favourite locally-produced television programs online following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) and Telecom Fiji Ltd (TFL) in Suva on Friday.

Fourteen locally-produced programs that were not only popular in Fiji but overseas as well could be streamed online by TFL.

FBC chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this was one of their contributions to the tourism industry by showcasing Fiji to the world.

“This is a mutually beneficial agreement, which also means that many Fijians who reside overseas will able to get regular access to a whole host of wonderful and extremely popular programs that FBC produces in Fiji,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“This agreement will spur our production team to produce more exciting local programs in the coming years for our increased audience.”

TFL CEO Mothilal De Silva said they were constantly striving to improve their customer services and the collaboration with FBC was a turning point for them.

“TFL will deliver high-quality, rich streaming media content to viewers enabling them to watch TV shows on their laptops, tablets and smart devices from any part of the world,” he said.Fijitimes

BUSINESS 

21) Partnership boosts service

Geraldine Panapasa

Saturday, December 06, 2014

VODAFONE Fiji has signed a partnership agreement with a joint venture offering convenient international money transfer and cross-border transactions this festive season.

Vodafone Fiji mCommerce head Shailendra Prasad said the partnership between their M-PAiSA and Homesend would open up an affordable and more convenient international money transfer service into Fiji at a nominal price. He said Homesend was a joint venture created by MasterCard, eServGlobal and BICS that enabled business-to-business cross-border and cross-network value transfers through a single connection.

“Those wishing to send money from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America and United Kingdom to family members in Fiji will be able to use this new service,” he said of the initiative that was approved by the central bank for its technical and security compliance.

“This service is great news for families in Fiji receiving money from overseas on a regular basis. Former Fiji residents, soldiers serving abroad and professional athletes such as rugby players will be able to use this convenient mode of international money transfer service.Fijitimes

MINNING/AGRICULTURE/FISHERIES+

22) Australian Company A Step Closer To Solomons Nickel Mine
Axiom awaits final appeal by Japanese giant Sumitomo

By PNG correspondent Liam Cochrane

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec 3, 2014) – Small Australian firm Axiom is nearing a final victory over Japan’s Sumitomo over rights to mine nickel in Solomon Islands.

Taho Village sits on the southern shore of Santa Isobel, an idyllic picture postcard vision of South Pacific paradise.

A short helicopter flight north of Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, on nearby Guadalcanal, Taho in recent years has become the battleground in a war fought between Japanese trading giant Sumitomo and tiny Australian group Axiom Mining.

The prize is a huge magnetite nickel deposit and, against all odds, Axiom has prevailed after a resounding win in the courts in October following four years of legal skirmishes.

It is a win that has the locals cheering.

When Axiom chief executive Ryan Mount and a group of investment bankers flew in a fortnight ago, the entire village turned out to greet them.

In this deeply religious community, the David and Goliath imagery of the stoush has resonated with the locals as the priest conducts a blessing – a spiritual cleansing – of the site while the village prepares a traditional feast of sweet potato, lobster and outsized mud crab.

A buoyant Ryan Mount is itching to get underway with the project which sits on uninhabited land nearby. So close to the surface is the deposit, little will grow on the land.

“One of the reasons we can bring this to market so quickly … is because this deposit lies closely to the surface,” he explained.

“The deposit also sits right on the shoreline and that shore encompasses a deep water harbour. Those three aspects combined mean that we can move this to market very quickly.”

Not everyone is overjoyed about the development, but opponents are unwilling to appear on camera.

They worry about soil run-off during the heavy tropical rains and question whether locals really understand the impact of removing the top layer of their land given the fragile ecosystem.

Axiom, however, prides itself on its relationship with the local communities. It has gifted a 20 per cent stake in the company to the two main landowner groups.

Mount, a former Sydney stockbroker who took control of Axiom after the Sumitomo legal action looked likely to send it to the wall, has a deep personal connection to the island nation and will live there permanently once development begins. It is a commitment that has been welcomed by locals.

“The opportunities for them are not just in equity,” he said.

“We’re obviously going to be employing a lot of the locals. We have a policy of employing the local landowner groups and villagers before we go abroad to the market.”

There are good reasons for getting local landowners on side. A short drive from the nation’s capital, Honiara, sits the Gold Ridge mine which has had a chequered history.

Until recently, this operation accounted for 20 per cent of the country’s GDP. Now it lies dormant.

In April, the Melbourne-based St Barbara evacuated its expatriate workers without notice, on the premise that the island’s worst floods in living memory created a security threat.

Locals, however, believe the mine was in no danger, given its elevation, and point to the plunging gold price as the real reason.

With the wet season approaching, locals fear the tailings dam may spill over, threatening to contaminate local waters with arsenic and cyanide.

Dick Douglas from the Gold Ridge Community and Landowners Council said the community is scouting around for interested parties to take over from St Barbara.

“If there is an interested Chinese company or any other companies would like to have an interest in the operation at Gold Ridge, then we can have an open door to discuss and have dialogues with any investors,” he said.

The Gold Ridge situation, and the long dormant Panguna copper mine on nearby Bougainville, have created a blue print for Axiom on how not to conduct business.

First tested in the 1950s, Axiom secured the lease four years ago. It currently is engaged in baseline studies before beginning development and hopes to be shipping ore in 12 months.

Sumitomo had planned to build a processing facility on the site, an undertaking Axiom has shunned, preferring the earlier cash flow to the more capital intensive option of on-site processing.

It may be celebration time at Taho Village, but Axiom and its local partners have one final legal hurdle.

“Sumitomo have lodged an appeal in the Court of Appeal, which is the highest court in this land,” Mount explained.

“We will deal with that when that comes about and we expect that to come about in February next year. But we’re pushing on with this project and we’re very confident of defending our rights in the Court of Appeal.”

Radio Australia 

INFRASTRUCTURE

23) $350 Million Vanuatu Airport Proposal ‘Dumped’
PM survives no-confidence motion, confirming project is dead

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec 4, 2014) – The Vanuatu Prime Minister says the unsuccessful attempt at a no-confidence motion in his government is final confirmation that a proposed project to build a new international airport has been dumped.

Joe Natuman led the move to abandon the project with the Singaporean company, Vanuatu Trade Development Limited.

The original plan was introduced by the now opposition leader, Moana Carcasses, and met with strong opposition over the terms of a 350 million US dollar contract.

Mr Natuman says Mr Carcasses failed attempt to cast doubt over his government means he can now put the proposal to bed.

“The parliament decided to let the agreement lapse so as far as Vanuatu is concerned we have nothing to do with this company. It is finished. They have the right to submit claims or to file their claims in court but they haven’t come forward. Once they do that then we will decide what our next step will be.”

Mr Natuman says the priority now is to upgrade the current Bauerfield International Airport on Efate to make sure that it is up to the international standard.

Radio New Zealand International 

24) Fiji Finance Minister: Opposition Budget Contribution Not Serious
Sayed-Khaiyum accuses Opposition of ‘petty politics’

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec 5, 2014) – It appears the Fijian Government is unlikely to consider any of the contributions from the Opposition towards the 2015 Budget at the completion of the first week of the budget debate today.

Minister for Finance and Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had labelled the opposition’s contribution as one that “can’t be taken seriously” before the Fijian Parliament.

“Once again they have demonstrated their failure to rise above the petty politics to offer constructive advice,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Once again they have demonstrated absolute reliance on deception, half-truths and deliberate misinformation.”

He told the house that the budget presented is “bold, responsible and appropriate to Fiji’s needs and resources.”

“It underpins the FijiFirst Government’s long-term plan for Fiji, which unlike that presented by the opposite side of the House is for a united and prosperous future for all Fijians, from all backgrounds and from all parts of the country.”

The debate on the budget is expected to continue next week.

Fijilive 

LAW&ORDER

25) Papua New Guinea police and army involved in shootout at lock-up

Updated 8 December 2014, 9:26 AEDT

By PNG correspondent Liam Cochrane

Four men are taken to hospital with gunshot wounds after Papua New Guinea soldiers and police turn on each other in a Port Moresby suburb.

Papua New Guinea’s police and army have formed a joint taskforce to investigate a shootout between the two forces that left four men in hospital with gunshot wounds.

Businesses located near the confrontation closed their doors and there were reports of looting following the clash.

“After last night’s stand off, culminating from a drunken brawl between our soldiers and policemen … senior officers from both the defence force and the constabulary have now formed a taskforce to investigate,” deputy police commissioner Jim Andrews said.

“I appeal to all members of the constabulary to refrain from provoking or inciting further violence with our counterparts from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF).”

The altercation began in the early hours of Saturday morning in the Port Moresby suburb of Boroko.

Police say a group of soldiers were drunk and disorderly on the street in front of a nightclub.

They arrested several soldiers and locked them up at the nearby Boroko police station.

A short time later, a group of soldiers arrived at the police station and managed to free three soldiers from the cells.

“Soldiers and policemen were embroiled in a violent confrontation and several gunshots were discharged,” deputy commissioner Andrews said.

Four soldiers were hospitalised with gunshot injuries.

At the weekend, the police and army set up separate roadblocks in the area surrounding Boroko police station and the army’s Murray Barracks.

Police say the situation is under control and senior officers of both forces held a joint press conference on Saturday.

“We don’t want to speculate [on] anything as yet,” colonel Vagi Oala, acting PNGDF chief of staff, said.

He said a preliminary report about the incident is expected by Tuesday.

“Appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken against any member of these two disciplinary forces who are found to have broken the law,” deputy commissioner Andrews said.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have more than 70 officers in PNG advising the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary but were not involved in the incident.

“We remain vigilant about the safety and security of our officers and we are assessing the situation as it unfolds,” Assistant Commissioner Alan Scott, who leads the AFP advisory deployment, said. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2014-12-07/papua-new-guinea-police-and-army-involved-in-shootout-at-lockup/1396635

26) Fiji Minister For Defence Blames Coups On Chiefs, Church Leaders
Natuva defends budget allocation for military

By Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec 04, 2014) – The Republic of the Fiji Military Forces did not instigate the coups of 1987 and 2000, but this was caused by some disgruntled members of the public including some chiefs and Church leaders, says Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Timoci Natuva.

In justifying military’s allocation in the 2015 Budget in response to Member of the Opposition Roko Tupou Draunidalo queries on the need for such a significant allocation.

Draunidalo had said the increase in funding as such would impress upon the military officers the wrong message to do as they please alluding the coup.

Natuva brushed this aside saying the funding is because the Fijian Government recognises the Fijian Military as the vehicle to support and participate in global peace and security initially.

“The notion that the RFMF is solely responsible for the coup that occurred in Fiji is an error. In fact in 1987 and 2000 coups were instigated by disgruntled elements including some of our chiefs and some church leaders, who were able to influence certain members of the RFMF to support their cause,” Natuva said.

He further said the view that the military budget has been increasing since 1986 prior to the 1987 coup was not true as all government ministries have had an increase in their budget every year.

Fijilive 

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

27) Weather forecast: Heavy rain warning still in place

By SHAYAL DEVI

Monday, December 08, 2014

Update: 12:55PM A HEAVY rain warning remains in force for Eastern Vanua Levu, Northern Lau, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands.

A special weather bulletin issued by the Fiji Meteorological Service states an active trough of low pressure remains slow moving just to the northeast of Fiji.

“Associated cloud and rain will affect the northern and eastern parts of the group but rain expected to gradually ease.”

The next weather bulletin will be issued at 2.30pm today.Fijitimes

28) Magnitude 6.8 earthquake hits off Papua New Guinea, no tsunami expected

Posted 7 December 2014, 15:16 AEDT

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes off the coast of Papua New Guinea, but no destructive tsunami expected.

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea Sunday, US seismologists said, but no destructive tsunami was expected.

The quake hit at a depth of 10 kilometres about 116 kilometres from the nearest city of Panguna on Bougainville Island, at 11.22am local time (10.22am AEST), the United States Geological Survey said.

There were two aftershocks in the Bougainville region measuring 5.2 and 5.0 magnitude respectively.

“Any tsunami generated is going to be very local … and about half-a-metre in size,” Mark Leonard, a senior seismologist for the government agency Geoscience Australia said.

“And as they propagate away from their source, they weaken fairly quickly.”

Separate data collected by Geoscience Australia had the initial quake at 6.7 magnitude and at a depth of one kilometre.

Mr Leonard said the south-west area of Bougainville, which is the closest land mass to the quake zone, was not known to be heavily populated.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

Earthquakes are common in PNG, which sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

The last tremor off the Pacific nation’s coast was a 6.4-magnitude quake that struck in the New Britain region in early November.

In 2013 the neighbouring Solomon Islands were hit by a devastating tsunami after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake rattled the region. That tsunami left at least 10 people dead, destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands of people homeless.

AFP

29) Two people die after Fiji hit by unexpected flooding

Posted 8 December 2014, 11:31 AEDT

Two people are dead after significant flooding in Fiji over the weekend washed away roads and damaged a major water treatment plant that supplies potable water to most of the capital, Suva.

The two men died in separate incidents while reportedly trying to cross flooded rivers on Fiji’s biggest island, Viti Levu.

Police reiterated warnings for people not to cross rivers, and reminded people to be vigilant and cautious around flooded areas.

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) reporter Ellen Stolls covered the floods over the weekend and told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program police were disappointed that people were not heeding warnings.

Ms Stolls reported the body of one of the men, a Fiji National University student, was retrieved on Sunday, but the other man was still missing.

The heavy rain and flooding badly damaged the Tamavua Water Treatment Plant, affecting water supplies to thousands of people in central Suva.

The Water Authority of Fiji also said the main trunk line carrying untreated waste from greater Suva collapsed and sewage spilt into a creek which flows through several villages.

Stolls said engineers were working to fix the pipe, but it was expected to take some time, leaving the villages to cope with a “stench” and environmental impacts.

El Nino effect to blame: weather service

Meteorologist Neville Koop, of Fiji’s Na Draki weather service, said the impact of the rain was unexpected.

Speaking to Pacific Beat, Mr Koop said December was the beginning of monsoon season, but meteorologists had not predicted such heavy falls out of an event that had looked innocuous.

“It certainly did dump down, mostly in isolated pockets,” he said.

“Here in Suva we had about 177 millimetres fall in about seven hours, between 2am and 9am on Saturday morning.”

International weather bureaux have cautiously predicted an El Nino event will develop this year, based on a warming of waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the main indicator of the event.

Mr Koop said the weather phenomenon did contribute to the heavy rain over Fiji on the weekend.

“We’ve been watching El Nino wax and wane through the latter half of 2014,” he said.

“But we are starting to see El Nino conditions become more established now.

“One of the factors we’ll experience with that is the main area of convection which normally develops over Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and even the Solomon Islands during summer will probably go further into the Pacific.

“I think this rainfall and this activity in the South Pacific convergent zone is perhaps part of that relocation of the main upward branch of what we call the water circulation moving from the Western Pacific into the central Pacific.

Mr Koop said the rain had passed to the far north of Fiji, but there was still a chance of more heavy rain around the region this week, particularly over Samoa and Tonga.

More on this story:

Weather bureau upgrades El Nino forecast

El Nino forecast firming

Pacific Ocean hot spot causing global warming

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au

29) Pacific Islands lead largest ever climate fast

By Online Editor
9:45 pm GMT+12, 07/12/2014, Peru

Activists around the world have staged the largest fast for the climate so far, as UN negotiations get underway in Lima.

An estimated 10,000 people across the globe gave up eating today in an attempt to prompt stronger action on climate change.

The figures were bolstered by the Pacific island of Tuvalu, where about half the population fasted following a call from Penitusi Taeia, the president of the Christian Church of Tuvalu. Of Tuvalu’s 10,000 population, 94% are members of this church.

The country’s prime minister, foreign minister and governor general also joined the fast.

“This is the biggest climate change fast that has ever happened. We are making history,” said Martin Kopp from the World Lutheran Federation.

Figures are based on website sign-ups, along with estimates of those who are fasting privately.

As a movement that has been particularly popular among faith groups, many do not advertise their actions, added Kopp; the Bible says that Christians should disguise their fasting so that it “may not be seen by others, but by your Father who is in secret”.

As the majority of delegates at the UN talks in Lima headed to the cafeteria for lunch today, activists staged a protest at the venue.

Government delegates in Lima from Fiji, Nauru and the Cook Islands also joined the fast.

Filipino negotiator Yeb Sano launched the movement at the UN talks in Warsaw one year ago following Typhoon Haiyan, which ripped through the Philippines at the outset of last year’s talks.

Sano, joined by other activists, fasted for the thirteen days of talks in protest at the lack of progress on climate change so far. Since then, climate activists around the world have fasted on the first of every month.

Although he is not in Lima this week, Sano addressed activists by video link.

“Fasting nourishes our soul and it takes care of the moral hunger in our hearts,” he said. “We stand today together to confront this climate crisis. We fast for the climate because we care about the future of this world.”

Between now and next December, when the UN’s deal is set to be signed in Paris, climate campaigners will stage a 365-day fasting “chain”, members of the movement announced today.

Over the course of the year, one person will fast every day between now and the Paris conference, starting with two months in Latin America, sweeping across the USA, the Pacific, Africa and Europe, before finishing in France.

“Our hunger for action will not stop. It will keep going until Paris,” said Kopp.

SOURCE: RTCC/PACNEWS

SPORTS

30) Recruited from Fiji for her netball ability, Vilimaina Davu now helps Kiwis find jobs

By Online Editor
9:58 pm GMT+12, 07/12/2014, New Zealand

Former Silver Fern Vilimaina Davu was one of the most recognisable figures in New Zealand sport and, eight years after retiring, her trademark smile is still instantly familiar.

Davu played 61 tests for New Zealand in a career that included a world championship title in 2003 and a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2006.

She now works as a recruitment consultant in Auckland and finds her clients regularly do a double take when they meet her.

“When they walk in, they try to work it out for themselves,” she says laughing. The penny usually drops when she slides her card across the table. “They say, ‘oh yeah, that’s right, that’s you.’ It’s quite humbling.”

The former goal keep meets a broad range of people in a standard working day.

“We do our best to accommodate people’s skillsets and backgrounds, and place them in industries where their skills match,” she says.

The core skill of the job – placing people in new situations – was a familiar concept to her.

Davu had amassed 58 caps for Fiji by the time she arrived in New Zealand in 1999 for a trial with the Canterbury team.

“It was eye-opening,” she says of the change. “Coming from the hot, sunny weather to cold Christchurch – everyone thought I was crazy.”

She was 22 when she boarded the plane and had no idea she was about to embark on an entirely different life.

“I was only invited to trial for Canterbury. Knowing the squad they had, I thought to myself, ‘I’ll do my best, and if I’m not good enough, I’ll be going back to Fiji’.”

The humility wasn’t false. Davu had packed enough clothes for only a short stay.

“I was on my own with a pair of runners,” she laughs.

Settling into a gloomy Christ-church winter meant buying a set of warm clothes, but the bigger challenge was in adapting to the food – or more specifically, the high-carb, low-protein food of a professional athlete.

“After a tough training, I got home and my flatmate said, ‘your dinner is in the oven and the rest is in the fridge’. I was hungry. In Fiji, I would have three big meals a day. I thought to myself it would be a roast, so I was all excited. And when I opened the oven, it was a bowl of pasta. When I opened the fridge, it was a bowl of salad. I was so upset, I went to bed with no food.

“My flatmates turned around and said, ‘Vili, forget about the chop suey, taro and heavy food you have at home’.”

She never quite did, but she was able to adjust eventually, despite bouts of homesickness.

“In the first three months, I wanted to pack my bags and go home. [But] my dad said, ‘tough it out and see where it can take you’. I’m glad that advice stuck with me.”

Despite her on-court success, Davu seems most proud of the life she was able to make for herself in a new country.

“It was a huge change, having to move to New Zealand on my own [with] my family back in Fiji. It was a change of everything – food, lifestyle and training.

“It moulded me, shaped me to the person I am now, said Davu.

SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS

31) Fiji to play France in opening match

By JOSEFA MAKABA

Monday, December 08, 2014

Update: 5:17PM THE Vodafone Fiji 7s team will again play France in its opening pool match at Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth, South Africa this weekend.

The Ben Ryan-coached side played France in its first pool match at the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai last Friday. 

And leading the series with 39 points, Fiji is seeded the top team in Pool C along with France, Scotland and Dubai shield winners Canada.Fijitimes.

32) NRL considering four quarters, longer games

By Online Editor
9:55 pm GMT+12, 07/12/2014, Australia

The National Rugby League (NRL) is looking at a radical overhaul of the game – with the idea to change to four quarters and extending to 100 minutes of game time.

According to the Daily Telegraph the NRL’s rules and competition committee proposed the changes to NRL CEO Dave Smith last week.

The newspaper reports that initial discussions have been positive but any changes, if they are agreed, would be several years away.

The proposal reportedly would see four quarters of 25 minutes with five-minute breaks for each quarter and 10 minutes at halftime.

The interchange bench would increase from four players to eight, increasing the match-day squad to 21, to avoid adding more workload on the players.

The change to four quarters would mean the opportunity for more advertising and more revenue for the NRL – the basis of the proposal.

The Daily Telegraph also reports that the NRL’s rules and competition committee raised the prospect of expanding the competition to 18 teams. The newspaper reports that the meeting also adding two new teams, “one from Brisbane and another from a capital city in Australia or New Zealand”.

The lure of a strong weekly television audience and capturing the interest of fans outside Auckland are two of the main selling points of a consortium bid for a Wellington-based team.

A four-man contingent out of Australia, fronted by Sydney lawyer Robert Picone, are working with a local party to extend the NRL in New Zealand with a Wellington-based team after 2017.

The two groups are working to strengthen their business plan and to secure the support of local councils as they begin the process of lobbying the NRL for inclusion in 2018.

A second New Zealand team would allow the NRL to have a game on this side of the Tasman each week and increase opportunities around television scheduling.

Other bids are being prepared across Australia and Papua New Guinea.

SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS

33) South Africa win Dubai event as NZ slump

By Online Editor
9:50 pm GMT+12, 07/12/2014, United Arab Emirates

South Africa won the Dubai Sevens with a crushing 33-7 victory over Australia in the final, after earlier hammering All Blacks Sevens in the semifinal.

New Zealand also lost the third-place playoff match to Fiji.

Seabelo Senatla was the star of the show in the final with a brace of tries as South Africa won the event for the first time since 2008.

Kwagga Smith, Philip Snyman and Ruhan Nel also crossed the whitewash for the dominant Africans while Pama Fou scored Australia’s only try.

“There’s a lot of open space on a sevens pitch and if you can get your speedsters into those open spaces, they can do something for you,” said Blitzbok coach Neil Powell.

“We’re not the biggest team on the circuit but the guys are really physical. I’m really proud of their defensive effort today.”

Captain Kyle Brown said they had improved significantly since losing to England in the third-place match at the opening event of the World Series in Australia – the Gold Coast Sevens.

“We didn’t play our best in Australia but this was a fantastic event for us. We’ve worked hard on our defence all day and this means a lot to all of us. We’ll enjoy tonight for sure,” said Brown.

South Africa blew away Argentina 40-0 in the quarter-finals and New Zealand by a surprising 28-0 in the semis.

The Australians pulled off the surprise of the tournament in the semis when they rallied from 19-0 down, then 24-12 behind, to draw with Fiji 24-24 and force extra time. There, they produced the winning try through Greg Jeloudev.

Coach Geraint John was proud of the performances that moved Australia to third in the Sevens World Series standings.

“For us to get to a Cup Final was a terrific effort. I was a bit disappointed that we allowed Scotland back into the game with a couple of late tries in the quarter-final (22-17), but we showed an incredible amount of character to beat Fiji.

“It was a huge result for us and I was particularly delighted with the impact our bench had in that game. Nick [Malouf], Allan [Fa’alava’au] and Greg Jeloudev all played big parts for us from the bench.

“There’s no doubt South Africa are a very good side and while I want us to enjoy getting to a Cup Final, it’s now important we recover and prepare well again.

“Samoa got to the Cup Final on the Gold Coast but didn’t reach the top eight in Dubai – the competition is so tight and it’s crucial we don’t drop off in Port Elizabeth next week.”

Fiji, winners on the Gold Coast, remained top of the standings after winning Dubai’s third-place match 26-12 over New Zealand.

They now have a two-point lead over South Africa with third-placed Australia just ahead of New Zealand, Samoa and England.

Argentina beat Scotland 26-12 to win Dubai’s Plate final with Samoa winning the Bowl and Canada taking the Shield.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

34) Manchester City closes on Chelsea

Afp

Monday, December 08, 2014

LONDON – Manchester City trimmed Premier League leaders Chelsea’s advantage to three points by beating Everton 1-0 yesterday, but at the cost of an injury to talisman Sergio Aguero.

Chelsea lost their unbeaten record in a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United earlier in the day and defending champions City took advantage by beating Everton thanks to Yaya Toure’s first-half penalty.

The game at the Etihad Stadium was only a matter of minutes old when top scorer Aguero tumbled under a challenge from Muhamed Besic, and he hobbled down the tunnel shortly after.

City made the breakthrough in the 24th minute, with Toure finding the bottom-left corner from the spot after Phil Jagielka was adjudged to have impeded James Milner.

Earlier, substitute Papiss Cisse claimed a brace as Chelsea’s hopes of completing the season unbeaten were dashed by defeat at Newcastle.

Cisse scored twice in the second half and despite Steven Taylor being sent off for Newcastle and Didier Drogba replying late on for the visitors, Alan Pardew’s side held on for a third consecutive home win over Chelsea.

“My team lost the way I like to lose, which is to give everything and being unlucky. Only one team played to win,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told the BBC.

With top scorer Diego Costa back in the team after suspension, Chelsea enjoyed the best of the first half at St James’ Park, only to fall behind in the 57th minute.

Moussa Sissoko fed Sammy Ameobi on the Newcastle left and with Gary Cahill failing to cut out the 22-year-old’s low cross, Senegal striker Cisse pounced to tap home from inside the six-yard box.

Shortly after Eden Hazard had hit the post for Chelsea, Cisse made it 2-0 with 12 minutes remaining by rolling the ball home from Sissoko’s square pass.

Home captain Taylor saw red after being shown a second yellow card for upending Andre Schuerrle before Drogba halved the deficit with a header from a Cesc Fabregas free-kick.

But Newcastle survived six nervous minutes of stoppage time to deny Chelsea a club-record 24th game without defeat.

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