Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1058 ( Monday 5 January 2015 )

Happy New Year 2015 ! 


1) Hapi niu yia 2015! Niufala websaet i stap redi…

Olgeta –

Yumi stap long proses naoia blong mekem wan niufala websaet blong pati, be wok blong mekem websaet i no komplit gud yet.

Be yu save luk sam latest nyus blong Pati (wetem foto) long websaet:

Ol GJP MP i fulfilim promis blong ripotem alokesen spending

GJP i holem namba 2 Elected Officials Miting blong hem

Wan narafala storian we i no go long websaet yet (i kamaot long Daily Post yestede):

Kaonsela Willie Ben Kalmasei i putumaot posta blong spending blong hem

Kaonsela blong Shefa Provins, Willie Ben Kalmasei, hemi fes kaonsela blong GJP we hemi putumaot wan posta blong talemaot hamas mane hemi spendem long Eria Kaonsel Fand mo tu long salari blong hem wan blong mitim ol nid mo rikwes blong ol komuniti long konstituensi blong hem long Efate. Posta blong hem i soem se long 2013 Kaonsela hemi bin apruvum 126,053 vatu aot long Eria Kaonsel Fand mo tu 181,399 vatu aot long salary blong hem wan blong go long ol komuniti rikwes, mekem wan totel amaon blong 307,452 vatu we hemi spendem long 2013. Posta blong Kaonsela Kalmasei hemi feswan we wan GJP (Graon mo Jastis Pati) kaonsela i mekem, folem wan polisi blong pati se evri MP blong pati oli mas putumaot wan posta we i soemaot spending blong alokesen blong olgeta. Olgeta 4 MP blong GJP we oli elektem olgeta long las general eleksen long 2012 – Ralph Regenvanu (Port Vila), Alfred Maoh (Santo), Daniel Nalet (Malekula) mo Gillion William (Efate) – oli putumaot finis ol alokesen spending posta blong olgeta blong 2013 mo oli sherem long ol defren komuniti insaed blong ol konstituensi blong olgeta. MP Ralph Regenvanu hemi bin putumaot ol posta we i soemaot spending blong alokesen blong hem evri yia stat long taem we hemi kam wan MP long 2008. Long las GJP Elekted Ofisel Miting long Port Vila long Novemba 2014, i bin gat wan resolusen se evri kaonsela we oli elekted long GJP oli mas traem blong putumaot ol posta we i soemaot mane we oli spendem o sherem long konstituensi blong olgeta. Naoia wetem posta blong hem, Kaonsela Willie Ben Kalmasei hemi kam fes GJP kaonsela blong save ajivim resolusen ia.

MO TU, ol aplikesen form blong Port Vila Scholarship Scheme blong ol USP Foundation kos long Semester 1 2015 i availabol naoia long SASS Ofis long Emalus Campus o long websaet, o yu save emailem mi mo bae mi sendem long yu.

Mi wantem tekem janis ia blong wishim yufala evriwan wetem ol famli blong yufala wan hapi mo prosperous niu yia 2015.

Vanuatu Minister for Lands Ralph Regenvanu –  & Websaet:

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 5 January 2015

by bobmakin

  • The Government PRO Kiery Manassah speaking ofthe issues facing VBTC, one main one being coverage For example, his address, following morning news, was only heard on shortwave and FM, medium wave unavailable presently even though it is the cyclone season. Staffing Manassah also saw as critical. “There are too many staff members and there is a need for re-structuring. A review has been undertaken,” said the press professional in the Prime Minister’s Office. “It should become effective this year.” He added that a task force would be mandated in 2015 to look into the dual functions of the VBTC – license issue and regulation of the broadcasting industry. The task force will also look at digital TV as well as radio transmission methods said the PRO. The position of General Managershould be decided in the very near future and demonstrate the government’s intention to appoint someone with real leadership capability Manassah said.
  • The Vanuatu Government is strengthening land lease issue requirements. Minister Regenvanu said the government is determined that people being awarded leases which are for a particular purpose carry out their intention according to an agreed time schedule and over the full acreage leased to them. Many rural lessees have waited for extremely long periods before fulfilling their stated objectives, Regenvanu told VBTC News today, and many have not completed their obligations.
  • The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Daily Post today reports the closure of the highly successful Pacific Growth and Employment Project. This has brought together the Australian Chambers of Commerce, Australian trade unions (ACTU) and the ILO in promoting sustainable employment and decent work in the Asia – Pacific Region. PNG and Vanuatu are said to have benefited the most. Training in leadership and hospitality matters was rated highly in Vanuatu.
  • The Presbyterian Church (PCV) wants to take back responsibility and management for many clinics they previously operated. They have said they want more involvement in policies. The PCV Clerk, Alan Nafuki, told VBTC News discussion with government had already started.
  • Thieves stole 7 cattle from the Walter Furet yards and Vanuatu Livestock Development behind the Agriculture Station at Tagabe before Christmas, Daily Post reports today. It also reports packages of 2 kg of imported chicken wings largely selling out during the holiday season.
  • Food and climate change adaptation are being closely studied by food scientist Antoine Ravou, reported VBTC News, in order to find varieties of especially root crops which can survive in different extreme conditions. The department is trialing different crops in various island situations.
  • Correction … The Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Commerce has advised the correct figure for the EIF contribution to the Port Vila seawall reconstruction project following various media mistakes and incorrect assumptions. The EIF of the World Trade Organization will be contributing 315 million vatu.
  • Late news … this morning has the Prime Minister urging fishermen of the Fishermen’s Association (VFA) to unite in their case to government over whether they will agree to a government goodwill payment or remain determined to have their full log of claims subject to judicial proceedings even though unlikely to succeed, lacking legal backing. Full news will be given tomorrow.

3) Vanuatu daily news digest | 3 January 2015

by bobmakin

  • A quiet New Year. Vila Central Hospital reported alcohol related fighting and domestic violence as the major causes of outpatient arrivals at the hospital over the holiday period VBTC News reported today. It seems, however, there was no marked increase in alcohol caused violence.There was only one severe traffic accident, involving nine people. However, only a mother and baby needed to be admitted. Pro Medical Emergency (VEMSA) ambulance services reported this holiday season as quiet compared with other years. There were only two New Year babies born on 1 January this year at VCH, Post reported, and showed one of the two girls in her first photo.
  • Daily Post reports the vast majority of the fishermen of the Vanuatu Fishermen’s Association wanting the Government offered goodwill payment rather than a VFA claim to a much larger amount which would need to go back to the courts and over which the Government disputes any VFA leadership claim to a legal requirement for payment. Following the reiteration of the Government position, and overwhelming fishermen’s support for it, VFA President Kunuan has backed down.
  • Post also reports the Government being fully behind the Chinese CCECC road contractors building their site headquarters at Lenamhi Bay south of Isangel. Local government states adequate notice of the area required was given to everyone. The project will create 45 kilometres of tar-sealed road on Tanna. The company then moves to Malekula for 40 km of Norsup and Lakatoro roads.
  • The Marobe land claim for compensation over lands encompassing Bauerfield airport and northern municipal land has been dismissed. The judgement of Chief Justice Lunabek, given on 11 December, is fully reported by BJ Skane in today’s Post.


4a ) 16 to face court in Tonga for electoral breach

5 January 2015

Tonga’s acting Attorney General says 16 candidates for last month’s election will be taken to court for breaching the electoral act.

‘Aminiasi Kefu says the 16 candidates failed to submit detailed campaign expenses to the Electoral Commission by the December 11 deadline.

106 candidates contested the election that saw ‘Akilisi Pohiva become the kingdom’s Prime Minister.

Radio Tonga says at least ten candidates were fined 256 US dollars for not submitting their expenses report at the 2010 election.RNZI

4b ) Residents warned of food source

Monday, January 05, 2015

IN Tonga, residents living near Neiafu Tahi waters on Vava’u have been warned not to eat food from the area or nearby areas.

Tonga Broadcasting says Neiafu Tahi waters turned red on Monday and after that dead marine life washed up on the shore.

The new Minister of Fisheries, Semisi Fakahau, said they were still trying to identify the cause of the problem. He said they would then send a sample to labs overseas if local authorities could not pinpoint the problem.

The minister said it was important that people abstain from fishing in the area as it might be toxic for consumption. Mr Fakahau said there was a possibility that the problem was caused by climate change and global warming.

Neiafu is the second-largest town in Tonga and has government offices, banks, schools, a police station and a hospital.

5) Pope announces Tongan cardinal

5 January 2015

The Pope’s appointment of a cardinal from Tonga has been welcomed by members of the Catholic Church.

The Bishop of Tonga, Soane Patita Paini Mafi, is among the 20 new cardinals announced by Pope Francis, as part of his efforts to reform the leadership of the Church.

He has been appointed alongside the Archbishop of Wellington, John Dew.

The Bishop-elect of Hamilton, Father Steve Lowe, says both men are great bishops and widely experienced.

He says both have held positions as leaders of Bishop conferences and both have a wide understanding of neighbouring dioceses as well as their own.

Both cardinals will be among an elite group of cardinals who will have voting rights on the pope’s successor.

They will be installed at a ceremony known as a consistory at the Vatican on the 14th of February. RNZI

6) In French Polynesia, Flosse calls for developed autonomy

5 January 2015

The leader of French Polynesia’s largest party says the territory should develop its autonomy and become a country associated with France.

Gaston Flosse made the suggestion in a broad-ranging address on the Tahoeraa Huiraatira website targeting its supporters.

Flosse, who last year lost office because of a corruption conviction, says the role and powers of the French state as well as those of French Polynesia should be clarified.

He says the future status for what he calls Tahiti Nui should be determined by a referendum put to the French Polynesian people and then put to the territorial assembly as well as French Parliament.

Flosse says once the new statute is ready, his party will ask for the French constitution to be amended to ensure the change is safeguarded.

In his address, Flosse says pretexts have been used to keep him away from an assembly office where he has been working since his conviction.

Last month, he was charged with taking china and cutlery from the presidential palace – a charge he denies.RNZI

7) American Samoa sets up fisheries task force

5 January 2014

The Government of American Samoa has set up a fisheries task force to track developments posing a threat to its canneries.

The task force comprises of government and private sector representatives and will review issues including the next hike in the local minimum wage and restrictions on fishing grounds in neighboring islands for US fishing boats.

Governor Lolo Moliga says as the economy is mainly driven by two canneries its necessary for American Samoa to become active participants in all forums and activities addressing fisheries issues.

The task force is charged with tracking all fisheries-related developments, policies, treaties, activities and issues to ensure that the economic security and competitive advantages of the local canneries are not compromised.

The group will present its strategies and recommendations to the governor.RNZI


8) Two drown after being swept off CNMI Island

5 January 2015

A 6-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy have drowned in the waters off Forbidden Island in the Northern Marianas in a failed rescue attempt.

The Department of Public Safety says the girl and her 8-year-old sister were swept off the shore by strong currents on Friday.

Their father and brother jumped into the water to try and save them, but only the father and 8-year-old girl survived.

In March 2007, four Korean students also drowned after hiking by the reef line of the island and being carried out to sea.RNZI


 9) Simbu i no laikim ol drag: Provinsal Polis Komanda Welsh

Updated 5 January 2015, 14:43 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Polis i tok ol popil blong Simbu Provins i no laikim pasin blong yumi ol drag i bagarapim ol komiuniti blong ol.

Odio: Provinsal Polis Komanda blong Simbu, Chief Inspector Michael Welsh i toktok

Ol pipal blong ol narapla ples long Papua New Guinea ino ken bringim hait ol drag nogut igo insaet long Simbu provins.

Provinsal Polis Komanda blong Simbu, Chief Inspector Michael Welsh i mekim despla toktok bihaen long oli bin pulim kalabusim wanpla man blong Eastern Highlands provins long bringim hait sampla spak brus oa marijuana igo long Simbu long wik igo pinis.

Chief Inspector Welsh itok, despla kaen drag isave grow gut long provins, na emi hard long oli rausim olgeta, tasol emi tok emi no laikim ol pipal blong arasaet long karim despla drug igo long provins.

Emi tok tu olsem, oli wok long traem long daonim tu pasin blong mekim na yusim hom bru oa ol kainkain dring blong spak we ol i wokim long peles.Radio Australia

10) Solomon Islands imas gat wanpela indipendent anti-korapsen komisin: TSI

Postim 5 January 2015, 14:53 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Transparency Solomon Islands we i sanap strong agensim korapsen long kantri i laik long gavman imas kirapim wanpela indipendent lain long paitim korapsen long kantri.

Odio: Executive Ofisa blong Transparency Solomon Islands, Daniel Fenua i toktok

Laen emi save wuas egensim korapsan long Solomon Islands i mekim pinis bikpla askim igo long gavman long kirapim wanpla  independent commission against corruption long kantri.

Executive Ofisa blong Transparency Solomon Islands, Daniel Fenua i mekim despla askim bihaen long gavman ibin makim wanpla minista em oli sutim long en olsem emi no gutpla tumas.

Transparency Solomon Islands itok tingting blong gavman long makim  Bodo Dettke olsem minista blong  Forestry na  Research ino stret long wonem despla minista emi wanpla bisnisman long  logging industry.

Ol narapla non gavman organisation tu long kantri ino wanbel wantem tingting blong Praim Minista long makim Mr Dettke long despla wok.

Oli sutim tok long en olsem emi bin mekim sampla korap pasin bifo long saed blong logging olsem na oli wari long emi holim wok blong Minister blong Forests.Radio Australia

11) Taim nogut long Solomon Islands

Postim 5 January 2015, 14:29 AEDT

Sam Seke

Solomon Islands i nau wok long kisim bad weather oa taim nogut na woning i go aut long sampela hap blong kantri long strongpela win, bikpela solwara na ren.

Odio: Director blong Solomon Islands Meteorological Service, David Hirasia i toktok

Dispela i cyclone season long sampela Pacific Island kantri na long Solomon Islands i nau stap insait long wanpela taim nogut.

Director blong Solomon Islands Meteorological Service, David Hirasia itok sampela hap blong kantri i nau gat bikpela solwara, strongpela win na planti ren.

Em i tok Met sevis i givim woning pinis long pipol long ol eria blong antap long kantri olsem Choiseul Island, Isabel na Ontong Java.

Mr Hirasia itok ol i givim aut woning long bikpela ren tu long sampela hap long kantri.Radio Australia


12a) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 5 janvier 2015

Mis à jour 5 January 2015, 13:56 AEDT

Caroline Lafargue

Papouasie: les autorités indonésiennes traquent un groupe armé qui aurait abattu deux policiers et un agent de sécurité à la gigantesque mine de cuivre et d’or de Grasberg.

D’après le quotidien Jakarta Globe, les trois hommes menaient une patrouille autour de la mine. Leurs corps ont été retrouvés jeudi dernier à Utiniki, tout près de la mine. Ils portent des traces de blessures par balle et des entailles de machette. Les résultats de l’enquête ne seront pas connus avant plusieurs jours.

  •  Australie du Sud: 800 pompiers se battent contre un mega feu de forêt depuis maintenant quatre jours.Les flammes ont déjà dévoré 12 000 hectares dans les collines à l’est d’Adelaïde, les Mount Lofty Ranges. Le feu a détruit 13 maisons, mais très probablement plus de 30 en tout. 1100 autres maisons sont menacées par l’incendie, que les pompiers ne maîtrisent toujours pas. Son périmètre atteint désormais presque 240 kilomètres. Des bombardiers d’eau sont partis du Victoria ce matin pour larguer 11 gros réservoirs d’eau. C’est la course contre la montre, car mercredi la météo sera catastrophique: 38 degrés et, de nouveau, des vents forts.
  • Queensland: un crocodile a arraché le pouce de son soigneur. Macca, un mâle de quatre mètres de long, était en train de recevoir sa nourriture, dimanche après-midi. Un spectacle auquel assistaient de nombreuses familles avec enfants. Le soigneur a eu 1 seconde d’inattention. Macca l’a entraîné dans sa mare, lui a arraché un pouce, et mordu profondément la tête. Ian Jenkins, qui est aussi le propriétaire de Childers Park, ce zoo spécialisé dans les reptiles, est à l’hôpital, mais ses jours ne sont pas en danger. Radio Australia

 12b) PNG: 3 cadavres se transforment en thons

Mis à jour 5 January 2015, 13:58 AEDT

Caroline Lafargue

Les autorités enquêtent sur la présence d’un palangrier, échoué sur le récif de l’île de Paona, à 270 km au nord de Bougainville.

Elles s’attendaient à trouver des cadavres dans la chambre froide du bateau. Elles sont finalement tombées sur des thons.

Les habitants de Paona ont découvert l’épave le 10 décembre dernier, alors qu’ils chassaient la tortue. Ils ont alerté les autorités, affirmant qu’il y avait trois cadavres de marins asiatiques dans la chambre froide du bateau. Le palangrier semble avoir été partiellement incendié, mais seule la partie émergée a été endommagée.

La semaine dernière, des policier, des officiers de l’agence des pêches et des médecins, se sont enfin rendus sur le palangrier pour enquêter. La journaliste Stéphanie Eliza, responsable du service de presse du gouvernement de Bougainville, a participé à l’expédition:

« Nous avons trouvé des thons brûlés, des thons énormes, de 2.50 à 3 mètres de long. Mais nous n’avons pas trouvé de cadavres. Nous pensons que ces thons ont été brûlés récemment. S’ils avaient brûlé il y a quelques semaines avec le reste du bateau, nous aurions retrouvé des thons complètement carbonisés. Or là, on voyait encore des coulées de sang sur les thons. Donc nous pensons que quelqu’un a mis le feu aux thons bien après l’incendie du navire. »

Le mystère s’épaissit donc. D’autant que les habitants de Paona gardent le silence:

« Les riverains n’ont rien pu nous dire. Est-ce que ce sont eux qui ont brûlé le bateau il y a 3 semaines? Est-ce qu’ils ont emporté les trois corps pour les enterrer quelque part? Ce sont autant de questions sans réponses. »

Ce qu’on sait en revanche, c’est que le nom du palangrier est Liao Yuan Yu 68, et qu’il battait pavillon chinois. On sait également que la dernière communication radio du Liao Yuan Yu 68 a été enregistrée en Polynésie Française, en juin dernier. Un court-circuit avait déclenché un incendie, et l’équipage du Liao Yuan Yu 68 a lancé un appel de détresse aux autorités polynésiennes. Ils auraient abandonné le navire et ensuite on a perdu leur trace.

Comment le palangrier chinois est-il arrivé au nord de Bougainville, à environ 6500 km de Tahiti? C’est le coeur du mystère.

« Le palangrier n’a pas dérivé jusqu’à s’échouer par accident sur le récif de Paona. C’est le résultat d’une manoeuvre de pilotage. Donc il y avait un équipage à bord. Sinon le bateau se serait échoué sous un angle différent. »

L’équipage du Liao Yuan Yu 68 est soupçonné d’avoir braconné dans les eaux papoues. Radio Australia


13) The World’s Most Powerful Women 2014

Monday, January 05, 2015

THE Forbes 2014 most powerful women list features nine heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of $US11.1trillion ($F22tn) with 641 million citizens — including the number one power woman, German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Less than 5 per cent of the top companies have women CEOs and slightly more than 10 per cent of the 1645 Forbes world’s billionaires 2014 are women.

The 28 corporate CEOs control $US1.7tn ($F3.3tn) in annual revenues, and 18 of the women here founded their own companies or foundations, including our youngest self-made billionaire, Sara Blakely, 43. Speaking of, this year’s class has 13 billionaires valued at more than $US81billion ($F160b).

Here, a quick peek at power women 2014:

Newcomers: Eighteen are new to the list in 2014. Janet Yellen, the new Federal Reserve chair and first woman to hold the position, makes a strong first showing at number two.

She’s number one: Chancellor Merkel has made the list ten times out of the past 11 editions – nine times as No. 1. She was first elected in 2005. She’s the first: Nearly half the women featured here are “female firsts,” such as Ms Yellen, General Motor’s new CEO Mary Barra, Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Harvard University Drew Gilpin Faust and IBM’s Ginni Rometty.


14) Ebola crisis: Health authorities set up screening facilities at Papua New Guinea airport

Updated 5 January 2015, 12:40 AEDT

The World Health Organisation’s Ebola expert, Dr Boris Pavlin said health quarantine officers from Papua New Guinea’s Department of Health are meeting every international flight to check declaration forms to identify passengers who have travelled from West Africa.

He told Pacific Beat nurses were also posted at the airport to assess people for any possible cases of Ebola.

“Their role is to actually do medical assessments should such a person arise,” he said.

“Indeed if the person has been to West Africa and only then they would be additionally screened with a temperature check and a proper medical evaluation.”

Dr Pavlin said the airport had the capacity to temporarily accommodate passengers if they were identified as needing to be isolated by health officials for further tests.

The Ebola virus has killed nearly 8,000 people mostly in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and is extremely infectious.

Health officials said the chance of it arriving in Papua New Guinea was very remote.Radio Australia


15) PNG not ready for new curriculum, say teachers

5 January 2015

The Papua New Guinea Teachers Association says most schools in the country are not ready for a new standards-based curriculum, less than one month out from its implementation.

The new system was announced three years ago by the National Government in an attempt to improve education standards in PNG.

It introduces things like exams and school governance to the education system, and also creates what’s been called a 2-6-6 structure of two years elementary education, followed by six years of primary and six years of secondary education.

But the PNGTA’s general secretary, Ugwalubu Mowana, told the Post Courier there has been no awareness campaign for the new directives.

He says the system lacks proper planning and many teachers lack the necessary training to implement the new standards.

He says many schools lack adequate infrastructure to cater for the 2-6-6 system.RNZI

16) VC vows to recruit qualified staff

Atasa Moceituba
Monday, January 05, 2015

WHEN people are in power, they have plans and goals, says FNU’s newly-appointed acting vice-chancellor Professor Ian Rouse.

In an interview, Prof Rouse said while at the helm of the university, his aim was to better education standards.

He said his plans included getting the right and qualified staff members to help students with their studies.

“FNU is a big school with a large number of students and significant programs but in order to do these things we need to make sure we have the best facility and resources,” he said.

Prof Rouse said he would ensure he got the right staff, facility and equipment to help provide better education.

“I guess the most important thing is that we need to review ourselves first before we take a step.”

Prof Rouse said he was also hoping to build more lecture theatres and extend all the colleges since the number of students who registered every year increased.

“For the new buildings and facilities, we will be working closely with all the staff in order to deliver the key areas of their expertise and enjoy what they love doing.”

Prof Rouse will officially take up his new position tomorrow.Fijitimes.


17) Village leader: Time to help West Papuans

The National, Monday January 5th, 2015

A COMMUNITY leader from Tsak, Wapenamanda, Enga, has supported Northern Governor Gary Juffa’s call for political support by Pacific countries to condemn the ongoing torture and killings in West Papua.
Bill Minata told The National it was a sad situation for Melanesians in West Papua whose rights have been suppressed by the Indonesian government.
Juffa had said the acts of violence, torture, rapes and murders have gone on for four decades without the world doing anything about it.
He said the systematic genocide of the Melanesian people of West Papua since 1967 was “shocking and scandalous” because the western media chose not to report it. Minata said it was time that Melanesian and Pacific Island countries were united on the plight of the West Papua people.
“We cannot just let our people on the other side go through such pain and torture while we enjoy the freedom … it needs time, effort, courage and political backing for change for these people and our political leaders must stand tall to lead other countries on this issue,” he said.
“It needs political backing and that’s where we can bulldoze support from around the world for the cause of our Melanesian brothers … we need to rise to start the issue for the world to intervene,” Minata said.

18) Solomon Islands PM pushed on anti-corruption commitment

5 January 2015

An anti-corruption watchdog in Solomon Islands is urging the country’s new Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, to demonstrate his commitment to tackling corruption by establishing an independent body.

Transparency Solomon Islands’ comments follows the controversial appointment of Bodo Dettke, who has strong links to the logging industry, as forestry minister.

The group is backing earlier calls by the Office of the Leadership Code Commission for Mr Dettke to stand down from his portfolio.

TSI’s executive officer, Daniel Fenua, says Bodo Dettke’s appointment is a conflict of interest and not a good start for the Government.

“We thought at the very start this is a time for a change, given that the Prime Minister, himself, was a very strong advocate against corruption and he had been very vocal.”

Daniel Fenua says the country needs an independent commission in order to effectively tackle corruption.RNZI

19) In fresh attempt, New Caledonia to elect president

5 January 2015

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New Caledonia’s government is due to make a fresh attempt to elect a president.

Last week, none of the candidates of the anti-independence camp secured a majority, raising fears of a prolonged deadlock.

Neither Cynthia Ligeard of the Front for Unity nor Philippe Germain of the Caledonia Together Party could get six backers among the 11 government members.

This followed the end of a formal power-sharing deal among the three anti-independence parties that prompted a government collapse three weeks ago and the election of a new government last week.

Without a president, the government is in caretaker mode only.

The five pro-independence members in the collegial government, who abstained in last week’s bid to choose a president, are expected to vote this time.

A leading pro-independence politician Roch Wamytan says his side will make a choice to avoid an administrative deadlock caused by a rift within the dominant anti-independence grouping.RNZI

 20) Sustainable economic development vital

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, January 05, 2015

SUSTAINABLE economic development in the region is vital to address social needs ranging from health and education, to environmental and cultural protection, says a report released by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative.

In its seventh progress report for July 2013 — June 2014, PSDI said this could not occur without resources generated by private sector growth.

“By contrast, public sectors cannot effectively create their own revenues-they require resources produced by business activity, entrepreneurship, investment, and growth,” said PSDI, which started operations in 2006 and co-financed by the Asian Development Bank, Australian and New Zealand governments.

“Healthy economies are dominated by strong private sectors that provide, through taxation, the surplus necessary for the public sector to finance services. Well-ordered, prosperous societies require public goods such as law and order, health, and education.”Fijitimes

21) In hot water

Nasik Swami
Monday, January 05, 2015

AN 11-page report detailing allegations against Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy has been put forward to Government members in Parliament.

The report, which was seen by The Fiji Times yesterday, detailed concerns within the Education Ministry and numerous allegations against Dr Reddy, which included among other things the possibility of bringing disrepute to the Government.

Dr Reddy, who had earlier said he was fed up of the issues raised by former Education Ministry acting permanent secretary Basundra Kumar, could not be reached for comments concerning the allegations yesterday.

Acting permanent secretary for Ministry of Education Kelera Taloga, who Dr Reddy referred to for comments on Saturday relating to Mrs Kumar’s suspension, could not be reached for comments as well yesterday.

When contacted yesterday, Mrs Kumar confirmed filing a report to the head of Government in Parliament, Colonel Pio Tikoduadua, and which was copied to other members as well.

The report related to the alleged matters of concern in the Education Ministry and regarding the minister following a request by Colonel Tikoduadua for Mrs Kumar to summarise the issues.

Mrs Kumar alleged breaches of civil service procedures, parochialism, cronyism and favouritism by Dr Reddy, changes to appointment criteria of officials at the ministry’s Curriculum Development Unit and changing of the minimum qualification requirements within the ministry.

In her report, she also alleged that the minister had started making structural changes within the ministry without the Government’s approval, termination of some school teachers without following proper disciplinary processes and disregard of Cabinet’s collective decision and unilateral decision-making.

Mrs Kumar also claimed the abolishment of some external examinations was a concerted policy of the Bainimarama Government in 2009 which the minister disregarded and decided to reintroduce this year.

She also alleged the minister was non-participative, had a self-accrediting micro-management style and undermined collegiality, quality and productivity.

Mrs Kumar alleged in her report that the minister had failed to deal properly with school managements as they had gone back sad and dissatisfied after seeking an audience with him.

She claimed in her report that the morale of senior officials in the ministry was low as some were frightened to say or do things under the minister’s leadership.


22) PX pilots renew contracts

The National, Friday January 2nd, 2015

AIR Niugini says most of its pilots, both national and expatriates, renewed their contracts with the airliner on Wednesday.
While there were unsubstantiated claims that the airline’s pilots were going on strike, the national flag carrier yesterday said: “It is now business as usual at Air Niugini.
“The pilots, both national and expatriates, have already signed the new contracts.
“Air Niugini acknowledged them and all other parties involved in the successful negotiations and execution of the new pilot contract.
“In fact, all 2012 contracts expired as of yesterday (December 31, 2014) hence a new contract was made available to all pilots to sign, which majority of them did. Air Niugini values the importance of all its employees,” the company said in a statement.
The airliner last October launched its subsidiary, Link PNG that provides services to smaller towns and airports throughout the country.
Despite a challenging year, chief executive Simon Foo said the national flag carrier continued to achieve on time performance and in coming months pick up in terms of financial performance.
“We are taking the first step towards privatisation, with the re-structure of Air Niugini and we’re looking forward to challenges that will be presented to us as an airline,” Foo commented.
“2014 had been a difficult year for business with the completion of the LNG project and the reduction in economic activity. The company is going through a restructure phase, both Air Niugini and its subsidiary airline, Link PNG and the airliner has to make commercial decisions like all private companies,” Air Niugini said in a statement.

23) Cebu Air in talks to service POM

The National, Monday January 5th, 2015

THE Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) is looking at mounting flights to Papua New Guinea to accommodate the growing number of passengers, The Philippines Star reported.
PAL has filed with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) an application for re-allocation of additional entitlements on the Manila-Port Moresby from the unutilised seat entitlements previously allocated to budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific).
In mid last year, Trade Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru highlighted the opportunity to expand the air service links between the Philippines and PNG.
He then urged the Philippine government to select one of its airlines to commence up to two weekly flights to Port Moresby from Manila.
“This will increase competition, reduce airfares and encourage more and more two-way business travellers and tourism flow between our two countries.
“At present, Air Niugini has five flights to the Philippines which are full both during peak and non-peak periods,” he said.
Cebu Pacific was granted the said additional seats under the confidential memorandum of understanding signed by the governments of the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
CAB set the hearing for PAL’s application for next Wednesday (Jan 14).
Meanwhile, Maru has encouraged Filipino firms to consider investment opportunities that would benefit both countries.
In particular, he said, he wanted more Filipino investors to pour in their money in other key sectors such as banking, education, coconut processing and small and medium enterprises development.
– The Philippines Star

24) Solomons to pursue China trade links

5 January 2015

The new Solomon Islands government says it will be looking to strengthen trade relations with China despite having no diplomatic ties with Beijing.

The Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Solomon Islands’ recognition of Taiwan should not get in the way of the country’s economic growth.

Mr Sogavare says there are many new players in the region and his government will be exploring partnerships that could be beneficial to the country’s economy.

“Our first priority or the priority of this government is to attract investment, trade and that we can go about doing it without affecting our diplomatic relations and I want to assure our diplomatic partners that, that’s the approach that we will be taking.”

Prime Minister Sogavare’s Democratic Coalition for Change Government is still working on its final policy document which he says will also focus on improving basic service delivery across the country and reviving the agriculture, fisheries and tourism sectors.RNZI


25) PNG prison breakout

The National
Monday, January 05, 2015

A PRISON warden was wounded as a group of armed men stormed into Baisu Prison near Mt Hagen on Wednesday morning and helped 33 prisoners escape.

Highlands police divisional commander Chief Superintendent Teddy Tei said the prison guard suffered pellet wounds during the shootout with armed men at 3am. He is admitted at the Hagen hospital.

Baisu jail commander Superintendent Timbi Kaulga could not be reached for comment. Mr Tei said the 10 men armed with guns stormed into the prison compound and were confronted by the prison guards.

The men and the 33 inmates later fled in the direction of the Dei electorate.

Mr Tei said a joint operation by police and prison officers was conducted to look for the group. He said police would get them “dead or alive”.

He urged the people in Dei to assist police with any information which could lead to the arrest of the armed men and the escapees.

“They all have to surrender because I will track them down and get them alive or dead. There is a special operation in place and no one is going to escape,” Mr Tei said.

Mr Tei said details of the prisoners would be obtained later from prison authorities.


26) Police pursue attackers following Papua killings

4 January 2015

Police are pursuing an armed group who shot and killed two police officers and a security guard stationed at a huge US-owned copper and gold mine in the Indonesian province of Papua.

The three men were found dead with bullet and machete wounds at the remote Freeport-McMoRan mine in Grasberg on Thursday night.

A Papua police spokesman, Patrick Renwarin, told AFP that police found deep gashes on the bodies as well as bullet wounds on one of them.

Mr Renwarin says he is still waiting for a full report on the incident.

The mine is the world’s second-biggest copper and gold mine.

It has been plagued with tragedy including the death of 28 workers after a tunnel collapse in May 2013.RNZI

27) Malay firm hopes for break through

The National, Monday January 5th, 2015

Malaysian state-owned firm Petronas is hoping for a breakout year for its Canadian Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project as it races against the clock to beat Canadian and global rivals in providing LNG to Asia, reports the Globe and Daily Mail.
The company has already funnelled billions of dollars into the project, which it leads along with four Asian partners.
“We’re trying to be a first mover and be out in front of these other LNG projects because we know there will be competitive forces,” said Pacific NorthWest LNG president Michael Culbert.
It is widely expected that LNG supply is expected to ramp up over the next five years as projects develop in Australia, the United States, and Papua New Guinea.
Pacific NorthWest LNG is one among a handful of LNG proposals dotting British Columbia’s coast.
Petronas however, has come up against hurdles such as rising costs, along with environmental and aboriginal opposition, which prompted the company and its partners indefinitely delay final investment decisions early last month.
Petronas has in the past threatened to pull its US$10 billion (K25.9b) investment in the project after having come up against increasing environmental and regulatory approvals.

28) Gulf eyes oil palm JV

The National, Monday January 5th, 2015

GULF Governor Havila Kavo says the provincial government is in discussions with a Malaysia firm to develop 40,000 hectares of oil palm plantation in the Ihu district.
In a statement released last Friday, Kavo said they had met with Sime Darby, new owners of the New Britain Palm Oil Ltd, who would partner the locals in developing the Vailala oil palm project area.
“Sime Darby technical personnel have visited the project sites on several occasions and talked with our landowners who have expressed desire to give their customary lands to us (provincial government) for this project.
“The development of this project will bring immense economic and social benefits to the landowners,” he said.
Kavo said the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock was fully supportive of the project and would bring it before the cabinet.
Separately, he reiterated the provincial government’s stand on the country’s second LNG project, saying ‘in no uncertain terms that our gas resources be piped out of Gulf and processed in a LNG plant located outside of the process’.
“Our team is working towards ensuring that we achieve the maximum benefit from our negotiations with the state at the upcoming development forum for our LNG project (Gulf LNG).
“The project will be a catalyst for the development of Gulf province,” Kavo said.
“We are the only province that Air Niugini doesn’t fly to, even third level airlines do not operate commercial flights into the province,” he said.
Kavo further announced the provincial government’s commitment to develop a petro-chemical hub in Gulf to process some of its gas resources into LPG gas, fertiliser, plastics, etc.
“We have technical advisors committed to developing this project and we are fully committed to ensuring that the petro-chemical hub is developed alongside the Gulf LNG project,” he added.

29) Solomons Govt. holds back from Gold Ridge decision

5 January 2015

The future of the closed Gold Ridge Mine in Solomon Islands remains uncertain with the newly-elected government cautious about pursuing the previous administration’s push to purchase the mine from its Australian owners.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says his government will not be rushing into a purchase.

He says he has already turned back a cabinet paper that sought a decision on the mine’s future.

“Well short term it is an immediate concern because it contributes to a great chunk of our GDP. But as I said the strength of the country lies in other areas. Agriculture, fisheries, tourism those are areas that we can quickly focus our attention in.”

Manasseh Sogavare says a more urgent matter, with the approaching wet season, is the threat of the mine’s tailings dam overflowing, which could flood downstream villages and cause serious environmental damage.

He says the cabinet paper is being redrafted to focus specifically on the tailings dam, leaving the mine’s future on hold until a panel of experts conclude an investigation into the mine’s viability.RNZI


30) Women’s leader calls for justice

The National, Monday January 5th, 2015

LAE women’s leader and business personality Sarah Haoda Todd has condemned the shooting of Moanna Barnanga Pisimi along the Malahang Back Road in Lae last Thursday morning.
Todd, who is spearheading a campaign for justice in the case with an online group called #Justice forMoanna, said: “I fully condemn the senseless shooting of an innocent young woman Moanna Pisimi. She was a wife, mother, daughter and sister.
“At the age of 24, she had the rest of her life ahead of her and had young sons and a husband who adored her.
“Her demise is a huge loss to her young sons who will not have the pleasure of knowing her as they grow up.
“It is a huge loss to family, clan, community, tribe and nation.”
Todd said unconfirmed reports indicated that police had chased the vehicle she was driving before she was shot.
She was with husband Thomas at the Dragon Nightclub earlier.
Police in Lae are expected to hold a media conference today.


31) South Seas team named

Zanzeer Singh
Monday, January 05, 2015

THE South Seas Club has named a strong squad for the Foodhall Supermarket/Coastal Rentals sponsored North West Billiards and Snooker Association league competition which starts this Saturday.

Veteran Husmukh Chauhan will spearhead the team’s campaign. The side will also include former Fiji six reds champion Isireli Kaci, Chong Lee, Dharam Jeet Singh, Vijay Madhavan, Raj Mani Pillay, Nitendra Michael, Suresh Mani and Albert Maharaj.

South Seas Club secretary Rahul Mohammed said the players had been practising during the festive period.

Mohammed said the morale of the players was high.

“We have players who understand each other,” he said.

“We face Sigatoka first and they have some seasoned campaigners. It will be a matter of having patience with every shot.”

The fixtures for the opening round matches have been released.

Ba Central Club will play Nadi Sports Club, Simla Snooker will take on Nadi Club and Lautoka Club will face Tavua Club.

Each club will need to register a minimum of five players before the match.

The opening round will be held at the Lautoka Club where the rules, regulations and the format will be explained to the players.

During each round there will be three full snooker games, one doubles snooker game, one six reds game and a billiards match.Fijitimes

 32) Committee confident of success

The National, Monday January 5th, 2015

THE Games Organising Committee (GOC), which is responsible for the delivery of the 2015 Pacific Games to be held in Port Moresby is confident  despite the limited time left for preparations, that the event will be delivered as planned.
Speaking to the sponsors of the 2015 Games early this month, GOC chief executive officer Peter Stewart highlighted the magnitude of the Games and how critical it would be for the successful delivery and the supply of essential goods and services.
“We are confident that the Games will be delivered as planned,” Stewart said.
Some of GOC’s key achievements this year have been the appointment of Makoda, who will be producing the opening and closing ceremonies; and Eurest (PNG) Catering and Services Ltd to look after the 3000-plus athletes, who will be fed on a daily basis with more than 20,000 meals at the Games Village.
GOC has awarded 50 contracts to various goods and services providers last year.
“These contracts are worth K100 million.
“It is a critical part of the preparations, so partnering with competent and experienced goods and services providers, will enable GOC to deliver the Games successfully,’’ Stewart said.

33) 128 confirmed for 2015 Ipatas Cup

The National, Monday January 5th, 2015

A TOTAL of 128 teams will battle for the Ipatas Cup’s K100,000 prize money, with the money to be shared among the top four finishers.
The Coca-Cola sponsored rugby league competition kicks off this month.
The winner receives K50,000, runners-up K25,000, and the third-place finisher gets K15,000, while the fourth-placed team takes home K10,000..
The Bulolo district administration, Morobe, has backed the country’s premier offseason challenge with K30,000 for its Northern leg, which is to be play in Wau this weekend.
Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) came onboard with K10,000 to help host the event.
The inclusion of Buka and Wewak brings the number of national venues for the Ipatas Cup to 16 — the biggest in the competition’s 20-year history.
Morobe teams confirmed for the Northern leg are Kamkumung Crushers, East Taraka Red Backs, Lae Chiefs, Jaka Knights, Blue Heelers (Lae city), 01 Titans (Obura-Wonenara), ArmSec Bulolo Miners and Wau Brothers (Bulolo).
Deputy Opposition leader and Bulolo MP Sam Basil presented a K30,000 cheque to competition chief executive officer Timothy Lepa and games coordinator Tony McHaretz at Sagayo village, Buang, last week.
Basil said that the CCIC initiative by Enga Governor Peter Ipatas was significant and had a positive impact on many youths.
“Bulolo’s backing is an investment to support young aspiring sportsmen take part meaningfully in sports while minimising law and order issues affecting human lives in our community,” Basil said.
“This competition does not just benefit the players and officials, it provides an opportunity for local businesses like trade stores, guest houses, hire trucks and PMVs, including informal markets in Wau.”
The assistance fulfils Basil’s commitment made at the Ipatas Cup semi-finals in Lae last year.
Lepa said the funds would cater for the Morobe teams that would play in Wau only  — while in Lae and Kainantu, the teams would cater for their own accommodation and logistics.
“This applies to all 128 teams to cater for their own logistics. CCIC only caters for prizes and awards in the finals,” Lepa said.


  1. Sue Lyman says:

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