Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1061 ( Monday 12 January 2015 )

MELANESIA

1) 116 in torture claim

Rnz
Monday, January 12, 2015

THE spokesperson for the global Free West Papua Campaign claims about 1000 police and military deployed to the Timika region in West Papua have tortured people in the area.

In a statement, Benny Wenda said as many as 116 people living in the region surrounding the Freeport McMoran mine had been tortured and detained since the deployment.

The deployment was in response to the killing of two police officers in Utikini Village last week, in which 13 people were arrested.

Attached to the statement were pictures of dozens of people sitting in front of a house with their hands tied behind their backs, surrounded by armed plain clothed police officers, although the picture has not been verified.

Mr Wenda said houses had been burnt down after independence banners were found inside.

He said he believed the deployment was a deliberate attempt to divert public attention away from the killing of five schoolboys in Paniai last month.

2a) 11 PNG people found after missing at sea

12 January 2015

A rescue mission has found 11 people who were reported missing at sea for almost two weeks in Papua New Guinea.

The group of people, including three children, were found drifting near West New Britain by Maritime Search and Rescue after they failed to arrive on Pana Island, in Madang province.

The Acting Director of the Disaster and Emergency services in Madang, Rudolph Mongalee, says nine people were found on board while two of the group swam a long distance in the open sea to get help.

“They were drifting towards that small island known as Vitu and those two, they swam all the way to that island and that’s where they set their alarm that the boat was drifting towards West New Britain.”

Rudolph Mongalee says all survivors are in good condition.RNZI

2b) Vanuatu daily news digest | 12 January 2015

by bobmakin

  • Not a lot today, but it’s all of importance, starting with the ground-breaking for a new Chinese Embassy building at Nambatri, near the Mok area and table tennis HQ, the spot also known as Alamajo. A major building project will follow we were told by Radio Vanuatu News this morning.
  1. The Morobe land (near and around the airport) case has not gone away, Daily Post informs. Alick Kalmelu the former coordinator of the Customary Land Tribunal office says this rural (note, not municipal) land was not subject to the 1992 urban land compensation. Kalmelu is seeking a re-hearing. He also points out perpetual ownership being inconsistent with the Efate kastom land laws. There’s a real need for this to be decided soon in view of the intention to re-draw municipal boundaries.
  • The Mele village paramount chieftaincy issue will re-emerge on 16 March. Following an appeal heard mid-December the case is returned to the Magistrates Court. The 13 small chiefs are urged to take control of the affairs of the village. The issue seems to mainly revolve around the concept of whether Simeon Poilapa should inherit the chiefly title of Peter Poilapa II. The main contender for the paramount title, Chief Namata, suggests Simeon Poilapa is a lesser chief of his family.

2c) Vanuatu daily news digest | 10 January 2015

by bobmakin

  • Further to the news of VBTC re-structuring, Daily Post today carries a little more concerning the technical improvements the national broadcaster is hoping to achieve…
  • A Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV) project will carry essential radio and TV services “crucial to the development and livelihood of the people of the country.” It is certainly to be hoped that taking the TV digitally to the islands of Vanuatu will result in massively increased programming content and quality. Domestic Caledonian programmes are not crucial to development or livelihood in Vanuatu and seeing someone read the news as distinct from simply hearing them do so is not really any advantage. We wish VBTC, OGCIO and their task force (more interesting than a new 747 airport task force) well, and hope for more news soon. And, by the way, expressions of interest are presently being called.
  • A little more particularly unpleasant crime and violence is reported today. On VBTC a young mother allegedly taking the life of her 6-month old baby. In Daily Post a church – the Pillar of Life Ministry (?) – and homes being razed in a domestic conflict at South Santo.
  • Good news for some, though we are not sure who yet, and bad news for others, and a “disaster for the Opposition” Moana says, is the Industrial Improvement Act. It has already been passed by the present Parliament and must have been prepared under the previous administration and brought to Parliament by the present one. Further explanation is necessary and this blog hopes to obtain it.
  • The good news this weekend is the Philip Kating group meeting with other senior representatives of the Vanuatu Fishermen’s Association (VFA) in a fishermen’s custom reconciliation. They are “getting their house in order” to try and at least take advantage of the Government’s goodwill payment.

2d) Vanuatu daily news digest | 9 January 2015

by bobmakin

  • 19 Members of Parliament are under bail conditions after having appeared before the Magistrates Court yesterday. They are to re-appear in court on 16 March in the matter ofthe alleged VT 35 million bribery. They are forbidden from interfering with the judicial process and prosecution witnesses and from traveling overseas and must leave their air tickets with the Prosecution Office. And they must not become involved in any offence whilst on bail. Prosecutor Tristan Garae of the Public Prosecutor’s Office was quoted by VBTC News this morning. Two of those accused have still not appeared before the court because of travel difficulties the national broadcaster VBTC reported.
  • Daily Post has John William Timakata appointed as Acting Public Prosecutor in this matter, the alleged payments of VT 35 million as bribes to the MPs. Justice Minister Alfred Carlot says the new Public Prosecutor to come from the UK is hoped to be at post this year and Timakata, with much experience in the post as the first ni-Vanuatu PP, is appointed as Acting PP. Justice DG Mark Bebe warned the new acting PP that “obstacles, such as politics, may try to intervene in execution of justice to prevail, but we believe and have trust in you to execute your role as PP on a neutral basis.”
  • Items remaining from Post yesterday and today …
  • Former Police Commissioner Caulton was dismissed for illegally arresting 10 officers, the Police Service Commission states. Caulton says he has not been given the chance to answer the claims which were made against him. He is seeking redress in court.
  • Former Custom Governance Coordinator Dickinson Tevi has won his case for wrongful dismissal under the Employment Act. The Malvatumuri is ordered to pay him VT 2.7 million.
  • Moana Carcasses has “refused a report that he no longer leads the Greens, says Post.
  • Cultural Centre Director Ambong Thompson is insistent Radio Vanuatu hands important historical audio tapes over to the Cultural Centre for the National Archives for preservation and digitisation.
  • Lenakel hospital will be without a doctor at the end of this month.


3) Fiji and Solomon Islands flight ban lifted

12 January 2015

Fiji and the Solomon Islands have agreed to lift the suspension of their Air Services Agreement, allowing Fiji Airways and Solomon Airlines to fly between the two countries.

A row between the nations over air service has prevented the national airlines from flying between Solomon Islands and Fiji since July.

FBC News reports Fiji’s Civil Aviation Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum as saying both airlines are now entitled to operate three flights per week.

The Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, Milner Tozaka, met Fiji’s Civil Aviation Minister this morning and says he is grateful that fruitful discussions have taken place.

Fiji Airways Chief executive Stefan Pichler has indicated they will begin the flights in March.

Solomon Airlines has yet to confirm when they will begin their flights.RNZI

4) PNG Government Under Fire For Electricity State Of Emergency
Engagement of police, soldiers to collect bills called ‘illegal’

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 12, 2015) – The engagement of PNG Defence Force soldiers and the police in the state of emergency (SOE) declared by the Government to recoup outstanding electricity bills continues to come under fire.

Last week former attorney general and Sinasina-Yongamugl MP Kerenga Kua described their engagement as unconstitutional and the Government’s actions illegal as the declaration of an SOE only applied to a national crisis or emergency.

Over the weekend Opposition Leader Don Polye expressed similar sentiments and decried the use of the two disciplinary forces as “debt collectors” for the cash-strapped State-owned PNG Power Limited.

Papua New Guineans also took to social media to slam the Government over the decision by the National Executive Council to use the PNGDF and the Royal PNG Constabulary to fix a commercial problem.

But SOE controller Captain Tom Ur (retired) in a statement released yesterday assured the public that the security forces will not be debt collectors and will only be used in the event of opposition or threats against those tasked to force compliance.

“The SOE into electricity services is much more than outstanding bills,” Mr Ur said.

“There is massive illegal connections around the country involving business houses and people, especially in the provinces and the settlements in the major cities including the urban suburbs.

“My mission under the state of emergency on electricity is to improve electricity services to all who needs it with complete compliance with Papua New Guinea laws.

“My objectives are to identify the leakages within PNG Power, deal with public or private sector doing illegal connection of power, deal with private power producers not complying with the law and get government departments to pay their power bills on time.”

The rights of citizens as well as business houses will not be affected during the SOE period, added the SOE controller, who was previously the PNGDF chief of staff.

It is understood the former soldier and State Enterprise Minister Ben Micah will be on FM100 this morning to give more details on the SOE.

5) Former Fiji PM Has Diplomatic Passport Confiscated
Chaudhry told passport invalid, claims to be target of ‘ploy’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 9, 2015) – A former Fiji Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, says he has been the target of a deliberate ploy after his diplomatic passport was confiscated at Nadi Airport.

Mr Chaudhry says he and his wife were passing through immigration bound for Sydney, when he was told his diplomatic passport — issued to all former Prime Ministers — was no longer valid on instruction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He says travel restrictions placed on him during his trial for breaches of the Exchange Control Act were lifted last July.

He says three weeks ago he wrote to the permanent secretary of immigration to clarify and was told he was free to travel.

But Mr Chaudhry says at the airport he was stopped.

“I spoke to the Director of Immigration from the airport and he said that he would get back to me in a few minutes, but he didn’t, so there you are. I think this was done deliberately because they can’t say they didn’t have notice of my travel and they could have therefore notified me, three weeks is a long time.”

Mahendra Chaudhry says he has since written to the permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs, but is yet to hear back.

Radio New Zealand International 

POLYNESIA


6) Tonga Volcano Disrupts Domestic Air Services

Volcanic ash from Hunga Ha‘apai drifts into flight paths

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan. 9, 2015) – Tonga’s domestic airline Real Tonga cancelled its flights yesterday afternoon Thursday, 8 January due to ash coming from the continuing volcanic activity at Hunga Ha‘apai to the north west of Tongatapu.

In a statement, the airline said it was operating all scheduled flights until after 2:00 pm yesterday, when wind changes pushed volcanic-ash into the flight paths between Tongatapu and Ha’apai.

The volcanic activity has been occurring since mid-December.

“But conditions did not affect flights until yesterday,” Real Tonga stated.

“Reports from the Meteorological Services and flight crews indicated the changes in wind direction was pushing volcanic-ash into pre-determined flights paths.”

The airline planned to operate normal schedules, including additional flights to cater for the affected passengers as soon as possible.

“This will depend on the weather conditions that influence or possibly worsen the effect of the volcanic activity,” Real Tonga stated.

Matangi Tonga Magazine

7) Tonga PM To Trim Expenditures Starting At The Top
Pohiva: ‘Government in a critical financial condition’

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan. 9, 2015) – Trimming expenditures of Cabinet and high ranking officials will be part of refashioning the Tongan civil service to become effective, Tonga’s new Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva, said in his inaugural address to civil servants this afternoon at the Queen Salote Memorial Hall.

“My government will take the lead in trimming excesses and living within our means,” he said.

The Prime Minister, accompanied by the new Cabinet Ministers with Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala as guest of honour, noted that his government faced the biggest challenge of economic management than any other administration before.

He said the economy “is at its lowest performance state” and his government had placed, as a matter of urgency, to conduct a full review of the current situation, assessing the options for the nation and establishing a consistent policy that was sustainable.

“The emphasis today is that there is a pressing need to re-fashion the civil service to become effective instruments for delivering services on an ongoing basis,” he said.

“My Cabinet will take action first on matters relating to minimizing the costs of transportation, official travel and any other expenditures that can be reduced or are avoidable.”

He noted that the government was in a critical financial condition exacerbated by an extremely worrisome debt burden.

The government had been unable to carry its own recurrent budget costs, the bulk of which were for salaries, as the government remained the biggest employer in Tonga.

In the current budget for 2014/15 the Government of Tonga was grateful to receive budgetary support from aid donors.

But to live within its means would require the government to make the difficult choices that would allow the civil service “to become the driver of the solution to restoring our national pride in our own ability to operate recurrent budgets which are financed solely through domestic funds.”

Upcoming budget

They would propose an upcoming recurrent budget for 2015/16 to the Legislative Assembly that reflected the reality of the country’s fiscal situation.

“The governance budget which involves the functions of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will be the first to be scrutinized,” he said.

This would be followed by a review of performance of the civil service and the cost of the services provided by each ministry.

Cultural change

‘Akilisi said that we would be able to measure success when we saw a cultural change in the civil service, saying it currently had a reputation that “is appalling, representing waywardness, lack of moral courage to withstand the pressures and temptations of the calling to public service.”

However, he was also encouraged to find this week that “the systems and structures which are currently in place, do in fact promote an efficient bureaucracy.”

Matangi Tonga Magazine

8) American Samoa Govt to pay thousands in overtime wages

12 January 2015 

American Samoa’s Education Department has agreed to pay more than 17,000 US dollars in overtime wages to 20 employees.

It will also give almost 6,675 hours of paid leave to 44 workers who can use them as compensation for unpaid overtime hours of work in the future.

The US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the Department paid bus drivers and technology department employees only for their scheduled weekly hours regardless of hours actually worked.

By doing so, overtime hours worked were under-reported.

The division’s director in Hawaii says shifts such as transporting school children to extra-curricular events, had also been paid separately without contemplation of an overtime premium, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Terence Trotter says the Department appreciates the American Samoa Government’s full cooperation in resolving the matter.RNZI

9) Cook Islands To Improve Demographic Record Keeping
Gathering accurate statistics vital for good decisions: Minister

By Phillipa Webb

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Jan. 9, 2015) – A big improvement in the gathering of population statistics is expected in the Cook Islands over the next decade.

Health Minister Nandi Glassie says the gathering of facts and figures on births, deaths, marriages and health problems is vital in assisting the Government to decide what development programmes to implement.

Focusing on the gathering of civil registrations and vital statistics, the 10-year campaign follows an Asia-Pacific ministerial meeting held in Thailand late last year.

Glassie told ABC Radio Australia that while gathering accurate statistics might sound boring, it was something Pacific nations needed to focus on if they wanted to make good decisions.

Children born in the Cook Islands are required to be registered, and as an enticement, parents receive a one-off payment of $1000, as well as ongoing child allowances.

Pensioners also qualify to have their funeral arrangements paid for by the Government, providing another financial incentive to register.

The Government also keeps a record of Cook Islanders who live and die overseas, noting the reasons for their deaths in an effort to identify any health issues or trends that might have an impact on health services in this country.

Government Statistician and Chief Electoral Officer Taggy Tangimetua says the Health Minister’s radio interview was a great opportunity to tell the story of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in the Cook Islands and to make Cook Islanders more aware of the importance of population statistics.

“It also highlighted the health improvements that the CRVS information has shown in the Cooks in maternal and child health, the challenges we face and the need for a regional approach and data sharing.”

Cook Islands News

MICRONESIA

10) New agency takes over Nauru refugee settlement


12 January 2015 

An Australian consortium of refugee settlement agencies has taken over from Save the Children in helping to settle refugees on Nauru.

Connect Settlement Services has won the contract to provide services in helping asylum seekers who’ve gained refugee status adjust to life in the Nauru community.

The agency is now looking for a director to run the operation on a 12 month package worth 160 thousand US dollars.

About 100 asylum seekers have won refugee status on Nauru which has housed about 1000 asylum seekers in camps set up under Australia’s offshore processing policy.

A spokesman for one of the agencies in the consortium, Ames, says it has done similar work in the past settling refugees in rural Australia.

The service will help refugees in areas like accommodation, finances, healthcare and mixing with the local community.

Last year, Canberra accused Save the Children workers of fabricating stories about abuse at the asylum seeker detention centre on Nauru and workers were ordered to leave the island.RNZI

11) CNMI governor sworn in today

12 Januaru 2015 

The governor and lieutenant governor of the Northern Marianas are due to be sworn in today.

The CNMI’s senators, representatives, and the mayors of Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and the Northern Islands will also be sworn into office.

The Governor Eloy Inos and his running mate in the November elections, Ralph Torres, will be inaugurated in front of hundreds at Saipan’s centre of government, Capitol Hill.

The CNMI’s 19th Legislature composed of 20 representatives and nine senators, will also be sworn in next door.

Eloy Inos is the territory’s seventh governor and his first term after taking over from Benigno Fitial who resigned.

Among the dignitaries expected to attend the governor’s swearing in ceremony are Palau’s President Tommy Remengesau and the Governor of Guam Edward Calvo.RNZI

12) Tinian Casino Developer Plans New Hotel Complex Investment
Mega Stars reportedly engages major partner for project

By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Jan. 11, 2015) – The new year promises to be a good one for Tinian as Mega Stars has announced a potential investment in a new hotel complex with the possible involvement of a NASDAQ-listed company in the operation.

Mega Stars Overseas Limited’s Hong Kong parent company announced a possible engagement in the operation of a hotel-casino complex and potential tie-up with one of the six concessionaires in Macau for management of the hotel.

Chinese Strategic Holdings Limited announced a possible engagement in the operation of a hotel-casino complex.

“The parties have been in active negotiations on the key structural framework of the possible engagement,” Mega Stars’s parent company stated adding that it will involve the subleasing of the complex.

Also mentioned were negotiations with a NASDAQ-listed public trading company for possible cooperation in the hotel management and investment.

Although it redacted the name of the company in its announcement, it did mention that it is one of the six concessionaries or sub-concessionaires in Macau.

Variety learned there are six casino concessionaires and sub-concessionaires in Macau: Sociedae de Jogos de Macau (SJM), Galaxy Entertainment Group and Wynn Resorts. These three have sub-concessions with Las Vegas Sands, Melco Crown Entertainment and MGM Resorts.

Read more : Marianas Variety 

13) Guam School System Meets Only 3 Of 14 Requirements
Failure to follow law could be impacting adequate education


By Malorie Paine

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 12, 2015) – The island’s public school students might not be receiving an adequate education, according to a December report from Guam’s education department.

A 2005 law established 14 requirements that the Guam Department of Education must meet to provide an adequate education, but according to the report, the system is failing to meet all but three requirements.

The requirements include having an adequate amount of teachers, providing textbooks for each student and ensuring facilities are suitable for students to learn.

Each public school compiles a full report detailing how the school is meeting, or not meeting, the 14 requirements. The reports are then compiled into a single document and sent to Guam DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez.

Guam DOE Deputy Superintendent Robb Malay said the report is only a snapshot of the overall picture.

The December report shows as of November, all schools are only able to meet three requirements: providing a certified allied health professional, having 180 instructional days and providing a safe learning environment.

Teachers, faculty

Guam DOE had a shortage of more than 40 teachers with 19 vacancies in elementary schools, 10 vacancies in middle schools and 16 vacancies in the island’s high schools, according to the report.

Having a shortage of teachers is a chronic problem for the school system, Malay said.

Each month this is an issue as teachers resign or retire.

The education system has dedicated resources to professional development and retention to address the issue, Malay said.

The law also requires certified professional administrators, but the report shows the department has six vacancies spread across all public schools.

The department had four vacancies for guidance and health counselors, which are classified as the third and fourth requirement of the 14, according to the report.

The fifth requirement is that school allied health professionals must be certified. The report shows only four of the island’s 41 schools have people employed as allied health workers.

Malay said the position itself isn’t required under the law, but if a school has a person in this position, he or she must be certified.

Structure, functionality

Four requirements address the structure and functionality of equipment and classrooms inside the schools. The law requires all classrooms be properly ventilated and the temperature inside each is not to exceed 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are eight schools, or 22 classrooms, that have failed to meet this requirement, the report shows.

Work orders for these problems had been filed, and the issues have been resolved, Malay said.

“We have replaced over 2,100 air conditioning units,” Malay said. “The 22 classrooms translate to about 1 percent” of the total units.

Guam DOE recognizes improvement, but also will continue improving, Malay said.

The school system barely missed meeting the seventh requirement: providing an adequate supply of potable water. One school is just one water fountain shy of what’s needed. And overall the public schools have 219 more water fountains than required.

Under the 14 requirements, schools are supposed to provide a reliable supply of electricity, but M.U. Lujan Elementary School and Merizo Elementary School both reported they were unable to do so.

These issues have already been acknowledged and fixed, Malay said.

The schools also have deficiencies in their restrooms. Two schools need additional toilets in the boys’ restrooms, one school needs additional toilets in the girls’ restrooms and seven schools need additional urinals, the report shows.

Textbooks, buses

Seventeen schools reported not having the textbooks needed to comply with the law.

Adopted and required textbooks and workbooks are to be issued to every student for every class in which he or she is enrolled, according to requirement 10.

In order to meet the final requirement, the education department has to work with the Department of Public Works to provide “regular, timely school bus transportation to and from school.”

According to the report, 15 schools reported having issues at least once during the month of November.

Based on the language of the law, Guam’s public school students are not receiving an adequate education.

However, Malay said the report shows that Guam DOE is not ignoring the requirements because the department is acting on what the schools are reporting.

“We want to continue using this as a monitoring system,” Malay said. “The report allows us to stay focused on the 14 points. We can see we’ve made progress. We are not resting on that. We will continue working to deliver an adequate education to our students.”

Pacific Daily News 

AUSTRALIA

14) Canberra consulting region on Pacific meeting

12 January 2015

Australia is yet to confirm a date for its proposed meeting next month with Pacific leaders on regional agencies.

The top-level meeting to review the regional architecture was agreed by Australia and Fiji in October following Suva’s refusal to rejoin the Pacific Islands Forum unless there are changes to the Forum’s make-up.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says Canberra will consult closely with the region on the concept but was not able to offer any more details.

Fiji’s Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said last week he was looking forward to the meeting in Sydney next month.

A New Zealand foreign affairs official says no invitation to the meeting has been received and Wellington is waiting to find out when it will be held.RNZI

NEW ZEALAND

15) NZ lawyer prevented from returning to Vanuatu

12 January 2015 

A New Zealand lawyer has been prevented from re-entering Vanuatu after allegations he was in the country working on a police mutiny case without the correct papers.

Vanuatu’s Minister of Internal Affairs Charlot Salwai says he signed an order declaring Christopher Griggs a prohibited immigrant.

The minister has denied he was deported.

Mr Salwai told the Vanuatu Independent that Mr Griggs was serving as acting public prosecutor during a holiday in Vanuatu last year and stayed in a hotel at the expense of the Vanuatu Police Force.

Mr Salwai says there was an attempt at the time to prosecute in the alleged mutiny case involving the former Commissioner of Police Joshua Bong.RNZI

TOK PISIN

16) PNG Gavman imas halvim long stopim Sorcery vailans

Updated 12 January 2015, 14:23 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Sampla Non gavman laen long Papua New Guinea i askim National gavman long givim planti moa sapot long stopim oa daonim vailans emi save kamap bihaenim pasin sanguma oa sorcery.

Oli kukim wanpla yangpla PNG meri em oli sutim tok long en olsem emi Sanguma meri 
Odio: Caroline Tiriman i ripot long askim blong ol NGO grup long PNG Gavman imas halvim long stopim sorcery vailans long kantri

Sampla Non gavman laen long Papua New Guinea i askim National gavman long givim planti moa sapot long stopim oa daonim vailans emi save kamap bihaenim pasin sanguma oa sorcery.

Wanpla grup em oli kolim  ‘Stop Sorcery Violence PNG’  i mekim despla askim long wonem planti mama, lapun meri na ol yangpla meri isave dai nating long wonem oli save sutim tok long ol olsem oli save mekim sorcery egensim ol narapla.

Eriko Fufurefa, coordiator  blong despla grup long Eastern Highlands itok despla kaen vailans iwok long kamapim bikpla heve tru long PNG.

Long PNG, long wanwan yia bai yumi harim stori long oli kilim ol pipal na planti long ol em ol lapun meri long wonem oli sutim tok long ol olsem oli posin meri.

Planti long ol despla kaen sorcery vailans isave kamap long Highlands rijan blong PNG, olsem na ol meri i  kirapim ol grup blong ol iet long daonim despla kaen pasin, tasol oli tok oli laikim gavman long wokbung wantem ol long despla stretim despla heve.

Eriko Fufurefa, coordiator  blong Stop Sorcery Violence PNG’   grup long Eastern Highlands itok Oxfam Australia i helpim wok blong ol nau tasol oli laikim gavman tu long givim halvim.

Nau PNG gavman igat loa long kilim ol pipal husat isave kilim nating ol narapla…tasol Pastor Jack Urame wanpla researcher wantem Melanesian Institute long Goroka, Eastern Highlands provins blong PNG itok emi no wanbel tumas wantem despla loa.

Narapla ples we oli save kilim nating ol pipal long despla pasin sanguma em long Autonomas rijan blong Bougainville,  Helen Hakena, siameri blong Human rights grup long Buka itok gavman na ol sios imas wokbung na sanap strong wantem long daonim despla wari.Radio Australia

17) Taim nogut long PNG Solomon Islands na Vanuatu

Updated 12 January 2015, 14:25 AEDT

Sam Seke

Wanpela tropical deppression taim nogut we i bin stap long Solomon Islands insait long wanpela wik igo pinis i nau wok long givim wari tu long Papua New Guinea na Vanuatu.

Ol bikpla ren, strongpla win na taem nogut long Pacific rijan (Credit: ABC) 
Odio: Sam Maiha Director blong PNG Met Service i toktok
Odio: David Hiriasia, Director blong Solomon Islands Meteorological Service i toktok
Odio: Tom Natick husat Lead Forecaster wantaim Vanuatu Met Service i toktok
Papua New Guinea Meteoroligical Service ibin givim aut wanpela Gale Warning oa toklukaut long strongpela win long Papuan Coast – we i stat long Daru igo inap long Milne Bay.
 
Director blong PNG Met Service Sam Maiha itok dispela taim nogut i kam long tupela tropical weather sistim we i stap.
 
Em i tok bikpela wari long PNG nau em long dispela tropical depression we ibin stap long Solomon Islands na i nau lusim ol.
 
Mr Maiha i tok dispela sistim i wok long bringim planti ren we i gutpela long Port Moresby we i nidim ren, tasol em i nap bagarapim tu sampela hap we bikpela developmen i stap longen.
 
Dispela tropical depression we ibin wok long bringim hevi ren na taim nogut long sampela hap blong Solomon Islands insait long wanpela wik igo pinis i nau lusim kantri.
 
Na Director blong Solomon Islands Meteorological Service, David Hiriasia itok ol i nau kanselim wanpela Tropical Disturbances Watch Advice we ol ibin givim aut.
 
Tasol em i itok woning long bikpela ren long sampela hap blong Solomon Islands i stap yet.
 
Long wankain taim, Vanuatu Meteorological Service i wok long waus gut long dispela tropical depression oa taim nogut i bin lusim Solomon Islands.
 
Tom Natick husat i Lead Forecaster wantaim Vanuatu Met Service i tok bai planti ren i pudaun long kantri tede na tumoro.Radio Australia
 
WORLD

18) Mass rally in France

Afp
Monday, January 12, 2015

PARIS – About 700,000 people have poured out onto the streets of France to pay tribute to the 17 people killed during three days of terror, the interior minister says.

“700,000 people have marched” in cities around France, Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters yesterday on the eve of a rally in Paris he said would likely attract “several hundred thousand” people, as well as a string of world leaders.

In the southern city of Toulouse, police said about 80,000 people took part in a march, with the “enormous” procession stretching up to two-kilometres, according to an AFP journalist.

“Live together, free, equal and in solidarity,” read the banner behind which at least 30,000 people also marched in the western city of Nantes.

In Pau in the southwest, a further 30,000 to 40,000 people staged a silent march with school pupils leading the way holding a banner emblazoned with the words: “We are all Charlie”.

“It’s a great popular movement … it’s beautiful and significant, infinitely precious,” the city’s mayor Francois Bayrou told AFP.

In eastern Besancon, another 20,000 took to the streets, an AFP correspondent said, while in northern Orleans around 22,000 rallied, according to a police source.

In Nice, about 23,000 demonstrators were counted, police sources said, in a demonstration which snaked for around a kilometre along the famous seafront Promenade des Anglais, ending at the war memorial where a wreath was laid in the presence of representatives of different faiths.

POLITIC


 19) Opposition leader calls on public prosecutor to resign

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 OPPOSITION leader Don Polye has called on Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin to resign for “failing to have Prime Minister Peter O’Neill referred to a leadership tribunal”.
Polye questioned the manner in which the matter had been handled since it was referred to Kaluwin by the Ombudsman Commission on Aug 12, 2014. 
“He sat on these straightforward allegations for two months, and in early October 2014, asked the Ombudsman Commission for further evidence.
“Then in December, he requested the Chief Justice to appoint a leadership tribunal,” he said. Polye is  concerned that the public prosecutor had in court dropped two of the three allegations the Ombudsman Commission had brought against O’Neill.
He said Kaluwin then added “two of his own allegations”.
O’Neill is challenging in court the powers of the public prosecutor to refer him to the tribunal.
The National Court last week referred the matter to the Supreme Court to determine the “constitutional issues” on the matter.
“Kaluwin’s conduct of the allegations against O’Neill has given rise to constitutional questions,” he said.
He questioned “whether it is usual in the administration of the leadership code that the Public Prosecutor abandons allegations” forwarded by the Ombudsman Commission.
“I call on the Public Prosecutor to resign in order to preserve public confidence in the office of the Public Prosecutor.”

20) Solomons no confidence motion false

12 January 2015

The Solomon Star newspaper has reported that government back-benchers were in talks with the opposition to move the motion after the passing of the new government’s budget.

But the opposition leader, Jeremiah Manele, says the information is incorrect and his group has no intention of moving a motion at this time.

“We will continue to observe the government. I think it is early days, common sense should dictate that we should give them time to settle down, finalise their policies and on the basis of that come up with the budget. And the budget is important not only for the opposition or for the government but for the country as a whole.”

Mr Manele called on local media to be more responsible in their reporting, saying they should have cross-checked the claims with his office before publishing on such a significant issue.RNZI

MEDIA

21) Fiji TV Chairman: Executives Release Proper, Followed Contract
Terminations ‘without cause’ approved by board, payouts made


SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 9, 2015) – Fijian Holding Limited (FHL) chairman Iowane Naiveli says former executives Tevita Gonelevu and Tanya Waqanika were not sacked but their contracts were terminated in accordance with the terms in it.

Responding to queries, Naiveli denied the termination of their contracts stemmed from their handling of the World Rugby 7s Series feed and a claim Fiji TV might obtain a longer term licence than the usual six-month licence if the two were not employed by the company.

“Their contracts were terminated in accordance with the terms ie. five months pay in lieu of notice and without cause” and as per a “board directors’ decision” contrary to comments by Gonelevu in a media appearance this week that the termination of his contract was not done via a board resolution.

“Both Fiji TV and the two employees each had this right,” Naiveli said.

“They were not sacked as such and their contract was terminated not for any one particular reason, but rather as the contract allowed which they voluntarily signed.

“The board met and resolved this prior to us conveying this decision to them.” “The decision was made in the interest of the company and its shareholders,” he said.

“As you know Fiji TV was only issued another six months licence which contradicts this suggestion. Be that as it may, Fiji TV made submissions to government for a longer term licence in the interest of its shareholders and the company.”

He also clarified that as per the terms of the contract Gonelevu and Waqanika are not entitled to a settlement.

“No settlement is required, the terms of the contract are clear regarding termination,” Naiveli said.

Gonelevu and Waqanika’s contracts were terminated on Tuesday, December 16.

Meanwhile, questions sent to the Minister for Communication and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on claims made by Gonelevu and Waqanika are still to be responded to.

Fijilive 

BUSINESS 

22) Bank warns of fraudulent mobile SMS

Source: 
The National, Thursday January 8th, 2015

 BANK South Pacific (BSP) is warning its customers and the public of hoax SMS being circulated to random mobile numbers claiming the receiver has won prize money through the bank’s promotion.
The bank in a statement yesterday said while these SMS may appear genuine, customers were advised that they are fraudulent and do not represent BSP nor any of its staff.
“BSP does not have any current promotions or competitions running. The bank does not send SMS of winning prize monies or Top Up.
“Customers are advised that if they suspect that they have received a hoax text message, the customer must not respond … ignore it,” the statement said.
To register the hoax, customers can email hoax@bsp.com.pg or call the customer centre on 320 1212/ 7030 1212.

23) Walker pleased with women group’s structure

Source: 
The National, Thursday January 8th, 2015

 BARRICK is committed to provide technical training and support for a women’s business group in Enga, executive general manager Greg Walker says.
Speaking at a recent ceremony at the Porgera station, he was impressed with the leadership of the Porgera Women in Business (PWIB) Group.
“How you have presented yourselves is an example of how a person can succeed in business. You need to be organised, structured and well led. With what I have seen, I believe that this association will be extremely successful,” Walker said.
The PWIB is a newly-registered group established within the Porgera-Paiela valley.
It consists of 1,157 registered financial members, a bulk of which is through its affiliated group – Immediate Affected SML Women Association (IASMLWA) which involved women from the special mining lease and the lease for mining purpose (LMP) villages.
PWIB president Elizabeth Iarume acknowledged Barrick for playing a role to provide relevant training opportunities for the women in the valley.
But, she added that bulk of the women were missing out on these opportunities. 
“We are very thankful to Barrick for committing to help us with our training needs and for recognising the objectives of the Porgera WIB. 
“We see the mine as our only service provider and anticipate that we will be given opportunities to take up projects to support the purpose and vision of our group,” she said. 
Iarume said the core objective of the group was to provide opportunities for the disadvantaged local women who had been left out or did not benefit fully from development initiatives within the SML and Porgera district over the years. 
“We want the mothers of Porgera to be self-reliant and self-sustainable and not wait on their husbands to provide.”

24) EU offers Solomons help in managing accounts

12 January 2015 

The European Union has offered to assist the new Solomon Islands Government in improving its capacity to manage its finances.

The EU Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Leonidas Tezapsidis conveyed the offer to the Prime Minister when paid a courtesy call to Mannaseh Sogavare.

Ambassador Tezapsidis says they would like to help improve the capacity to manage government finances, in addition to support in other areas such as Water, Sanitation & Hygiene and Rural Development.

The Ambassador says his office has the experience to help the Solomons and regional institutions like the Pacific Islands Forum and Melanesian Spearhead Group in terms of auditing and improvement of legislations for better management of finances.

He says the Solomons is an important partner and the 2014 upgrade of the diplomatic office to a fully-fledged mission, also covering Vanuatu, indicates the significance the EU attaches to reinforcing its relationship with Solomon Islands.RNZI

LAW&ORDER

25) Border woes a worry

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
A SENIOR Indonesian military commander has admitted that the southern portion of the PNG-Indonesian is now vulnerable to illegal border activities.
Merauke naval base commander Brig-Gen Buyung Lalana in Indonesia admitted that to the Indonesian media last Tuesday. 
Former Weam rural police station commander Sergeant Trophy Baworo expressed similar sentiments in The National last Wednesday.  
Weam station in PNG and Merauke town in Indonesian are about 30kms away from the border. 
Buyung told the Antara news agency that the areas were prone to smuggling due to limited equipment, such as motorboats
He said the smugglers were mostly Indonesians and smuggled goods from PNG, usually of marine resources, such as sea cucumbers and fish stomach as well as marijuana.
“Many Indonesians enter PNG to buy marine yields from PNG residents as they are lured by the price, which reaches millions, such as for sea cucumber,” Buyung.
He added that his command was only able to monitor the traffic of people from Indonesia and PNG if they reported at the Torassi border crossing manned by a platoon of marines.
Baworo had said the portion of the border was now unmanned and was wide open to the smuggling of guns and drugs. 
He was the only Government officer posted there but transferred last May to Kupiano rural police station in Central. 
Baworo said he had intelligence reports vital for tracking down guns and drug smugglers along the border. 
He said he was withholding the reports from the Government because he had not been paid risk allowance totaling K112,000, which had accumulated since 1985.

26) Cops seize firearm, explosives in B’ville

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 POLICE confiscated a gun and explosives during Christmas and New Year in Buin.
Acting South Bougainville regional commander John Popui said a team on patrol arrested two youths in Buin and confiscated the seven bombs believed to be remnants of the war.
The two have been charged.
In another raid, police were handed a gun.  The owner is currently in hiding.
The police would continue to monitor people and confiscate weapons and homebrew in town, he said. 
“Regular operations and community policing will continue with the communities to discourage the production and consumption of homebrew,” he said.
They have received more than 20 homebrew distillation cylinders from the people.
He commended the youths, communities and the police for keeping the peace during Christmas and New Year.
“It is our role to provide the security need in our communities and we would continue our mandated duties to discourage illegal practices.”

27) PNG MP says state of emergency illegal

12 January 2015

The former Papua New Guinea Attorney General and current MP Kerenga Kua says the government’s latest declaration of a state of emergency is unconstitutional and illegal.

The government made the 60-day declaration in an attempt to collect some of the nearly 50 million US dollar debt owed to PNG Power Limited.

The government says 30 percent of the power was used illegally by a large section of the community, including many departments and ministries.

Mr Kua says the percentage of illegal usage is inflated and a state of emergency is designed for national crises.

“It does not include a debt situation that is created by private contractual relationships so you stretch this logic to its extreme logical end. Is the state now setting a precedent and saying every time somebody defaults on a contract with the State, they’re going to be hammered with a state of emergency? That’s the kind of ridiculous logic and precedent they’ve created.”

Mr Kua says he believes the government is trying to make the situation look desperate in a bid to get support for the privatisation of PNG Power.RNZI

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28) Vanuatu Men In Custody For Church Burning, Assault Of Members
Dispute between chief, wife lead to incident

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 12, 2015) – Eight men are in the custody of a correctional centre in Vanuatu’s northern town of Luganville, following the burning of a church and the assault of church members in Santo.

A police spokesperson, northern commander Willie Pakoa Samuel, says the incident happened after a domestic dispute between a chief and his wife about New Year’s celebrations.

It’s alleged the chief provided alcohol to the suspects then ordered them to burn down the church and other buildings and assault church members.

A church leader was seriously injured during the attack and admitted to Northern District Hospital in Luganville.

Police are continuing their investigations.

The church building belongs to the Pillar Of Life Ministry.

Radio New Zealand International 

29) War on drugs

By SERAFINA SILAITOGA
Monday, January 12, 2015

ANY villager in the province of Cakaudrove found guilty in a court of law for cultivating or peddling marijuana will be exiled from their villages for five years.

And those who are not registered in the Vola ni Kawa Bula to the villages in Tunuloa, Natewa, Nakobo and Cakaudrove districts will be removed permanently.

The tough stand taken by chiefs in Cakaudrove follows the uprooting of 3500 marijuana plants from farms in the district last week during a police operation.

Chairman of the Crime Prevention Committee — Tunuloa, Cakaudrove, Nakobo and Natewa — the Tui Koroca, Ratu Manoa Rakai, confirmed this saying they needed to take the drastic action because of the high marijuana cultivation in the area.

He said they had met and discussed this village bylaw and the Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, agreed that traditional leaders in the four districts — Tunuloa, Natewa, Cakaudrove and Nakobo — enforce the law.

Last week, Ratu Naiqama confirmed his decision in dealing with those caught cultivating marijuana was made known to his chiefs in the districts.

The decision, Ratu Manoa said, was only right to uphold the safety and the wellbeing of the future generation.

He added past village bylaws were not strong enough to prevent cultivation of marijuana.

“Eitou sa dabe vata me eitou veivosa’i ta’a na lawa qo. Eimami sa dua vata ‘ina me sa na va’ayagata’I ga a lawa qo baleta sa rui sivia a leqa ni teitei marijuana (We have discussed this village bylaw and we have all agreed that it will be used because there is just too much illegal marijuana cultivation,” Ratu Manoa said.

“Sa neimami lewa a turaga ni vanua I Ca’audrove, Tunuloa, Natewa ‘ei Na’obo me sa na vagalala ta’i mai na ‘oro o ira na dau teya a karasi. (It is the decision of traditional heads of Cakaudrove, Tunuloa, Natewa and Nakobo to remove from the villages those involved in cultivation of marijuana).

“Na gauna ga sara vesu mera curu i valeniveivesu baleta ni ra cala na tei marijuana, sa tau ina na neimami lewa ena gauna ra na su’a tale mai ina mera qai ‘ua ni lesu mai na’oro me yacova na yaba’i lima (The moment they are imprisoned for drug cultivation our decision applies and they can’t come back to the village until after five years).”

Ratu Manoa said the chiefs had been lenient and villagers had taken advantage of their leniency.

Roko tui Cakaudrove Bulutani Mataitawakilai said the village bylaw of exiling villagers from their homes should be the last option.

“Right now we are waiting for the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs to release the standard village bylaw that will be used as a guide to the villages while drawing up their own,” he said.

“But it doesn’t mean that existing village laws are not adhered to.

“We must obey and respect the laws put down by village chiefs and elders because when a village is established, it comes with its rules.

“And the chiefs would have taken that stand because people were no longer respecting the village laws and continued to rebel.”Fijitimes

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

30) Strong wind warning

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 By MARGARET TALINGAPUA
PEOPLE living in the Southern and New Guinea Islands regions have been warned to take precautions during strong winds.
National Weather Service manager forecasting and operations director Jimmy Gomoga said strong winds had been upgraded to gales of up to 30 to 45 knots and people should be cautious when venturing out of their homes.
“There have been strong wind warnings for the Southern and New Guinea Islands with strong winds coming through,” he said.
Gomoga said strong winds had been expected last weekend. He urged fishermen and people planning to travel out to sea to heed the warnings and stay at home.
“People should by now know that we have wet seasons from November to May which causes strong wind surges,” he said. Gomoga said they were closely monitoring a weather pattern which could develop into a tropical cyclone.
“The strong winds will continue so people, especially in the Southern region and NGI should be prepared for any further changes in the pattern,” he said.
He warned those in the Highlands region, especially in provinces which have mining operations, to be cautious as the rain could cause landslides. 
The Australian authorities warned that one of the two lows – one south of PNG and other over the Solomon Islands – could form into a cyclone this week. 
A forecaster said there was a possibility that one of the lows could make landfall this week, but it was unclear if it would have the intensity of a tropical cyclone.

31) Weather centre issues heavy rain alert

By REPEKA NASIKO 
Monday, January 12, 2015

Update: 7:31PM A HEAVY rain alert remains in force for Vanua Levu, interior and Eastern half of Viti Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands in the Lau and Lomaiviti groups.

According to the Fiji Meteorological Services, an active trough of low pressure lies slow moving over Fiji with associated cloud and rain affecting the country.

The weather office has forecast the current weather system to remain over the group until midnight tomorrow with occasional rain and a few thunderstorms over most places.Fijitimes

 MINING,AGRICULTURE,FISHERIES+

32) Nautilus starts tests this year

Source: 
The National, Thursday January 8th, 2015

 NAUTILUS will this year start wet-testing much of its sea-floor mining equipment, chief executive officer Mike Johnston told Mine Web.
He said that meant finding a suitable location to plunk its mining systems down, somewhere underwater but likely near shore, to test them out for bugs.
Solwara I – Nautilus’ most advanced project – is a gem, if quite modest in size. It’s a high-grade copper-gold deposit that Johnston now aimed to have in production in 2018. 
 “We’ve had to make a bunch of assumptions based on engineering work, particularly with regard to the hyperbaric effect, which is the weight of all that water. And it absorbs energy when you’re trying to cut the rock.
“The assumptions were based on core that was recovered – the harder, more continuous sticks of core. 
“Time will tell how much potential lies in sea-floor mining and by very direct extension. A lot of the potential lies in deposits such as Solwara I – deposits from sea-floor vents that dot regions where earth’s tectonic plates meet. There are some 64,000km of linear plate boundaries on the planet,” Johnston noted.
“If Solwara I does work, we can expect that the next sea-floor mines will be near Nautilus’ first. Indeed, the Solwara I mining licence covers around 60-sq.-km of sea-floor. There’s other exploration concessions nearby where prospects – dozens of them – look good too. This year it will begin moving some of these.”
Exploration for sea-floor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits had been fairly limited. 
Nautilus would restart its exploration programme this year. 
“We know we’re going to find lots of systems,” Johnston said. 
“We’ve already found something like 30 systems. Not all of those systems will be mined. What I say to some of the scientists that we meet: We would think something on the order of one out of 10 or 20 would probably be what you mine.” 
If Solwara I works as Johnston expected then Nautilus would presumably be able to line up more deposits to be mined.

33) Star Mountain JV nears closure

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 A joint venture (JV) between Highlands Pacific and mining giant Anglo American over the Star Mountain copper project, in Western, will be finalised by Feb 5, Mining Weekly reported.
Last December, Anglo entered into the JV agreement with Highlands Pacific, agreeing to pay some US$10 million (K26.02m), in two tranches, on the execution of a definitive farm-in agreement.
Anglo American could earn a 15 per cent interest in the Star Mountain project by spending US$25m (K65.04m) on exploration over a four-year period, from the date of executing a farm-in agreement.
The mining major would be entitled to increase this shareholding to 51 per cent upon the declaration of a Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant resource estimate of about three-million tonnes of contained copper equivalent, within five years of executing the agreement.
Anglo American could move to an 80 per cent interest in the JV by completing and sole funding a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the Star Mountain project within 15 years of the execution of the farm-in agreement.
Furthermore, Anglo American would provide Highlands with up to US$150m (K390.26m) in project development funding as a deferred free-carry following the completion of the BFS, while Highlands would continue to manage the project.
The exploration tenement covers some 515 km2 and is located within the New Guinean Orogenic Belt, which hosts the Grasberg, Ok Tedi, and Hidden Valley mines, as well as the Frieda deposit.
 
34) US firm teams up with Pacific fish body

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 A United States based tuna vessel management company has partnered with Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), to supply tuna that meets Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards.
The understanding (MOU) to do that was signed between the South Pacific Tuna Corporation (SPTC) and PNAO/Pacifical, the marketing arm of PNA last Thursday.
MSC standards are considered the most stringent of the current managed sustainability programmes. 
This action underscores South Pacific Tuna Corporation’s commitment to maintaining the highest sustainability standards while harvesting tuna from PNA island waters. 
SPTC executive director and Global Fleets partner J. Douglas Hines said:  “The Global Fleets have long-embraced sustainable fishing practices in action, rather than just theory. 
“This MOU makes us the first among the US Distant Water Tuna Fleet to make a public commitment to sustainable fishing practices as certified by the Marine Stewardship Council – including effective management and minimal environmental impact. It is not only a commitment to the PNA Countries, but to their customers and consumers throughout the world. This is truly a first step in creating an Ocean to Table project.” 
“The US Fleet is considered a Global leader in promoting environmental standards with strict adherence to regulations,” Hines said. 
PNA fisheries commercial manager Maurice Brownjohn said: “As world leaders in tuna conservation and management, this is a great development. We look forward to working closely with The Global Fleets in promoting tuna that is sustainably harvested in our waters to ensure that we will have a continued supply for future generations.” 

35) K120m in log export is intact: Authority

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 PNG Forest Authority managing director Kanawi Pouru says the K120 million in the log export development levy is intact.
He denied a claim by landowners that it has been used. 
But Pouru told The National that there might have been some unauthorised drawdowns from the fund which the PNGFA was investigating with Bank South Pacific.
He was responding to claims by landowner spokesman Ali Yapi from Finschhafen, in Morobe, that the Government was using the funds.
The levy is derived from the K8 per cubic metre round log exports which started in January 2007 under the Forestry Act to fund services in logging districts.
“The Minister for Finance at that time established a trust instrument under the Public Finance Management Act,” Pouru said.
“That instrument governs the use of the fund. 
“There are three trustees – Secretary for Planning, Secretary for Finance and the managing director (PNGFA). 
“The guidelines for that were then established and issued as part of the Department of Finance.”
He said since 2013, drawdown powers had been shifted from Finance to PNGFA, because of questionable drawdowns.
  
36) PNG LNG Landowners Call On Government To ‘Fulfill Commitments’
Landowners prepare to ‘take law into their hands’ if pleas ignored


By Jeffrey Elapa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 12, 2015) – The landowners of the multibillion kina PNG LNG project are calling on the national Government to fulfill its commitment as per the benefit sharing agreements of 2009.

Landowner representatives from Kutubu PDL 2, Moran PDL 5 and 6, Angore PDL 8, Hides PDL 7 and Beneria pipeline said in a statement that the landowners have waited for too long for the government and the developer of the first world glass hydrocarbon project to honour their commitment to pay the landowners.

Landowner spokesperson and trustee of the Wadju stock clan from the tribe in the Kutubu PDL 2 and South East Malanda said six months has passed and more than 50 shipments of condensate gas has left the country, bringing millions into the country but the landowners are still waiting for their benefits as agreed.

Mr Gii said the landowners have waited silently for too long since 2009 and it was now time for them to cry so that the whole world could hear how the government and the developer ExxonMobil were mistreating the landowners.

He said the benefit from the PNG LNG project was only benefiting the Government and not the landowners.

He said the government was preaching about the upcoming 2015 Pacific Games and the 2018 APEC meeting in Port Moresby without showing some kind of appreciation to the landowners who have made it possible for the multibillion project to come into fruition. He said the major events will not benefit the landowners and they want Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to hear the plea of the people.

He said the landowners are prepared to take the law into their hands if the government and ExxonMobil continue to ignore the plight of the people and pay out the commitment by the New Year.

“The Prime Minister Peter O’Neill should reconsider giving our share of the proceeds from the gas. The gas is our blessing, a blessing from our creator after seeing our needs being labourers and providing free workforce to develop PNG by our forefathers,” Mr Gii said. “It was also timely that a son of Hela-South was the CEO of the country sharing the benefits from our resource and therefore our Prime Minister as our son should use his powers to compensate us by paying out our dues as agreed.”

He said for 26 years the Kutubu oil has kept the economy going so the state should appreciate their contribution to the development of the country and pay what is due.

PNG Post-Courier

WOMAN,YOUTH,CHILD

37) Youths join awareness efforts to save Shirley Park

By FELIX CHAUDHARY
Monday, January 12, 2015

A WEST-BASED youth group concerned about the destruction of trees and reduction of green space has taken upon itself the task of increasing awareness on the importance of keeping Shirley Park free from development.

One of the leaders of the group known as Creating Easy, Neil Chand, said there was growing concern among youths on the issue.

“We noticed they removed some of the oldest trees from in front of Churchill Park for the development that’s taking place there and we don’t want that to happen at Shirley Park,” he said.

“There is so much history associated with the park and this is one place that means a lot to the people of Lautoka.”

Mr Chand said the importance of keeping areas such as Shirley Park free from development would become apparent over time.

“Development is good and as it takes place over time, green spaces like this will become few and far between.”Fijitimes

SPORTS

38) U17s long for respect

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 PAPUA New Guinea’s Under-17 soccer side has a big task on hand as they prepare for the Oceania Football Confederation U17 championships, which start tomorrow in Apia, Samoa.
Eleven nations are competing to win a berth at the U17 World Cup in Chile later this year.
The tournament, which is jointly hosted by Samoa and American Samoa, will serve as the Oceania qualifier and is from January 13-27.
PNG coach Milan Miric and deputies Harrison Kamake and Hans Gewambing will be trying to improve the country’s standing in the age-group competition. 
PNG’s best placing at an OFC U17 event was third in 2001 when they finished as best runner-up in the group stage behind Australia.
PNG’s propensity for causing an upset makes them an opponent worthy of respect.
PNG’s first match is against Cook Island tomorrow. Cooks Islands are under coach Delaney Yagona and will aim to do better than their last place finish two years ago.
Both teams are pool against the heavyweights New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.
Miric said the team had been in camp since last November for the selection of a 20-man squad. 
“The elite academy programmes in Lae, Port Moresby and the Centre of Excellence programme in Madang has played a big part in developing the next generation. 
 PNG U17s: Jerry Seriba, Tanaka Sigamata, Gregory Togubai, Martin Tokwakwasi (Port Moresby); Kusuga Komolong, Kenneth Pilailo, Bruno Kelena, Nickson Purari, Jacob Akus, Misty Laskam, Gary Pokas, Freddy Tupani (Lae); Livai Robin, Larsen Pasum, Sylvester Agat, Stahl Gubag, Brendon Kambual, Clive Samlal, Oswald Bade (Madang); Percy Mataio (manager), Milan Miric (head coach), Harrison Kamake (assistant coach), Hans Gewebing (assistant coach)

39) League starts Jan 24

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 By HENRY MORABANG
THE much-delayed semi-professional soccer competition, the Telikom National Soccer League is set to kick off on January 24 in Port Moresby and Lae.
Newly-appointed PNGFA competition manager Simon Koima said the NSL was ready for a bumper season with the focus on getting the country’s representative players involved with respective franchises and ready for national duty at the 2015 Pacific Games in July.
Koima said the teams confirmed for the 2015 season were the reigning premiers Hekari United, Oro, Admiralty, FC Port Moresby — all Port Moresby-based — while Lae City Dwellers and Besta United of Lae and Madang FC were the other sides.
Hekari are favoured to pick up their ninth title but can expect some competition from FC Port Moresby, Admiralty and Lae City Dwellers.
FC Port Moresby, under national assistant coach Reginald Davani, have mamanged to retain the squad that played Hekari in 2012/2013 season and Lae City have the cream of Morobe’s soccer talent after acquiring most of its players from Morobe United FC, who are no longer part of the competition.
Darkhorses Madang will feature Team Madang’s PNG Games squad. Madang were the standout performers at the sixth PNG Games, winning the gold medal.
Koima said he expected a more competitive season with Hekari no guarantee to dominate as usual with strong challenges likely to come from Madang, FC Port Moresby and Lae City.
The underrated Admiralty are no slouches, with the Manus team expected to offer plenty of resistance to the Hekari, Port Moresby and Lae franchises.
The cream of the Under-17 PNG men’s team is likely to form the nucleus of the Besta PNG United in the coming season.

40) Oceania executive committee takes shape

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 FIJI’S Rajesh Patel, Lambert Maltock of Vanuatu and Lee Harmon of Cook Islands were unanimously elected to the Oceania Football Confederation’s newly-created three vice-president positions, and will see them provide close support to re-elected OFC president David Chung over the four-year term. 
The newly-formed OFC’s executive committee appointed the three men, who are all presidents of their country’s football associations.
“I would like to congratulate all our vice-presidents and look forward to working closely with them on developing our united vision for the confederation,” Chung said.
Being elevated to OFC vice-presidency was surprising, but a welcomed honour for Vanuatu Football Federation president, Maltock.
“It’s something I’ve been working towards for a long time, but it was still unexpected,” Maltock said.
“It’s not a privilege but a responsibility to help the president with his vision to develop football in Oceania. 
“My hope is that the last four years have laid the foundation for the next term and it is good to continue with the leadership of David Chung and what he has in mind for the confederation.”

41) Done deal

Source: 
The National, Monday January 12th, 2015

 PAPUA New Guinea Kumul and Hunters play-maker Dion Aiye has signed for Whitehaven in England for the 2015 Championship season.
Haven coach Steve Deakin confirmed the signing, saying the club was expecting Aiye next week.
Aiye played for Michael Marum’s SP Hunters in the Queensland Cup competition in its debut season last year playing a variety of roles from the halves to the back-row. 
The 26-year-old was part of Adrian Lam’s 2013 World Cup squad and played his best game against New Zealand in the final pool match which PNG lost 56-10. 
Aiye’s second half confrontation with Kiwi superstar Sonny Bill Williams was a highlight of the hard-tackling Southern Highlander’s rugged style. 
Prior to the World Cup, Aiye was the starting halfback for Stanley Gene’s Four Nations side in 2010. He was thrown a life-line by Marum in the Q-Cup last year after initially missing out on the Hunters squad and started in the Round 9 clash against the Burleigh Bears and was expected to stay on with the club after being named in its offseason training squad last November.  
Aiye’s signing brings the number of Kumuls – current and former – playing in the United Kingdom to eight with Jessie Joe Parker, Jason Tali, Charlie Wabo, Mark Mexico, Gary Lo, Makali Aizue and Menzie Yere being the other players. 
Aiye is expected to arrive in northern England next week to join Whitehaven and will play a part in Haven’s pre-season games in the build up to the new campaign.
Head coach Steve Deakin was stoked with acquiring the 96kg half who is a noted defender and distributor.
“He’s a superb utility player who made a great impression during the World Cup,” Deakin said. 
“The fact that he’s got a lot of utility about him means he will add a lot of value to our side.  
“I think this is a signing that will excite the fans. 
“Looking at his international teammate Jessie Joe Parker and how well he has integrated, not just in this country but in this community. 
“I think that bodes well for Dion.” Haven chief executive Barry Richardson echoed the sentiments and added that Aiye’s visa application had been successful and the club was looking forward to having a quality international in its ranks. 
“We are delighted to have signed a quality player like Dion,” Richardson said.
“He has received his visa application and will be joining us next week. It only took five weeks for us to get his application through so we are delighted.
“We still feel we need to bring a couple more bodies in but we are so pleased to have a quality, international player at the club.
“We are still exploring other avenues to bring in new players but we won’t be signing anyone for the sake of signing them. We want players who will add value to the side.”
On Parker’s return to the club Richardson added: “Unfortunately his visa still has not been granted.
“We are working at the moment to expedite the process.
“The club completed its side of the application in October and we are hoping for a quick resolution at Jessie’s end.”
Both Parker and Aiye are in Port Moresby.   – News and Star UK

42)Athletics on track for gold

Source: 
The National, Thursday January 8th, 2015

 THE National Track and Field Athletics squad is in good shape with six months to go to the Pacific Games and Athletics Papua New Guinea is on track to improve on its best-ever haul of 15 gold in Noumea 2011.
Athletics PNG president Tony Green said this was an achievable target and one which athletics has been working towards over the last three years. 
“It is not going to be easy because we know other teams are preparing seriously too but we are just focusing on developing a strong all-round team while at the same time, ensuring that our elite athletes continue to receive the support they need,” Green said.
APNG now has a training squad of 85 athletes (50 male and 35 female).
The squad was reviewed after the PNG Games last November with some promising newcomers such as Timothy Maggie (Javelin); Martin Orovo (1500m); and Rama Kumilgo (Steeplechase) added.
Green predicted that the final team would be between 65 and 70 athletes.
PNG has dominated the women’s sprints, hurdles and relays in recent Pacific Games with Toea Wisil, Betty Burua and Sharon Kwarula leading the way.
Together with Donna Koniel and rising star Miriam Peni showing good form last year, the PNG girls will be expected to retain their No.1 ranking. 
The middle and long distance group now has much more depth than four years ago and despite the retirement of Salome Dell, PNG can expect several minor medals at least. 
“Whether they can win gold will depend on whether the competition for places in the team and the programme in place for the girls will result in them reaching a high enough standard to head off the challenge of French Polynesia and New Caledonia,” he said.
“There are some Pacific Island girls in the USA running good times in events from 1500m to 5000m, who include Astrid Montuclard (FP) and Christina Wicker of Palau.”
The women’s jumps and heptathlon group is now much stronger than it has been for a long time and the home nation seems certain to be able to select three athletes in each event. Nellie Leslie and Delilah Kami clearly have the potential to match Rellie Kaputin in the high jump but will need blocks of training in Australia, where all the necessary equipment and coaching is available. 
PNG is looking good in the triple jump, with Kaputin and Betty Burua both capable of breaking Angela Way’s national record of 12.03m set in 1995. 
There are signs that New Caledonia’s dominance of the throws may be on the decline and Sharon Toako tops the Pacific Island rankings in 2014 in the javelin. However things are often different in a Pacific Games year when more athletes come into the picture.  
The men’s 400m and 400m hurdles remain PNG’s strongest two events, which augers well for the 4x400m relay as well.
Competition for the three available places in the men’s 400m will be fierce with national record holder Nelson Stone determined to retain his Pacific Games title on home soil and a host of younger athletes out to prove themselves, including Theo Piniau, Kaminiel Matlaun, John Rivan and Kevin Kapmatana.  Fiji’s Banuve Tabacaucoro will be the favourite for the 100m and 200m.
Fiji, as always, will be strong in the men’s relays.
However, it’s hard to look past the PNG boys for the 4×400 and the national record of 3 minutes 9.55 seconds set at the 1991 Games may well fall this year.
As with the women, PNG now has a much larger men’s squad of middle and long distance runners than before and it is hoped that a good programme over the next six months, combined with competition for places in the team, will see a marked improvement in their times. 
Green predicted that the men’s 1500m national record of 4 minutes and 0.2 seconds will fall this year as George Yamak, Andipas Georasi, Veherney Babob, Skene Kiage, Simbai Kaspar and newcomer Martin Orovo  all push for a place in the team. 
The distance squad is currently at national Sports Institute preparing for competitions in Australia next month.
PNG is still very weak in the men’s horizontal jumps but appears set to be very competitive in the high jump and will be hopeful of a medal in the decathlon and the pole vault. 
Hopes in the men’s throws will rest on Debono Paraka (discus and shotput), Albert Karo (shotput) and Timothy Maggie (javelin). 
“Details of the athletes’ schedules for this year will be released when they have been approved by the PNG Olympic Committee, hopefully sometime next week.” 
The programme will include large teams attending the Queensland Championships from March 5-8 in Brisbane and the Oceania Championships in Cairns from May 8-10. 

43) Fiji ready to host Oceania netball tri-series

By RASHNEEL KUMAR
Monday, January 12, 2015

Update: 6:53PM THE Fiji Sports Council says they are ready to host the Oceania Netball Tri-Series.

The council said the venue the Vodafone Arena was in tip-top condition for the series.

The inaugural series will have Fiji Pearls, Silver Ferns and Samoa taking part.Fijitimes

44) Kohli praises Australia after losing Test series

Aap
Monday, January 12, 2015

SYDNEY – Virat Kohli cares little for rankings, preferring to rate cricket sides on their intent.

And in that regard, Kohli knows Australia are one of the best.

South Africa remain No.1 in the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings following Australia’s 2-0 series win over India.

Australia held top spot for a brief moment in 2014 and will desperate to regain the mantle with dominant displays on tours of West Indies and England this year.

Kohli was unwilling to offer an opinion when asked if Australia are close to becoming the best Test team in the world, but praised their intent over the past six weeks.

“They might be No.1 for a while, someone else might step up ranking don’t matter to me,” Kohli said.

“What matters is the kind of intent you go out there and play with.

“I know they play very competitive cricket .. they love to win.

“Once they sense it, they want to go for it.”

Steve Smith gave India a sniff of victory with his declaration the SCG on Saturday, which came prior to play starting on day five.

“They could have easily batted more and given us two sessions,” Kohli said.

“But the fact that they gave us three sessions, giving the opposition and themselves a chance to win the game, says a lot about their character.

“Rankings don’t matter as long as you have that intent.”

Smith was proud of his side’s performances in an incredibly challenging four-Test series that followed Phillip Hughes’ shock death.

“From the first game in Adelaide the boys showed a lot of heart,” Smith said.

Kohli had mixed feelings about his own side’s form in the four-Test series.

“You have forced the opposition to earn their victory,” Kohli said.

“You aren’t throwing in the towel or getting beaten in four days. We pulled them till the end on three occasions.”

But Kohli added there was “a lot for us to improve on”, noting their inability to capture 20 wickets in any game during the Test series.

45) Maria wins tennis opener

Afp
Monday, January 12, 2015

BRISBANE – Top seed Maria Sharapova has made the perfect start to her Australian Open preparation by downing fellow former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic to claim the Brisbane International women’s title.

World No.2 Sharapova sounded a warning ahead of the opening grand slam when she overcame early resistance to overpower the Serbian 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 to claim her 34th career title on Saturday.

It is another shot in the arm for Sharapova ahead of yet another assault on the Australian Open, which she won in 2008, beating Ivanovic in the final.

But it was more pain for second seed Ivanovic – in more ways than one.

Nursing an abdominal complaint that forced her to withdraw from her Brisbane doubles quarter-final this week, world No.7 Ivanovic called for a 10 minute time-out with a trainer after conceding set point in the second with a double fault.

The Brisbane final marked the first time the pair had met Down Under since the 2008 Australian Open final.

Five-time grand slam champion Sharapova, 27, claimed the $US241,316 winner’s cheque after extending her head-to-head record against Ivanovic to 10-4.

It ensured she extended her remarkable habit of winning at least one title a year since 2003.

Sharapova had dropped just nine games in her three Brisbane matches to get to her 56th WTA final.

46) Tough pool for Fiji in Wellington

Maciu Malo
Monday, January 12, 2015

THE Vodafone Fiji 7s team is anticipating another titanic battle against Australia at the upcoming HSBC World Sevens Series Wellington 7s tournament.

The Ben Ryan-coached national side bowed out to Australia during the recent Dubai and South Africa 7s and the writing is on the wall whether the South Sea Islanders can turn the table against the Aussies in New Zealand.

Australia has been tipped ahead of Fiji in Pool C alongside Wales and Portugal.

Ryan said like all other participating teams, Australia would be tough to beat in Wellington but he had faith in his players to avenge their losses at the Dubai and South Africa 7s tournaments.

“Its great to have Australia again after two loses against them and its great to meet them again and to see whether the boys have learnt their lessons,” he said.

Fiji 7s forward Semi Kunatani said the game against Australia would be a tough one.

“Australia has beaten us twice and this is another opportunity to test our worth against the Aussies,” he said.

“We are looking forward to the challenge and we will do our best in Wellington.”

Ryan said Wales and Portugal would also be out for a win.

Fiji now lies on the second spot in the overall points series behind South Africa. The top four teams will qualify for the Rio Olympics.

www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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