Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1064 ( Wednesday 21 January 2015 )

MELANESIA

1) Introduction Of Bougainville Time Zone Confounds Workers
Public servants continue to turn up late for work


By Romulus Masiu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 21, 2015) – Despite the introduction of a new Bougainville Time Zone (BST) since the end of December last year, many public servants are still turning up very late for work.

This was revealed in a circular authorised by caretaker chief secretary Paul Kobori warning public servants to “pull up their socks” and start coming to work on time instead of lazing around and coming very late for work.

Since the introduction of the new BST on 28th December 2014, many public servants were still coming very late for work and knocking off very early. The Bougainville administration sees this as a hindrance to the development of the region. This attitude is very unbecoming of Bougainvilleans especially public servants who are getting paid by the government and from the ordinary tax payer’s money.

Public servants of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville have been urged to adhere to the new Bougainville Time Zone (BST).

The official working day now starts at 7.45am (BST) that is equivalent to 6.45am PNG time.

According to a circular from the administration office, approved by the caretaker chief secretary Paul Kebori, there was a need for departmental heads and heads of directories and line National Agencies to take appropriate measures to make sure that all their staff were at work on time.

There was also a need to look at issues where those public servants that were not at work with no authorized approval leave of absence be dealt with through the normal disciplinary processes including payroll action to make them accountable.

A public outcry has also risen as many clients going to the government offices find no one in the offices to serve them – only the cleaners and tea boy sitting at the reception areas and answering phone calls.

Since the introduction of the region’s BST, many public servants can be seen going to work around 9am or 10am and knocking off at 1pm or 2pm.

PNG Post-Courier

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 21 January 2015

by bobmakin

  1. Sea-Bed Mining is front page again today. Yesterday’s comment from a well-known local environmentalist that even removing limestone chimneys takes place in the name of research was followed by another pointing out how much play there is between the words mining, digging, exploiting and prospecting, and also research. Wendy Him Ford points out that the International Court of Justice finally got round to seeing what the Japanese called marine scientific research of whales as commercial whale fishing last year. However, today, the Acting Commissioner of Mines quite rightly points out that VT 64 million was earned last year from fees for licences to research the sea-bed. And of course research needs something to be taken out of the water. Talking with Daily Post he he went to great length to stress that no digging had taken place, and it is hard to imagine even a chimney or two going missing being a huge loss to our marine treasury if they bring in so many millions of vatu. Rakau quite nicely adds that he is not responsible for the way this income to government is spent. One wonders however, whether some of it could buy the necessary geo-positioning equipment (GPS) and enable the placement of equipment and a ni-Vanuatu enforcement officer on boardprospecting ships. Might it not be a good idea to supervise what goes on? And it might also be a good idea with fishing vessels of which a lot, foreign owned, carry the Vanuatu flag. Even the flag-of-convenience management has welcomed government trained personnel on vessels of the Registry.
  1. Three local passenger and cargo ships have been detained because of failure to meet their licensing requirements. This involves endorsement of their safety certificates. It seems fines are likely for the LC Saravenua, MV Makila, and MV Island Claws. Ports & Harbours’ Kembro Manderson spells out the reasons for detention in Daily Post.
  • Today’s Post also seriously questions the transmitter failures of the national broadcaster, VBTC, with a further Havannah Harbour complaint about failure to receive Radio Vanuatu whilst the station reports it can be heard in New Zealand and Japan.But most listeners cannot be blamed for not purchasing extremely expensive reception equipment when the ordinary old Medium Wave of VBTC is not even half-way through its shelf life. So how has it got to be so bad? Why have they failed to maintain it? And oughtn’t they try to fix it rather than require entire new digital systems it will take years to install? This issue is likely to fill your editor’s pet hate spot for 2015 as 747 airports for Rentabau did last year.

But all that said, thank you Radio Vanuatu for getting Radio Australia back on the air even if, months down the track, we are still waiting for the BBC.

3) Vanuatu daily news digest | 20 January 2015

by bobmakin

  • There was good news to begin the day. In connection with Sea-Bed Mining: no digging of seabed happening yet says Acting Commissioner of Mines Brooks Rakau in Daily Post today. Despite there being licences already issued to two major companies (Nautilus and Bismarck), Rakau insisted on going on record to state “there is no digging yet.” Following the large public consultation last year, a National Offshore Minerals Committee has been formed and there will be consultations with communities in the provinces. It will all end up in a Seabed Mining Policy required under existing legislation.
  • The good news continues with the West Papuan group, the United Liberation Moveent for West Papua will apply to join the MSG next month. The spokesman for the ULM coalition recently formed to push for Independence from Indonesia, Benny Wenda, has told RNZI a massive publicity campaign will follow to support the bid.
  • And a new Vanuatu newspaper has emerged, the first Chinese – English paper called Vila Times. It’s a weekly. The cover page has congratulatory messages from PM Natuman and Ambassador Bohua. The paper is printed at Daily Post.
  • VBTC News this morning makes it clear that in changing the election petition legislation the Government is seeking to change the time-frame under which the courts could hear a petition. The adjudication would have to happen within six months of the petition being required. Government work has been seriously hampered by such cases taking up to two years to be decided.
  • Radio Vanuatu also reported the community of about 100 at Nambtri Nabanga having good communication with the owner of the lease on which they have been living, Rene Ah Pow. Arrangements are being made for their re-location from Nambatri to East Efate. Chief Esau says they are happy with the plans for their re-location in a month.

POLYNESIA

4) First cyclone of season forms near Tahiti

 21 January 2015

Fiji’s Meteorological Service says a category 1 tropical cyclone has developed 340 kilometres north northwest of Tahiti.

The acting director Aminiasi Duidraki says the system is moving in a south southeasterly direction across French Polynesia at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour and is intensifying.

He says sustained winds of 65 kilometres per hour are expected near the centre of the cyclone, increasing to 85 kilometres per hour over the next 24 hours.

He says Cyclone Niko is the first of the season and while it may be upgraded to a category 2 it is likely to dissipate as it moves over cooler seas.

“There’s a little bit of cooling in the ocean temperature. So maybe that’s affecting the delay of the onset of the tropical cyclone season. Now we are going into the third week of January and this is our first cyclone to be forming around this big Pacific Ocean.”

Fiji Met Service’s Acting Director, Aminiasi Duidraki.RNZI

5) Tongan businesses concerned over Air NZ plans

 21 January 2015

A Tongan businesswoman says she is concerned over Air New Zealand’s plans to phase out the Boeing 767 planes on the Tonga to New Zealand route.

Air New Zealand currently operates one Boeing 767-300 service and four to five A320 services to Tonga each week, but has plans to remove the 767 from its fleet.

The Managing Director of Kool Fresh, Tricia Emberson, who says she has had a very good 25-year relationship with the carrier, says her fishery business could be ruined without the cargo space provided by the 767.

“Primarily we export out of Tonga through New Zealand to the States, and we also import from New Zealand into Tonga, so if there is no 767 it really does hurt our business significantly. We would probably have to look at another option, and whether we would just cease our business completely.”

Air New Zealand says it can’t confirm which aircraft will replace the 767 on the Tonga-Auckland route.RNZI

6) id to control typhoid

Rnzi
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

NUKU’ALOFA – The Director of Health in Tonga says many residents need to improve their sanitation practices and facilities if the kingdom is to avoid another typhoid outbreak.

Last year there were eight confirmed cases of typhoid and Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola says locals should work on getting rid of the causes of typhoid fever.

Dr ‘Akau’ola says people need to learn to be clean, wash their hands after using the bathroom, and adapt to an environment that is hygienic.

He says the Government has tried to encourage hygienic practices with pilot programs replacing latrine style systems with modern toilet facilities.

“To try to get initiatives to improve the sanitation environment.

“The environment within where they’re living and get them to think of it as a priority for their family and their loved ones to make sure that they live in a safe environment.

“Legally if you have a family you are obliged to have clean sanitation.”

The latest case was reported in the village of Veitongo which is banned from preparing any feasts or food for any occasion until the end of the month.

7) King Of Tonga To Be Crowned On July 4
Heads of government for around world expected at coronation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 21, 2015) – Tonga’s King George Tupou VI is to be formally crowned on July the 4th.

Tonga Daily News reports the Palace’s Office has confirmed the date for the coronation, which is due to held at the Pangai Lahi field and the Royal Palace compound.

Heads of government from around the world are expected to attend, as well as many Tongan expatriates.

The late King George died in March 2012.

Radio New Zealand International 

8) Samoa MP Questions Negative References To Chinese In Parliament
Mualaivao raises concerns he heard from Chinese Ambassador

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Jan. 20, 2015) – Member of Parliament (MP) for Individual voters Mualaivao Pat Ah Him raised his concern on why Chinese are often mention during parliament in today’s session.

His concern was based not only on a conversation with the Chinese Ambassador but in today’s Parliament deliberations when the Chinese were once again in the middle of a debate amongst parliamentarians.

Maualaivao told Parliament about his conversation with the Chinese Ambassador who was curious as to why the Samoan parliament and media always mention Chinese.

“Chinese are hardworking people who work throughout the week,” Maualaivao said was his response to the Ambassadors queries.

He mentioned several major projects built and funded by the Chinese Government, yet, there were still a negative feelings against Chinese.

In parliament today, MP for Gaga’emauga No.2. Levaopolo Talatonu raised the issue of solar development and the possibility that Government will not reach its target of national solar coverage by 2017. His development and business partners and from China.

“When you came to me with your Chinese people asking for a permit to operate your solar business, you told me it will be as fast as lightning “e pei o le emo o le uila le vave o le galuega” Tuilaepa reminded Levaopolo.

“Now you are telling us a different story,” challenged Tuilaepa.

Levaopolo cut in saying he was offering advise however, Tuilaepa pushed on.

“You and Muagututagata are brothers in this business with your Chinese people,” Tuilapea intervened again.

He pushed further by saying that if Levaopolo and Muagututagata cannot continue the solar project at Faleolo, then maybe Palusalue and his Chinese could do it.”

As the Opposition Leader, Palusalue had been critical of the Investment Citizenship Bill which proposes to have citizenship to overseas investors including Chinese business people.

“Palusalue is another good businessman but is very secretive about it,” said Tuilaepa.

Muagututaga beat Palusalue in taking the floor and countered the Prime Minister comments by saying that he has not been associated with any Chinese for a while.

Such debate prompted Maualaivao to wonder why the negative references to Chinese and told the House about his conversation with the Chinese diplomat.

In the weekend, the PMs office put out a press statement rejecting Opposition claims and that of local newspapers and media outlets that Samoa is being sold to China.

Talamua

9) Power restored in Samoa after village protest

 21 January 2015

Samoa’s Ta’elefaga power station has returned to service after angry villagers had earlier turned it off.

Village matais had decided to turn off the hydropower station at Ta’elefaga Fagaloa on Monday.

The move came as a protest at the bad odour from the stream which supplies the government owned Electric Power Corporation for generating electricity.

The Acting General Manager of EPC and members of the board met village leaders to resolve the matter but he did not give further information about the negotiations.

The EPC says it could not yet provide a figure on the number of businesses and households affected by the shut down.

In 2010 the village enlisted the aid of community groups to raise the profile of their environmental concerns about the plant.RNZI

10) Cook Islands PM: Opposition Leader Has ‘Limited Myopic Views’
Despite Rasmussen, Puna open to coalition with Democratic Party

By Phillipa Webb

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Jan. 20, 2015) – Prime Minister Henry Puna says he won’t rule out a deal between the two major parties despite what he describes as the ‘limited myopic views’ of Democratic Party leader Wilkie Rasmussen.

Rasmussen continues to insist that Puna’s call for a coalition is a case of, ‘too little, too late’.

However, Puna is confident of the Cook Islands Party’s position heading into next month’s by-election in Vapae-Tautu.

“For now, the option to get together with the Opposition party will stay alive and on the table,” he said in a release yesterday.

Responding to a letter to the editor of CINews from Rasmussen discounting a partnership, the prime minister said ‘tunnel-vision and burning bridges’ were not part of his philosophy, despite Wilkie Rasmussen’s ‘irrational’ assessment of the country’s political situation.

“A lost leader without vision won’t be able to stop a CIP-Demo coalition if that’s what the two major parties want,” Puna said.

“In politics, it’s never too late to build relationships – especially if the interests of the country outweigh those of a lost leader looking for a seventh seat in the Cabinet room.”

The Prime Minister said it was now plainly obvious that Rasmussen had invested all his chips in a one-dimensional deal with One Cook Islands.

Puna said he was prepared to give the Democratic Party more credit than that.

“The Democratic Party and a lot of its supporters will know that a lot could be achieved if both parties worked together – even if it were for an agreed timeframe before we went back to the polls.”

The attraction is political stability, ticks in the box for change or reform, and perhaps clarity on when the next general elections might be, he said.

“The Bishop-Rasmussen deal is not sunshine, but an early warning for stormy weather ahead.”

Meanwhile, Rasmussen says Puna cannot reverse the progress the Democratic Party has made with One Cook Islands.

“The One Cook Islands and Democratic Party agreement is well underway and is gaining momentum – there is no coming back from that.”

Cook Islands News

MICRONESIA

11) Guam homeless survey is more than data

 21 January 2015

The Guam Homeless Coalition says it will carry out its annual survey of the territory’s homeless on Friday next week, with more volunteers coming forward to help with the count.

According to the 2014 survey, Guam has a homeless population of 1,365 persons which was an increase of more than 300 over 2013.

The Chairperson of the Guam Homeless Coalition, Margaret Hattori-Uchima, says the annual survey is essential in the provision of services to the homeless.

She says this helps not only in providing care but also getting homeless families and individuals off the streets.

” To be able to get a child off the streets and keep her with her parents, you know it’s nice when you do the count and can see that there are positive outcomes. And of course the data that we generate helps us apply for more continuum of care funding to be able to provide these services.”RNZI

12) Saipan mayor’s office seeks share of hotel occupancy tax

 21 January 2015

The Mayor of Saipan, David Apatang, is calling for the Legislature to pass a measure that would allow his office to get a portion of the hotel occupancy tax collections.

Henry Hofschneider, the mayor’s special adviser, says the House Bill 18-155 introduced by Representative Larry Deleon Guerrero remains pending in the House Ways and Means Committee.

Under the bill, the mayor’s office will get 1 percent or not to exceed $60,000 of the hotel occupancy tax collections.

Mr Hofschneider says the mayor’s office has been repairing roads and beautifying areas frequented by tourists.

He says any funding they get from the occupancy tax collections will be used for such services.

Marianas Variety reports the mayor’s office will work closely with the Marianas Visitors Authority towards road repairs and beautification programs, which will benefit everyone including hotels.

Mr Hofschneider says the roads are frequently used by tourists and are maintained by the mayor’s office to ensure the safety of everyone.RNZI

13) Call for climate change attention

Rnzi
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kiribati has told a United Nations review of its human rights that the basic right of its people to survive climate change is a high priority.

A Kiribati delegation headed by the Minister of Women, Youth and Social Affairs, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that he couldn’t report on human rights without addressing the challenges from climate change to low lying nations.

Kiribati says climate change has the potential to affect the very basic human right for its people as a distinct culture to survive, the right and access to clean drinking water, to food and the right to have islands they call home.

The government says the UN Human Rights review process will amount to nothing if other major challenges are not addressed.

Meanwhile Kiribati has answered the call by the UN for a national human rights institution by saying it will need assistance to implement such a measure because of scarce resources.

It has also promoted the idea of a regional rights organisation under the Pacific Islands Forum.

The government has pointed to the creation of a new Ministry of Women, Youth and Social Affairs, the creation of a national taskforce and other amendments as ways with which the country was dealing with gender discrimination and violence issues.

14) Guam Memorial Hospital Opens Urgent Care Center
Cheaper alternative to ER funded by gambling taxes


By Jerick Sablan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 21, 2015) – Guam Memorial Hospital’s new urgent care center, funded by gambling taxes, is now open.

The center’s first day of operation was yesterday, under a pilot program, as the hospital works out a more permanent schedule, GMH Administrator Joseph Verga said.

“It’s a great day for the people of Guam and GMH,” he said.

The urgent care center, which is about 1,000 square feet, will treat patients who may not need emergency room services. This will save them money, Verga said. Emergency room visits are more expensive than urgent care visits.

It will also help take the pressure off of emergency room operations, which have been extremely busy, Verga said.

Location

It’s located in the hospital’s former emergency room, at the rear of the hospital building. The hospital built a new emergency room last year.

The hospital did not create additional parking for the urgent care center, which means patients must park at the front of the hospital.

The center will be open on weekdays from 3 p.m. to midnight, however, patients won’t be accepted after 11 p.m.

Verga reminds residents that they will be billed if they come to the urgent care center like any other hospital service.

Although the hospital has opened its urgent care center, Verga encourages residents to try other private urgent care centers or public health clinics before coming to the hospital.

The urgent care center is new and the hospital is still working on hiring staff, he said.

Belle Rada, the hospital’s director of special services, which oversees urgent care, said the unit has one physician, three nursing staff and one ward clerk so far.

The hospital is working to hire another physician and some nursing practitioners, Verga said.

The center has five exam rooms, with one being set aside for special care, Rada said.

Ultimate goal

The ultimate goal for the urgent care center is to become a 24/7 operation, Verga said.

Lawmakers in 2013 required the hospital to create a new urgent care center, funded by taxes on gambling.

Verga said the hospital has received about $700,000 from the gaming tax fund, which gave the hospital the money to open the urgent care center under a pilot program.

$30K renovation

The urgent care center is in a renovated part of the hospital’s old ER since a new one was opened last year. It cost $30,000 to renovate the space, Rada said.

The renovations were done in-house, which reduced the cost to the hospital, Verga added.

Verga said there are a few things that will need to change as the hospital pilots the urgent care center.

“No doubt we will have to tweak things and practices as we go along and base it on experience,” he said.

Pacific Daily News 

15) CNMI rare plants in jeapardy

 21 January 2015

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service says the development of two-thirds of Tinian land in the Northern Marianas for defence purposes will harm the habitat of already threatened plant species.

The service says one rare plant species in particular, the Heritiera longipetiolata, is found on land leased to the US Defence Department.

The US military could have a stake in the proposed listing of 23 Marianas plant and animal species under the Endangered Species Act.

Fish and Wildlife says live fire training on the island would also harm the species.RNZI

AUSTRALIA

16) Terror threat high

News Corp Australia
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THE terrorism threat level against police has been changed to high.

In a statement, the Australian Federal Police said the change was as a “result of intelligence information and discussions with our partners”.

The level matches the general threat level for Australia, which was raised to high last September.

The factors that led to the increase then “persist and the security environment remains increasingly complex and challenging,” according to the AFP.

“Recent events in France, Canada and Australia serve as a sobering reminder of the risks associated with policing.

“While relatively small, there are increasing numbers of Australians who are connected with or inspired by overseas terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with the intent and capability to conduct an attack against police.”

The AFP said when the general threat level was raised last year “all police jurisdictions thoroughly reviewed their security and risk management strategies and made necessary adjustments”.

“These continue to be under active review.”

Police have been quick to stress there is no “specific” incident or information to prompt the rise.

“There has been no one specific incident that has occurred in Australia which has triggered the reassessment to the higher level,” Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said.

17) Dengue spreads

Aap
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

CAIRNS – An outbreak of dengue fever in the tropical north Queensland city of Cairns has spread to a third suburb.

A ninth case of the mosquito-borne virus was confirmed in the suburb of Mooroobool on Monday afternoon, health authorities say.

Eight others have contracted the virus in Edmonton and Trinity Beach this wet season.

Director of Tropical Public Health Services Dr Richard Gair warned residents to be extra vigilant to stop the spread of the virus which can cause fever, severe headaches, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“These confirmed cases show we can’t be complacent, and only a small amount of water can make areas perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” he said.

Dengue mosquitoes breed in urban areas and bite during the day.

Last dengue season 136 people were infected with the virus in Cairns.

NEW ZEALAND

18) Community patrol launched

Rnzi
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WELLINGTON – The first Pasifika Community Patrol has been launched in New Zealand’s capital to help reduce crime and build stronger relationships between Pacific people and the police.

Volunteer wardens have acted as eyes and ears for the police throughout the country since the early 2000s but there has been a push in recent years for more Pacific people to join the patrols.

The chair of the Wellington Pacific Advisory Group, Sai Lealea, says, historically, Pacific people have been wary of the police and reluctant to report minor crimes such as theft because they don’t want to bother the police. He says this will help to repair that relationship.

Mr Lealea says the patrol will also work with young Pacific people to help curb drunk and disorderly behaviour.

TOK PISIN

19) United Nations imas mekim Indonesia i lusim West Papua: Gary Juffa itok

Updated 21 January 2015, 15:16 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

United Nations imas stretim bikpla rong emi bin mekim long 1965 na fosim Indonesia long lusim West Papua na larim ol pipal i lukautim ol iet.

Odio: Gary Juffa Gavana blong Oro provins long PNG itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

United Nations imas stretim bikpla rong emi bin mekim long 1965 na fosim Indonesia long lusim West Papua na larim ol pipal i lukautim ol iet.

Despla em askim blong Gavana blong Oro provins long Papua New Guinea, Gary Juffa husat itok, taem i kamap pinis we ol pipal blong West Papua imas kamap fri.

Gavana Juffa i sutim tok tu long United Nations na ol narapla kantri isave toktok tumas long terarisam, tasol tru tru ol kaen pasin terarisam iwok long kamap long West Papua aninit long han blong gavman blong Indonesia.

Mr Juffa itok tu olsem stat long 1965, taem Indonesia ibin kisim West Papua,  gavman i kilim pinis planti hadrat tausan ol pipal.Radio Australia

20) PNG Polis na Misinare grup i sevim laif blong fopla meri

Updated 21 January 2015, 15:39 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Wanpla laen misinare, wantem tu ol polis na communiti lida long Highlands rijan blong Papua New Guinea ibin savim laif blong fopla meri em oli bin laik kilim ol bihaen long oli sutim tok long ol olsem oli Sanguma meri.

Odio: Deputi Polis Komanda blong Enga provins, Epenes Nili.

Wanpla laen misinare, wantem tu ol polis na communiti lida long Highlands rijan blong Papua New Guinea ibin savim laif blong fopla meri em oli bin laik kilim ol bihaen long oli sutim tok long ol olsem oli Sanguma meri.

Oli bin sutim tok long despla fopla mama olsem oli bin iusim posin bihaen long sampla pipal ibin dai long sik measles long wanpla ples long bikbus blong Enga provins long 2014.

Ol pipal long ples we oli iusim tok ples Hewa ibin redi long kilim despla fopla mama.

Tasol despla laen misinare, polis na lokal lida ibin go long wikend igo pinis na halvim long savim laif blong ol despla meri.

Deputi Polis Komanda blong Enga provins, Epenes Nili ibin go wantem despla grup itok emi hamamas tru long wokabaut blong ol na halvim em oli bin mekim long stopim dai blong despla fopla meri.

PNG igat bikpla wari we ol pipal isave kilim nating ol narapla em oli sutim tok long ol olsem oli Sanguma laen.Radio Australia

FRENCH

21) Brèves du Pacifique – mardi 20 janvier 2015

Mis à jour 20 January 2015, 16:17 AEDT

Caroline Lafargue

Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: fin du blocus au centre de rétention de Manus. 

Mataio Rabura, le directeur papou des services de l’immigration, est entré hier dans l’enceinte du bâtiment Delta. Il a négocié avec les demandeurs d’asile qui avaient érigé des barricades. La police papoue était en attente, mais elle n’est pas intervenue, même si les gardiens du centre ont du maîtriser quelques demandeurs d’asile. C’est la version des autorités.  Mais selon les migrants eux-mêmes, les policiers seraient entrés et auraient tabassé des migrants. Il est impossible de vérifier les faits, les journalistes n’ayant pas le droit de pénétrer dans le centre. La fin du blocus a permis de soigner plusieurs grévistes de la faim, qui étaient déshydratés. Et 44 migrants ont été placés en garde à vue. 

 Les migrants de Manus ne veulent pas de visa papou, ils ne veulent pas refaire leur vie à Manus. Quant à ceux du centre de rétention de Nauru, ils refusent d’aller au Cambodge, autre pays choisi par l’Australie pour se délester de ses immigrés. L’Australie versera en tout 40 millions de dollars au gouvernement cambodgien en échange de ses services. Et l’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations a confirmé aujourd’hui qu’elle acceptait de superviser le transfert des migrants de Nauru au Cambodge. Mais aucun migrant ne s’est porté volontaire. 

  • Nouvelle-Zélande: la toute première unité de patrouilleurs océaniens a commencé à parcourir les rues des quartiers sensibles de Wellington, la capitale, samedi dernier. Ce sont des équipes de deux, surnommées patrouilles Pasifika. Elles ciblent particulièrement les jeunes océaniens, pour les aider à sortir de la délinquance et de leur dépendance à l’alcool et aux drogues. Leur mission est de retisser des liens de confiance entre les océaniens et la police kiwie. 
  •  Fidji: alerte à la dengue et à la typhoïde. C’est le nord du pays qui est touché. L’hôpital de Labasa a traité 17 malades de la dengue ces deux dernières semaines, et 24 cas de typhoïdes ont été recensés à Bua. Le ministère fidjien de la Santé donne la consigne aux habitants d’assécher les étendues d’eaux stagnantes pour stopper la reproduction des moustiques, et de se laver les mains, surtout avant de préparer à manger, pour enrayer l’épidémide de typhoïde. Radio Australia

22) Vanuatu: « si les propriétaires veulent les vendre, c’est leur droit »

Mis à jour 20 January 2015, 16:18 AEDT

Caroline Lafargue

11 pierres sacrées, taillées il y a 300 à 400 ans. Ces objets tabous ont été cédés à un collectionneur français. Et cela crée une polémique au Vanuatu.  

Les 11 pierres de forme incurvée étaient utilisées lors des cérémonies coutumières dans les villages du nord-ouest de Malekula, la deuxième plus grande île du pays. 

Un collectionneur français les a achetées légalement aux villageois. C’est la conclusion de l’enquête menée par les autorités vanuataises. Les 11 pierres sacrées ont été placées au Centre Culturel du Vanuatu en attendant la fin de l’enquête, qui a duré plusieurs années. Le Centre Culturel du Vanuatu a donc finalement du rendre les 11 pierres au collectionneur. 

 Mais Marcelin Ambong, l’ancien directeur du centre culturel, estime que l’institution aurait pu retenir les pierres et accuse son successeur, Ambong Thompson, de n’avoir rien fait pour empêcher leur vente. Ambong Thompson :

 « Ce que dit Marcelin Ambong n’est pas exact. Nous ne pouvons rien faire car les propriétaires coutumiers ont déjà ont vendu ces pierres, et donné le droit au collectionneur français de les utiliser. Le Français est venu nous voir avec son avocat. Il était prêt à nous revendre les pierres, mais nous n’avions pas les 200 millions demandés. Et il a menacé de poursuivre en justice le centre culturel pour le recel de ces pierres, dont il est le propriétaire légal. » 

 L’incident relance le débat sur le trafic d’objets d’art au Vanuatu. Pour Ambong Thompson, la solution est dans la loi: 

 « Il faut que nous votions une loi pour protéger ces objets d’art. Pour le moment, le centre culturel du Vanuatu héberge des objets d’arts que les propriétaires coutumiers veulent bien nous confier, mais nous n’avons pas le droit de les garder. Si les propriétaires veulent les vendre, c’est leur droit. La seule chose qu’on puisse faire, c’est leur dire la valeur culturelle de ces objets d’art et leur conseiller de ne pas les céder. »

 La question sera évoquée lors du colloque organisé par l’UNESCO à Port-Vila en juillet prochain, qui sera axé sur la protection du patrimoine culturel mobilier de la sous-région du Pacifique. Radio Australia

PASIFIK

23) PIDF Becomes Observer With International Renewable Energy Agency
IRENA status ‘another avenue to assist the Pacific’ with energy needs


By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 21, 2015) – The Pacific Islands Development Forum says their admission as an observer with the International Renewable Energy Agency provides (IRENA) another avenue to assist the Pacific with its quest for greater use of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.

IRENA is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.

It serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.

And during the fifth session of the IRENAs Assembly on January 17-18 in the United Arab Emirates the Assembly voted to grant Observer status to the PIDF.

“Since January 2012, when IRENA hosted a Pacific Leaders Forum from 11 Pacific Island Countries and Territories in Abu Dhabi, IRENA had worked closely with the Pacific to identify gaps and produce innovative, practical and island-specific solution, PIDF Secretary General Feleti Teo said.

Fiji Times Online.

WORLD

24) EU To Rebuild Cyclone Damaged Power Grid In Tonga
$1.1 million grant to help restore electricity to Ha‘apai

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan. 20, 2015) – The European Union today committed a $2.3 million pa’anga [US$1.1 million] grant to boost the restoration of the power network damaged by Tropical Cyclone Ian in Ha’apai over a year ago.

The grant signing was carried out by the EU Ambassador for the Pacific Andrew Jacobs and the Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva in Nuku’alofa.

Jacobs said more than 1000 households and 30 commercial and government offices in Ha’apai will benefit from a more efficient energy network due to this grant that is part of cyclone rehabilitation efforts.

He said the island suffered significant power losses following the cyclone when its energy grid was badly affected after 90 percent of its power lines damaged.

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency are critical sectors for Tonga, a country that spends millions in importing petroleum products. The supply of reliable and clean energy becomes more important to a cyclone prone country like Tonga and this support to Ha’apai will not only help reduce the cost of providing electricity to the population but ensure that energy systems are made more resilient to extreme weather patterns.”

The Prime Minister said the Tongan Government was grateful to the EU for its continued assistance.

He said the new government had only just started and was trying to tap into the real financial position in Tonga, with the recurrent budget prepared by the former government continuing until June this year.

“Our government strongly believes that good governance is the key to development and we are committed to its principles.”

‘Akilisi said donor partners had woken-up to the fact that without good governance their assistance would be wasted so good governance should be a pre-determined condition for the assistance.

The signing was witnessed by the Minister of Finance Hon ‘Aisake Eke at the Ministry of Finance office.

Matangi Tonga Magazine

HEALTH

25) Solomon Islands to introduce PCV 13 vaccine

 21 January 2015

Solomon Islands will be the seventh Pacific Island nation to introduce the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine which will protect children from diseases like pneumonia, meningitis, arthritis and bronchitis.

UNICEF Pacific says the pneumococcus bacteria is the second highest killer in children between one and five years old in Solomon Islands and that the introduction of 63,000 doses worth US $207,900 is a good start for the country.

The UNICEF Pacific Representative to Fiji Karen Allen says she the PCV vaccine has been extremely successful in other countries.

“For instance, it was introduced in 2008 in New Zealand and there was a 70 to 71 percent reduction in cases. So because this bacteria, it’s actually a very significant cause of disease and death in Solomon Islands. So that’s why we are very excited about it.”

Dr Allen says health authorities in other Pacific Countries are aware of WHO and UNICEF reccomendations to include the vaccine in their immunisation programs but she says its cost and the need for it to be constantly refrigerated are a considerable challenge for most Pacific Island health systems at the moment.RNZI

26) Authority denies mass resignation of nursing staff

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 EASTERN Highlands Provincial Health Authority chief executive officer Lillian Siwi has denied reports of a mass resignation by more than 400 staff members of the Goroka Hospital.
“We did not receive any resignation papers from any staff at the hospital, no one has resigned,” Siwi told reporters yesterday.
She referred to reports in The National yesterday over a mass walkout by staff on Monday after tendering their resignations last week. 
Siwi claimed that staff members were forced by the hospital management to stop work but the PHA had not received their resignation papers.
She said despite the walkout by staff, 75 per cent of the doctors and specialists and half of the other staff were on normal duties. 
Doctors were urged to scale down operations and attend to critical cases only. “Terminated hospital manager Dr Francis Wandi was given the financial powers to sign up to K20,000 per month to buy necessary items, equipment and upkeep of the hospital. He failed to implement this.
“The arrangement was already in place when I took office,” Siwi said.
She said the money was made available to fix the standby generator to cater for power outages and other needs of the hospital but the management failed to use it and have been barking at the PHA.
She said the hospital was run by union leaders instead of sectional managers. 
It put conflict of interest in the forefront, running the hospital in a chaotic manner.
Siwi stated they were calling for health workers to apply to fill in the vacancy created after the staffs have walked out. Hospital staff walked out of their duties on Monday calling on immediate reinstatement of terminated senior officers and withdrawal of a National Court order restraining them from conducting meetings.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Michael Malabag announced on Monday the authority would be suspended and an immediate inquiry be conducted into its management.

EDUCATION

27) PNGTA hails decision to defer educational structure to 2016

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 THE PNG Teachers Association has welcomed the decision by the Education Department to defer the proposed 2-6-6 education structure to next year.
Association general secretary Ugwalubu Mowana told The National that the decision would allow time for proper planning, awareness and further consultation. “It allows the department to have more consultation with stakeholders,” he said.
Mowana said the association was concerned about the implementation of the new standards-based curriculum as well. 
“The government intended to change the curriculum four years ago but nobody planned for the resources and the training,” he said.
“They kept it until last year and now they are begging the minister to delay certain things. What have they been doing all this time?”
Mowana said changes to the education system were important because they cost a lot of money and should not be done overnight.
“The Government was very clear in 2011 and 2012 about phasing out OBE. The Department of Education should have started planning what to do,” he said. “While they were planning for a curriculum change they were not planning to resource or to train teachers.
“Now when the Government is asking for it, the department does not have it and as a result are asking for time to phase it out.”

28) Minister: Onus is on students to work hard

By TEVITA VUIBAU
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update: 3:49PM THE Ministry of Education has clarified today that with the removal of the scaling of external examination marks, the onus is now on the students to work hard to get the marks they want.

Minister for Education Dr Mahendra Reddy says this mean marks for 15 of the 18 subjects in Year 12 and 14 subjects in Year 13 have been declining, most of them below 50 and some of them as low 28.

“This has happened because teachers are not bothered and they know the marks will be raised, students are not bothered because they know their final marks will be scaled upwards,” Dr Reddy said.

“The maintenance of scaling has perpetuated inefficiency in the system.”Fijitimes

POLITIC

29) Fresh New Caledonia election bid on Thursday

20 January 2015

The French High Commissioner in New Caledonia, Vincent Bouvier, has convened a government meeting on Thursday in a fresh bid to get it to elect a president.

The territory has been without a president for five weeks after one of the three anti-independence parties quit the collegial government and triggered its collapse.

The government represented three anti-independence parties, which jointly had six of the 11 ministries.

On New Year’s Eve, the Congress re-elected the same government, which then however failed to agree on a president.

Cynthia Ligeard has continued as caretaker president, saying the territory’s administration remains assured.

However, the High Commissioner says it is a necessity for the territory to have a proper government, echoing the French overseas minister’s concern at the deadlock.

Mr Bouvier has held talks with local politicians, who have shown no sign to compromise.

The deadlock could be broken if the five pro-independence ministers ended their abstention and backed either Mrs Ligeard or her rival, Philippe Germain.RNZI

30) Registrar named for Bougainville

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 ACTING Bougainville electoral commissioner George Manu has announced the appointment of Joseph Kaipu as the ABG political parties registrar.
Manu said the appointment was made by the Bougainville Executive Council.
He said Kaipu’s role was to coordinate the registration of political parties that will be endorsing candidates during this year’s ABG General Election.
Manu announced the appointment of returning officers and assistant returning officers for this year’s Autonomous Bougainville Government’s general election.
He said that writs would be issued in the coming months for candidates to contest the 40 seats in the Bougainville House of Representatives, including that of the president, three women and former combatants representing the three regions and 33 constituency seats. 
“This election is very crucial to Bougainvilleans as it marks the start of the referendum period which, under the conditions of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, is to be held between 2015 and 2020,” Manu said.
“Leaders elected will play a pivotal role in addressing outstanding issues like weapons disposal, economic recovery and good governance which are needed to be met before the set referendum date.” The appointed officials include Regional Returning Officer John Itanu who will be responsible for the presidential seat, Peter Wanga (Northern regional seats for women and former combatants), Charles Kopana (Central regional seats for women and former combatants) and Sam Roroga who 
will be responsible for the southern regional seats for women and former combatants.
The Assistant Returning Officers for each constituency include Francis Tommy (Peit, Tonsu and Tsitalato), Garry Kenehe (Haku, Halia and Hagogohe), Peter Kutadio (Taonita/Teop, Taonita Tinputz), Henry Taul (Nissan), Samuel Aririan(Teua, Mahari), Peter Tokin (Atolls), Robert Toromet (Suir, Selau), Collin Darei (South Nasioi, Kongara and Kokoda), Denise Palipal (North Nasioi, Eivo-Torau and Ioro), Sylvester Semoso (Rau, Terra), Mathew Maau (Baubake, Makis), Moses Koiri (Lule, Konnou), Martin Tumuki (Kopii, Ramu, Motuna Huyono Tokunutui), Justin Teneke (Baba, Lato, Bolave) and Leo Gobekatsu (Torokina).
The dates for the issue of writs, polling, counting and return of writs have already been set but the announcement will be made by ABG Speaker Andrew Miriki.
 
MEDIA

31) Sacked FijiTV executive complains about AG interference

21 January 2015

The sacked Fiji TV executives have presented a 74-page complaint to the Prime Minister’s Office about the Attorney General and Minister of Communications, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister of Communications, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Tevita Gonelevu and Tanya Waqanika were fired after the broadcasting furore which saw Fiji TV eventually sublease rugby rights to the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation despite earlier securing sole rights from the sport’s governing body.

The complaint includes an image of a text allegedly from Mr Sayed-Khaiyum that was forwarded to Fiji TV executives by board member Nouzab Fareed.

Ms Waqanika says the text supports allegations of government interference.

“That the Honourable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General, interfered with a public listed company which contradicts his media statements, his parliamentary statements that there was no interference by him. So he lied. He blatantly, repeatedly lied.”

The complaint has also been sent to the opposition and other community leaders.

RNZI

32) Radio Vanuatu transmission worries for cyclone season

21 January 2015

There are worries that some communities in Vanuatu could miss out on cyclone warnings due to transmission problems with the national broadcaster, Radio Vanuatu.

Radio Vanuatu comes under the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation.

Our correspondent, Hilaire Bule, says there is confirmation that Pentecost Island is not receiving transmissions from Radio Vanuatu.

He says people in Ambae and further north in the Banks and Torres island groups also have trouble getting the station.

“Even this morning we have in the Daily Post people from Efate, they are complaining about the reception of their national radio, and it’s about three kilometres from the main radio station in Port Vila. It’s dangerous because now Vanuatu is entering the cyclone season and people cannot receive the warning of the possible cyclone in the villages or in the communities.”

Hilaire Bule says the VBTC is facing financial uncertainty, with the government to retire or make redundant a third of the staff, and is yet to approve a funding grant for the broadcaster.

However, the Public Relations Officer for the Prime Minister’s Office, Kierry Manassah, says the government has approved the usual funding grant for VBTC.RNZI

33) Broadcast setup needs suppliers

Source: 
The National, Tuesday January 20th, 2015

 THE Pacific Games Organising Committee will set up a temporary international broadcasting centre to broadcast the coverage of the Pacific Games in July.
The centre will take feeds from up to seven sporting venues and will collate multiple sporting events that will be covered by nine outside broadcast production units. 
More than 1500 hours of broadcast material will be produced by the committee for distribution throughout the world across television, satellite, cable, internet and digital phone networks. 
Games chief executive officer Peter Stewart said the centre and its capability would represent a first for Papua New Guinea sport and the region.
“This is the largest broadcast in the history of the Pacific Games and will ensure positive images of Papua New Guinea are projected,” Stewart said. “While the pictures and stories of the Games are important in changing the perceptions of the broader community, the fact that such a large scale production can be delivered tells businesses that PNG has the technological capability to support global corporations.” 
Eight rights holding broadcasters have already been appointed to televise the event across the Pacific.
However organisers need quality equipment for its centre to use to receive, store, produce and relay the video feeds of the competition and non-competition venues. 
It is inviting organisations with the capacity to supply equipment to come forward to help deliver the Games. 
Interested suppliers can obtain more information from the GOC website www.portmoresby2015.com 

BUSINESS

34) June start for Honiara-Sydney flight

 21 January 2015

Solomon Airlines is planning to open its new Honiara to Sydney route at the beginning of June.

The Island Sun Newspaper reports the Airline Commercial Services manager made the announcement at a welcome function for the country’s new Minister of Culture and Tourism Bartholomew Parapolo.

The paper reports airline experts will be going to Solomon Islands later this month to help with the preparations.

Solomon Airlines currently has direct flights to Brisbane and Vanuatu but there are plans to fly to more international destinations.

Its Fiji flights will start up again later this month following the resolution of the air impasse between the two countries.RNZI 

35) EU: PNG used up K351m in grants

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 over a six year period Papua New Guinea has benefited from an European aid of more than K351 million (€105m) in the areas of agriculture, education, trade, human rights, gender, and governance.
EU Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Martin Dihm said PNG was the largest recipient of EU co-operation aid in the Pacific region with approximately EUR 184 million or K550 million earmarked for the next five years. 
He said: “The EU has been strongly committed to improve aid effectiveness and continues to focus on strengthening aid, trade and political relations with Papua New Guinea and more generally the Pacific region.
 “The European Union works to be a close and reliable partner in supporting Papua New Guinea people in political, social and economic development.”
The European Union (EU)  recently launched its ‘European Year for Development 2015’ aimed to inform and engage Europeans in the debate on its development cooperation to developing nations worldwide, including PNG.
Dihm said “The European Year for Development 2015 showcases the strong commitment of the EU and its Member States to eradicating poverty worldwide amongst Europe’s citizens. 
“It will be an opportunity to put a focus on Papua New Guinea and explain how European aid has helped to improve the daily lives of the people.”
The EU and its member states in Papua New Guinea, mainly France and the United Kingdom, but Austria, Germany, Finland or the Netherlands, provide development and humanitarian assistance to PNG in a co-ordinated and complementary manner to the Government and people’s need of Papua New Guinea.
This is the first ever European Year to focus on external relations and international cooperation.
 
36) Bodies ink deal to attract Pacific investment

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 Pacific Island Trade and Invest (PT&I) New Zealand and Trade and Industry Association of Singapore (TIAS) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote Pacific Island exports into Singapore and attract investment for projects in the Pacific Islands region.
TIAS is a membership body and trade and industry association in Singapore representing private sector. Its membership that runs into thousands comprise of companies in hospitality, energy, marine and infrastructure sectors, among others.
According to Pacific Periscope, TIAS president Kenneth Pan said, “TIAS is delighted to partner and collaborate with PT&I. There are many similarities between Singapore and Pacific Islands, for example, we are island states and we are some of the region’s most popular vacation destinations.
“Singapore became one of Asia’s top business and investment hub, with a vibrant and open economy, low corruption, one of the busiest air and sea ports in the world, all in just 50 years of independence. We (TIAS) encourage companies and businesses in the Pacific Islands to network and involve themselves actively in the global business network.”
Michael Greenslade, PT&I NZ Trade Commissioner said: “The New Zealand Office of PT&I is delighted to have met and built a strong relationship with TIAS leading to the signing of a MoU. 
“PT&I recognises the importance of Singapore as a trade and investment hub for the rest of Asia and sees this relationship and MoU as a major opportunity for Pacific Island countries.”
The MoU signed recently outlined both aspirational and specific objectives and goals. 
As well as to seek Pacific Island products to import into Singapore, TIAS members would like to explore potential of establishing joint ventures.

37) Airline call centre

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

NATIONAL airline Fiji Airways will open its own call centre in the heart of the central business district in Suva today.

A statement from the airline was silent about its future business dealings with Mindpearl, the company which has handled all customer queries and reservations since 2009.

The airline said the new call centre, Pacific Centrecom (Fiji) Ltd, would offer customers an unprecedented level of personalised service. It is a joint venture with Australian-Maltese company Centre Com Pacific Propriety Ltd and a subsidiary of the carrier, Pacific Call Comm. Ltd.

About 40 jobs are expected to be created with the opening of the call centre, which will handle all reservations enquiries.

Mindpearl was engaged after then CEO John Campbell closed reservations operations in Australia, NZ and Fiji resulting in the loss of 17 jobs.

At the time, cost cutting and service improvement were cited as reasons for the outsource.

The establishment of its own call centre is part of an continuing process by the airline to improve service delivery and increase efficiency.Fijitimes

INFRASTRUCTURE

38) Villagers celebrate in launching new road

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 By NATASHA APUTI
VILLAGERS in Gain-Kusip in the remote Wain-Erap local level government in Morobe are celebrating after the launching of a new road.
Nawaeb MP Gisuwat Siniwin said the rural transportation programme was launched last week by the Government and the priority was now on district roads.
He plans to have more new roads built and existing ones maintained.
Some villagers shed tears of joy as they saw trees being felled and shrubs cleared to make way for the new road.
The road project will cost K500,000 and was allocated from the K5 million budget under the Public Investment Programme Grant.
Another K500,000 will be used for road maintenance from Maus to Kusip, K2 million for the road from Wara Sipi to Tiniping Primary School, K1 million from Nembara to Kapora and K1 million for the road from Boana to Gebot.
He said the people had been facing hardships because they did not have roads to use.
The new Gain-Kusip road will be used by more than 3000 villagers from Gain, Kusip and Sirap.
Siniwin thanked the Government for building roads in rural areas where most people dwell in this country.
He said people living in some of the remotest parts of the country, such as Wain-Erap, had been transporting cash crops, market foods and sick people on foot.
 
 39) Service plans on building 9 new jails

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 By SIMON NIANFOP
THE Correctional Service has embarked on the construction of nine new prisons costing almost K700 million, Correctional Service Minister Jim Simatab says.
He said that despite the setback of the prison review to overhaul prison infrastructure and systems, the National Executive Council had approved for funding to be sourced outside of the 2014 Budget to build the jails.
Simatab said yesterday the new jails would be located at Mukrumanda in  Enga, Kaut in New Ireland, Polonou in Manus, Vanimo in West Sepik, Hawa in Hela, Kiunga in Western, Kerema in Gulf, Banz in Jiwaka and Kuviria in Bougainville. He said the securing of funds would be based on the Public Private Partnership policy and legislative framework.
“This new scheme of mobilising major infrastructure projects is a real blessing in disguise for Correctional Service but we should be mindful that the funding is borrowed monies that must be first approved by Treasury because of the impact on the country’s external debt,” Simatab said.
“However, on the whole I am truly grateful of the passion and commitment shown by the Prime Minister and his cabinet in approving my submission for the development of these jails in this manner.”
 
40) Road project gets K22m

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 SCENIC Finschhafen in Morobe is set to undergo major transformation with the signing of a K22 million road infrastructure project.
The road will link Finschhafen to Mape, including district headquarters at Gagidu, and is a welcome relief for the district, says Finschhafen MP and Speaker, Theodore Zurenuoc.
“I want to thank the Government for recognising my district-based company, Hata-Bem Construction Ltd, a company owned by the five local level governments of Finschhafen,” he said.
“We have actually invested district funds in the establishment of a district works unit, formally incorporated as a business arm of the district authority. “As such, it has been granted a massive contract, which is confidence on the part of the government on the part of our district company.
“I would like to thank the government, through the Chief Secretary (Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc) and the Department of Works, for recognising the efforts of our district. 
“We believe we spent money well in terms of investing in capital investment in the district, which will in the long run maximise returns on the funds that the government has given to the district. “
Zurenuoc said work would start from Gagidu to Mape, and then on from Masaweng to Sialum in the neighbouring Tewai-Siassi district.
 
LAW&ORDER 

41) Bank staff in forgery case

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 A BANK employee has been arrested and charged with forgery and conspiring to defraud a company in Port Moresby.
Police reports said the suspect, while employed by Bank South Pacific, allegedly conspired with three others and arranged nine fraudulent cheques amounting to K40,700 to defraud a company. The employee allegedly committed the offence between Jun 26 and Aug 4 last year.  The suspect made arrangements with his colleagues to make the transactions on numerous occasions using other people to cash the cheques. 
His co-accused were given their commission for their alleged roles in defrauding the company. The fraud was revealed by an employee of the company and investigations were conducted. 
The suspect was arrested last week and charged with nine counts of receiving forged bank cheques and one count of conspiracy to defraud.

42) Third MP jailed for corruption

Rnzi
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Another Papua New Guinea MP has been jailed for misappropriation of public money.

The Komo-Magarima MP, Francis Potape, was sentenced to two and half years in prison with hard labour.

PNG Loop reports that after being handed down his sentence by Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, Potape was transferred to Bomana Prison outside Port Moresby.

Potape was convicted in October after it was found that a joint district planning and budget priorities committee meeting he chaired had conspired and misappropriated more than $US100,000 ($F199,48).

He is the third MP in this term of Parliament who has been sentenced for public corruption.

Two other MPs sentenced earlier were Paul Tiensten from Pomio, and Havila Kavo, the MP for Gulf Regional.

Tiensten is serving a nine-year sentence in Bomana, and Kavo is out on bail awaiting his appeal before the Supreme Court.

43) Envoy: Fiji, Aust share stakes in regional security, stability

By TEVITA VUIBAU
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update: 4:51PM AUSTRALIAN High Commissioner Margaret Twomey says the relationship between Australia and the Fiji Police Force is not one of donor and recipient as they have shared stakes in the security and stability of the region.

She made the comments during a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of Police Ben Groenewald where she was accorded a quarter guard parade.

Mr Groenewald also expressed his appreciation of the working relationship between the two countries, saying that since his arrival last year he had witnessed generous and cooperative agreements signed with the Australian Government and Australian Federal Police.

“The restoration and repair of our patrol boat the MV Veiqaravi which is now operational as well as forensic and technical assistance in our drug units are just some of the outcomes of your government’s support,” Mr Groenewald said.

“One of our success stories was achieved last December in the country’s largest heroin bust which was a result of shared intelligence and operational assistance with authorities in Australia.”

Echoing his sentiments Ms Twomey said the drug bust was an example of what both the Australian and Fijian law enforcement agencies could achieve by working together.Fijitimes

44) Fiji Police To Confiscate Items Bought With Drug Money
Drug raids continue in Kadavu


By Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 21, 2015) – Fiji Police say they will not hesitate to confiscate other items believed to have been bought with drug cash as they extend their drug raid operation, Operation Sasamaki, in Kadavu.

Last week, police seized $4000 [US$1994] worth of household items believed to have been bought with money earned from the sale of marijuana.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Chief Operations Rusiate Tudravu says similar treatment will be meted out to those engaging in such practice.

“The law has always been there, it was the enforcement part that was needed and now that we have enforced it, it just completes our work,” Tudravu said.

“If we don’t seize these items than there is no point in uprooting and charging people for cultivation because they will eventually return and enjoy those items again.”

So far, six people from Kadavu have been presented before court and remanded. More are expected to make their appearance soon after being charged with marijuana cultivation related charges.

“Our operation at Kadavu was supposed to be only for a week but we will continue and keep changing officers to go out in the operation.”

Since the start of the operation early this month, police have uprooted more than 4,000 plants and charged more than 10 people following raids in the North and Kadavu.

Fijilive 

REFUGEE

45) Asylum seekers given option

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 ASYLUM seekers on Manus who refuse to be re-settled in Papua New Guinea will be assisted to return to their country of origin, a Government official says.
Chief Migration Officer Mataio Rabura said Australia had made it very clear to everyone that it would not accept any asylum seeker from the Manus regional processing centre to enter that country.
Rabura was in Manus yesterday to resolve a protest staged by the asylum seekers who had been angry about the delay in the processing of their applications.
Australia made a deal with Papua New Guinea to have the refugees processed at the Manus centre, and anyone eligible for resettlement will be offered the opportunity to do so in PNG.   
“The Government has committed itself to combatting people smuggling, trafficking of persons and related transnational crime and entered into an agreement with Australia that it will play its part by processing and settling refugees in PNG,” Rabura said.
He had earlier been directed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to assume leadership of the Manus facility from contractors.
He was to execute his authority as designated administrator of the Manus centre to implement a plan to resolve the protest. 
Immigration and Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato said after taking control of the situation, Rabura allowed security personnel to enter the compound and “assist any  who did not want to be there”.
“A few agitators sought to prevent the removal of ill people but were restrained by security personnel,” Pato said.

46) Pato praises guards

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 IMMIGRATION and Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato has praised the professionalism, restraint and discipline of security officers who brought the situation at the Manus refugee centre under control quickly.
“It was a minority of agitators who were responsible for the escalation of the protest,” Pato said in a statement. 
“Most asylum seekers are peaceable people who simply want their refugee claims processed as quickly as possible so that they can start rebuilding their lives in PNG. 
“They have fled situations of conflict and do not want any part of the aggressive behaviour that the agitators have demonstrated. 
“We will do all we can to help genuine refugees.”
A Guardian Australia report said the officers in riot gear outside Oscar compound watched as alleged ringleaders were led out. 
Pictures from Oscar compound obtained by Guardian Australia appear to show several detainees being walked out of the compound by the security guards.
Just after 4.15pm, guards forced their way first into Delta compound – which had been barricaded since Friday – and arrested several men.
 
MINING,AGRICULTURE,FISHERIES+

47) New Caledonia Koniambo plant reopening

 21 January 2015

New Caledonia’s Koniambo nickel plant is set to resume production after a spill last month shut down the plant.

About 500 tonnes of liquid nickel was spilled from one of the furnaces, incurring millions of US dollars of damage in the most serious incident at the seven-billion US dollar plant.

The authorities have now given the all-clear for production to resume at one furnace while repairs at the other are being completed.

The plant, which was officially opened by the French president Francois Hollande in November, already experienced a blast just before Christmas, briefly affecting production.

The Koniambo plant is widely seen as the key industrial site to advance the economy of the mainly Kanak northern province.RNZI

48) Damaging Rhinoceros Beetle Confirmed In Solomons Capital
Agricultural pest can devastate young palm fronds


By Alfred Pagepitu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 21, 2015) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) officials said on Wednesday they had found a beetle considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous agricultural pests known as oryctes rhinoceros, has been confirmed to be present in Honiara.

The coconut Oryctes rhinoceros is a species of rhinoceros beetle attacks the developing fronds of coconut, oil, and other palms.

Director of Quarantine department Francis Tsatsia told the Solomon Star yesterday MAL confirm the presence of rhinoceros beetle after breeding sites were identified in Honiara.

Mr Tsatsia said quarantine officers investigated further and found adults and larvae of the coconut rhinoceros beetle around Kukum and Panatina areas yesterday.

He said the beetle kills the palms (particularly newly planted ones) when the growing point is destroyed during feeding.

“Larvae do not damage crops, but instead grow in dead, decaying trunks and other organic matter.

“Oryctes rhinoceros is the World’s most deadly coconut rhinoceros beetle which can damage fronds in triangular cuts”, he added

“It is endemic to several countries and the reason it is very dangerous is that its life cycle is very long and it goes into all kinds of food grains,” Director Francis Tsatsia said.

He said quarantine department staff followed up immediately and discovered symptoms of coconut rhinoceros beetle that continues to spread out through east Honiara.

Director Francis said the discovery was made after a member of the public reported strange damages on coconut palms at Panatina and Kukum area.

[PIR editor’s note: Solomon Star also reported that ‘Minister of Agriculture in the Western Provincial government Wayne Maepio supports the initiative of the Bio-security Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to step up the fight to reduce and eradicate the African Giant Snail. … Supporting the sentiments, Gizo quarantine officer Doley Sasa said the department has been scrutinising foreign boats arriving in Gizo. … Mr Sasa said they are stepping up the fight following reports of the snail’s presence in the province.’]

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, they have already set up a task force committee to investigate how far the world’s most dangerous coconut beetle ‘Oryctes rhinoceros’ has spread across the country.

Meanwhile Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Jimmy Saelea has confirmed his officers will go to the identified breeding sites of this beetle and destroy them.

The Ministry is calling for public support in the fight against the deadly pest.

It says any sighting of strange V-shape like symptoms on coconut palms must be reported to the nearest Agriculture office.

Ministerial officials add that the presence of the beetle is threatening the country’s coconut industry and economy.

Earlier this year, the ministry questioned how the pest entered the country is still.

Solomon Star

49) New Caledonia Nickel Plant Set To Resume Production
Koniambo has been closed since spill last month


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 21, 2015) – New Caledonia’s Koniambo nickel plant is set to resume production after a spill last month shut down the plant.

About 500 tonnes of liquid nickel was spilled from one of the furnaces, incurring millions of US dollars of damage in the most serious incident at the seven-billion US dollar plant.

The authorities have now given the all-clear for production to resume at one one furnace while repairs at the other are being completed.

The plant, which was officially opened by the French president Francois Hollande in November, already experienced a blast just before Christmas, briefly affecting production.

The Koniambo plant is widely seen as the key industrial site to advance the economy of the mainly Kanak northern province.

Radio New Zealand International 

WOMAN,YOUTH,CHILD

50) Youth clubs told to register

Mere Naleba
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary Josefa Sania encouraged youth clubs to register with them to qualify for government assistance and for monitoring purposes.

Mr Sania made the plea while touring the Yasawa group last week.

During a public consultation in Yaqeta Village, village youth representative Noa Vunisa raised the issue of most youth clubs not being sustainable in their operations because of the lack of leadership and management skills.

In a statement issued by the ministry, Mr Sania was also told of how small projects by youth clubs in villages in Yasawa have not been properly maintained.

Mr Vunisa said youths lacked the basic skills to manage projects.

“These empowerment trainings are our most urgent needs and we are requesting they could be brought to our shores to help equip these youths,” he said.

Mr Sania says youth groups are to submit monthly reports in order to attract further assistance from the ministry.

“We need your reports so we can easily identify your strength and weaknesses and provide the timely and appropriate interventions to keep your clubs rolling and grow,” he said.

“Empowerment trainings are available, however, we can’t provide help or any training without your reports reaching us – without your report, your clubs are deemed (to be) not functioning.”Fijitimes

EVENTS


51) Mendi cultural show seeks to preserve traditions, dialect

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 A CULTURAL show staged in Mendi, Southern Highlands, last week was to educate young people on the importance of preserving their traditions and dialect, an official says.
Show chairman Richard Awesa told The National the purpose of the show was to showcase, promote and preserve some of the unique cultures and traditions in the province. 
Awesa said it was to promote tourism, which needed a big boost in the province because of the negative image created to outsiders.
“Our children are now adapting to modern culture and Southern Highlands culture is in danger of dying out,” he said.” They do not know how to dress in traditional attire, sing traditional songs and speak their own dialect.” Awesa believed the annual cultural show was helping some people to understand their culture and tradition and hopefully attract tourists. 
He said youths dress in Western clothes and dance to modern music when they should be dancing in their traditional costumes during the show.
He urged the young people to tell their parents next year to provide them with traditional costumes so that they could “dance to the kundu with pride and respect”.
The show was launched last April with Mineral Resource Development Corporation managing director Augustine Mano donating K50,000 towards it.

SPORTS

52) PNG and New Caledonia square off for final playoff spot

 21 January 2015

The final playoff berth will be decided at the Oceania Under 17 football Championship on Wednesday with New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea going head to head in Apia.

Defending champions New Zealand are already through to the semi finals and can guarantee top spot in Group A with a draw or better against the Cook Islands.

New Caledonia are second on nine points, two clear of PNG, who need a win to leapfrog the Francophones into the remaining playoff spot.

Papua New Guinea assistant coach Hans Gewebing is expecting a tough encounter.

“New Caledonians are good ball-players. They play more the same as Papua New Guineans but we know our strengths and we know their weaknesses, which we will try to capitalise on that and maybe eventually come out winners. We will give it out best out there – of course we have to win that game at all cost to make it in the finals so definitely we will have everything we can to win the game and make it through”.

The other Group A match is a matter of pride between Fiji and Samoa.RNZI

53) Tahiti qualify for U17 football semis

 21 January 2015

Tahiti booked their place in the Oceania Under 17 football playoffs with a comfortable 3-0 victory over the Solomon Islands in Pago Pago.

The result means the French Polynesian island move above Vanuatu into first place in Group B, with both teams now qualified for the final four.

Head coach Ludovic Graugnard was satisfied with how his players came through their biggest test so far.

“I’m very happy because I think Solomons can put a lot of problems for us and my plan is to control the midfield and control the forward [area]. I think we win the midfield – no problem for us to control the technical players of Solomon. It was a very very nice party for us”.

Meanwhile Tonga grabbed their first win of the tournament, beating American Samoa 2-0.RNZI

54) Athletics unveils plan

Source: 
The National, Tuesday January 20th, 2015

 ATHLETICS Papua New Guinea has unveiled its plans for the final six months towards the Pacific Games in Port Moresby.
Hurdler Mowen Boino and sprinter Nelson Stone travelled to Brisbane last week to prepare for upcoming competitions, including the Queensland State and PNG national championships in March. 
They will be joined by Toea Wisil, Betty Burua and Donna Koniel, who are undertaking their preparations on the Gold Coast.
Burua returned to Brisbane on Friday after spending several weeks training at the National Sports Institute in Goroka while her visa application was being processed.
The PNG-based team members have been divided into their event groups, with the coaches drawing up schedules for the athletes in conjunction with Athletics PNG. 
A middle/long distance group of 16 athletes head to Adelaide at the end of the month for a series of competitions culminating in the South Australian championships at the end of February.  
Some athletes will head out at the end of this week to take part in the Queensland distance championships in Brisbane on January 24 and the group will stop over in Brisbane on their return from Adelaide to compete in the Queensland Championships (March  5-8). 
The squad will then be based in Goroka until mid April, when they head to Lae for the national championships and Pacific Games selection trials.
Key members of the jumps and multi-event squad will head to Queensland soon for training with head coach Phillip Newton. 
For some athletes such as Karo Iga (high jump) and Robson Yinambe (decathlon), it will be their third or fourth training stint with Newton since the programme began in May last year. 
They will be joined by top high jump prospects Penniel Richard, Delilah Kami and Nellie Leslie as well as several other athletes considered to be strong medal prospects . 
The group will compete at the Queensland championships and a number of other local meets around Brisbane before returning to home for the national championships from April 17 to 19.
“With most of the top sprinters and hurdlers already overseas, there are only a small number of promising up and coming athletes in PNG such as Nazmie Lee Marai, Charles Livuan, Wesley Logorava and Penniel Joshua being considered for support in their preparations,” Athletics PNG president Tony Green said.  
“Wesley and Penniel will undertake blocks of training with Sharon Hannan on the Gold Coast, whereas in the case of Marai and Livuan, we need to work around their study commitments,” he said.
There will be no let up for the squad after the national championships, with a large contingent set to travel to Cairns from Lae and compete at the Oceania championships from May 8-10. 
“A great deal has been secured for the squad at Bohemia Resort in Cairns,” APNG secretary Philip Rehder said.
 “This will enable us to base the squad in Cairns for just over two weeks leading into the championships. 
“We think this is a better option than having everyone disperse after the nationals and then have the hassle of getting them back together so soon afterwards.” 
Following the Oceania championships, the distance group will return to NSI for their final block of six weeks training up to the Games, whereas the jumps and multi-eventers selected for the Games will head back to coach Newton. 
By this time those athletes in the United States will begin to arrive in Australia, having finished their college and track programmes.
During May and June high level competition will be sought for the five elite athletes, which may mean going to Asia. 
However at this stage there are no details available on specific competitions.
 
55) Village puts up hand to host athletes

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 TATANA, in the National Capital District, had the privilege of hosting Tura, the official mascot of the 2015 Pacific Games in their village over the weekend. 
Tura, led by Games Organising Committee CEO Peter Stewart, visited on Saturday at the request of the village leaders and community to hear of their interest to help in the Games.  The visit coincided with the village’s annual Nick and Bonnie Allan volleyball cup challenge, in which Tura made an appearance — dancing and entertaining the children.
Village councillors, Opao Udia and Tom Linken expressed their intention to play a hosting role in the Games  come July.
 Tatana has had a history of hosting Pacific island countries in past events in PNG. 
“We hosted a lunch for Fiji and accommodated Wallis and Futuna in the 1980 Festival of Pacific Arts, and in 1991 for the 9th South Pacific Games, we hosted a lunch for Kiribati and Vanuatu. 
“Recently we hosted New Caledonia during the 5th Melanesian Festival of Art and Culture. 
“We would be honoured to host a country in our village again for these Games,” Udia said. 
Stewart thanked the community for inviting the team to visit the village and wished current and upcoming athletes from Motu Koitabu the best in their sporting careers.
 
56) City’s venue woes arrests soccer league

Source: 
The National, Wednesday January 21st, 2015

 WITH three days to go before the start of 2015 National Soccer League season, the Papua New Guinea Football Association and the league’s board have yet to secure a venue to host games in Port Moresby. 
The shortage of venues sees the NSL management in dire need of an international standard-sized football field for the matches.
PNGFA competition manager Simon Koima said negotiations were continuing for the use of the PNG Institute of Public Administration Oval in Waigani.
He admitted the use of the venue would be contingent upon the NSL guaranteeing the institution against any form of damage to its property and personnel and that fans and teams would abide by a strict code of conduct. 
“I can confirm that we had talks with PNGIPA administration and they have set some strict conditions which NSL must adhere to,” Koima said.
It is understood that the PNGIPA administration are hesitant after experiencing several instances of rowdy behaviour and fan violence in the public servants competition last year.
The PNGIPA Oval was the temporary training and home ground for NSL champions Hekari United.
The club invested a substantial amount of money upgrading the two soccer fields to a decent playing standard — hosting several NSL matches last year.
Koima said the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium would host the Lae leg of NSL matches while Madang’s Laiwaden Oval would be the home of Madang FC. Round 1 fixtures: Port Moresby – 1230 Hekari vs Oro, 1500 Admiralty vs Besta; Lae – 1500 Lae City Dwellers vs FC Port Moresby; Bye – Madang FC.
 
57) Eels survive to win

Maciu Malo
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

TAGAQE Eels survived a tough battle to beat Matanisiga Bears 12-8 at Lawaqa Park over the weekend.

The win has also set a platform for the Nadroga-based players in their bid to win the remaining 9s tournament and to be considered for the Fiji Bati 9s team at the Pacific Mini Games to be held in Papua New Guinea later this year.

FNRL Nadroga Navosa development officer Suliasi Cakautabu said the Eels deserved the title as they were consistent throughout the competition.

He said the side also exposed new players who had the material and the ability to battle against the big names in the country for a spot in the Fiji team.

“The Eels played entertaining game and they were rock solid in defence that earned them the win,” said Cakautabu.

“But it was also a hard fought win as other players wanted to make their presence felt. The presence of Fiji Bati selectors Jo Rabele and Jo Savou also motivated the players to play their hearts out.”

The Eels downed Coastal Roos 10-6 in the semi-final while Bears escaped with narrow 8-6 win over Samu Bola’s Blue Gas Raiwai in the other semi-final.

Big names that also featured at the 9s tournament include Nadroga playmaker Jiuta Lutumailagi who teamed up with Sakiusa Gavidi while former Flying Fijians winger Isoa Neivua played for the Davuilevu Knights.

Cakautabu said another tournament had been scheduled at the end of the month and players had been urged to lift their performance and convince the selectors for a spot in the Fiji 9s team.Fijitimes

58) Pearls beat Samoa 46-44

By RASHNEEL KUMAR
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update: 8:47PM Fiji Pearls held on to win its first match in the Oceania Netball Tri Series against Samoa.

The Pearls defeated Samoa 46-44.Fijitimes

59) Netball Opening quarter: Fiji lead Samoa 13-10

By RASHNEEL KUMAR
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update: 7:04PM Fiji Pearls have taken a 13-10 lead over Samoa at the end of the opening quarter of its second Oceania Netball Tri Series at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.

The Pearls which lost to the Silver Ferns in the opening clash will face the Ferns again in the final match of the series tomorrow.

The Ferns have won the inaugural series after wins over the Pearls and Samoa.Fijitimes

60) NZ too good for Cook Islands

Stuff.co.nz
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update: 5:32PM New Zealand have beaten the Cook Islands 6-0 at the Oceania under-17 football tournament and are preparing for a Saturday semi-final.

Four goals from Jamie Woodlock headlined a comfortable Kiwi effort but one that did not see the scoreboard flow until the second half.

The result sees New Zealand complete the group phase of the championships with five wins from five games and are through to Saturday’s semi-finals.

A 10th-minute goal for captain Oliver Ceci got the New Zealand side going in Apia, Samoa, with a Woodlock double either side of halftime extending the lead to 3-0.

Woodlock completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute, firing home another cross from Sione Fa’apoi before his fourth, and New Zealand’s fifth, came after a byline cutback from substitute Logan Rogerson.

Second-half substitute Sean Skeens completed the scoring in the 82nd minute, netting after Rogerson’s shot was blocked by Cook Islands goalkeeper Chrismagne Elikana.

New Zealand’s semifinal opponents will be known today after the top two sides in group B, Vanuatu and Tahiti, meet in their final pool match.

61) Liverpool draw with Chelsea

AP
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update: 11:49AM Raheem Sterling’s stunning individual goal earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw with Chelsea in a rip-roaring League Cup semi-final first leg at Anfield on Tuesday (today Fiji time) but the dominant Merseysiders could be left to rue a missed opportunity.

Chelsea, having taken an 18th minute lead against the run of play through an Eden Hazard penalty, defended stoutly until Sterling, refreshed and reinvigorated from a mid-season break, levelled before the hour after bursting through the defence.

Both sides had vociferous penalty appeals turned down and Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois showed his worth with a series of superb saves to keep the tie level heading into next Tuesday’s return leg.

For record eight-times League Cup winners Liverpool, however, it was a chance missed, having dominated the clash against a strangely subdued Chelsea side who will now have home advantage and be strong favourites to reach Wembley.

The winners will face Tottenham Hotspur or third tier Sheffield United, who meet on Wednesday, in the final.

“I’m delighted with the performance, disappointed with the result,” was Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’ assessment of an evening of near-misses for the hosts.

Minutes after home captain Steven Gerrard had seen a stunning 30-metre effort tipped over by Courtois, Liverpool were playing catch-up.

Hazard calmly slotted home from the spot in the 18th minute after Liverpool’s makeshift defender Emre Can clumsily bundled into the Belgian in the area.

www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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