Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1075 ( Sunday 8 March 2015 )

MELANESIA

1) Fiji Opposition MP dies
By Online Editor
4:40 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2015, Fiji

Fiji Opposition MP and member of Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Ratu Viliame Tagivetau died in Nabouwalu Hospital Thursday after a short illness.

Ratu Viliame was admitted at the hospital on Wednesday.

He was a member of the chiefly clan of the Tui Bua and was from Koroinasolo village, in Bua Province.

Ratu Viliame was in his late sixties. He was a former civil servant and former Native Lands and Fisheries Commissioner. He is survived by his wife Nanise Adi.

Ratu Viliame is the first MP to have died after Fiji’s election in 2014.SOURCE: PACNEWS

FIJI SUN/

2) Indonesians accused of blood money approach to MSG

Updated at 3:12 pm on 6 March 2015

A West Papuan leader says Indonesian lobbying of regional governments should not dilute the case for West Papuan membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

The comment from the secretary-general of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Octo Mote, follows visits by Indonesia’s Foreign Minister to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji.

Retno Marsudi’s visits came as MSG countries consider a membership bid by the Movement.

Ms Marsudi’s talks in Fiji resulted in Indonesia committing 20 million US dollars to a MSG capacity building programme.

Mr Mote says Jakarta can forge closer ties with Melanesia but doesn’t have an argument against the West Papuan MSG bid.

“Therefore the only way they can is to give money. But where is this money from? This money is blood money. That money is from West Papua. Indonesia doesn’t have resources, except from Freeport McMoran [which operates a large mine in Papua], except from British Petroleum (which operates a large gas project in Papua), except from many other natural resources in West Papua.”

3a ) MSG Private Sector Consultations Underway
By Online Editor
6:42 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2015, Vanuatu

Preliminary consultations on the design of a Private Sector Development (PSD) Strategy for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) will be conducted in Honiara, Solomon Islands this week.

The current series of visits to MSG capitals is aimed at sensitizing stakeholders on activities under the Secretariat’s PSD work programme, with emphasis on the proposed PSD Strategy, which will be supported by the European Union-funded Pacific Integration Technical Assistance Project (PITAP).

MSG Private Sector Development Adviser, Henry Sanday, met with the Minister for Trade and Industry, Richard Maru, senior government officials and private sector representatives in Port Moresby from 17-20 February, when the private sector consultations were launched.

With the help of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, similar consultations with national stakeholders are scheduled for 4-6 March in Honiara.

“These initial interactions are to prepare our members for substantive in-country consultations over the next three months on the implementation of a commitment under the Port Moresby Declaration, which is to formulate a PSD Strategy that is specifically tailored for the Melanesian sub-region by the end of this year,” said the Director General, Peter Forau.

Acknowledging the support of the European Union in the regional economic integration of MSG Member countries through PITAP, Forau added: “The MSG-wide PSD Strategy will support members in the execution of private sector-related policies which are contained in their respective national development strategies..

Stakeholders from government, private sector and civil society groups, including those from rural areas have also been engaged in Port Vila, Vanuatu while a visit to Suva, Fiji is being planned as well..

MSG SECETARIAT/PACNEWS


3b) Vanuatu daily news Digest | 7 March 2015
by bobmakin

  • The ‘waet missus’ cargo cult figure called Debra Burslem, she who allegedly scammed millions out of her Australian Magnificent Meal Movement, gains more column inches than anything else this week. The Independent has her all over pages 1 and 4 and she sounds as much like a spoof as the Betoota Advocate seemingly quite likely made of the scaffolding industry in Queensland going on strike over the alleged kava ban. Not content with scaffolders, Betoota unconfirmed reports also added in NRL football, security personnel and the Mormon Church planning pro-kava activity. The waet missus cargo cult figure seems equally a figment of someone’s animated imagination, possibly that of the Claire Murphy whose 27 paras are quoted in full. No journalist has investigated anything. Not one is prepared to give his by-line to the story. It is what is generally called gossip – not something taught at the Journalism School at INTV. But our profession seems to have shrunk to its lowest and smallest. There were only two applicants for the Journalism School this year when applications closed. This Digest doesn’t give a damn about this Debra.
  • And this was a week in which good things are happening, and especially for women, as on International Women’s Day, yesterday. The theme for the day was Empowering Women. Nelly Caleb and Helen Tamtam won the International Women’s Day awards.These are a joint initiative of the Lynch and Mataskelekele families and the Australian High Commission. Helping women achieve equal opportunities is the idea, even 20 years after the Beijing conference heard 189 nations make promises in that regard – promises which have still not been honoured, as High Commissioner Bruer pointed out. I hope you will be able to learn more on Nelly’s efforts with the disabled, and Helen’s in promoting teaching reform through use of the lingua franca, in the media in the coming days. Daily Post covered the celebration in today’s paper.
  • There was a nasty incident of expats threatening ni-Vanuatu with guns and breaking a window of their van. This happened near Devil’s Point.
  • Malvatumauri President Chief Senimao Tirsupe called on government to recognise the role of chiefs in custom governance, which it subsequently did on National Custom Chiefs’ Day. On Friday, Post reported PM Natuman agreeing to secure financial assistance in next year’s budget, although he is naturally cautious about creating a chiefly dependence on government.
  • Thursday’s Post also had a letter from a Port Vila resident complaining of the crises at VBTC – its poor reception and the quality of content which has also dropped mightily in recent years as more commercial outlets have been granted licences – by VBTC! The re-appointed GM is urged to send in debt collectors to former Board Members to recover their outstanding debts.
  • Today’s Post says the VNPF is no longer going to purchase land for the Vanuatu mission in Fiji owing to the change in legislation in that country over land ownership. Which reminds your editor I failed to mention the Post having earlier reported premises at the Stade area being given to the UN agencies needing an office here.
  • The Police are being given 7 days notice to settle an account of VT 4 million or vehicles in that company’s possession will be sold.
  • A Port Vila Vaturisu conference is planned for May 10 – 14 to deal with squatter issues. It will take place on Emau.
  • Radio Vanuatu this week did mention the difficulties the Public Service Commission had in terminating two directors of Vanuatu Government services in the first two months of this year. Livo Mele, Agriculture, and Albert William, Environment, have both been terminated. They do have the right to a court appeal but there are time limits.
4) State empowering grassroots people

Source:
The National, Friday March 6th, 2015

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says the Government is changing the nation for the better by empowering grassroots people.
He told the people during the launching of the Nipa-Kutubu district five-year development plan at the Nipa government station, in Southern Highlands, that the right policies were helping people improve their lives.
“The Government is investing in districts, provinces and ward councils, which is taking service delivery to the people of our rural areas,” he said.
“Grassroots people know what is needed in their areas and they must be included in decision-making processes.
“Councillors, village magistrates and court officers are now funded by the Government. This consistency facilitates leadership and decision-making at the local level.”
The Government is building new quarters for public servants houses, addressing problems in the law and order system, providing opportunities for children to be educated and families to access healthcare.
“Provinces are now receiving almost K3 billion each year for key impact projects,” O’Neill said.
“For 40 years, governments looked around for money as if we were one of the poorest countries in the world. PNG had to beg for money from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and countries like Australia.
“Now we have enough revenue, and we have proper management of how we spend this revenue for our people.”

MICRONESIA

5) Palau President Defends Legality Of National Marine Sanctuary
Concerns raised about loss of fishing rights and revenues

NGERULMUD, Palau (Oceania TV News, March 56 2015) — The national marine sanctuary legislation does not violate any laws of the Republic of Palau, including the Constitution, stresses President Tommy Remengesau. This is in response to an opinion indicating potential harm and loss of fishing rights revenues as a result of the commercial fishing ban.

The main issue presented by Talobak Victorio Uherbelau in his Feb 6, 2015 opinion to the state governments of Angaur and Kayangel, and also submitted to the Palau National Congress, refers to concerns regarding the loss of revenue for fishing rights fees upon the creation of the commercial ban.

On Feb. 25, 2015, during administration’s weekly press conference, the president said during the 5-year transition period, state governments will continue to receive their share of the fishing rights fees.

Additionally, the pending marine sanctuary legislation includes a funding mechanism that will replace the lost revenues once the ban is in place.

Marianas Variety

AUSTRALIA

6) Australia to build 21 patrol boats for Pacific nations worth $594 million

By Online Editor
4:43 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2015, Australia

In a first, small step to save the naval shipbuilding industry, the Abbott government has called for tenders to build 21 patrol boats in Australia for regional nations.

The vessels will cost a total of $594 million (US$461 million) to build.

Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said Thursday the Pacific Patrol Boat Program was the centrepiece of the Australia’s engagement in the South Pacific and represented a significant investment in Australian defence industry.

The minister said the patrol boat program was part of a plan for a sustainable naval shipbuilding industry.

“The government recognises the significant value to our nation of a skilled naval shipbuilding workforce,” Andrews said.

With the existing Pacific Patrol Boats approaching the end of their service life, the Government had committed to replacing the regional fleet with new Australian made vessels.

The vessels would help the island nations’ secure their extensive Exclusive Economic Zones.

At 40 metres in length, capable of travelling at least 2500 nautical miles, and with a top speed of at least 20 knots, the steel-hulled replacement vessels will be larger and more seaworthy than the current fleet.

They have been offered to Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Cook Islands and East Timor.

The vessels would be designed and constructed to commercial standards and they had to be simple and cost-effective to own, operate and maintain, Andrews said.

They would be provided without weapons but they could be added later.

Meanwhile major defence companies called on the government to prepare a 30-year strategic plan to ensure the naval shipbuilding industry’s survival.

Chris Burns, CEO of the Defence Teaming Centre said the current short-term plans and ad hoc acquisition approach did not get the best value for money for the nation from the multi billion dollars expended by the Government for its federal fleets of ships and submarines.

“We are calling for a 30-year strategic plan for shipbuilding in Australia that recognises the value for money benefits for the nation of a continuous build program,” Burns said.

“In the past, we have had an ad hoc approach which has induced peaks and troughs that have proven to be both costly and inefficient,” he said.
SOURCE: THE AUSTRALIAN/PACNEWS

NEW ZEALAND

7) NZ spying on Pacific neighbours: Hager- Journalist Nicky Hager is accusing the government of spying on its Pacific neighbours on an unprecedented scale and giving the information to the United States. Author Nicky Hager says it’s the era of dirty tricks. Basing his information on documents provided by US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Mr Hager said the Government’s spy agency intercepted communications from several countries in the region and shared the information with the United States. The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) intercepted communications from countries such as Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Samoa, and even nations as small as Tuvalu, Nauru and Kiribati. New Zealand had gathered vast amounts of information and provided it en masse to the National Security Agency in the United States, and the surveillance was growing, Mr Hager said.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/267788/nz-spying-on-pacific-neighbours-hager

TOK PISIN

8) Problem long sapotim West Papua i stap long ol MSG lida yet: Ian Roni

Postim 6 March 2015, 16:18 AEDT

Sam Seke

Lida blong Free West Papua Movement long Solomon Islands, Ian Roni i tok problem long sapotim West Papua i kamap memba blong Melanesian Spearhead Group em ino long Indonesia, em long ol MSG kantri yet.

Odio: Lida blong Free West Papua Movement long Solomon Islands, Ian Ron i toktok
Mr Roni i tok problem long dispela, em long wanem ol lida blong MSG ino bin wokbung long membership na ol isiu blong ol pipol blong West Papua.

Em i autim dispela toktok long wankain taim ol luksave long ol isiu na wok blong sapotim dispela free West Papua muvmen i wok long kamap moa long Solomon Islands.

Ian Roni husat i wanpela biknem musician tu long Solomon Islands itok, nabawan wok blong ol em long mekim gavman i sapotim West Papua i kamap memba blong Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Mr Roni itok sampela memba blong MSG ibin tokaut pinis long sapot blong ol long West Papua i kamap memba, tasol i nogat wanpela toktok i kam aut yet long Solomon Islands gavman.Radio Australia

9) Solomon i nau ken lukim ol peles we i nogut long wokim developmen longen

Updated 6 March 2015, 9:05 AEDT
Sam Seke

Ol otoriti i ken nau lukim long map olgeta hap graun long Solomon Islands we i gutpela oa bai bungim heve longen sapos developmen i kamap longen.

Flood wara long Mataniko River long Honiara long April 2014 i soim bagarap iken kamap sapos i nogat gutpela planing (Credit: Audience Submitted)
Ol environment, planning na development otoroti long Solomon Islands inau gat wanpela kain tul long ol i ken yusim long abrisim developmen long ol denjaras peles.

Dispela tul ia nau ol i kolim Geographic Information System or G-I-S map i soim ol eria we bai floods, solwara, landslides na arapela samting i ken bagarapim.

UNDP, Live and Learn na gavman blong Australia nau i help long kamapim i wok longen wantaim Ministry blong Environment long  Solomon Islands.

UNDP Consultant dispela program, Brian Pitakia itok ol ibin statim dispela G-I-S map long Temotu na Guadalcanal provins na em i nau karamapim kantri olgeta.

Mr Pitakia itok map ia i gat piksa na i soim planti infomesen long olgeta komiuniti long Solomon Islands.Radio Australia

FRENCH

10) Brèves du Pacifique – vendredi 6 mars 2015

Posté à 6 March 2015, 16:28 AEDT
Élodie Largenton

Les manifestants arrêtés à Nauru ont été libérés sous caution, hier soir.

En tout, 183 personnes avaient été emprisonnées mercredi, après une série de protestations de réfugiés. Les manifestants sont notamment accusés d’avoir bloqué une route, agressé des policiers et détruit des biens publics. Les autorités indiquent aussi avoir inculpé un civil nauruan, que l’on peut voir frapper un réfugié, dans une vidéo diffusée par ABC. La répression exercée par la police est, en revanche, légitimée : les forces de l’ordre n’ont fait que réagir à un groupe qui avait clairement l’intention de provoquer des troubles, assurent les autorités. Selon une organisation de défense des réfugiés, cinq manifestants ont été blessés par la police, vendredi dernier, ce que dément le président nauruan.

  • Un nouveau sursis pour les deux Australiens condamnés à mort en Indonésie : leur exécution pourrait être repoussée d’une dizaine de jours. Selon leurs avocats, ce délai serait dû au fait que des actions en justice sont toujours en cours pour cinq des onze condamnés à mort qui doivent être fusillés en même temps. C’est le cas, notamment, des détenus australiens, Andrew Chan et Myuran Sukumaran. En revanche, la proposition d’un échange de prisonniers entre l’Australie et l’Indonésie a été rejetée par le président Joko Widodo.
  • La galerie d’art nationale d’Australie s’apprête à rendre une statue volée de Bouddha à l’Inde. Elle n’est pas perdante pour autant, puisqu’elle va récupérer la somme dépensée pour acquérir l’œuvre, soit 1,2 million de dollars. Le vendeur, un marchand d’antiquités de New York a, en effet, accepté de rembourser la galerie, en assurant de sa bonne foi.
  • Les « crocodiles selfies » sont en vogue dans le nord de l’Australie. À tel point que les responsables du parc naturel Top End viennent de publier un avertissement : les touristes qui se prennent en photo avec des crocodiles, même s’il s’agit de « freshies », ces petits crocodiles d’eau douce, risquent de se faire attaquer. Radio Australia

11) Les pays du Pacifique pas perturbés par les révélations sur l’espionnage néo-zélandais

Mis à jour 6 March 2015, 16:47 AEDT
Élodie Largenton

« Ça ne va pas m’empêcher de dormir ! » C’est ainsi qu’a réagi le Premier ministre samoan, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele, aux révélations du New Zealand Herald.

S’appuyant sur des documents fournis par le lanceur d’alerte Edward Snowden, le journaliste d’investigation Nicky Hager montre que les services de renseignement néo-zélandais ont mis en place un système de surveillance de masse des communications dans le Pacifique.

Des révélations qui n’ont pas beaucoup ému les pays visés. Pour le moment, Fidji refuse de commenter l’information. « C’est leur problème, allez parler aux autorités néo-zélandaises » a simplement répondu un responsable militaire fidjien au Fiji Times.

Du côté des Samoa, le Premier ministre se montre donc particulièrement placide. Pour Tuilaepa Sa’ilele, interrogé par la radio nationale néo-zélandaise, ces révélations sont un peu tirées par les cheveux, et il ne se sent pas vraiment concerné :

« Ma priorité, c’est de donner du travail et à manger à ma population, c’est tout. Les choses dont vous parlez relèvent de problèmes de sécurité importants. Nous sommes tous des amis, nous sommes tous des frères, et nous nous aimons les uns les autres. »

Son homologue tongien se montre un peu plus préoccupé, même si sa réaction reste très mesurée. Si ces allégations sont vraies, ce serait décevant, cela voudrait dire que la Nouvelle-Zélande abuse de notre confiance, estime Akilisi Pohiva, tout en considérant que cela relève de la prérogative de Wellington :

« Je vais demander à avoir une réunion avec le consul de Nouvelle-Zélande ici, à Tonga, pour essayer de savoir ce qu’il en est réellement. Si j’ai l’occasion de me rendre en Nouvelle-Zélande sous peu, c’est un sujet que je mettrais sur la table, c’est sûr. »

Si ces révélations ne provoquent donc pas de réactions indignées, c’est parce qu’elles ne surprennent personne, estime l’expert stratégique Robert Ayson, au micro de ABC :

« Ce n’est pas surprenant que la Nouvelle-Zélande surveille les pays du Pacifique sud. Le pays est le spécialiste en la matière depuis longtemps. Si un pays étranger se tourne vers les services de renseignement néo-zélandais, vous pouvez être sûrs que cela va concerner le Pacifique. Donc ce n’est vraiment pas une grande  nouvelle qu’on espionne la région. »

D’ailleurs, si le fait que chaque courriel, chaque conversation téléphonique soit intercepté est démenti par le Premier ministre néo-zélandais, John Key reconnaît cependant que la Nouvelle-Zélande recueille des informations sur des pays étrangers, affirmant que ses services de renseignement agissent « en toute légalité ».

Une surveillance qui peut servir aux pays de la région, affirme le professeur Robert Ayson :

«  Je pense que certaines observations des services de renseignement néo-zélandais dans le Pacifique sud concernant par exemple le trafic de drogue, la pêche illégale, ce genre de choses… peuvent servir aux pays du Pacifique. Ils dépendent aussi de ces renseignements, donc je ne pense pas qu’il faille voir cela comme étant à sens unique. Et je ne pense pas qu’il faille s’imaginer que cela va créer des dissensions entre la Nouvelle-Zélande et ses partenaires du Pacifique. »Radio Australia

12) Financement des organisations aborigènes : le gouvernement australien critiqué

Mis à jour 6 March 2015, 16:36 AEDT
Élodie Largenton

« Chaotique et confuse » : c’est ainsi qu’est qualifiée la politique du gouvernement australien en matière de financement des organisations autochtones.

Une critique émise par l’organe suprême représentant les Aborigènes et les indigènes du détroit de Torrès après la publication de la liste des associations qui recevront des aides publiques, cette année. Sur les 2 350 demandes déposées, un peu moins d’un millier ont été acceptées, pour un montant total de 680 millions de dollars. Beaucoup d’associations ont été oubliées, dont l’organisme national qui apporte des aides juridiques aux détenus aborigènes. C’est d’autant plus décevant que les besoins sont énormes, les Aborigènes représentent une grande partie des détenus, rappelle son président, Shane Duffy, interrogé par ABC :

« J’aurais pensé que le Premier ministre et le ministre des Affaires indigènes, Nigel Scullion, auraient vu l’intérêt de faire appel à nous, à l’organe suprême représentant les Aborigènes, pour les conseiller sur la manière dont ils prennent des décisions directement liées aux Aborigènes et indigènes du détroit de Torrès. »

Le conseiller en chef sur les affaires autochtones, Warren Mundine, explique que c’est la conséquence de la réforme mise en place par le gouvernement, qui souhaite se focaliser davantage sur la scolarisation des enfants et la lutte contre le chômage des adultes aborigènes. Le gouvernement a été clair sur ses intentions, assure-t-il :

« On a toujours dit qu’il y aurait une réforme, et que cela impliquerait qu’il y ait des gagnants et des perdants. »

Une réponse qui ne satisfait pas Kirstie Parker, co-présidente du Congrès national des premiers peuples d’Australie :

« Je ne pense pas que ça soit très utile de parler d’associations en terme de « gagnantes et perdantes ». Si de mauvaises décisions sont prises, c’est mauvais pour toute la communauté. »

Le travailliste Shayne Neumann s’attaque, lui, à l’argument de la réforme avancée par le gouvernement. Selon lui, l’équipe de Tony Abbott ne cherche pas à améliorer la situation, mais à faire des économies :

« Le gouvernement dit qu’il s’agit de faire des économies de fonctionnement et de réduire la paperasse, mais en fait, on le sait maintenant, il s’agit d’une réduction de budget. Des documents du Sénat le prouvent. C’est une grande partie de la dernière coupe budgétaire de 534 millions de dollars. Tony Abbott a prodigieusement échoué en matière de politique indigène, et il a laissé tout le secteur dans la confusion. »

Dans un communiqué, le ministre des Affaires indigènes a assuré qu’il discuterait avec les associations dont la demande de financement a été rejetée, et qu’il leur indiquerait d’autres voies pour continuer à fonctionner.Radio Australia

WORLD

13) Brazil to investigate corruption allegations involving more than 30 politicians and oil giant Petrobras

Updated 7 March 2015, 17:20 AEDT

Brazil’s Supreme Court authorises the investigation of dozens of politicians, including the presidents of the senate and of the chamber of deputies over the multi-billion-dollar graft case involving state oil giant Petrobras.

Those facing investigation include 22 serving congressmen and 12 senators, among them a former president, after a move marking a new front in a snowballing scandal that has caused political and social uproar, threatening to tear apart the ruling coalition.

Not under investigation is the president Dilma Rousseff, who was Petrobras board chair during much of the decade-long period when politicians allegedly benefited from huge kickbacks via inflated contracts struck between the oil firm and dozens of companies.

“Launching investigations was considered viable as there are indications of illegality,” a court statement read, quoting a decision by Supreme Court presiding minister Teori Zavascki.

Around three dozen politicians were named, many of them allies of the leftist president’s ruling coalition, following a demand by public prosecutor Rodrigo Janot that the court lift their political immunity.

The list namely includes former president Fernando Collor, now a senator.

A different corruption scandal saw Mr Collor forced from power in 1992 – he resigned before he could be impeached.

Those named are variously accused of crimes relating to involvement in a scheme facilitating corruption and money laundering that saw an estimated $US3.8 billion creamed off inflated contracts over a decade.

According to Mr Janot, the scheme operated under clear “rules… along similar lines to a football league,” whereby inflated contracts were shared out principally among major construction firms and those who benefited received between one and three per cent of the value.

Ms Rousseff’s Workers’ Party (PT) issued a prompt rebuttal of the allegations, while declaring its “wholesale” support for an investigation “without favour or partiality.”

A PT statement added that, while the party “is proud to have led governments which implacably fought against corruption,” it would support statutory punishment for any politician found guilty.

The party added that any money that might have gone to politicians were “donations” that were “legal and duly declared” to the authorities.

Severe repercussions for Brazilian politics

Ms Rousseff won re-election just four months ago, her top priority the revitalisation of a flailing economy hamstrung by four straight years of low growth and rising inflation.

The naming of Congress president and senator Renan Calheiros and Eduardo Cunha, president of the chamber of deputies, could have severe repercussions for the centrist PMDB party and the ruling coalition.

The PMDB is the strongest political group in the senate and the second-biggest in the lower chamber after the PT, making its support in Congress critical for Ms Rousseff.

Both Mr Calheiros and Mr Cunha denied any wrongdoing, while Ms Rousseff denied all knowledge of the kickbacks scheme, backing the investigation.

Mr Cunha said his situation was “transparent – nothing to fear.”

Mr Calheiros for his part said his “relations with the public authorities never went beyond institutional limits”.

He added he would submit “all information the judges want” in a case set to last up to four years.

The scandal, dubbed Operation Car Wash, broke a year ago when a former Petrobras director turned whistleblower in a bid to strike a plea bargain.

His accusations, which have slowly filtered through the media, suggest the kickback cash was destined for private accounts or to finance political parties.

Among those questioned but later released was PT treasurer Joao Vaccari Neto.

The Progressive Party, another Rousseff ally that has 32 members facing investigation, did not immediately react to the latest developments.

AFP

HEALTH

14) Whooping cough scare in PNG’s Western Province
By Online Editor
4:35 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2015, Papua New Guinea

Whooping cough has hit villages along Lake Murray in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province but it has been brought under control, according to Middle Fly health services.

More than 200 people had been treated for the disease at Aimabak and Boboa clinics while about 1000 people had come forward with complaints such as cold, flu and measles.

Following reports of the outbreak, a health patrol team was deployed to Aimabak and then to Lake Murray.

It brought medical supplies and awareness materials for whooping cough and other related diseases and then travelled further down to Obo (lower Middle Fly) and Boboa (Lake Murray station) health facilities to treat the sick.

Patrol team leader Nelson Witi said all these cases were diagnosed clinically, and out of the 201 whooping cough cases 149 were new cases.

Witi also explained that 531 children were seen and immunised for measles, polio and pneumonia.

“There is still a window for cross infection of children in the villages of Wangawanga, Aimabak, Bosset, Kasa, Lewame, Obo, Kavinanga and Komovai because of the new road link and common sharing of traditional land and fishing boundaries and the movement of people,” he said.

He further explained that there is only one operational health facility in Lake Murray which catered for 16 villages.S

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

EDUCATION

15) Technical scholarships and loans remain open

Talebula Kate
Sunday, March 08, 2015

THIS is a window of opportunity to further your studies at tertiary level, make use of it, and at the end of the day the Government will look forward to your contribution within your community, nation, region, and globally. Tertiary Scholarships & Loans Board manager operations Laisiasa Corerega made the comment to the new recipients of the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme.

“Students and members of the public are hereby requested to visit the Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board (TSLB) office, call, email, or write to TSLB regarding any issues with their scholarships,” Mr Corerega said.

Meanwhile, with the TELS applications now closed, the Fiji Technical College, Centre for Appropriate Learning Technology (CATD), Nadave, SSSC Loans Scheme, and the In Service — Public Employee Scholarship and Loans Schemes are still open until March 20.

Mr Corerega said there were Korean, China and Australian scholarship schemes which would be advertised shortly.Fijitimes

POLITIC

16) PNG Government Allegedly Fails To Make Superannuation Payments
State reportedly owes fund $811 million of withheld contributions

By Helen Tarawa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 5, 2015) – The Government owes K2.2 billion [US$811 million] to Nambawan Super Limited in outstanding members’ superannuation contributions, chief executive officer Garry Tunstall says. He told The National that the State stopped paying members’ contributions about eight to nine years ago.

Nambawan Super members – in this case public servants – have their contributions deducted from their pay. Their employer – the State – forwards this to the NSL. But it failed to do so for some years, thus the outstanding K2.2b.

Tunstall said the outstanding amount was a State liability which was historical.

Nambawan Super has been slowly recovering this money when members retire by claiming from the State the retirement payouts.

It paid another K13 million [US$4.8 million] in the financial year ending December 31, 2014.

It is awaiting the refund of that from the State.

“The Government stopped paying contributions when they were in financial difficulty. As a result of that, they accumulated a huge debt,” he said.

“We recoup the money by paying out our members fully when they retire and the Government off-sets the balance of what is owed.”

He said the current payments of members’ contributions were up to date as they were done electronically and came through on a regular basis.

“It’s the historical payments that is owed from many years ago which we are collecting gradually as people retire,” he said.

“The only problem is when a big number of Government officers leave at the same time, the Government may not have enough money to settle that, and it becomes a problem.”

In addition, Tunstall said 99 companies owed Nambawan Super K7m [US$2.7 million] in contributions. Among them is the National Housing Corporation, which owes K10.3 million [US$3.8 million] in members’ contributions.

“We add seven per cent as crediting rate interest onto the K2.2 billion and that added onto our asset base of the fund at about K7 billion,” he said.

“The Government has at stages in past years paid certain amounts to try and repay that debt. So in the past they’ve paid small amounts of about K150 million [US$55 million] to K200 million [US$74 million] to reduce that debt. And so what generally happens, it accrues as the member leaves. We then advise the Government how much they need to pay us and they gradually pay us when their cash flow allows it. It is usually paid within the year or month or two after the year ends so the Government is generally meeting their commitments.”

Nambawan Super has a membership of about 139,000, which includes private and public sector employees.

“We’re growing the private sector members all the time,” Tunstall said.

The National

17) New Caledonia Party Calls For Protest Against Political Impasse
French territory is in third month without proper government

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 6, 2015) – The leader of a small New Caledonian party has called for a rally in Noumea to protest against the political impasse.

The gathering is being organised by Stephane Henocque as the territory is in its third month without a properly constituted government.

The last administration fell in December when the Caledonia Together Party resigned from the collegial government.

Attempts to re-elect a president have failed in part because disagreements within the dominant anti-independence camp.

The caretaker president, Cynthia Ligeard, is in Paris, reportedly for discussions with French government leaders about the political situation.

Radio New Zealand International

18) Fiji opposition condemns PMs UN speech– The Fijian opposition says Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama’s speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday was inaccurate, simplistic and covered up the true predicaments of Indigenous Fijians. The Fijian Prime Minister told an international delegation in Geneva that Fiji had much to be proud of in terms of its human rights record and that indigenous Fijians were fully protected by the constitution and under no threat whatsoever. But Fiji’s opposition leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa says this is far from the truth and that she is seeking means for the opposition’s voice to be heard at international meetings. ” They had put together 17 decrees. Which systematically means the dismantling of the rights and privileges of the indigenous Fijians. So that is where we do not agree with what he is saying in regards to the indigenous Fijians because we have seen the systematic dismantling of our rights and privileges in that regard.”

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/267781/fiji-opposition-condemns-pms-un-speech

LAND

19) City to update land value

Source:
The National, Friday March 6th, 2015

By KESSIE TADAP
THE National Capital District is losing millions of kina in revenue on land rates because the system used is more than 20 years old, Governor Powes Parkop says.
Parkop said that during the presentation of the updated NCD valuation roll by the Valuer-General, Gabriel Michael, to the commission in Port Moresby.
He said the rolls currently used by the commission dated back to 1992 and was causing a big loss in revenue because it had not been updated.
Michael said the Valuation Act required that the Valuer-General update the valuation roll every five years due to the changes in the market. But this was not done for properties in the city.
The NCDC managed to collect K680 million in revenue from rates and land taxes on the 19,000 active pieces of land, out of the 25,000 registered land portions held in the commission’s data base.
Parkop said the completion of the updated roll by the Valuer-General would mean higher rates, thus more revenue for the NCDC.
The commission will now be able to collect rates at the current market value for properties in the NCD.  He said it would be quite a significant increase in revenue.
Elizabeth Yenpiti, representing the valuers, had taken part in the exercise which involved visiting properties in the past three months.

Yenpiti said the exercise could have been made easier with the use of computerised software to assist the officers.

20) Magistrate: Land titles vital in court

Source:
The National, Friday March 6th, 2015

LAND titles are important to people if they have to take a matter to court such as applying for an eviction notice, Mt Hagen District Court magistrate Betty Jacobs says.
She said that yesterday in court when two parties were trying to claim ownership of a property which belonged to another person who had passed away. Jacobs was told that the property at Pope Oval was owned by the late Patrick Nasa.
After he died, two parties laid claim to his property and land.
Jacobs told them that because no one had the title to the land, the court could not grant an eviction notice to allow one person to own the land.
She said it would be easier for the court if one party produced a title.
“In this case, I cannot allow anyone to be evicted because this property does not have a title,” she said.
“Before doing anything on a piece of land you have to have a title in place.”
He said a title over a land indicated ownership.

“For this case, I cannot say who is to leave or stay because both parties do not have a title.”

21) PNG Considers Amending Land Act, Restricting Ownership To Citizens

Land could only be sub-leased to foreigners

By Sharon Lowa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 6, 2015) – Foreigners and foreign investors entering the country to obtain land will no longer be entertained once changes are made to the Land Act and after it goes through the process before being passed into a law by the National Parliament.

Lands and Physical Planning Minister Benny Allen revealed this when presenting land titles to the Tabaule Enterprise in Toma Vunadidir local level government, East New Britain Province.

He said the changes they were making to the Land Act would restrict ownership of land to nationals only.

He said changes in the Land Act would not allow any foreigner or foreign investor to own land in PNG or even to apply for land, unless they were citizens and would die in the country.

All land titles would be awarded to Papua New Guineans however, land could only be sub-leased to foreigners or on joint venture basis.

Almost 97 per cent of the total land mass of Papua New Guinea is still owned by traditional landowners leaving the State to own only three per cent. Mr Allen said that State land would never be returned or taken back by customary landowners.

Land issues and disputes has become a major issue in the country causing fights between clans, disagreements and death.

PNG Post-Courier

22) Call by landowners to revert land ownership

Salaseini Moceiwai
Sunday, March 08, 2015

FOLLOWING the third iTaukei public consultation held in Nausori on Friday night, TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki says they have been inundated with enquiries made by landowners on the progress of their requests to Government about reverting to them some parcels of land.

Mr Qetaki said the lands were basically crown and native grants that belonged to the State.

“These lands the landowners are after, are owned by the State.

“In Nausori, they want the Government to revert those lands to them as they also claim that prior to this land being State land, it was held by them.

“It’s not a simple issue to resolve and we have been telling them that we have been following a process,” he said.

“The process is moving and what we want to do is to agree with the Ministry of Lands, particularly the director of Lands on a way forward so that we can have a joint submission to the Government, setting out all the options of what we can do given the request made by the people of Nausori.

“We can’t assure they will get their lands back but what we can assure them is that we will take their submissions up and we will negotiate on their behalf to see that the Government looks at these issues. The issue is being taken forward.”

Asked about the progress of the registration of individual iTaukei landowners, Mr Qetaki said it was progressing well.

“We are focusing on registering landowners from the four provinces of Ba, Bua, Cakaudrove, Kadavu because their records are now electronically-fed or computerised.

“We are still working on the other 10 provinces,” he said.

“While we are registering these four provinces, we are also registering other individual landowners from other provinces who turn up at the registration areas.

“By end of April, we are planning to close the bank accounts that are normally run by the trustees and this means that we won’t be paying any money to the trustees’ bank accounts.

“By May we will be distributing lease money to those individual members who have registered with us.

“For those who haven’t registered, we will hold their money until they are registered,” Mr Qetaki said.Fijitimes

23) MEDIA RELEASE: UN CONVENTION DOES NOT READILY APPLY TO ITAUKEI: PM

The Prime Minister has said that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People does not readily apply to Fiji in the way that it does to those nations whose indigenous citizens have been and continue to be exploited, marginalized and dispossessed.

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the PM said the indigenous experience in Fiji was “rare if not unique” in that the iTaukei had not been dispossessed by their colonisers as in the case of countries like Australia and the US.

The Prime Minister highlighted the fact that approximately 91 per cent of all land in Fiji is owned through customary ownership by the indigenous people.

“(This land) cannot be permanently alienated under any circumstances. This has given the indigenous people a level of security that has been noticeably absent in other countries and has been central to their social and economic wellbeing,” he said.

The Prime Minister said existing safeguards for the i’Taukei guaranteed them a higher level of security than other indigenous peoples in other parts of the world.

“Indigenous ownership of land, as well as the recognition of their unique culture, traditions and language are protected under our Constitution and are under no threat whatsoever,” the PM said.

info.gov.fj] /

Dept of Information/.Tuesday, 3 March 2015 7:56 AM

BUSINESS

24) Lending company launched in East Sepik

Source:
The National, Thursday March 5th, 2015

A SMALL lending company has introduced a new financial service to the people of Maprik, East Sepik.
Crazy Finance introduced its cash withdrawal service that will enable customers to withdraw up to K5000 from funds held in their respective bank accounts.
Director Jeromu Narimole said the service was convenient and accessible to the people who often found it difficult to withdraw large amounts of money from bank agents.
“So what we are doing at the moment is we are establishing a cash withdrawal service through a bank EFTPOS,” Narimole said.
“The service is mobile so the locals can be able to find us easily in any location in the area.
“We have had good response from bank customers who often had to queue up in long lines at the banks to withdraw large amounts of money.
“They have found our service more convenient and accessible which is what we want to achieve,” he said.
Narimole said although there were risks involved wit h the movement of cash in a mobile service, it was one of which he was willing to take because of the demand for the service.
“There’s lot of financial services that competing in lending but cash withdrawal service is an issue.
“People in some areas have to travel long distances just to get that service.
“Small businesses like us are trying to bring across services to remote areas but we need the support of the government because we are not in a position to accommodate everybody.”

25) Agreement with bank to help local business

Source:
The National, Thursday March 5th, 2015

PEOPLE in Gumine, Chimbu, will now have access to financial assistance to carry out business activities thanks to a scheme initiated by their district leaders to partner with Nationwide Microbank Ltd to roll-out a scheme.
Local MP Nick Kuman signed a memorandum of understanding with the financial institution yesterday to have the “ward empowerment strategy” rolled out with initial K1.6 million released to open accounts for 45 wards’ in the district.
Nationwide Microbank managing director Tony Westaway said under the model, funds would be made available for the wards under District Services Improvement Programme.
“The funds for economic activities will ideally cover areas such as trade stores or small scale vegetable or livestock farming,” Westaway said.
“These activities I understand have been pre-identified through the usual was profile exercise undertaken by the Gumine district management team.”
He said the bank had opened
accounts for the 45 wards with
signatories comprised of elected ward councillors and appointed ward committees comprised of community representatives from business, church and women representatives.
“Funding made available will be allocated and deposited into individual ward accounts and drawn as and when the projects have been formally signed off by the Gumine administrator and are deemed ready for funding,” Westaway said.
He added that the bank would assist the district management team in monitoring progress of various ward projects and would provide reports on conduct of the bank accounts.
“Gumine joint district planning &   budget priorities committee decided that in order to promote and grow the economic policy in the country we thought that the best way for our people in Gumine is to grow economy at the micro level so they participate meaningfully,” Kuman said.
“In doing so, we will allow the people with whatever they can grow and look for a market outside of Gumine.
“We are grateful with the bank as a partner in this particular programme.”

26) Government is changing PNG, Days to beg for money are gone: PM O’Neill
By Online Editor
9:26 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2015, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the government is changing PNG for the better by empowering grassroots men, women and children of the nation.

He made these remarks when launching the Nipa-Kutubu District Five Year Development Plan 2013-2017 at the Nipa Government Station in Southern Highlands Province Wednesday.

PM O’Neill said the right policies from the most effective government in the history of the nation was enabling people to improve their lives.

“This government is investing in districts, provinces and ward councils, which is taking service delivery to the people of our rural areas.  Grassroots people know what is needed in their areas and they must be included in decision-making processes.

“Now councilors, village magistrates and court officers are funded by the government, and this consistency facilitates leadership and decision-making at the local level.

“We will continue to strengthen the public service from the districts up to the national level.”

The Prime Minister said the government is building new public servants’ houses, cleaning up problems in the law and order system, and providing opportunities for children to be educated and families to have access to healthcare.

“Provinces are now receiving almost three billion kina each year for key impact projects. This is the first time in history of this country,” PM O’Neill said.

He said the country now has enough money unlike those years where Papua New Guinea had to beg for money from international financial institutions.

“For 40 years governments looked around for money as if we were one of the poorest countries in the world. Papua New Guinea had to beg for money from the International Monetary Fund, the Word Bank and countries like Australia.

“Now we have enough revenue, and we have proper management of how we spend this revenue for our people.

“Previously governments also put billions of Kina into trust accounts – but where has all this money gone?  This must have been either stolen or mismanaged on so many bogus projects.  These bogus projects were never delivered but were still needed in the country.

“Now you can look around and see the new projects being rolled out before your eyes,” he said.

SOURCE/L PNG LOOP/PACNEWS

 27) Fiji’s Ministry of Finance admits cash flow issues
By Online Editor
9:28 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2015, Fiji

Fiji’s Ministry of Finance admits government is facing cash flow issues as a result of increasing expenditure and has been using treasury bills to address it.

Responding to questions by the Public Accounts Committee to justify the increasing reliance on treasury bills, Finance Ministry Acting Director Debt and Cash Flow, Pankaj Singh says government has had to raise treasury bills to meet expenditures.

“You also have to take into account the size of the expenditure has gone up compared to 2009. You may have seen in 2014, the treasury bills is relatively high in absolute terms,” Singh said.

“Chair as you know one of government biggest source of revenues come in the form of tax receipts on a 3-monthly basis, in March, June, September and December.

“So within that period, if government needs additional cash for expenditure purposes then we have to raise treasury bills, that is one of the purpose of treasury bills for short-term liquidity needs.”

Singh says government is also prudent with its reliance on treasury bills, having implemented a cap of $150million (US$73 million).

“We try to keep our borrowings at manageable level and that is the reason we need to follow due diligence process as far as new borrowings are concerned.”

Singh says the ministry has also implemented new measures to improve its cash management via the practice of drawing up daily cash flow statements requesting ministries to submit anticipated weekly expenditure with the view that the ministry will be able to determine what the cash flow requirements are.

“So at the end of the day, we know what our operating receipts are, what our expenditure is and what our balances are.”

While the improvements will help with cash management Singh says it does not necessarily reduce reliance on treasury bills which is dictated by expenditure, consistency in revenue collection and revenue composition. The ministry also remains optimistic in view of bilateral and multilateral partners government has re-engaged following the 2014 Elections.

PAC chairman Professor Biman Prasad also raised concerns about the amount of domestic bonds taken by government from the Fiji National Provident Fund and how it must be management well given that the FNPF members are also tax payers who will ultimately pay the repayment of the loan and interest payment.

Professor Biman says there is a need for the government to manage its cash flow well to avoid putting a lot of burden on tax payers.

“If you don’t manage cash properly, if you rely on short-term treasury bills to fund your expenditure then you are putting a burden on the people in terms of tax, in terms of interest payment.”

Professor Biman welcomed the improvements the ministry has made and encouraged the ministry to get the necessary technical support that will allow it to oversee government’s finances well.

Singh also updated the PAC on the assistance it has been getting from the World Bank in assessing the processes and systems of the debt management unit, “They have done our our Debt Management Performance Assessment (DeMPA) and also done a Debt Management Framework for us.

“In March I think Commonwealth Secretariat is willing to assist us with a need base assessment for the debt unit, so we have been having a lot of assistance coming in in terms of technical assistant and capacity building, enriching us as far as debt management is concerned,” he said.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER

28) Reduce escapee numbers

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari
Sunday, March 08, 2015

GOVERNMENT has demanded the Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) reduce the number of inmates who escape from their custody, reduce the number of complaints against them and work within their allocated budget.

This was the message by FCS Assistant Commissioner Viliame Bulewa as he spoke to inmates who had undergone phases one and two of their rehabilitation program.

“You’ll note that the Fiji Corrections Service has come a long way, in terms of rehabilitation.

“If I’ll just go back to CAP 86 or the previous Act that was repealed way back in 2006 — that was silent on rehabilitation,” Mr Bulewa said.

“As you’ll note the changes that have come into the organisation, and the transition that we’re in now, has demanded the FCS from the commissioner right down, to the last person within the institution, we must ensure that we must get along with the changes that has been in place.

“We’re demanded, to, under the mandate given to us, reduce (the number of) escapes, reduce complaints and work within the allocated budget given to us by the Government.”

ACPO Bulewa said the public always perceived inmates as law breakers, outcasts and untrustworthy people in society; however FCS believes that they could rehabilitate these inmates.

“FCS strongly believes that we can surely make a difference.

“We can show the members of the public by collaborating with the institutions that you and I can take the organisation forward.”

ACPO Bulewa added the rehabilitation framework, which was brought in from Malaysia had assisted them in trying to change those under their care.Fijitimes

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION,ENVIROMENT

29) Cyclone warning

Shayal Devi
Sunday, March 08, 2015

A severe tropical depression located north of Vanuatu and east of Solomon Islands is rapidly intensifying and could form into a tropical cyclone by the end of the weekend.

Fiji Meteorological Services acting director Aminiasi Tuidraki said upon intensifying, the disturbance would then move south of Vanuatu.

“Later on according to prediction, it is expected to curve in a south easterly direction.

“Associated weather patterns within the convergence zones will drift downwards and we have analysed that this could affect Fiji,” he said.

According to Mr Tuidraki, the cyclonic system was very broad and while Fiji would not feel the full brunt of the cyclone, Fijians could experience heavy rain and strong winds.

“While we are anticipating Vanuatu to feel the full brunt of the cyclone, we can start seeing heavy rain and strong winds measuring 30 to 40 knots affecting the Fiji group from Monday.

“However, Rotuma will start to experience heavy rain from Sunday evening (today).”

The Fiji Meteorological Service is monitoring the system and Mr Tuidraki said they would provide regular updates to members of the public during the weekend.

“We are advising people to be fully prepared and continue listening to weather reports.

“Be prepared for the worst as the heavy rain could result in flash flooding,” Mr Tuidraki said.Fifitimes

30) Solomons computer generated maps to help in disaster risk reduction

6 March 2015

The Solomon Islands government hopes new computer generated maps will guide development plans and reduce damage from natural disasters.

The first in a series of training sessions for staff at the ministry of environment, climate change and disaster management is underway with support from the Pacific Risk Resilience Program.

A consultant Bryan Pitakia says the satellite generated maps are a first for Solomon Islands.

“This country is prone to differrent type of disaster and kinds of hazards it faces to see that the ministry take on board or consider this mapping tool. To ensure that there is resilience in developments that are already in or are yet to come.”

Mapping consultant Bryan Pitakia.RNZI

31) Finance and disaster risks raised at Climate meet in Suva

By Online Editor
4:37 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2015, Fiji

Fiji has adopted a Green Growth Framework to provide vision for environmentally sustainable development strategies for the future.

Ministry of Finance deputy secretary Strategic Planning Office, Krishna Prasad said Government has also put in place measures to help in the financing of rehabilitation in the aftermath of a disaster.

Speaking to participants from five Pacific Island Countries at the Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Workshop, Prasad said Fiji has existing financial provisions to mitigate disaster risk.

He pointed that out of the 10 thematic areas in the framework, the first one is ‘Building Resilience to Climate Change and Disasters’.

“This underlines Government’s commitment towards mitigating effects of natural disasters,” the deputy secretary said.

Fiji has had its share of natural disasters and Prasad said in the last 23 years, it had cost the country $1.2 billion (US$587 million) with Cyclone Evan being one of the worst in recent history as damages cost over $220m (US$107 million) to infrastructure and households.

Some of the measures put in place by the Government include the Prime Minister’s National Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Fund where donors get a 150 per cent tax deduction for voluntary contribution ranging from $10,000 (US$5,000) to $100,000 (U$50,000).

The workshop organised by Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Pacific Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program (PCRAFI) in collaboration with the World Bank is attended by participants from Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Prasad said the Government recognises the critical challenges that PICs face, particularly in financial resilience to natural disasters.

“The borrowing capacity and access to international insurance markets is limited and in most cases, compelled governments to bear the burden and resort to rearranging its financial priorities at the cost of key programmes not being implemented,” he said.

The objectives of the workshop are to continue ongoing dialogue with countries on DRFI and provide an opportunity for peer exchange, provide an update on Pacific DRFI programme and how this will transition into the Pacific Resilience Program (PREP).

SOURCE: DINFO/PACNEWS

MINING,AGRICULTURE,FISHERIES

32) Changes hoped for Pacific coastal fishery – Fisheries experts from around the Pacific are meeting this week in New Caledonia to co-ordinate community-based programmes for managing the region’s coastal fisheries. The coastal fisheries are vitally important for food supply and income generation but they are under threat from activities such as illegal, unregulated fishing by distant water nations The director of the coastal fisheries and aquaculture programme at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Lindsay Chapman, says attempts to use Western approaches to fisheries management, have failed.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/267666/changes-hoped-for-pacific-coastal-fishery

WOMAN,YOUTH,CHILD

33) Ali: Women easily disempowered

Shayal Devi
Sunday, March 08, 2015

MANY women and girls are often disempowered due to their compassionate and forgiving nature, says Soroptimist International Nadi president Tasneem Ali.

She said this disempowerment could be the result of several obstructions that had become accepted norms and practices in communities.

“Research has shown these to be linked to cultural and traditional and religious factors and norms which may have been unquestionably accepted,” she said.

“These in turn contribute to women’s disempowerment.

“A key thread within these concepts is that of gender. Throughout history women and girls face additional obstacles and discrimination solely because of their gender.”

In light of International Women’s Day celebrations, the NGO organised an interactive empowerment workshop for about 40 women from across the Western Division.

The workshop was facilitated by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre.

According to Ms Ali, Soroptimist International was looking to pursue programs and projects that help educate women and girls.

FWCC co-ordinator Shamima Ali said the workshop was a good way for women to learn about gender-based violence.

“I think on the women’s part, it is a hunger for knowledge, and to know more about domestic violence, why it occurs and also, how to take action on these things,” she said.Fijitimes

34) Drummond: Not enough done to fight violence

Salaseini Moceiwai
Sunday, March 08, 2015

BRITISH High Commissioner to Fiji Roderick Drummond says they are always ready to assist women NGOs and civil society organisations in whatever way they can to eliminate violence against and women and girls in the country.

Mr Drummond, who was at the Fiji Women’s Right Movement (FWRM) fun day at Sukuna Park in Suva yesterday, said there was not enough being done to eliminate the social-ill.

“Not enough is being done because violence and abuse against women and girls are still on the rise in Fiji,” he said.

“We have to look for more ways to heighten awareness against these inhumane acts and this warrants a collaborative effort from every individual.

“The high commission and the EU have assisted NGOs such as the FWRM and some civil society organisations with some projects in the past and this is also focused on fighting against such violence and abuses.

“It’s great to see the FWRM has organised an event like this because it’s mobilising people of all ages particularly young people to get them to talk and dialogue about these issues,” Mr Drummond said.

He added ending such violence and abuse was everyone’s responsibility.

“We need a lot of support from the organisations and the public as a whole to stop violence and abuse.

“We are here to assist in anyway we can for our women and girls,” Mr Drummond said.Fijitimes

35) Girls empowered to speak out

Salaseini Moceiwai
Sunday, March 08, 2015

A GROUP of girls have now been empowered to raise awareness against discrimination, bullying and gender-inequality in their schools and communities after successfully completing a three-year program spearheaded by the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM).

The girls aged between the ages of 10 and 12, who are from 16 various schools in Suva, graduated on Friday night. FWRM girls officer Lillian Delana said yesterday the theme of the program was basically portraying the life of a girl.

“In passing the message across to the people, the girls will be performing theatre arts and the demonstration is more of a story being told about the issues girls encounter in their everyday lives,” she said.

“When we asked them about the issues they commonly face, the girls came up with bullying, discrimination and gender-inequality. Through this program, they have been empowered or educated to stand against such issues and help spread the positive message across.

“The program has allowed them to grow and become aggressive against bullying, discrimination and gender-inequality among other issues.”Fijitimes

36) Women take centre stage

Shayal Devi
Sunday, March 08, 2015

IN line with celebrations for International Women’s Day, female pilots of national carrier Fiji Airways took centre stage yesterday to unveil their new uniforms.

According to Fiji Airways chief pilot and general manager flight operations Captain Josua Cavalevu, the new uniform insignia was customised with special features to reflect the Fiji Airways brand.

“We’re using this launch to bring attention to the fact that we have some fantastic female pilots in our team,” he said.

“They are excellent aviators who do a great job day-in and day-out and are future captains for our national carrier. We’re hoping more young women seriously consider flying as a career and ultimately join the pilot ranks at Fiji Airways.”

Five female pilots work at Fiji Airways — four Fijians and one on contract from Brazil.

According to Captain Cavalevu, there was an enormous wealth of experience, skills and knowledge among women colleagues.

“They are very highly respected for their dedication and professionalism by their peers and we would like nothing better than to increase the female complement of pilots at Fiji Airways.”

The new pilot uniform sports an industry standardised style with distinctive Fiji Airways brand design elements.Fijitimes

SPORTS

37) PNG Hunters ready for kick-off

7 March 2015

The Papua New Guinea Hunters kick off their second Queensland Cup rugby league season tomorrow, on the road against the Souths Logan Magpies.

With a full pre-season behind them and some exciting new talent in their ranks, plenty is expected.

The Hunters finished one point shy of making the playoffs in their inaugural campaign, where the newcomers impressed plenty of observers with their talent, style and support.

Gone are the likes of Jason Tali and Stanton Albert overseas, while top try-scorer Gary Lo has been told he must impress first in the local domestic competition.

There’s also plenty of new faces, with head coach Michael Marum including nine debutants in his side to face the Magpies.

“We’ve got some experience in our team now and that’s a bonus. Even though we’ve got most of the players here that were retained from last season we still have around about 13 new boys and we also lost a few of our good players at the end of last season, but we’ve got a bit more experience from where we were last year”.

The Queensland Cup has been expanded to 14 teams this year with the introduction of the Townsville Blackhawks, with the finals series also increased to six teams.RNZI

38) Women lead in Games

Source:
The National, Friday March 6th, 2015

MORE than half of the Pacific Games Organising Committee’s staff is made up of women.
This shows the committee’s strong support of Papua New Guinean women and its recognition of equal participation in the workforce, especially with the delivery of the biggest Games in the country’s history.  The GOC board is headed by Emma Waiwai, an engineer by profession and a sports personality herself representing the country in basketball and being involved in sports administration roles.
She has four other women on her board, including Naraai Banam, Esther Igo, Mary Johns and Tamzin Wardley.
Wardley, who has great experience in handling the Commonwealth Games baton relays as they passed through the country, is responsible for the Oil Search Pacific Games Relay.
Her team is made up of three other women, who will take the relay baton to 22 provinces and will allow 6000 runners the opportunity to carry the baton in front of thousands of people.
Apart from the board, the GOC’s executive manager for commercial is headed by Brenda  Perreaux, who has a wealth of experience working in big international sporting events like the 1999 Pan Am Games, Sydney 2000 Olympics and 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, to name a few.
Meanwhile, company secretary, finance, and communications are all headed by local women.
Equal numbers of female staff occupy roles within the organisation including the coordinators of press operations, government liaison, venues, relay, volunteer program, transport and logistics, games services, sports and office.
GOC chief executive officer Peter Stewart said: “We are a strong supporter of PNG women and believe in equal participation.
“We encourage professional, experienced and skilled women’s participation at all levels of our organisation to help us deliver the Games.  Sport is an event that does not discriminate gender and the GOC is pleased to be promoting it.”
The cleaning service for the Games Village that will accommodate 4000 plus athletes and officials during the two weeks of the Games is contracted to Lae Everclean, a local company, owned by a local business woman.
“There are opportunities still available where more local women can be part of. All contractual roles are determined and awarded on merit basis and on the type of roles that are required,” Stewart said.
“We have a very stringent awarding system that is in place to drive this.
“Therefore we encourage interested businesses to submit their expression of interest on tenders that are being advertised.”

39) Team to HK

Rashneel Kumar
Sunday, March 08, 2015

VODAFONE Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan will retain the 12 players from the last leg of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series when he names the 19-member squad for the Asian leg today.

Ryan used the two-day 39th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament, which was won by CK Ezy Buy Tabadamu Blue, to help him with the selection of the national side for the Hong Kong and Japan 7s later this month.

Tabadamu Blue defeated Hideaway Hurricanes 30-14 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday to walk away with the $10,000 prizemoney.

Ryan, who was pleased with the performance from the finalists — especially that of the Hurricanes players, will have some tough decisions to make before finalising his squad.

The tournament brought together the cream of the country’s top players who displayed glimpses of Fijian prowess in 7s rugby.

“Everyone that played in Vegas and Wellington will be in that team. I’m going to have 18 training next week because Samisoni Viriviri is in France so it will be 19 named tomorrow (today),” Ryan said.

“There is a bit of competition but looking at it, we are very settled in lots of areas.”

Ryan had initially indicated he would stick to the core of the team that won in Las Vegas last month.

“It’s up to them to try and fight to keep their positions,” he added.

The Asian leg of the series will start with the Hong Kong 7s which will be held on March 27 to 29.Fijitimes

40) Samoa aims to win 2015 Rugby Challenge

Zanzeer Singh
Sunday, March 08, 2015

SAMOA A is keen to win the 2015 World Rugby Pacific Challenge which starts at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on Tuesday.

The side is made up of all local based players who are ready to prove their worth for a Manu Samoa jersey for the Rugby World Cup in England.

Coach Mailo Potu Leavasa said the preparations for the tournament had gone well.

“Our aim is to win the competition,” he said.

“We see Fiji and Argentina as the rivals. We have brought in all the local based players.

“None of the overseas based players are available. So it is a big challenge for the locals to prove themselves.

“It is a chance to prove themselves for the World Cup selection. We aim for a winning start against Tonga and are calling on the fans to come out in numbers to support the boys.”

Samoa A will face Tonga A at 3pm. Prior to that at 1pm, Junior Japan will play Canada A.Fijitimes

41) Rooney eyes Cup glory for Man United

Afp
Sunday, March 08, 2015

LONDON – Wayne Rooney is hoping to finally get his hands on the FA Cup this season as Manchester United prepare to face Arsenal in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

The United and England captain has won Premier League titles, the League Cup and the Champions League in his career but the FA Cup has so far eluded him.

“We have an FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal on Monday and that is massive for us,” said Rooney, who saw his boyhood favourites Everton win the trophy back in 1995 by defeating United in the final.

“We haven’t been to a final for a few years, we want to try to win that game and we are looking forward to that.

“Of course, I think it is a massive trophy. It is a trophy that, growing up as a youngster, I used to love watching and I was fortunate enough to see Everton lift the FA Cup in 1995 when I was nine years old.

“It is something which I would love to do and hopefully it can be this year.”

The 29-year-old has twice been on the losing side in the final, forming part of the team that lost on penalties to Arsenal in 2005 and then featuring in the 2007 final defeat to Chelsea.

42) Lions beat Blues in Super Rugby

AAP
Sunday, March 08, 2015

Update: 8:00AM THE Blues’ dismal start to the Super Rugby season has extended to a fourth defeat after the Lions produced a huge defensive effort before stealing a 13-10 win in Auckland.

The Lions had to survive large amounts of time in their own territory, but repeatedly repelled the Blues on Saturday night.

A couple of Elton Jantjies penalties kept them in touch at 10-6, before they scored the decisive try in the 63rd minute in their first real attack.

Replacement half-back Faf de Klerk created the opening before first five-eighth Jantjies’ cut-out pass sent winger Ruan Combrinck over in the corner.

Amidst stunned silence from the home fans at QBE Stadium, Jantjies landed the sideline conversion.

Both sides had further penalty chances which they failed to convert, as the Lions closed out their first win of the season.

The result left the Blues, who this week had to deny a media report that they had sounded out a replacement for coach Sir John Kirwan, at the bottom of the table.

It also dampened the celebrations for hooker Keven Mealamu, who was making a competition record 163rd appearance, taking him past retired Australian lock Nathan Sharpe.

The 123-Test All Black, having his first match of the season after being rested in the previous rounds, produced his typical endeavour in his 45 minutes on the field.

He got a big ovation when he was subbed off.

The Blues dominated territory from the start, and a break from fullback Lolagi Visinia in the opening seconds carried promise.

Another big break-out, started by first five-eighth Ihaia West, died with a knock-on, but the Blues did get the first points on the board with a West penalty.

Jantjies replied with a penalty of his own, before the Blues became increasingly threatening as they camped inside the Lions’ half.

They finally crossed when skipper Jerome Kaino, back on the field after a spell in the blood bin, scored.

43) Reds woes deepen with thumping loss to Waratahs

AAP
Sunday, March 08, 2015

Update: 8:07AM The New South Wales Waratahs have dined out on an embarrassing performance from the Queensland Reds, easing to a 23-5 victory on Saturday night at Lang Park.

The reigning Super Rugby champions were barely troubled against a dire Reds outfit that barely fired a shot in front of 27,199 partisan Queensland fans.

Wallabies fly half Bernard Foley scored 18 points for the Waratahs, crossing for a converted try in the first half to go with three penalties, before winger Peter Betham iced the contest with less than 15 minutes to go.

And to cap off an awful night for the Reds, their bulging casualty ward may have claimed two more members in utility back Lachie Turner (concussion) and captain James Slipper (neck), who were both forced off with injury.

Foley’s anticipated showdown with Queensland halves James O’Connor and Will Genia never happened, with Reds coach Richard Graham making a swathe of late changes to the team he originally named in an attempt to seemingly hoodwink New South Wales.

Only one was forced – Marco Kotze came in at lock for James Horwill, who was suffering from back spasms.

The rest were part of a massive backline reshuffle that included Nick Frisby starting at fly half, O’Connor at full-back, Turner on the wing and Chris Feauai-Sautia at outside centre.

Together the changes helped restore balance to the Queensland side, at least on paper – but on the paddock they were as disjointed as ever.

The Reds did almost nothing right as the Waratahs surged to a 13-0 lead at the break, and they never looked even remotely likely of surrendering it beyond that point.

Again Queensland were their own worst enemies with ill discipline keeping them on the back foot.

They also committed a litany of handling errors in the first half – most notably, Genia’s knock-on from a tap penalty, and Turner’s embarrassingly overblown kick for touch – while their most dangerous player O’Connor had almost zero opportunity to make an impact on the game.

Foley consolidated New South Wales’ clear advantage with his 25th-minute try, finishing off a clinical team move that cut the Reds to ribbons on the right-hand side.

Then in the 67th minute, Betham further demonstrated the gulf in class between the two sides with an effortless 80-metre try, stepping around a flat-footed Frisby to leave him in his wake.

But the Reds did cross for a late consolation as Kotze barged over in the final minute of the match, restoring some semblance of pride on an otherwise forgettable evening.

44) Victory for India

Aap
Sunday, March 08, 2015

PERTH – West Indies blaster Chris Gayle produced one of the scratchiest innings of his decorated career as India secured a four-wicket win in Friday’s World Cup clash at the WACA Ground.

The West Indies were teetering on the verge of disaster at 7-85 before tail-ender Jason Holder (57) came to their rescue to lift them to 182 from 44.2 overs.

In reply, India looked shaky at 4-78 and 5-107, before MS Dhoni (45no off 56 balls) and Ravi Ashwin (16no) guided them over the line with 65 balls to spare in front of 17,557 fans.

The win kept unbeaten India on top of Pool B, while the West Indies must defeat the United Arab Emirates on March 15 if they are to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

India will be back in action on Tuesday when they take on Ireland in Hamilton.

The defending champions will be hoping to put in a better performance in the field after dropping four catches against the West Indies.

Gayle (21 off 27 balls) was the beneficiary of two of those, plus some other good fortune.

The 35-year-old had yet to score when he survived a confident caught behind appeal.

Snickometer showed a faint noise but it was unclear whether it was an edge or not.

Either side of that reprieve, Gayle produced a series of plays and misses as he struggled to get his eye in.

The dashing West Indies opener finally got off the mark on the 11th ball he faced, but his innings appeared to be over on two when he lofted a catch to third man.

Umesh Yadav did brilliantly to make it to the ball, but the Kookaburra spilled out of his hands as he crashed to the ground.

A short time later, Marlon Samuels was left shaking his head in frustration after being run out following a mix-up with Gayle.

Gayle stood his ground as he watched his pull drop just short of the mid-on fieldsman.

Samuels set off for a quick single and easily made it to Gayle’s end.

But with Gayle staying put, Samuels was forced to run all the way back to the non-striker’s end, where he was caught well short of his ground.

45) Suva, Raiwai volleyball rivalry continues

Emoni Narawa
Sunday, March 08, 2015

LAST ball, last serve, that’s how tough the Vanua Volleyball Challenge men’s final was last night.

The evenly matched affair between rivals 2Day FM Suva and Raiwai continued as expected and it did not fail to disappoint the crowd.

However, it was again Suva that ended on the right side in the end, winning 3-2.

Raiwai won the first set leaving the defending champions under pressure heading into the second set.

Suva then levelled terms winning the second set.

Raiwai scooped the third and Suva again managed to pull the fourth set, leaving everything to the final set.

The breathtaking final was decided until the final serve.

Fiji Volleyball Federation official Jone Baleilomaloma said the final was a thriller.

“It was tough, right up to the last serve,” he said.

“The two teams locked horns and it was very exciting to watch the standard of the game.”

Suva bagged $1000 for winning while Raiwai settled with $500.Fijitimes

w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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