Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1093 ( Sunday 10 May 2015 )
The ABG Acting Clerk, EDWIN KENEHATA today sent his condolences to the family of the late MOSES HAVINI, wife Marilyne and the kids on the untimely death of their father.
In a press release sent to New Dawn FM, MR. KENEHATA said that he was shocked to hear of his passing on at the Westmead Hospital in Sydney on May 2nd, 2015.
MR. KENEHATA said that the late MOSES HAVINI was a family man who came across many families in Bougainville, PNG and the world to which his presence was felt.
He said that today these families and including the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Parliament are grieving this loss.
MR. KENEHATA said that the late MOSES HAVINI had a vision of freedom for equality and Justice which gave birth to our unified Autonomy that is preparing for its third General Elections.
It was once a violent and a troubled region but united and moving forward due to the shared vision and dreams of such a brave leader.
MR. KENEHATA said that the late MOSES HAVINI will be remembered for his tireless efforts to make sure the world heard the struggles of the people of Bougainville in very difficult times.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE.
The body of the late MOSES HAVINI will arrive Buka on Tuesday
10 May 2015
The president of Indonesia has granted the early release of five West Papuan political prisoners during his visit to Papua province.
In conjunction with the releases, Joko Widodo also indicated that the effective travel ban on foreign media access to Papua region was being lifted.
In Jayapura on his two-day visit, he re-iterated his policy to pay more attention to the development needs of Papua, and to address discontent among the indigenous Melanesian population.
AFP reports that in a ceremony in the provincial capital, President Jokowi met with the five prisoners who were convicted twelve years ago for a raid on an Indonesian arms depot.
Jokowi said that the prisoner release was in order to stop the stigma of conflict in Papua, where Indonesian military deployment and a long-simmering separatist struggle have been an ongoing cause of instability in the region.
The president had earlier indicated that foreign journalists were welcome in Papua, although since he came to power last year, the restrictions on outside access to the eastern region remain extensive.
Meanwhile, the president has travelled on to neighbouring Papua New Guinea to meet with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
The meeting comes as Indonesia’s diplomatic overtures to Melanesian countries reached top level ahead of a looming Melanesian Spearhead Group decision on a West Papua application for membership.
Mr O’Neill, who has recently spoken out about human rights abuses in PNG’s neighbouring territory, has also urged Indonesia to support the West Papuan bid for more representation at the regional level.
The representative group which has submitted the MSG application, the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, has warned Melanesian countries to be wary of Indonesian pressure to vote against West Papuan membership in the group.
The ULMWP’s application is to be the special focus of a MSG members meeting in 21 May, before a possible decision on the bid at the leaders summit slated for July in Honiara.RNZI
2b) Papua attacks must end – Amnesty
9 May 2015
Amnesty International is calling on Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo to take immediate steps to end the Indonesian security forces’ increasing attacks on freedom of expression in the country’s Papuan region.
It says on the eve of Mr Widodo’s visit to Papua this weekend, at least 264 political activists there have been arbitrarily arrested and detained by the Indonesian police over the last week, as part of a systematic clampdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
The humans rights body says political activists from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and the People’s Regional Parliament (PRD) had planned peaceful protests around the 52nd anniversary of the handover of Papua to the Indonesian government by the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) on May the 1st, 1963.
It says in West Papua province, the Manokwari district police arrested 12 KNPB activists on April the 30th while they were distributing flyers about the planned demonstration in Manokwari city.
The following day, the police arrested more than 200 protesters who were on their way to a demonstration near the office of the Manokwari Papua Customary Council.
Security forces, both police and military, also used excessive force to disperse a peaceful demonstration in Kaimana city on May the 1st and arrested two KNPB activists.
In the Papua province, police arrested at least 15 KNPB and one PRD activist in Merauke on May the 1st to prevent them from organizing a demonstration.
Meanwhile, in Jayapura, the local district police arrested 30 KNPB activists on the same day as they were walking to the Papua Parliament’s office, the site of a planned demonstration.
According to the police, the arrests took place as these groups did not have permission to undertake the protest.
Amenesty International says while most activists have been released without charge, these arbitrary arrests highlight the on-going repressive environment faced by political activists in the Papuan region.
It says it recognizes that the Indonesian government has the duty and the right to maintain public order on its territory.
However, it added the Indonesian government must ensure that any restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are no more stringent than are permitted under international human rights law, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Indonesia is a party.RNZI
3) Indonesia Papua Autonomi ino nap wok gut
Updated 7 May 2015, 13:57 AEST
Free West Papua lida long Papua New Guinea, Fred Mambrasar i mekim despla toktok taem bikpla miting igo hed long Jayapura
Odio: Chairman blong Free West Papua Campaign long Papua New Guinea, Fred Mambrasar i toktok wantem Sam Seke
Free West Papua lida long Papua New Guinea, Fred Mambrasar itok dispela autonomy loa blong Indonesia long Papua Provins em i no nap wok gut.
Em i tok dispela em long wanem planti moa long ol Melanesia pipol aninit long rul blong Indonesia ol ino laikim autonomy – ol i laikim independence.
Mr Mambrasar i mekim dispela toktok taim ol lida long ol sevenpela rijin long Papua provins i redi long holim wanpela bung blong ol long Jayapura dispela wiken.
Dispela grand Assembly bai toktok long sait long graun na dispela spesol aotonomy loa we i bin stap long 10 pela yia pinis.
Nius ripot i kam long Jakarta itok, o tribal lida ino hamamas long wanem ol ino stap insait long dispela Papuan Legislative Council olsem autonomy loa itok.
Na Mr Mambrasar i tok dispela loa bai no wok long wanem, ino ol pipol long peles nau i mekim ol chief ia.Radio Australia
4) Planti Tausan Bougainville pipal bai vout long Mande
Updated 8 May 2015, 14:59 AEST
Ol pipal blong Autonomas rijan blong Bougainville nau iwok long redi long ileksan long Mande.
Klostu 350 candidates bai mekim ol lastpla kempein blong ol long despla wikend long traem winim wanpla long fopla ten ol seats long Bougainville Palaman.
Tripla ten faif long ol despla candidates em ol meri.
23 long ol bai resis long tripla reserved seats blong ol meri taem narapla 12 ol meri bai resis long ol sia egensim ol man.
Aloysius Laukai, independent election observer na tu manager blong New Dawn FM redio stesin long Bougainville itok ol planti pipal tru i redi long go long despla ileksan.
Despla long wonem long despla tingting blong referendum oa vout blong painim sopos ol pipal blong Island i kisim indipendans oa oli laik stap iet wantem PNG.
Mr Laukai itokim Radio Australia olsem ol wok kempein i oraet, tasol igat sampla heve long South Bougainville long ples em oli kolim Konnou we ol lida blong Me’ekamui ino laikim pipal i go long ileksan.
Laen blong Me’ekamui ino save sapotim Autonomas Bougainville Gavman.Radio Australia
5) Campaigning For Bougainville Elections Going Peacefully
Polls open on Monday in PNG’s Autonomous Region
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 8, 2015) – As Bougainville heads into a key election from Monday a leading figure in the aid community says the four weeks of campaigning have gone very peacefully.
From the 11th May until 25th May the autonomous Papua New Guinea region is holding just its third general election since the Peace Agreement was signed in 2001.
The head of the Leitana Nehan Women’s Agency, Helen Hakena, says the campaigning has gone very well and there is every indication candidates will accept the outcome.
“Because there has been awareness and people have been talking about peaceful elections, so the general feeling is at this time there is nothing to be scared of, but people need to vote for quality leaders. That is the thing that everybody is talking about. Quality leadership needs to be voted for.”
Radio New Zealand International
6) Engineers needed to build new staff houses: PCV
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2015 1:00 pm
By Glenda Willie
Authorities of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV) had predicted that Onesua Presbyterian College (OPC) could close for at least two months following their observation on Pam devastation on the school’s infrastructures.
Fortunately, the school managed to open its doors only two weeks after the cyclone, thanks to the Fiji military contingent who spent quite a number of weeks putting up new roofing for all the damaged classrooms, dormitories and some staff houses.
Having their priority to ensure that classrooms and dormitories are rebuilt so students can return to their normal classes, Johnathan Tarip of Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu Education Authority (PCVEA) said they have directed their focus on building new homes for the school teachers.
“It is sad that some of these teachers are still sleeping under tarps”.
Tarip said they have secured funding from church partners in Australia towards building new staff houses.
The church has plans to build six new staff houses at Onesua school, and four new staff houses on one or two schools on Tanna.
PCV has directed their request to the government to provided engineers who will be constructing the houses.
Minister of Climate Change, James Bule, has assured the PCV authorities that the government will provide the appropriate people to get the job done.
7) Vaturisu congress postponed
Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2015 1:00 pm
By Len Garae
The reason for the delay is that the entire custom governance infrastructure has been wiped out in all the villages and it is going to take time to rebuild their nakamals and fareas from the debris.
He assures the chiefs of Emau that the ‘stik faea‘ or torch that was handed to them last year is still alive and delaying the annual event is not going to replace them as hosts of the next congress.
However, Vaturisu Secretary General Chief Jimmy Meameadola joins the Chairman to assure the chiefs that an extraordinary meeting is going to be held in South Efate in September/October at a venue and time to be announced later this year.
The Chairman says his Executive is concerned about not holding the annual congress on time. But he adds that all members of the Council of Chiefs have a duty to ensure the safety, comfort and unity of their people and it is with this concern in mind that they are planning an extra ordinary meeting in the last quarter of this year.Vanuatu Daily Post
8) New Caledonia talks set for June
8 May 2015
A date has been set for top-level talks in France to discuss the electoral roll for the independence referendum due in New Caledonia by 2018.
Reports from Noumea say Monday June the 5th has been set aside for the prime minister, Manuel Valls, to chair an extraordinary meeting of the signatories of the Noumea Accord, which is the territory’s decolonisation roadmap.
A law defining the electoral roll for the referendum is due for debate in France’s bicameral legislature next month.
The bill is strongly opposed by the territory’s anti-independence parties, which object to provisions giving automatic registration to indigenous people only.
Last month a mass rally was called in Noumea, with the loyalists accusing the French government of supporting the pro-independence side.
The French government has however said it is guided by the interpretations of the courts.
Two main parties in New Caledonia have called for the Paris meeting to be put off.RNZI
9) Aquaculture project launched in Hao in French Polynesia
8 May 2015
The French Polynesian government and Chinese investors have formally launched a massive aquaculture project on Hao atoll, expected to cost 1.5 billion US dollars.
The company Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods plans to build 2,800 cages to farm fish, prawns and sea cucumbers for export to China.
500 people are expected to be employed for about two years to build the facilities and once completed, the annual fish production is targetted to be in excess of 50,000 tonnes.
The company, which is a subsidiary of the Chinese Tian Rui group, has in part chosen Hao because its runway is long enough to accommodate planes which can freight the fish directly to China.
The project is hoped to create jobs for local people as unemployment in the territory is running at an estimated 25 percent.
Hao was a major military base in the latter part of the last century when France carried out its nuclear weapons tests on nearby Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls.RNZI
10) Tahoeraa Huiraatira Splits, Loses Majority In French Polynesia
15 of ruling party members form new grouping to support Fritch
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 8, 2015) – French Polynesia’s ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira has lost its majority in the territorial assembly after 15 of its 38 members formed a new group within the assembly.
This follows weeks of tension within the party, whose majority has remained faithful to its leader, Gaston Flosse, while dissidents have sided with the president, Edouard Fritch, and his government.
The new group around Mr Fritch has adopted the name Tapura Huiraatira although it is not clear yet if it will form a new party.
As a result, the chairmanships of the assembly commissions have been redistributed.
The Tahoeraa Huiraatira lost seven of the nine commissions, with the new Tapura Huiraatira group securing three and the two opposition parties two each.
The rift within the Flosse-led party led to it last month expelling four high profile members, including the vice president and the mayor of Papeete, after two of them announced that they were seeking French Senate seats.
In the 2013 election, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira failed to secure a majority of the votes but won 38 of the assembly’s 57 seats because the electoral system gave bonus seats to the party coming first.
Radio New Zealand International
11) Samoa urges other countries to be more efficient & advanced than criminals
By Online Editor
6:57 pm GMT+12, 07/05/2015, Samoa
Samoa is urging all countries to be one step ahead of the criminal minds behind the defrauding of travel documents around the world.
In welcoming the participants of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) workshop in Apia this week, the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Communications, Information and Technology (MCIT), Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau challenged the participants “to be more efficient and more advanced than the criminals themselves.”
ICAO is a United Nations agency that “codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.”
The meeting’s theme, “Implementation and Capacity Building,” focuses on issues pertaining to the safety and security of travel documents with the emphasis on travel documentation fraud and identity theft.
“I hope in your deliberations, you will strive to increase your awareness and your understanding of the nature and complexity of issues regarding machine readable travel documents,”said Tuisugaletaua.
“People depend on you,” said the Minister.
He also urged government officials and border controls personnel to utilise this opportunity to gain knowledge from the experts in charge of the weeklong meeting.
In the past years, travel documentation was done manually and although it took much longer to go through a line, not many travellers were dealt in fraudulent activities, said Tuisugaletaua.
“Perhaps there was more trust in the human eyes checking documents than machines,” he said.
As the world advances, so does technology which is the key component for the easy accessibility to committing crimes.
The Pacific was once considered a safe haven due to its unknown routes, it’s remoteness and less developed infrastructure.
“That is no longer the case because technology has minimized the difficulties of accessibility,” he said.
Samoa’s Immigration Assistant Chief Executive Officer Seuamuli Henry Taefu said it is now ten years since Samoa switched to using machine readable passports.
Not wanting to be left behind, Samoa signed the international agreement and joined other countries in using machine readable passports.
“Samoa is leading the pacific in all safety and security measures. It is why New Zealand asked Samoa to host this prestigious meeting which ends tomorrow,” said Seuamuli.
SOURCE: TALAMUA ONLINE/PACNEWS
13) Close to 100 prospective jurors in food stamp fraud, money laundering case summoned
08 May 2015
By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor – firstname.lastname@example.org – Variety News Staff
A POOL of about 98 prospective jurors was summoned to appear on Monday in the money laundering, mail and food stamp fraud case involving a former Commonwealth Health Center supply specialist’s wife.
In her order on Thursday, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona also granted the U.S. government’s motion for leave to file exhibits under seal.
These exhibits contain personal and financial account information of the defendant and her spouse.
The federal government intends to cite Pentagon Federal Credit Union records, online purchases with Gap Inc., credit card statements with Bank of America and Bank of Hawaii, vehicle service records, and Wells Fargo Financial statements.
The federal government said these records are relevant as they show that former CHC supply specialist Melvin Ada and his wife, defendant Leyda Ada, were “spending money far in excess of their salaries, as well as that reported on their yearly tax returns, a fact that makes it more probable than not that Leyda Ada knew the money came from an unlawful source.”
The U.S. government said it will also use certified copies of records filed with the Settlement Fund, including a letter and application sent by Melvin Ada on Oct. 17, 2011 regarding the early withdrawal of retirement contributions.
The U.S. government, in addition, intends to introduce such tax records as the Ada couple’s Territorial Individual Income Tax Returns from 2004 through 2011; Shop 670/Blaze ‘N’ Entertainment business gross revenue taxes monthly returns filed by Mr. Ada and those filed by Mrs. Ada; and BGR tax returns filed by defendant Leyda Ada’s mother, Rosa I. Ichihara.
According to the prosecution, the defendant’s spouse stole at least $1,796,523.75 from 2004 through 2011 through submission of false and fabricated documents at CHC.
The Ada couple was arrested on Sept. 25, 2012, a day after they were indicted by a grand jury.
Mr. Ada was CHC’s medical supply specialist while his wife was a sales representative for Midwest Medical Supply Company Inc., a Missouri company that supplied dialysis consumables and equipment to CHC.
On Sept. 30, 2013, Mr. Ada and the federal government entered into a plea agreement.
A second superseding indictment charged Mrs. Ada with five counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of money laundering, and one count of perjury. She has pleaded not guilty.
14) Palau House Passes Bill Increasing Penalties For Illegal Fishing
Definition of ‘fishing’ expanded to include fish aggregating devices
By Peter Erick L. Magbanua
KOROR, Palau (Island Times, May 7, 2015) – The House of Delegates on May 6 has approved in third and final reading the Senate Bill that set to increase penalties for foreign illegal fishing and to broaden the definition of “fishing” to include the use of fishing aggregating devices (FAD).
Senate Bill No. 9-59 as authored by Senator Mason Whipps states that the Palau National Code currently provides for some illegal foreign fishing penalties that range from $50,000 to $250,000. It found out that even though these figures seem high, they are lower than the illegal foreign fishing penalties imposed by Palau’s neighboring island nations such as the Federated States of Micronesia.
As a result, the bill finds that it is necessary to amend some of Palau’s fishing penalties to increase some of them to be commensurate with the Micronesian Region. The bill also finds that fishing aggregating devices (FAD) are oftentimes used when foreigners fish in Palau’s waters, but the use of those devices are not included in the Palau National Code’s definition of “fishing,” which makes difficult for prosecution of fishermen who illegally use this method of fishing in Palau’s waters. The bill finds that FADs must be included as a method of fishing in Palau’s waters.
In the definition section of the bill, it defines fishing aggregating devices (FADs) as any man-made device, or natural floating object, whether anchored or not that is capable of aggregating fish.
Thus for those who would be found guilty under the said bill, it states that any offense as a prohibited act is punishable by a fine of not less than $500,000 and not more than $1 million. The bill also states that any offense described as a prohibited act is punishable by a fine of not less than $500,000 for each violation; except that if in the commission of any such offense the person uses a dangerous weapon, engages in conduct that causes bodily injury to any authorized to enforce the provisions of the bill, places any such officer in fear of imminent bodily injury, the offense is punishable by a fine of not less than $500,000 and not more than $1 million for each violation. Each day of continuing violation shall be considered a separate offense.
The bill also states that any person who reports an act prohibited under the law to a law enforcement authority shall be entitled to receive a reward upon conviction of the reported offender. The reward shall amount to 3% of any fine collected.
In the bill, any person who willfully tampers with, destroys, or interferes with in any way, an automatic location communicator or violates section 203 shall be guilty of a Class C felony and upon conviction shall be sentenced for a term not to exceed two years, a fine amount raging from $500,000 to $1 million.
16) Norfolk Island referendum sets path for fight with Canberra
9 May 2015
The Chief Minister of Norfolk Island says the results of a local referendum have set the path for a fight with the Australian Government over the future of the island’s self-governance.
Canberra wants to strip Norfolk of its long-time autonomy, including abolishing the legislative assembly and the island’s parliament.
But in a referendum held on the island, 664 people voted ‘yes’ to the question of whether the island’s people should have a say in determining Norfolk’s own political status.
224 people voted ‘no’.
Lisle Snell says the results show that an overwhelming majority of people want a say on the future of their island, not to have one imposed on them.
“A large majority is for the ‘Yes’ vote to ensure that any future governance for Norfolk Island is to be placed before the Norfolk Island community before the Commonwealth of Australia acts upon it. That’s what they’re asking for.”
The Chief Minister of Norfolk Island, Lisle Snell.RNZI
17) ‘Climate change a hoax’
Sunday, May 10, 2015
CANBERRA – A top Australian Government business adviser has said climate change is a hoax by the United Nations.
Most climate models were wrong and there was little evidence of climate change, said Maurice Newman.
He said the UN had used climate change as a “hook” to establish and control a new world order.
Mr Newman’s comments were rejected by climate scientists, while Environment Minister Greg Hunt said it was “not something I would express”.
Asked at a press conference what he thought of Mr Newman’s comments, Mr Hunt said individuals were “entitled to their views”.
On a per capita basis, Australia is one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Coalition governments in Australia have a history of climate change scepticism. One of the current government’s first actions when it won power in 2013 was to dump the previous Labor government’s tax on carbon emissions because of the cost to industry.
Mr Newman chairs Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council and is a former chairperson of the Australian Stock Exchange.
He wrote in an opinion article for The Australian newspaper on Friday: “It’s a well-kept secret, but 95 per cent of the climate models we are told prove the link between human CO2 emissions and catastrophic global warming have been found, after nearly two decades of temperature stasis, to be in error.”
18) Osteoporosis: Patients suffering unnecessary fractures due to missed diagnoses, doctors say
Updated 10 May 2015, 18:50 AEST
Exclusive by medical reporter Sophie Scott
Osteoporosis is not being properly diagnosed or treated by doctors in Australia, causing thousands of unnecessary fractures and costing the health system more than a billion dollars, leading doctors say.
Only a few Australian hospitals have special clinics to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment for osteoporosis. (Credit: Reuters)
Each year more than 100,000 Australians suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis.
Yet leading doctors say very few patients are actually properly diagnosed or treated for the condition, causing their bones to break.
Many will end up back in hospital with more fractures, costing the health system more than a billion dollars.
Only a few Australian hospitals have set up special clinics to ensure patients get the right diagnosis and treatment.
Professor Markus Seibel runs the fracture liaison service at Sydney’s Concord Hospital and said 70 to 80 per cent of people who go to a GP, hospital or specialist with a bone fracture are not being properly diagnosed and treated for osteoporosis.
Many of those will have subsequent fractures.
“You can imagine for those patients to go through a series of fractures and hospitalisations and operations — it’s devastating not only for them but their families and all of this could’ve been prevented if we intervene early,” he said.
Each year, 140,000 Australians have fractures due to osteoporosis, at a direct annual cost of $1.6 billion.
A group of leading organisations including the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society, Osteoporosis Australia and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians are calling for action, to stop the cycle of repeat bone fractures.
“We want a specific action plan with funding mechanisms from state and federal governments to implement secondary fracture prevention programs,” Professor Seibel said.
Bernadette Gallagher, 72, had a number of painful fractures before she was correctly diagnosed with osteoporosis.
“I fell down a pothole and broke my ankle, then both wrists,” she said.
But it was only when she was referred to a fracture liaison service that the cause of her fractures was properly investigated.
“I feel much better having a diagnosis and a treatment plan,” she said.
“Goodness knows how many other Australians are like me walking around with osteoporosis and not knowing it.”
She keeps active, volunteering several days a week at a local hospital and takes mild pain killers to manage the pain.Radio Australia
19a) SIDT long Solomon Islands i makim 33 yiar
Updated 8 May 2015, 15:13 AEST
Bikpela non-gavman organisation blong Solomon Islands, em oli kolim long Solomon Islands Development Trust i makim naba 33 yiar blong en long dispela wik.
SIDT em i wok long developim ol komiuniti long olgeta provins long Solomon Islands na oli bin statim long y naba 6 long mun May long 1982.
Chairman blong SIDT, Longden Manedika itok insait long dispela taim, ol ibin wok wantaim pipol long ol komiuniti long yusim gutpela ol risosis blong ol, long mekim gut laif blong ol.
Tasol Mr Manedika i tok igat bikpela nid long gavman i wok trutru long evelopim rural komiuniti long kantri wea planti long ol pipol, long kantri na risosis i stap longen.Radio Australia
19b) Brèves du Pacifique – vendredi 8 mai 2015
8 mois avant la conference de Paris sur la climat, l’Australie révise à la baisse ses objectifs en matière d’énergies renouvelables.
19c) Bougainville: dernière ligne droite avant les élections
Lundi, les Bougainvillais éliront leurs députés, lesquels choisiront le nouveau Président du gouvernement de la province autonome… et la date du référendum d’autodétermination.
20) Regional agencies called on to step in and help Nauru
8 May 2015
A Pacific political scientist says the Pacific Islands Forum or Micronesian agencies should step in and help Nauru.
It is a year since the bulk of Nauru’s opposition was suspended from Parliament.
In the interim it has made a number of controversial decisions — the latest being a ban on access to social media sites, such as Facebook.
The head of the Pasifika Centre at Massey University in New Zealand, Malakai Koloamatangi, says the Nauru Government is under pressure and needs help, but that assistance cannot come from Australia or New Zealand.
“Perhaps it is time for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to look at Nauru and maybe also some of the Micronesia bodies that are quite close in proximity to try and find a way forward because what is going to happen is, if New Zealand and Australia are seen to impose solutions on Nauru, it is going to backfire.”
21) ‘Significant progress’ made at PACER-Plus talks
8 May 2015
The Chief Trade Advisor of the Pacific Island countries says significant progress was made on development assistance negotiations in this round of PACER-Plus talks.
Representatives from Australia, New Zealand and 14 Pacific nations have been in Port Vila in Vanuatu this week to discuss the regional free trade agreement.
Edwini Kessie says for the first time, New Zealand and Australia committed to provide funds to help Pacific Island countries address supply side constraints.
“Supply side constraints basically have prevented them from taking advantage of market access opportunities.
“Although they did not mention the figure, this is the first time the two countries have agreed that a specific sum of money would be set aside for Pacific Island countries.”
Listen to interview with Edwini Kessie on Dateline Pacific ( 3 min 40 sec )
Dr Kessie says more work needs to be done on labour mobility negotiations, with New Zealand and Australia saying they want to go through their domestic processes before making an agreement.
He says Pacific Island countries want the numbers of workers Australia and New Zealand take to increase, and for working schemes to be extended to new areas.
“For labour mobility, we managed to make modest progress. So that is one area where the negotiations, we didn’t get the result that we expected but it’s still work in progress.
“So we hope that at the next meeting we would be able to bridge the gaps in the negotiating positions of the parties. They [Australia and New Zealand] say they are going through their domestic processes and will let us know what can be done at the next meeting.”
Dr Kessie says the next round of negotiations is likely to be held in Melbourne in early August.RNZI
22) European pushes EPA negotiations – The European Union is pushing the Economic Partnership Agreement across the Pacific as a benefit basket for access to their markets. EU Head of Delegation Pacific – Ambassador Andrew Jacobs says while Fiji and PNG are the only countries that have an interim agreement in place, there are a number countries that have shown interest. Jacobs says an area of priority under the trade agreement is the global sourcing of fish products.
23) Divided nation
Sunday, May 10, 2015
LONDON – The question uppermost in the prime minister’s mind as he assembles his new government is how to keep the kingdom united.
“Above all I want to bring our country together,” he revealed after the result, “to reclaim a mantle we should never have lost — the mantle of one nation, one United Kingdom”.
Looking at the political landscape from Land’s End today is very different to the view from John O’Groats.
A sea of Conservative and Unionist blue dominates the scene across much of England, while a field of SNP nationalist yellow stretches to the horizon and beyond from the north.
David Cameron’s greatest challenge is to prevent the union he supports being torn apart by mutual resentment — resentment from Scotland at a Westminster government dominated by English Tories, and resentment from England at the preferential treatment people think is being given to the Scots.
Those who assumed the future of the Union had been safeguarded by the Scottish referendum must think again.
Conservatives won 331 seats and Labour 232 followed by the SNP with 56 seats out of 59 in Scotland
The vote created a powerful lobby that couldn’t achieve independence in a head to head, but became an almost unstoppable force in multi-candidate constituency elections.
The Conservatives’ portrayal of SNP representation at Westminster as the wicked cuckoo in Labour’s nest may have helped the party win votes in England.
But it will have added to the sense that Mr Cameron pays scant regard to the wishes of the Scottish electorate.
There are scars that will need to be healed if the Prime Minister’s one-nation vision is to become a reality.
No surprise that today he reiterated the vow made to the Scottish people last year — far greater powers over income tax and welfare at Holyrood and a promise to retain the controversial Barnett formula which sets Scottish funding.
24) Ebola ‘lives on in eye of survivor’
Sunday, May 10, 2015
The Ebola virus has been detected in the eye of a US doctor who had already recovered from the illness.
The medic, who caught the bug while working in Sierra Leone, had blurred eyesight and pain two months after being declared Ebola-free.
Scientists say his eye infection presents no risk to the public.
But reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine they warn that research is needed to see if Ebola can also linger in other parts of the body.
Patients with Ebola are generally discharged once tests show the virus is no longer present in blood. At this point, experts say, it cannot be spread to members of the general public.
But there have been suggestions the virus may live on in some bodily fluids as certain parts of the body could act as reservoirs.
Now a team, including scientists from Emory University School of Medicine, say Ebola can persist in the eye and lead to further damage.
Their 43-year-old patient recovered from a serious Ebola infection that needed weeks of intensive care.
But shortly after being discharged, he had a burning sensation in his eyes and suffered worsening blurry vision.
Tests showed the fluid in his left eye had live Ebola virus.
And doctors say there was widespread inflammation which can lead to blindness.
But after three months of treatment with steroids and antiviral drugs, his vision began to improve.
Experts think the virus’s staying power might be due to the eye’s ability to tolerate certain pathogens once inside its walls.
They suggest further studies are warranted to check for the the presence of the virus in other “immune privileged” sites such as the central nervous system, testicles and cartilage.
And doctors are calling for more help for survivors in the worst-affected countries.
25) Successful campaign spreads key health messages across Vanuatu
Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2015 1:00 pm
The Ministry of Health has been leading a successful campaign in disseminating life-saving health messages to the public of Vanuatu, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, Vanuatu Red Cross, community leaders, and other health partners.
Since Cyclone Pam, the risk of outbreaks of disease has been a serious concern, with many people living in crowded conditions, and with limited access to safe water and food, and adequate hygiene.
“With the risk of disease outbreaks still high, communication is an extremely important tool in public health promotion,” says Mr. Viran Tovu, Chair of the Cyclone Pam Health Cluster’s response, at the Ministry of Health.
“In this case, information can save lives.”
The Ministry of Health, in partnership with WHO, developed a series of health messages to communicate simple ways to prevent the transmission of disease, such as frequent hand-washing, drinking safe water and sleeping under bed nets.
These messages were shared a number of different ways to reach as many people as possible, including through the news media and a weekly talkback radio show; a text message campaign; and through community leaders.
The text message campaign reached almost 90,000 people in April and May, delivering advice to protect against diarrheal disease, mosquito-borne illnesses, such as malaria and dengue, measles vaccination and nutrition.
A talkback show that airs every Wednesday on Radio Vanuatu at 1pm continues to offer a forum to share health advice in Bislama. People are able to call in to the show and ask questions about their own experiences, and receive answers from public health experts.
“The talkback show has been a very good thing so far,” said Ms. Myriam Abel, a local Technical Adviser at the WHO. “It’s consistent and is reinforcing these important messages all the time, and it provides an opportunity to answer any questions people might have.”
Next week, the radio segment will focus on health promotion and how it can be applied in education, especially in schools. WHO gave $1.2 million Vatu to seven primary schools and Shefa Education.
Representatives from the Vatu Mauri Consortium (representing the National Council of Chiefs, churches, women and youth leaders) recently returned from a mission to the island of Tanna, where it disseminated the health messages. The group met with village chiefs and community leaders in all seven areas councils to discuss the importance of maintaining good health, particularly post-cyclone.
Health partners continue to devise ways to reach people living in rural areas of Vanuatu, who make up about 70 per cent of the population.
One thousand copies of the Healthy Islands handbook were donated by HuMA, as well as a further 250 copies by the WHO. These materials are useful sources of practical information regarding food and water safety, mosquito-borne disease and nutrition, and will be distributed by the Ministry of Health to community leaders, health facilities and health partners in Shefa, Tafea, Malampa, Penama, and Sanma provinces.
Last month, Hon. Health Minister George Andrew Wells received an award to recognize Vanuatu’s commitment and progress to meeting the Healthy Islands vision at the Pacific Health Ministers’ Meeting held on Yanuca Island in Fiji.
Additional materials regarding public health promotion are also being developed by Vanuatu Red Cross and UNICEF.
26) PNG imas skulim Sex Edukeisan long skul
Updated 8 May 2015, 11:52 AEST
Em askim blong wanpla Public Helt Saintis wantem Medical Research Institute
Odio: Rebecca Emori Public Helt Scientist blong Institute of Medical research long PNG itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman
Sexual na Reproductive Helt imas stap long ol skul curriculum long Papua New Guinea blong helpim ol yangpla pipal isave gut long sexual helt blong ol.
Despla em askim blong wanpla Public Helt Scientist blong Institute of Medical research long Goroka bihaenim wok painimaut emi bin mekim long ol yangpla pikinini meri husat isave gat bel na karim pikinini.
Rebecca Emori itok despla study blong en ibin painim olsem planti yangpla meri ino gat gutpla save long lukautim ol iet taem oli slip wantem man, na oli save kirap nogut taem oli gat bel.
Ms Emori itok tu olsem, ol papa mama ino save toktok tumas long sex oa pasin blong man i slip wantem meri oa meri wantem man, long wonem emi tambu long toktok long despla kaen samting long kalsa blong kantri.
Papua New Guinea, wankaen olsem ol narapla kantri long Pacific rijan igat wari blong teenage pregnancies oa ol yangpla pikinini meri isave karim pikinini taem oli pikinini iet.Radio Australia
27) Alternative treatment not the way
Sunday, May 10, 2015
THE head of the Internal Medicine Department at CWMH, Dr Shrish Acharya, says there is a need to move away from patients choosing alternative treatments for cancer over medically accepted options.
Dr Acahrya explained at the 3rd Regional Pathology Symposium that people needed to be aware that diagnosis of the disease early was vital for better outcomes.
“Together with that the family, friends and community should be frank with them and not give them false hope in terms of patients going through alternative therapy,” Dr Acharya said.
“Encourage them to have a more scientific approach to it and look at what is available,” he added.
Dr Acharya presented to the symposium on a Fiji Perspective of Lymphomas and Hematological Cancer and spoke on some of the challenges associated with the treatment of cancer in the country, chief among them, the delays in diagnosis.
“The mortality rate depends on a few factors one of them is the ability to diagnose the treatment, the other is early diagnosis and that is a challenge for us,” he said
“It takes a couple of months from the time the patient develops a system to the time there is a diagnosis and along that line there is the patient factors, system factors, resource factors and all those contribute to a delay in getting the diagnosis.”
He said other challenges included not having a medical oncologist and a lack of communication between patient and doctor following overseas treatment.Fijitimes
28) Pathology on the up
Sunday, May 10, 2015
FORENSIC pathology is on an upward surge in the country with local forensic services now even handling cases out of Vanuatu.
Acting head of Forensic Pathology for the Forensic Science Service Dr James Kalougivaki said they were now moving into more areas associated with forensic pathology.
The service expects to process 700-800 cases on average in a year with majority being natural deaths, car accidents and suicides in the Central and Western divisions.
“We are strengthening ourselves through quality management systems and having national guidelines for forensic autopsies in Fiji,” Dr Kalougivaki said.
“We are trying to formalise the systems to support the medico-legal death investigation systems in Fiji and the Pacific and also we are moving forward with development of a disaster victim identification team.”
However, he said there was still a need for more medical officers to add to the four forensic physicians and 12 ground staff employed by the service.
And while crime scene investigators have become 21st century heroes, thanks to shows such as CSI, Dr Kalougivaki says the actual work on the ground is not quite the same.
“I think it will be problematic to say that it’s the same but it’s not exactly the same, there is a lot of fiction in those and the reality is that it’s not that.”
“But it takes a lot of moving around, it’s a dynamic field with a lot of visitations.”Fijitimes
29a ) Help reduce Chikungunya circulation in Fiji: MOH- The Ministry of Health is advising the general public to focus efforts on reducing the risks of Chikungunya circulation in Fiji. This is after it received laboratory confirmation of two more imported case of the Chikungunya virus disease. The Ministry has been monitoring the Chikungunya situation in the region very closely since it evolved and progressively circulated amongst neighboring Pacific Island countries since 2014. In addition, it is also spearheading Chikungunya mitigation activities countrywide in efforts to reduce the risks of establishing the disease in Fiji. Prevention of the virus involves reducing the mosquito density to levels that will prevent disease transmission, and also protecting oneself from mosquito bites. The Ministry advises the public to be more vigilant of the disease and its manifestations and to present themselves to the nearest health facility should they experience signs and symptoms.
29b) ) Health Ministry to find out if Chikungunya has been circulated internally- The Health Ministry is yet to determine whether there is internal circulation of the Chikungunya virus. This follows the latest reports that three cases of the disease was detected and diagnosed in Viti Levu. National Adviser for Communicable Diseases Dr Mike Kama says while one of the carriers has returned to his country of origin, the remaining two carriers have fully recovered and are still in the country. Dr Kama adds there have been no further complications. “All we’re doing now is to determine whether there has been internal circulation which basically points to an establishment of the disease in the country so basically the Ministry is working overtime to try and evaluate certain risks, etc that we might have in terms of localizing the disease.” Dr Kama adds the Ministry conducts its own tests at the Fiji Centre of Communicable Disease control in Suva to ascertain and diagnose the Chikungunya virus. From here, it sends off samples to French Polynesia for reference testing on the disease. The symptoms of Chinkungunya virus disease, begins 3 – 7 days after being bitten by infected mosquitoes and, includes high fever, joint pains with swelling and stiffness, headache, muscles pains, fatigue and rash on the trunk and limbs.
29c) Health warning as cold spell approaches– FLU, common cold and other related diseases are among notable health problems that are likely to be faced by many during this cold spell. As a result, the Health Ministry has issued a fresh reminder for people to take ownership of their health and adhere to relevant preventative measures. Assistant Minister for Health Veena Bhatnagar yesterday said it was crucial for people to take good care of their health during this cold season. “It’s important to keep warm by dressing warmly and keeping out of the rain and also ensure proper footwear is worn when heading outdoors,” Ms Bhatnagar said. “Practising personal hygiene is important, especially before handling food and after visiting the toilet. Eating healthy and having a proper balanced diet is also important. “We continue to remind the public that taking preventive measures are important. For instance, when sneezing or coughing, use a handkerchief to cover your mouth. Drink lots of fluids, take paracetamol for fever and see a doctor early to avoid complications.
30) Confucius lecture room opens at Emalus Campus
By Glenda Willie
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2015 1:00 pm
The Minister of Education, Bob Loughman and the Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu, Xie Bohua have officiated the inauguration of the Confucius lecture room at USP Emalus Campus.
In July 2014, Emalus Campus introduced Chinese language classes. This was made possible through the established partnership between the Confucius Institute at The University of the South Pacific (CI-USP) headquartered in Suva, Fiji.
Semester Two of the Chinese lessons began in February 16 this year, and saw at least more than 80 young learners who are Year 8 students from Vila East School.
At the unveiling of plaque ceremony yesterday morning, the Manager of Emalus Campus, Reuben Bakeo, appreciated the significance of the occasion.
“We can now say that through the Confucius classroom, the campus is expanding in its scope of offerings. It is not easy to approve a program for delivery at a regional campus and provide the necessary support to ensure it happens,” he said.
Minister Loughman was specifically mentioned for putting extra effort to see that Confucius Institute is also established at Emalus Campus.
The Emalus manager thanked the government of Vanuatu for its foresight and Senior Management Team, especially the Vice Chancellor and Dean for agreeing and pushing this through.
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Port Vila, also was in support of this initiative.
“Stakeholders will be eager to see that this classroom lives up to its expectations. As noted, we intend to ensure that it serves the needs of the wider community. I trust the lecturers will actively engage the stakeholders and determine the needs out there,” manager Markward assured.
Chinese Ambassador Xie said he hopes the inauguration of the Confucius classroom “will serve as a new bridge and platform for the cultural exchanges between China and Vanuatu”.
As he thanked USP’s support towards the Confucius Institute and the Ministry of Education and Training for their assistance as a result of what has achieved. The Ambassador has emphasized that the Chinese Embassy in Vanuatu “will continue to support the works of the Confucius classroom and will provide any necessary assistance”.
He concluded, “It is also my hope that there will be more cooperation between the Chinese Embassy in Vanuatu and the USP in the future”.
31) Auga calls for unity
Published: 08 May 2015
Member of Parliament (MP) for Lau/Mbaelelea Constituency and Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock (MAL) Augustine Auga has called on his constituents to work together as one people to push development forward.
Speaking on the Sine Die Motion at the Parliament Auga asserted that they must do away with thier differences so that they could work together as one family to pursue their development plans.
He said that he want his people to build their trusts among themselves and believe in each other to work as a team pursuing a common goal for the betterment of all people in the constituency.
He added that the attitude and behaviour of hard work, wiliness and positivity must exist so that they can show the people of this nation that they are ready to deliver their resources for development purposes.
“Let us put our differences aside and work together to bring economic development to our door step and show others in Malaita Constituencies and the nation for that matter, that land disputes will get us nowhere,” Auga stressed.
“Suafa Bay development is the biggest project in my constituency but my people need to work together to ensure this project completes to attract more development opportunities for the constituency,” he said.
He further stated that land dispute should be a matter of the past now, as they have learnt that this is the major barrier to development in our constituencies.
He further added that only development will bring positive changes to the lives of their families, communities, villages, constituencies, provinces and the nation as a whole.Solomons Star
By AATAI JOHN
32) Nagriamel pledges strong support for Natuman government
By Jonas Cullwick
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2015 1:00 pm
Nagriamel will continue to provide firm backing for the current government of Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, so it holds on to power until the end of the term of the current Parliament of Vanuatu.
That is the pledge from the new Minister of Youth Development and Sports, John Lum, the Political Commission President of the Nagriamel political party, on accepting the appointment by the Prime Minister Tuesday in a cabinet reshuffle.
“As the two political parties that were at the forefront of the independence movement, Nagriamel will be there with your Vanua’aku Pati-led government until the term of this Parliament ends and after the election (2016 general election),” he assured Prime Minister Natuman.
Minister Lum, the Member of Parliament for Santo Rural Constituency, thanked the Prime Minister for his confidence in him and said he was proud to take over the leadership of the Ministry that is responsible for the development of the country’s young people.
He promised to continue the work left by his predecessor, Don Ken, the MP for Malekula.
In his comment before issuing Lum with his appointment letter, PM Natuman paid tribute to former Minister Ken for his contribution to the work that is taking place, especially at the Korman Stadium, for construction of new sports facilities in preparation for the 2017 Pacific Mini Games that Vanuatu will host. China is financing the construction work, and Natuman has praised former minister Don Ken for his constructive contribution in the different stages of the work to now that construction will soon start.
Affirming the comments by Minister Lum, Prime Minister Natuman acknowledged the role of the Nagriamel and the Vanua’aku Pati in the movement for the independence of the country and added that it is only fitting that the two natora (hardword) of the struggle should be working together at this time for the continued development of Vanuatu.
The Office of the Prime Minister said in a statement following the cabinet reshuffle that Prime Minister Joe Natuman had always remained committed to the original agreements signed about a year ago to form the present government.
But that he had made the reshuffle in response to a specific request from the party and the G13 group, headed by the National United Party President, Ham Lini.
Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: email@example.com. Cell # 678 5460922
33) Use land properly to cater for growing population: Governor
The National, Friday May 8th, 2015
THERE is a need for the Gazelle and Pomio hinterlands to be developed to accommodate the booming population of East New Britain, Governor Ereman ToBaining Jnr said.
“Land does not grow, population grows and therefore judicious use of land at our disposal is inevitable,” he said. “For East New Britain, our population has grown to over 300,000 people while our total land area is about 15,299sq km,” he said. ToBaining said this worked out to be about 17 people to a square kilometre.
He said land mobilisation in the province was strategic as the focus was on improving land programmes for better socioeconomic development in the province.
He said the provincial division of lands had streamlined its mobilisation into nine key programmes and the Land Board was one targeted activity in the administration and management activities.
ToBaining said other priorities included growth centres in the four districts.
34) Fossil fuel an economic burden: PM- Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the national fossil fuel bill now exceeds more than $1bn each year. Bainimarama is encouraging other Pacific island countries to turn to sustainable energy sources as much as possible. “We are generating too much waste and have been slow to embrace items that are bio-degradable. There is too much pollution, both on land and at sea, that is threatening a range of precious ecosystems and the quality of our arable land. And our dependence on fossil fuels has become not only a moral issue but a huge economic burden on us all.” Policy makers in Pacific island governments as well as business communities have been encouraged to put sustainability and environmental protection as the main priority in any development proposal. Bainimarama adds sustainability should be at the core of everything the region does.
35) Local takes on top job
Saturday, May 09, 2015
FIJI Airways has appointed a new chief pilot and manager flight operations for domestic subsidiary — Fiji Link.
In a statement, the company announced Captain Manu Rajappa would take up the roles replacing Captain Gerald Erbsleben who resigned.
General manager Thomas Robinson thanked Mr Erbsleben for his contribution and welcomed Mr Rajappa into his roles.
“As chief pilot, Captain Rajappa will manage Fiji Link’s 71 pilots and ensure the safety of our flight operations,” he said.
“This role is obviously crucial in maintaining all of our professional standards, which includes on-going training, mentorship, operational excellence and reliability of Fiji Link.”
Fiji Airways board director Stefan Pichler said by placing another home-grown professional in the position the airline was clearly signalling its focus on what Fiji Link offered Fijian aviators.
“We aim to increase our complement ratio of locals to expatriate pilots, and the new pilot management changes announced today speak volumes about the skills and experience Fijian pilots have,” he said.Fijitimes
36) Failed Fiji Casino operator to appeal court ruling– One Hundred Sands Limited plans to appeal a recent High Court judgment in Fiji that found the Government’s decision to revoke its casino licence was legal and justified. In February, the Government revoked the 15-year exclusive gaming licence it had issued to the One Hundred Sands casino resort project in 2011, after several delays. The company then applied for a judicial review but the High Court said the Attorney General’s decision to revoke the licence was legally correct, justified and followed correct procedure. One Hundred Sands’ lawyer Devanesh Sharma says he is seeking leave to appeal that decision and is waiting for a court date. Mr Sharma says his client is particularly concerned about the procedures used to cancel the licence and believes a judicial review is justified.
37) Ministry confirms 200 people under Seasonal Workers Scheme– The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations now has about 200 people in its Work Ready Pool under the Seasonal Workers Scheme. Minister for Employment, Jioji Konrote says they have enough to supply workers to Australia and New Zealand. Konrote says they have at least three farmers showing interest in employing locals in their farm. He adds they are also looking at increasing the Work Ready Pool. More than 50 people are now employed under the Seasonal Workers Scheme in New Zealand while Australia is yet to pick its workers.
38) FNPF interested in utilities– The Fiji National Provident Fund intends to buy 3 major utilities from the government. Board Chair Ajith Kodagoda has revealed exclusively to FBC News that FNPF has expressed interest in Airports Fiji Limited, Ports Fiji and the Fiji Electricity Authority. He says investing in local infrastructure is a natural progression for the Fund. “If you look at Funds all over the world – Funds like these need to have long term assets. It’s not assets that pay in 2 or 3 years, so infrastructure is the way to go. Particularly things like the airport, ports and even FEA. We will go through the due diligence.” Kodagoda says if successful in all 3 buy-outs, the FNPF will make 300,000 owners of vital components of the Fiji economy which will continue to yield returns for decades. “These are critical assets of the country which are actually going to be owned by the people of Fiji. It works both ways – each one of you will actually own a part of the asset. The asset will get transferred from the government to the people.” The government has already begun the process of selling minority shares in the Fiji Electricity Authority with the deadline for expressions ending in June.
39) FEA suits FNPF’s investment profile- The Fiji National Provident Fund confirms that investment in Fiji Electricity Authority suits FNPF’s profile and would allow the Fund to invest and grow members’ funds. When questioned on whether FNPF is interested in buying shares in FEA, FNPF Chief Executive Officer Aisake Taito said the government has started an Expression of Interest process to look for potential investors in FEA. Taito says being a strategic infrastructure asset for Fiji, investment in FEA suits FNPF’s profile. The Ministry of Public Enterprise has invited expressions of interest from potential investors to participate in the partial divestment of government ownership in FEA. The FEA serves around 165,000 customers across the main islands, leading to revenue of $292.9 million in 2013. The Authority is responsible for the generation, transmission and retail of electricity in the larger islands – Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Ovalau, which account for approximately 90 percent of the country’s population.
40) LCM Shipping contracted to service Santo and Banks
By Len Garae
Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2015 1:00 pm
“We can confirm that we have not failed our promise to provide the people of Torres a regular service. Our fourth visit is preparing to leave and we are committed to the route because it is not new to us, and we are confident to honour our latest contract and we look forward to a renewed contract in the future”.
LCM Shipping representative Samuel made the statement when he and Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Esmon Sae signed the third contract in the Ministry yesterday.
The Minister wishes to thank donor partners New Zealand for a grant of approximately $US12.6 million, Government loan from ADB of $US10.8 million and a Government contribution of $US3.4 million.
The Minister says the overall budget also includes the funding of the building of seven wharves and jetties in a number of islands in the country. “My Ministry is going to be responsible for the supervision of the contracts with the help of our technical teams that are provided under the contracts to oversee the projects to their completions”, the Minister says.
Meanwhile the latest contract will allow LCM Shipping beginning next month, to include its services along Route 3 called ‘SSS3 – Banks Route’, which comprises of the isolated communities of Santo and Banks and return to Luganville.
Director General Johnson Binaru says the difference between the current Government Subsidy and former subsidies is that the Ministry works closely with LCM Shipping to make sure that initiative works.
When the Ministry is satisfied with the company’s financial statement, only then can it chip in to offset any shortfall.
With the new initiative, the Government hopes the regular shipping service would gradually become an incentive for the farmers and traders to plan ahead to expand their businesses to start to play a more active part in the economic development of the country.
The DG says once the traffic increases and the route becomes self sustainable for the company then the Government will also reduce its subsidy to allow LCM Shipping to continue to provide its service delivery to the islands.
2015 will be remembered in years to come by the people of the isolated communities of Santo and the Banks and Torres Groups of Islands in the North of the country, as the year the first Government led by Prime Minister Joe Natuman, introduced the first regular shipping service to their shores backed by a closely monitored Government subsidy, to encourage them to start playing an increased role in the economic development of the country.
Traditionally the people of Torba Province have accepted their fate as the forgotten people. But that is now a myth since LCM Shipping has confirmed to the Government that they have not failed to deliver their services to the people of the Torres since signing the second contract with the Government at the beginning of the year.
In addition, the DG says the Government subsidy which has duration of one year, will also helps with distributions of relief supplies as well as life saving services to the isolated islands and communities.Vanuatu Daily Post
41) Lakatoro Shopping Mall project launched
Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2015 1:00 pm
Malampa Province yesterday marked another milestone achievement with the launching of the new Lakatoro Shopping Mall project in the business hub of Malekula.
“We have overcome the challenges and will continue to do so,” President of Malampa Province William Fred Tasso said.
“I believe that with the support and contribution of the people of Malampa, the Mall will be completed by the end of 2015.”
The Lakatoro Shopping Mall Committee told Daily Post that the funds utilised in the construction of the mall was sourced from the contribution of the provinces which totaled at Vt6million.
The province’s Acting SG Palen Ata thanked the Pastors and churches for their prayers to see such developments eventuate. The people of Malampa believe the mall will make a change and will help boost business activities in Lakatoro.
Now the onus to find another estimated Vt4million to complete the Mall rests on the Malampa Provincial Government.
The launching of the new building on May 7, was witnessed by the president of Malampa province, members of the council, other leaders and members of the public.
The leaders of the other provinces are expected to be invited to the opening of the project upon completion.
A cake cutting ceremony sealed with kava marked yesterday’s project launching.
42) Vaki out, Baki in
The National, Friday May 8th, 2015
By MALUM NALU
POLICE Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki has been sacked in a Government move “to restore confidence (and) discipline” in the police force.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday made the announcement after a Cabinet meeting, also naming Gari Baki to head the constabulary, a position he had held previously.
“This decision has not been taken lightly,” he said. “We see the morale of the police force on the decline, lack of command and control, continuous disciplinary issues about behaviour of policemen and women, continuous complaints
from the public about behaviour and indiscipline of police officers, and of course, public investigations that are ongoing and not concluded in a manner that our people want, such as the case of Hanuabada.
“Given those issues, we feel that we need to change the command of the force so that we can restore some confidence, restore some discipline, and the morale of the police force.
“We believe that the current National Intelligence Organisation director Gari Baki, a former police commissioner, is the person most suited, most experienced, and most disciplined to take on this role as the police commissioner.” O’Neill said the country was preparing to host major international events.
“This year, we are going to host the Pacific Games, the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting, and next year, we are hosting the Women’s U20 FIFA World Cup final,” he said.
“In 2018, we have got APEC meetings coming. Today, we are hosting a range of APEC meetings that are ongoing build-up to the main event in 2018.”
“Given those important events, we have had a lack of cooperation from the police force, in engaging with other State agencies to sure that we are prepared, we are disciplined, and we are going to provide necessary security arrangements for those events.
“That is why we feel that the change of command is necessary to make sure that we display the best for PNG when these international events do take place.”
43) Deputy Police boss to face discipline
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2015 By Thompson Marango |
The second in command in the Vanuatu Police Force, Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations), Superintendent John Taleo, has reportedly been involved in a traffic accident yesterday morning in his official police car, Compol 02.
44) Miner Allegedly Caught With Fake Solomons Export Permit
Bintang Borneo tries to ship illegally extracted bauxite
By Bradford Theonomi
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 8, 2015) – Indonesian firm Bintang Borneo Limited has been caught attempting to deceive Customs with a fake export and consignment permit.
The move was the latest attempt by the company to export bauxite it illegally extracted on Rennell island, Renbel Province, since last year.
But the fake permit, issued on 27 April 2015, was quickly brought to the attention of Director of Mines Peter Augu, who immediately alerted Customs about its fraudulent nature.
“My office has cited a consignment permit purportedly issued to PT Mega Bintang Borneo Limited dated Wednesday 27 April 2015, claiming to have been signed and issued by me,” Mr Auga said in a letter written to the Comptroller of Customs.
“I as director of mines do hereby categorically deny that I have never at any time affix my signature on any such purported consignment permit to PT Mega Bintang Borneo Limited,” he added.
It was not clear who was behind the fraudulent attempt.
The form carried the stamp of the Ministry of Miners, Energy & Rural Electrification and was signed by someone purported to be the director.
However, the signature was clearly different from that of Mr Augu.
Attempts to speak to the general manager of Bintang Borneo, Setya Graha, were not possible as he was not answering his mobile phone.
Mr Auga stated in his letter to Customs that there was no meeting convene by the Mines and Minerals Board to decide and approve a consignment permit for Bintang.
“If for any reason that the purported consignment permit was claimed to have been signed and issued by my office, then of course, that is clearly forging of my signature and fraudulent affixing the stamp of the ministry without my due approval as director.
“I therefore firmly confirm that my letter of 10 April 2015 on the subject ‘Re: No Board Approval for the granting of Temporary Export Permit to PT Mega Bintang Borneo Limite’ still remain on foot,” Mr Auga said.
Bintang got its mining lease for Rennell island on 9 September 2014 from the last government.
But when the Sogavare government assumed power in December last year, it revoked Bintang’s mining lease on the basis the lease was granted by the former minister without the Mineral Board’s decision.
Despite orders for the Indonesia company to pack up and leave Rennell island where it was doing exploration, it never did.
The Solomon Star was reliably informed Bintang flown in about 10 Indonesian stevedores into the country Monday this week in anticipation of its expected bauxite shipment from Rennell.
An overseas vessel, MV Chang Hang Jin Hai, arrived in Honiara yesterday afternoon at the behest of Bintang to load its purported consignment of bauxite on Rennell.
However, a Customs official said the vessel will not be allowed to travel to Rennell because Bintang does not have a consignment permit to export bauxite.
Meanwhile, sources within the Ministry of Mines said the minister is in a process of issuing a “final revocation” letter to Bintang.
“A final revocation letter means the Indonesian company will no longer be given the chance to appeal the minister’s letter,” one source said.
45) Fiji appoints another Sri Lankan judge – Fiji has appointed another Sri Lankan judge to its Court of Appeal, the 10th Sri Lankan on the court’s bench. The country’s President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, has sworn in Wannakuwattewaduge Jude Shavindra Fernando, who was admitted to the Sri Lankan bar in 1987 and then represented the Sri Lankan Navy from 1998. Judge Fernando joins nine other Sri Lankans on the Court of Appeal, the only non Sri Lankan being the Court’s President, the Australian, William Callanchini who was appointed in 2009. Fiji’s Supreme Court is also heavily weighted with Sri Lankan judges, with five sitting on the list under the Chief Justice Anthony Gates.
46) Vanuatu advised to redirect development funding to rebuild
8 May 2015
An academic at the Australian National University says the Vanuatu government will need review existing development projects to cater for the massive rebuild costs after Cyclone Pam.
Matthew Dornan says official damage estimates for Vanuatu are still being finalised but some guidance can be taken from Samoa’s Cyclone Evan in 2012 which saw about 30 percent of that country’s GDP in damages.
Mr Dornan say based on these figures, it could cost Vanuatu up to 250 million US dollars to make repairs.
He says Vanuatu doesn’t have the money and cannot afford to borrow it while maintaining existing infrastructure projects.
“What I would be recommending is that the government look very carefully at those infrastructure projects particularly the ones that are not so well advanced. And look to either modify them so that they incorporate elements of reconstruction. Or potentially postpone them altogether.”RNZI
47) Damage assessments after earthquakes in PNG
9 May 2015
Authorities in Papua New Guinea’s East New Britain Province are waiting for damage assessments to be carried out after a series of earthquakes in recent weeks.
A spokesperson for the National Disaster Centre, Martin Mose, says a risk assessment report is being compiled by teams on the ground to see if any national help is needed.
Mr Mose says apart from some cracked building foundations and a damaged bridge in Warangoi, damage appears to be minimal.
He told the Post Courier the province has been hit by a series of natural disasters this year, including a volcano eruption, heavy flooding and the latest series of earthquakes.RNZI
48) Many against quick return to mining in Bougainville
8 May 2015
A campaigner for women’s rights on Bougainville says many people remain opposed to a quick return to mining in the region.
The autonomous Papua New Guinea region goes to the polls from Monday and with new mining laws in place, the new parliament is expected to consider a resumption in mining, to ensure a viable economy.
The head of the Leitana Nehan Agency, Helen Hakena, says there is a recognition that mining can generate the income needed by the government for its services but she says there are still many concerns to be dealt with.
“People still talk about there is a lot of hidden agendas inside the mining policy. They still believe there should have been more consultations to the people before the policy was passed by the ABG. People should have been gathered to view the policy and to question the articles in the policy.”RNZI
49) First export of produce
The National, Friday May 8th, 2015
By GYNNIE KERO
PAPUA New Guinea for the first time will today start exporting fresh produce from a multi-million kina agro-farm outside of Port Moresby to an overseas market.
The farm was developed in partnership with the LR Group’s company called Innovative Agro Industry Ltd, an Israel-based company.
Officially opened last March, it is a modern, high intensive vegetable farm which is presently growing large quantities of cucumber, tomatoes, capsicum, watermelons and lettuce.
Unlike a traditional farm where these vegetables are grown in the ground, they are being grown in materials which feed the roots system with the necessary nutrients and in a controlled environment.
Innovative Agro Industry’s Ltd (IAI) chief financial officer Lior Crystal said the company will trial export up to 200 kilograms of tomatoes and lettuce to Fiji’s McDonalds in Nadi, Fiji.
He told The National yesterday that if the trial goes smoothly the company would double the export volume.
Crystal said: “The export is a big thing for us and for PNG we never thought it would happen so soon.
“Tomorrow morning first flight out of Port Moresby will be first export and this should encourage PNG to invest in agriculture. PNG has fertile land unlike Israel.
“Start exporting with lettuce and tomatoes, show this potential PNG has in agriculture and PNG could be a food basket in the region (Pacific).”
Crystal reiterated that Innovative Agro’s key priority was the domestic market, which includes the supermarkets, catering companies, hotels and the Ok Tedi mine among others.
He said the farm aimed to offer PNG an alternative to imports by locally produced affordable and fresh quality products.
Papua New Guinea at present imports 90 per cent of fresh produce from other countries.
During the opening in March last year, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had said: “Through import replacement, we will then be able to reduce government spending, keep the money in country and see a reduce prices we as customers pay on these items.”
50) Mining authority reports growth in small scale mining
The National, Friday May 8th, 2015
PAPUA New Guinea’s small scale or alluvial mining has seen growth in past several years and last year the sector recorded K373.4 million in revenue from alluvial gold exports, according to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).
Information from the authority showed that an additional K2.1 million was generated during the period from silver exports.
At present, there are an estimated 70,000 to 80, 000 active miners mostly in remote areas of Papua New Guinea.
MRA, through its small scale mining branch, plays an important role in promoting and regulating the sector.
The authority since establishing a training centre at Wau, Morobe, in 2009, has certified over 3,500 alluvial miners.
“Alluvial miners are more focused on gold (and the bi-product, silver), though some miners insist that they have found gemstones,” MRA said in a statement yesterday.
“Use of mercury to separate gold is a major concern.
“We believed that it has to educate the alluvial miners to increase productivity and to ensure environmentally friendly and sustainable mining methods for extracting gold.
“After attending the training (alluvial mining) a grassroot miner can become a manager of his own alluvial mining operation with financial capability through his savings from the operation.
“For larger scale mechanised operations the tenement holder may enter into a joint venture arrangement with a third party called a Tribute agreement, which is required to be approved prior to formal registration under the Mining Act.
51) O’Neill welcomes ruling on PNGSDP
The National, Friday May 8th, 2015
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed a Singapore tribunal ruling against the PNG Sustainable Development Programme.
He was asked to comment yesterday on the International Court for the Settlement of Investment Disputes declining to hear PNGSDP’s claims against the Government in a decision handed down on Wednesday.
The decision relates only to court’s jurisdiction in the case. The PNGSDP was seeking restitution of the 63.4 per cent of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd which was expropriated by the Government in September 2013.
It does not relate to the substance of the case – return of the shares or compensation for the expropriation.
“We welcome the arbitration’s decision not to proceed with the case,” O’Neill said.
“We have stated all along, as the State, that we need to hold people in positions accountable for decisions that we make on behalf of our people.”
Meanwhile, Attorney-General Ano Pala called on Sir Mekere Moruata to accept transparency following the arbitration decision in Singapore. Pala said Sir Mekere must now step back and allow the people to regain their rightful oversight of PNGSDP.
“We are all accountable before the law and it is time for Sir Mekere to do the right thing and stop fighting oversight and accountability at the PNGSDP,” he said.
52) Irrigation to boost production– The first phase of an irrigation project at Nadurumoli Village in Nadroga-Navosa should boost potato production in the country, says senior agriculture officer Mohammed Kadir Khan. The project, which cost about $55,500, was initiated in November last year through the Agriculture Ministry’s Extension Division under the Export Promotion Program in partnership with the Land and Water Resource Management Division. Mr Khan said the village had good soil structure and high potential for producing potatoes. He added that the project would benefit 13 farmers who had been working about 157 acres of land who had been faced with water issues for some time. He said most of the farmers were engaged in cash crop and mixed farming and were planting in a separate block of land leased through the Bailey Trust.
53) National Child Helpline bears fruit
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Update: 5:54PM THE country’s first National Child Helpline has received more than 300 calls through its toll free line since being launched three weeks ago.
The helpline was established by the Government for people seeking counselling and guidance from trained counsellors.
Through the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, the Government pursued the venture with Medical Services Pacific and Digicel, Vodafone and Telecom Fiji Limited.
MSP executive director Jennifer Poole said there was a great response from the public at large.
Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Minister Rosy Akbar encouraged parents and children to make use of the toll free line 1325 to acquire information and report any child related cases.Fijitimes
54) Woman ordered to return home
The National, Friday May 8th, 2015
By ELIAS LARI
A WOMAN who ran away from her husband because he had other wives and failed to build a home for her has been ordered to return to him.
Mt Hagen magistrate Lorna Sani ordered mother-of-four Tress Kuta to take her children and return to her husband James, who she left two years ago.
Sani told Tress that customary, church and legal marriages were binding and should be respected.
“If you are in one of these categories, you are husband and wife and you must not breach it,” she said. “I do not know why women are fleeing from their husbands. It means they might have other plans besides their marriage.”
The court was told that Tress, the third wife of James, left with her four children in February 2013.
She told the court that Kuta did not build a house for her and married another woman.
But Sani said it was normal in the highlands for men to marry many wives. “Even you can become the tenth wife, it doesn’t matter because your marriage was confirmed legally where Kuta has paid bride price.
“Legally, you are his wife no matter what happens. I, therefore, order you to return to your husband with the children that you took with you.”
Sani said the children were the ones who suffered the most in such arrangement.
55) Babao-O’Neill hails women’s progress
The National, Friday May 8th, 2015
THE country has made substantial progress in empowering women since independence, Lynda Babao-O’Neill says.
She told participants at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Policy Partnership on Women in Economy in Port Moresby that for a country which had strong cultural beliefs, the past few years had seen many changes made to empower women.
“We have seen our women taking their places in all levels of society – from women leaders in business and politics, to specialised doctors and surgeons, to pilots, mining engineers, the first recruits into the Defence Force, and much more,” she said.
“Groundbreaking policies such as free education have seen an increase in the number of girls enrolled in schools. We are now seeing 50 per cent of the student population being girls.”
Babao-O’Neillsaid the recent University of PNG graduation saw a large number of women graduating, with the university confirming that enrolment of girls standings at 50 per cent.
She said organisations such as the PNG Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Advancing PNG Women’s Leadership Network and Business Professional Women were providing tools to help women make the transition from the informal sector to formal sector.
56a ) 2015 women’s expo different from last year- This year’s Fiji Women’s Expo will be different from last year. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar says for the first time divisional craft shows will be held in the four divisions. “Instead of bringing all women’s groups to the capital, we are organizing divisional shows and competition. We want a smaller number for 2015 but, with tested, proven quality products that meet the standards set by the relevant authorities.” Akbar says each divisional craft show will have the Fiji Arts Council certified examiners examining the handiwork and winners will be picked. Winners from each divisional craft show will be guaranteed a fully sponsored spot at the National Expo in October.
56b) Craft expo- This year’s Women’s Expo is focused on connecting women to existing markets that are available at divisional levels. The expo scheduled to be held between October 14 and 16 in Suva would see women’s crafted products displayed to the public and assessed by experts.
It would give rural artisans an opportunity to also meet the Fiji Arts Council experts and to access technical advice on how to better their products for the markets. Minister for Women Rosy Akbar said the Fijian Government did not hesitate to provide funding support and commitment to this year’s event because Fiji’s first National Women’s Expo had clearly brought out livelihood gains. “I must acknowledge the strong stakeholder support last year and I am sure this support will be strengthened this year as we take action to connect women to the market,” Mrs Akbar said.
57) 11 queens in the running for festival crown
Sunday, May 10, 2015
ELEVEN queen contestants have been confirmed to vie for the Vodafone Hibiscus Crown this year.
Jane Kanas, the Queens co-ordinator for this year’s festival confirmed this during the official photo shoot for the Vodafone Hibiscus contestants that was held at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
Ms Kanas said the contestants’ portraits would be used at the official launch on May 23.
“We have 11 queens for this year; there should have been 12 but there are only eleven who have been attending regularly,” Ms Kanas said.
Ms Kanas, who was the co-ordinator for the teens category last year said the kings category would have the same number of contestants as the queens and for the teens category there were twelve contestants vying for the title.
“Basically we should have 12 in each category but there maybe some changes because sometimes corporate houses bring in their own contestants and we make room for that,” she said.
The contestants were gearing up for the launch in learning their dance routine, catwalks and we are also working on our kalavata yesterday.
“During the launch each category has its own kalavata; everybody appears on the same level playing ground right at the very beginning before the competition starts,” she said.
Ms Kanas said taking on the main category for the festival was a challenge for her because that was the main category that received a lot of scrutiny and criticism from the public.Fijitimes
58) Designer to show collection
Sunday, May 10, 2015
RA native Jo Nacola is set to introduce his Resort Wear collection, “The Fidji Owl and The Pussy Cat”, at the FJFW15 Resort Wear Show under his label “Mes Fidji”.
The emerging designer’s collection is inspired by the classic children’s novel The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Edward Lear because of the strong elements of travel, adventure, romance, and harmony portrayed between the cross-specie title characters.
Nacola is no stranger to FJFW having shown collections from 2012 to 2014 and his label “Mes Fidji” (pronounced May Feejee) meaning ‘My Fiji’. He has had some commercial success having sold all collection pieces post-show although there has been no production thereafter.
“Our collection in turn celebrates this theme through our chosen elements of colour, texture and motifs referenced from this love story, with the underlying message that harmony can be struck between opposing ideologies, cross-cultural values, stereotypes and differing world views,” Mr Nacola said.
He said Fiji Fashion Week had always exceeded his expectations in terms of quality fashion show and exposure.
“It’s simple to produce a fashion show of the same standards with a full production crew, set-up, models, hair and make-up artists, marketing and promotions nation-wide and internationally would cost $10,000 to $15,000.
“Comfortably, as a small fashion design business, we are able to accomplish this but for a fraction of the price by way of our inclusion in Fiji Fashion Week, there is no better other than this platform to create and achieve all the marketing and exposure our fashion label intends to achieve.”Fijitimes
59) Fiji on brink of Olympic 7s spot
9 May 2015
Fiji can seal an Olympic berth on the opening day of the Glasgow Sevens, which kicks off tonight.
A quarter-final appearance would be enough to confirm their place in Rio while they’re also in contention for the World Series title.
Vinnie Wylie reports.
With two legs remaining in the World Series, Ben Ryan’s Fiji team are four points behind overall leaders South Africa.
A top two finish in their group this weekend, against Wales, Portugal and hosts Scotland, will guarantee a top four finish in this year’s World Series, which earns automatic qualification for the Rio Olympics.
Ben Ryan says once that is secured, they can then focus on trying to catch the Blitzboks at the top of the standings.
Meanwhile Samoa has been placed in a difficult group, alongside New Zealand, South Africa and Kenya.
Three new caps have been included in the Manu team, including former All Blacks Sevens rep Belgium Tuatagaloa, while Tim Nanai Williams is back to complete his eligibility switch from New Zealand.
Assistant coach Rudolph Moors says they want to give some new faces a taste of the blue jersey and to finish the season strongly.RNZI
60) Caution urged as rugby league bosses debate eligibility laws
9 May 2015
The Rugby League International Federation says any loosening of current eligibility rules could damage the game’s credibility.
Sam Kasiano switched allegiance from New Zealand to Samoa for last weekend’s Pacific Test against Tonga.
But a number of other Pacific stars, including Fiji’s Akuila Uate, Tonga’s Feleti Mateo and Anthony Milford from Samoa did not play for the country of their heritage in order to maintain eligibility for State of Origin and Australia.
Tas Baitieri from the Rugby League International Federation says it’s great to see players like Sam Kasiano and Frank Pritchard committing to Pacific teams but isn’t sure that making such moves easier is the answer.
“We’ve had some challenges to the eligibility rules but at the end of the day everybody’s got to have rules to abide by and it just can’t be a willy nilly I’m in one year for this team and I’m going to play with someone else the other time. There’s a lack of credibility, I think, in some cases. We do intend to have a debrief in the coming weeks on this issue and then come up with rules that have some flexibility but also protect the integrity of the respective teams and games.”RNZI