Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1105 ( Monday 15 June 2015 )


1) Vanuatu has tiny version of Great Wall

15 JUNE 2015 

 A Vanuatu businessman, Hudson Tombo, in Torba Province, has built what he calls the ‘Midget Great Wall of China.’

The wall climbs nearly 200 metres to the summit of a forest covered hill.

Mr Tombo who lives at the foot of the hill says he hired 18 young men who used hand tools to achieve the feat within 28 days.

He says he was inspired after being impressed by the Great Wall of China during a trip to China to study melon growing.

Mr Tombo is planning a restaurant, a bakery and other business activities at the summit, which overlooks Sola Bay.

He already has a sizable farm at the site which supplies vegetables to a nearby school.RNZI


2) Samoa PM wants street vendors taught a lesson

15 JUNE 2015 

Samoa’s Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, says he has had a change of heart about allowing vendors to sell their products along the streets of Apia.

The Samoa Obsever reported the prime minister saying giving them a chance was a mistake made out of love that has now backfired, with vendors telling police who confront them that Tuilaepa said it was okay.

Tuilaepa says the orginal grace period for vendors to sell on the streets was given while the Fugalei market was being constructed but is reportedly saying now that it is finished, this no longer applies.

The paper reports Tuilaepa is now calling on police to arrest illegal vendors to teach them a lesson.RNZI

3) More Tech-Savvy Young To Be Employed In American Samoa

India-based company plans business processing operation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 12, 2015) – The Chamber of Commerce in American Samoa says it’s excited by plans that could see more young, educated and technologically-savvy people employed in the territory.

An India-based company, Datamatics, plans to set up a business processing outsource operation in partnership with a local company, Aviana Technologies.

Banks, medical and insurance companies outsource some, if not all, of their back-office processes like account receivables, billing, and insurance and credit card verification.

The planned operation would process information and data that is required to remain in the United States, and processed only by US citizens.

The Chamber’s chairman, David Robinson, says these are the types of jobs that American Samoa needs.

“I think the focus has always been looking at manufacturing, and processing and things like that. Well, it’s not really appropriate here. We’ve got a lot of young, well educated, technically savvy people, and we should be looking at technology related new projects and investments, and this really fits the bill.”

The chairman of American Samoa’s Chamber of Commerce, David Robinson.

Radio New Zealand International 

4) Tongans Given Deadline For Land Issues Stalling Rebuild
Post-cyclone recovery behind schedule

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 15, 2015) – Authorities in the Tongan islands of Ha’apai have given residents two weeks to finalise land issues that have stalled the rebuilding of homes damaged by Cyclone Ian in January 2014.

Last week the Governor of Ha’apai, Mo’ale Finau, met with World Bank officials to discuss the progress of the project, to which the bank granted over 13 million US dollars.

But only half of the more than 500 houses needed have been built, despite plans to be finished by the end of July.

Mr Finau says issues around land ownership have proved difficult to negotiate.

He says the two-week deadline is necessary.

“After two weeks, for those who still haven’t got consent there is no choice. The World Bank and the government will go back and build exactly where the house was destroyed and then perhaps the victim and the land-holder will sort it out later. We don’t have any other option. This is the only way we can finish this project.”

The Governor of Ha’apai, Mo’ale Finau.

Radio New Zealand International 

5) Large Reef Damaged By FAD In American Samoa
Fish aggregating device became stuck on live reef

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 12, 2015) – About 120 square feet of coral in American Samoa has been destroyed after a floating fish aggregation device became stuck to a reef.

The Department of Marine And Wildlife Resources and staff from the Coral Reef Advisory Group extracted a floating FAD that was found on the reef in Fagaalu.

The Department’s fish biologist Alice Lawrence says the FAD became attached to very fine and fragile branching coral.

“When we actually removed it, there’s quite a large area of dead coral underneath, we estimate around 120 square feet. The surrounding area was also damaged by little pieces of rope and material. This is kind of a problem especially in Fagaalu, where the reef is actually quite healthy. There’s a lot of fish, and people go fishing there, it’s damaged quite a big area. There’s less habita there for the fish and other marine creatures.”

Alice Lawrence says even out at sea FADS can be a threat to marine life.

Radio New Zealand International 


6) Disgraced former CNMI governor wants to stay out of jail

15 JUNE 2015

 The disgraced former governor of the Northern Marianas, Benigno Fitial, has begged the court not to jail him, following his guilty verdict for misconduct in public office and conspiracy to commit theft.

Through his lawyer, Fitial has asked if a prison term is given, that it be suspended entirely, on the condition that he pay an appropriate fine, and any restitution for loss to the government which might be proven.

However, the Office of the Public Auditor is recommending a sentence of five years’ jail, with a two years non parole period, a fine of $US5,000 dollars and a 10-year ban on employment in the government.

The Chief Prosecutor, Leonardo Rapadas, has recommended a sentence of more than a year in prison.

Fitial pleaded guilty to the charges in May after resigning as governor in February 2013, days after the House of Representatives had impeached him.

The sentencing hearing is next week.RNZI

7) CNMI utility welcomes casino’s power use

15 JUNE 2015

 The entry of a new casino to the Northern Marianas power grid has been a welcome development for the islands’ struggling utilities company.

Best Sunshine International Ltd’s Grand Mariana Casino and Hotel Resort will increase power use by nine megawatts.

The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation’s Executive Director, Alan Fletcher, says the proposed 14-story casino hotel in Garapan will help lower power costs.

Over the last 10 years, with the demise of the garment industry and the fall in population, the utility has lost half of its sales in kilowatt-hour terms, meaning a lower base to pay for a system that used to accommodate a base twice the size.RNZI

8) Palau burns illegal fishing vessels

15 June 2015 

Palau has begun following Indonesia’s example by burning foreign vessels caught illegally fishing in their waters.

National Geographic reports that in recent weeks, Palau law enforcement officers have caught and burned a cluster of Vietnamese fishing boats.

The ships’ captains remain incarcerated in Palau while the 77 crew members are being sent home on two remaining fishing boats, with enough food and fuel to make it back to Vietnam.

Palau’s president, Tommy Remengesau, said that his government hopes to send a clear message to poachers who are raping Palau’s marine environment

The message is that Palau will not tolerate any more unsustainable acts and that illegal fishers will return home with nothing.

Palau authorities found over eight metric tons of sea cucumbers and reef fish on board the latest boats found fishing in Palau without permission.

These vessels join 15 other boats from Vietnam which have been caught by Palau since 2014, with a haul of over 25 metric tons of fish destined for the black market in Asia.

Palau’s policy comes after Indonesia last year rejuvenated its policy of sinking foreign vessels found to be fishing illegally in its waters – Vietnamese flagged boats have featured frequently.RNZI


9) Pac Islanders Have Slim Chance In NZ Immigration Lottery
Adviser: new category needed for those already working in NZ

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 15, 2015) – An immigration adviser says the chance of getting a place in New Zealand’s immigration ballot for Pacific Islanders is so slim that a new category should be created for islanders already working in the country.

Almost 9,000 Fijians applied for one of only 250 places drawn in the Pacific Access Category ballot to gain residence in New Zealand, for the first time since the military coup of 2006.

Atesh Narayan, of Auckland South Immigration Consultants, says some people have been complaining it is a money-making scheme, with little chance of a return for prospective immigrants.

He says many applicants will not reach the job, language and health requirements to gain residence and their places are not passed onto people who missed out in the ballot.

“If a person does not get a job offer within the eight months period, then he just misses his place and those people who miss out will have to pay $30 and do it again next year.”

Atesh Narayan says a specific number of the places should go to New Zealand-based Fijians who already have good skills, jobs and are well-settled.

Radio New Zealand International 


10) Mosen blong no-konfidans long niupela Kilman gavman long Vanuatu

Updated 15 June 2015, 14:16 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Oposisan long Vanuatu i muvim pinis wanpela mosen blong no-konfisans agensim niupela gavman blong Praim Minista Sato Kilman.

Vanuatu praim minista Sato Kilman i fesim mosen blong no-konfidens 
Niupela gavman blong Praim Minista Sato Kilman long Vanuatu we palamen ibin makim long Fonde last wik, bai fesim wanpela no- konfidans mosen long Fonde long despla wik.
Praim Minista Kilman ibin kisim despla wok bihaenim Vote of No Confidence em ol oposisan ibin mekim agensim gavman blong Joe Natuman.
Nau oposisan lida, Joe Natuman ibin givim notis long Speaker long Friday long bai em i muvim mosen blong nogat-bilip long niupela gavman.
Wanpela long ol as long Mr Kilman ibin rausim gavman em long ol tokwin gavman ino bin dilim gut ol halvim bihaen long saiklon Pam ibin hamarim kantri long mun March.
Tasol sampla stori i sutim tok long sampla memba blong nupla gavman long stap insaet long sampla bribery pasin oa oli kisim gris moni, olsem na oli laik senisim gavman.ABC

11) Niupela gavman long Bougainville i kisim ofis tede

Postim 15 June 2015, 16:03 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Niupela Autonomous Bougainville Gavman long Bougainville i kisim kisim ofis tede long wanbele seremoni long gavman hedkwata long Buka. 

Odio: President John Momis blong Bougainville i toktok
Despla emi namba tri Haus Palaman blong Bougainville na emi namba tu taem blong John Momis blong holim wok olsem President.
Dr Momis i kisim bek dispela wok bihain long em bin kisim samting olsem 30 tausan ol votes winim ol narapla candidate em oli bin resis egensim em long despla wok long ol ileksan sampela wik igo.
Planti tausan pipal blong olgeta hap blong Bougainville ibin stap long despla seremoni long Buka we i lukim ol i makim tu Simon Pentanu olsem Speaker na deputi speaker em Francesca Semoso, meri memba blong North Bougainville.
Na bihaen long seremoni long palaman, President Momis ibin givim sampela toktok long pol pipol long tingting na plan blong niupela gavman blongen.ABC

12) PNG Hunters i win long Pacific Games stadium long Moresby

Updated 15 June 2015, 15:46 AEST
Sam Seke

Papua New Guinea ibin hamamas tru long sait long sport long kantri long last wiken bihainim win blong ol PNG Hunters long Sir John Guise Stadium long Port Moresby we ol i nau redim gut blong hostim Pacific Games..

Pride blong PNG rugby league, The Hunters ibin mekim record 7 win blongen long Queensland Cup long frant blong capacity crowd blong 15 tausan long Sir John Guise Stadium we ol i nau kolim BSP Pacific Games Stadium long Port Moresby long Sarere.
Dispela i nabawan taim ol Hunters i plei long stadium ol i kolim tu long John Guise Stadium we ol i mekim gutpela moa blong hostim 2015 Pacific Games we bai stat long tupela wik bihain.
PNG Hunters Media Manager, Martin Liri i tok niupela stadium na gutpela bihevia blong ol spekteta i soim trutru olsem PNG i redi long welkamim ol tim blong olgeta kantri long Pacific.
Martin i tok  34-12 win blong PNG Hunters agensim South Logan Magpies i nau putim ol long naba 4 long Queensland Cup.ABC


13) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 15 juin 2015

Mis à jour 15 June 2015, 16:31 AEST
Élodie Largenton

Il y a trop de motions de censure au Vanuatu, estime le nouveau chef de l’opposition, Edward Natapei… qui vient de déposer une motion de censure.

Cette énième motion doit être soumise au Parlement cette semaine, et si Edward Natapei parvient à renverser le nouveau Premier ministre, Sato Kilman, il compte organiser un référendum pour changer la constitution : « On doit s’assoir à une table et ajouter un paragraphe à la constitution instaurant un recours limité aux motions de censure pour assurer la stabilité du gouvernement et du pays », plaide-t-il au micro de la radio néo-zélandaise. Il y a eu neuf changements de gouvernement en l’espace de cinq ans au Vanuatu.

  • Un réfugié se cache sur l’île de Manus, en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, après avoir été vraisemblablement utilisé pour faire la promotion du gouvernement. Haider Khan s’est vu offrir un séjour dans la capitale, Port-Moresby, ainsi qu’un peu d’argent pour acheter de la nourriture et des vêtements. En échange, les autorités l’ont photographié avec une pancarte disant « merci de nous aider ». Selon son témoignage, recueilli par ABC, Haider Khan a demandé à ce que la photo ne soit pas diffusée. Or, elle figure dans une publicité diffusée dans la presse pour promouvoir le programme de réinstallation des réfugiés. Haider Khan a reçu des menaces de mort de la part d’autres réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile. Le réfugié bangladais a dû quitter son logement par mesure de sécurité et vit désormais dans la rue, selon ses propos.
  • Palau envoie un message clair aux braconniers : la République micronésienne a mis le feu à quatre bateaux vietnamiens surpris en train de pêcher illégalement dans des eaux protégées. Les 77 membres d’équipage ont été renvoyés au Vietnam sur deux autres bateaux de pêche. « Les capitaines seront poursuivis et emprisonnés, les bateaux seront brûlés. Vous ne gagnerez rien en braconnant dans nos eaux. Passez-vous le message entre pêcheurs, vous devez respecter Palau », a déclaré le président du pays, Tommy Remengesau Jr. Depuis l’année dernière, 15 bateaux vietnamiens ont été arrêtés avec plus de 25 tonnes de poissons destinés au marché noir asiatique.
  • Aux Îles Tonga, les autorités imposent un ultimatum aux habitants de Ha’apai : ils doivent s’entendre sur la répartition des terres d’ici deux semaines. De nombreuses familles vivent actuellement sur des terrains qui appartiennent en fait à des Tongiens basés à l’étranger, et ces conflits fonciers empêchent la reconstruction des maisons détruites par le cyclone Ian, il y a déjà un an et demi. Pourtant, l’argent est là, la Banque mondiale subventionne le projet de reconstruction à hauteur de 17 millions de dollars. Si les gens n’arrivent pas à se mettre d’accord, « nous reconstruirons les maisons exactement aux mêmes endroits qu’avant et peut-être que là, les victimes du cyclone et les propriétaires parviendront à s’entendre. On n’a pas le choix, c’est la seule manière de mener ce projet à terme », explique le gouverneur de Ha’apai, Mo’ale Finau.
  • Nouvelle aide du Japon aux Îles Tonga : le port Faua de la capitale Nuku’alofa va être modernisé et agrandi grâce à une subvention de 33 millions de dollars du gouvernement japonais. Les travaux devraient être finis en 2018, à temps donc, pour les Jeux du Pacifique, qui se dérouleront dans le royaume polynésien en 2019.ABC

14) Public funds misused: staffer fired

By Online Editor
00:45 am GMT+12, 15/06/2015, New Zealand

A taxpayer-funded agency sat on a suspected case of fraud and delayed complaining to police and informing government officials for months, despite the woman at the centre of the case offering an immediate confession.

The case has drawn criticism from Labour MP and former Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff, who said the delays and apparent lack of oversight were unacceptable.

Marama Hunia, 33, was sacked in March from her position as Auckland officer manager for Pacific Trade & Investment, an arm of the taxpayer-funded Pacific Island Forum, over suspected misuse of funds.

PT&I is established by law to promote exports activity and investment in the Pacific region.

“I have misappropriated [money]. I guess I’ve done fraud,” Hunia told the NZ Herald.

She had misused her employer’s company petrol and travel cards, including for international flights, during most of the four years she had been employed at PT&I. “I guess it was just so easy for me to do. Just things I used for personal use – it wasn’t for company use. It ended up turning into quite a lot of money.”

She was unaware of the total involved, but agreed it would be many tens of thousands of dollars. Weekend Herald investigations suggest the sum involved exceeds $60,000.

Hunia said she had been open about the fraud since first confronted by PT&I, and even she was surprised by the lack of follow-up action by authorities.

“They said they would get back in touch, but they never have. It’s been nearly six months.”

Auckland police confirmed the receipt of a formal complaint, but said the file was so fresh an officer in charge was yet to be assigned.

The Weekend Herald understands the police complaint was laid only in the past fortnight, four months after concerns were first raised.

A spokesperson said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was made aware of the possibility of fraud involving taxpayer funds in April, two months after PT&I first began its probe into Hunia’s spending.

The ministry had pressed for more briefings, and PT&I was “improving their financial controls in response to this incident”. The spokesperson said “it would be inappropriate to comment” given the police investigation.

Goff, foreign minister between 1999 and 2005, was critical of the Government’s handling of the incident. “I would have expected police action to have taken place earlier, and I would have expected the funding provider to have been advised earlier,” he said.

The episode should spark major changes at both the ministry and PT&I.

“When you’re putting taxpayer money in for a public good and it’s been hijacked in a fraudulent way, you want to make sure the systems used are improved so that can never happen again,” he said.

The head of PT&I, trade commissioner Michael Greenslade, defended his handling of the affair, saying “stakeholders were advised of the situation” as their investigation into Hunia’s actions progressed.

He took his stewardship of public funds seriously and said a need to establish just what had occurred dictated the timing of the police complaint.

Greenslade said he took up his role in November 2014, after most of the alleged fraud had taken place, and it was “extremely frustrating and very disappointing this issue occurred under previous management”. PT&I had operated with an acting head for a year before his appointment.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully said in a statement: “The allegations are disappointing and rightly a matter for police investigation”…. PACNEWS


15) Fijian PM urges EU to be flexible in finalising EPA ‪
By Online Editor
00:41 am GMT+12, 15/06/2015, Fiji

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama  Monday called on the European Union (EU) to be more flexible in resolving the stalled Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Pacific countries.

While opening the Joint ACP – EU Parliamentary Assembly in Suva today, Bainimarama said the impasse must be broken.

“We are now at a crossroads. It is time for the EU and the ACP to conclude an Economic Partnership Agreement that is equitable and fair but that has been so long in the making and still eludes us. We must break the current impasse so we can go beyond 2020, strengthen our relationship and benefit mutually from those renewed ties.

“We ask Europe to be more flexible in these ongoing negotiations. And in turn, the ACP countries must do more themselves to implement the necessary reforms. Unity and solidarity must be our guiding principles. We must speak with one voice in global forums to have our message heard. Because only by doing so can we hope to address the collective challenges that face us all,” Bainimarama told delegates

“While we are at one on the importance of climate change, Europe and the ACP countries have a number of obvious challenges in our relationship. So I would also appeal to the European MPs in the room to give their utmost attention to these challenges – such as the EPA – and gain a greater appreciation of the dynamics from our perspective.

“We especially look to the EU and the rest of the developed world to give us a fairer trading environment. One which accepts that the harsh realities of the global marketplace, always a lot harsher for those hundreds of millions of ordinary men and women struggling to produce goods and services and for whom ready markets are not available,” said Bainimarama.

The European Union has proposed the suspension for the EPA negotiation for three years with the Pacific until the issue of conservation measures on fisheries are resolved.

In response to Bainimarama’s call the Co-chair of the EU- ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Louis Michel said he is  very supportive of the  opinion that the European Union must be flexible in concluding EPA with  ACP countries.

“I always defended the idea that EPA has to be development minded and development oriented. I agree with those who are saying that the European Commission was rather tough in these negotiation and they didn’t really take into account the fact that the EPA must have a development objective.

“We will try to push for the European to be flexible as possible but at the same time, if countries want to benefit from fruits of globalization, they have to build a fiscal system based on the contribution of the people, he Louis Mitchell said.

Meanwhile, Bainimarama also took the opportunity to thank the European Union for taking a lead role in the fight against climate change in the lead up to the Paris Climate change talks in December.

“I want to warmly thank the countries of the European Union for facing up to that moral challenge and taking a lead on climate change. The EU has committed itself to reducing carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. And you are leading the global movement for change in a manner that has commanded respect and gratitude from Fiji and other small island nations.

“In contrast to some of our bigger neighbours in the Pacific, you are proving to be a development partner in the true sense of the word. In that you are putting the interests of more vulnerable nations such as ours before the interests of some of your carbon polluting industries.

“With so many members of the European Parliament in the room today, can I extend to each and every one of you our sincere thanks for the principled stand that you and your nations have taken. Fiji seeks your continuing support in the lead up to the Paris Summit. And especially your individual efforts to highlight the plight we face and do whatever you can to make our concerns known in Europe and elsewhere .

“We have just less than six months collectively to get the world to realise that the time for merely talking is over. This is the time for concrete action. And if the global community again baulks at decisive action, history and the generations to come will judge those developed nations which didn’t act extremely harshly for their selfishness and stupidity,” he said.

The co- chair of the ACP – EU joint Parliamentary Assembly, Jamaican Fitz Jackson also highlighted the plight faced my Small Islands developing states on the effects of climate change.

“Our presence here should help us to appreciate the importance of supporting the development efforts of this and other countries in the region and the need to preserve their livelihoods and cultures. We hope that all of us will speak up for all the Pacific Islands and the threats that they face from the effects of climate change such as rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

“For this reason, the Assembly deliberately chose to discuss some topics that are of general relevance to all ACP states but of particular interest to this region, such as biodiversity, renewable energy, fisheries, maritime security and piracy, and seabed minerals.

“These issues are not merely trade or economic imperatives; they are about the livelihoods and sustainable development and future prospects of small island developing states, SIDS as we now call them.  As an example, just ask yourselves what the fate of this beautiful country and people would be without the EU market for its sugar? On the other hand, the impact of human activity in the oceans, whether it is nuclear testing or overfishing, will impact on the livelihoods of the people of the Pacific.

“Yesterday, I was part of the group that visited a fish processing plant, which is just one example of the capacity of our countries to supply products of the highest quality to world markets, and in the process, generating employment and revenue for the country that is more sustainable than aid.  But such industries can only survive and prosper if the rules and regulations governing world trade are favourable. Speaking directly to our EU colleagues – I would appeal to you to look closely at the regulations and legislative proposals that come before you, and ensure that they are in harmony with the long-term development objectives of developing countries, especially SIDS, said Jackson.

He said the JPA is uniquely placed to be the advocate of development for the peoples of the South and the North.

“Together, we can build on the positive attributes of our shared history to contribute to the attainment of global objectives of sustainable development for the mutual benefit of the people that we represent in our respective regions and countries of the ACP and Europe. Ours is a platform that we can use to engage the world on the fact that development is not a zero sum game; it can and MUST be a win-win cause,” he said.



16) ‘No deal’ with Greece as talks in Brussels fail

BBC News
Monday, June 15, 2015

Update: 12:48PM THE latest round of talks between Greek and EU officials in Brussels has failed to reach an agreement.

A European Commission spokesman said while that progress was made on Sunday, “significant gaps” remained.

Europe wants Greece to make spending cuts worth  two billion euros ($F4.66bn), to secure a deal that will unlock bailout funds.

Greek deputy prime minister Yannis Dragasakis said that Athens was still ready to negotiate with its lenders.

He said Greek government proposals submitted on Sunday had fully covered the fiscal deficit as demanded.

However, Mr Dragasakis added that the EU and IMF still wanted Greece to cut pensions – something Athens has said it would never accept.

IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard said in a blog post that an agreement will require “difficult decisions”, with “tough choices and tough commitments to be made on both sides”.

The cash-strapped nation is trying to agree a funding deal with the European Union and IMF before the end of June to avoid a default.

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss Greece when they meet on Thursday. The gathering is regarded as Greece’s last chance to strike a deal.

The Commission spokesman said: “President [Jean-Claude] Juncker remains convinced that with stronger reform efforts on the Greek side and political will on all sides, a solution can still be found before the end of the month.”

The talks come as Germany ramps up pressure on Greece. Vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that European nations were losing patience with Greece.

Germany wanted to keep Greece in the eurozone, but writing in Bild he warned that “not only is time running out, but so too is patience across Europe”.

Mr Sigmar is also economy minister and head of junior coalition partners the Social Democrats.

“Everywhere in Europe, the sentiment is growing that enough is enough,” he wrote.

Greece is seeking to avoid defaulting on a 1.5bn debt repayment to the IMF due by the end of the month.

Creditors have demanded cuts in spending in return for another tranche of bailout funds.

But Greece’s ruling left-wing Syriza party, led by Alexis Tsipras, was elected in January on promises to ease up on the highly unpopular austerity measures, increase the minimum monthly wage and create more jobs.

However, on Saturday Mr Tsipras warned the Greek people to prepare for a “difficult compromise”.


17) Technical college comes alive with traditional singsing

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

THE Port Moresby Technical College came alive last Saturday with traditional singsing and performances by students from 16 provincial groups.
Principal Allan Tira said it was the first cultural event at the institution in 10 years. Tira said the college aimed to continue the show.
“Our cultures are dying and it’s very important for young people to preserve their culture while being students here.
“Our very young bubus (grand children) cannot speak our mother tongue these days. We might lose our native language down the line. We need to preserve our cultural traditions and language,” he said.
National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop praised the students and the college management for successfully hosting the show. He gave K1,500 to the event.
“This show is to promote you culture and identity while you are here at the college.
“Imagine a community in PNG without singsings or celebration to mark a particular occasion,” he said.
“PNG is culturally diverse. Student diversity is our strength. At this occasion, get to know each other’s culture, respect and preserve it.”

18) Study programme aims to improve reading skills

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

CHILDREN from Fisherman Island near Port Moresby are expected to improve their reading skills under a reading and study programme initiated by a local academic.
Gima Keimelo of Fishermen Island, who is a lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea, revealed that no student from the island’s primary school had entered university.
“Children from this island who attended other primary schools in town were able to reach universities but not those that attended the primary school here at the island,” he said.
“Everyone is at fault. Parents must take ownership of their children and be serious of their children’s education and the children must be serious with their studies
“Teachers also must be committed to giving the best to the children despite the challenges faced.”
He said attendance of the children had improved and more children were able to read simple books.
He commended the Gordon Secondary School and Buk Bilong Pikinini for donating books to the islanders.

“Last year only one out of 20 Grade 8 students made it to High School so I want the children to read more books and do well in school,” Keimelo said


19) Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 15 June 2015

by bobmakin

Not a lot today. Former government strategists are blamed for the downfall of the Natuman Government. Apparently MP Samson Samsen said he would vote for Natuman and testify against Carcasses in the bribery case, but failed to honour the promise. Hosea Nevu and Morkin Stevens simply crossed the floor five minutes before the motion was voted last Thursday, says Daily Post. Radio Vanuatu today has the new PM, Sato Kilman, urging DGs in all departments to work with him in the new government. Radio News announced a Nagriamel leadership congress in Radio News. This is to deal with Nagriamel floor crossers and the candidates for the Luganville municipal elections.

20) Vanuatu MP Confident He Has Numbers To Oust New Gov
Related to potential negative impact on cyclone recovery

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 15, 2015) – Vanuatu’s opposition leader says he is confident the opposition has the numbers to pass a motion of no confidence in the Sato Kilman government this week.

Mr Kilman took government on Thursday after the then-opposition ousted the previous government of Joe Natuman in its own motion of no confidence.

But less than 24 hours later, Edward Natapei submitted his own motion with the parliament’s speaker, which will be voted on on Thursday.

Mr Natapei says he submitted it because a change in government to a Sato Kilman regime will affect the country’s recovery from Cyclone Pam.

“It is our concern that this recent change in government could delay the implementation of Pam’s recovery programmes, which will affect the donor partners’ confidence in assisting Vanuatu. We feel that with a new government and people in place who are not familiar with it, it could just cause further delays.”

Edward Natapei has also denied that Cyclone Pam has started to be used by MPs for political gain.

Radio New Zealand International

21) Vanuatu Parliament To Debate Another No-confidence Motion
Majority of new government implicated in bribery case

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 15, 2015) – Vanuatu’s opposition filed a motion of no-confidence in the Prime Minister, Sato Kilman, on Friday, less than 24 hours after he came to power in a no-confidence vote on Thursday.

The notice, signed by 10 MPs, has been lodged with parliament’s speaker and will be debated next Thursday.

The opposition says Mr Kilman’s appointment should be terminated and a new prime minister appointed, citing the devastation caused by cyclone Pam.

It says the effect of losing cyclone reconstruction programmes, which were put together by the previous government of Joe Natuman, outweighs a change in government as the confidence of donor partners will be affected.

It also argues that with the majority of the new government implicated in a bribery case currently before the Supreme Court, the government will be forced to interfere in the judicial process.

The motion will need the support of 27 MPs for it to be successful.

Meanwhile, the bribery case against 19 MPs in Vanuatu was adjourned on Friday by the Magistrates’ Court until the June 23rd.

The 19 MPs are charged with bribery over police claims regarding Moana Carcasses and his attempts to lobby support to topple the then prime minister.

The group were opposition MPs at the time the charges were laid, along with Mr Carcasses.

But a no confidence vote on Thursday lead to the Natuman-led government being ousted, with Sato Kilman voted in as prime minister and Moana Carcasses as his deputy.

Radio New Zealand International

22) Bougainville swears in new parliament

15 June 2015

The autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville has today sworn in members of parliament following the six week long election process.

Guests for the inauguration of John Momis, who was easily re-elected president, included the acting PNG Prime Minister, Leo Dion, the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and the newly re-appointed PNG police chief Gari Baki.

The Post Courier reports others wanting to attend the inauguration had begun arriving in Buka on Saturday.

The new ABG is expected to quickly settle into its work to prepare the autonomous region for a referendum to consider whether to embrace full independence or stay in the PNG fold.

That process needs to be completed before 2020.

Meanwhile an international observer group, that had been in Bougainville to monitor the poll, has praised officials, saying the vote count was carried out with integrity, and the process transparent.RNZI


23) Lifting of journo ban good for Papua women

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

THE lifting of the ban on foreign journalists to enter Papua province in Indonesia is to help address violence on women and children, Indonesia’s Women Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Yembise says.
Yembise, one of the eight women in President Joko Widodo’s Cabinet, is a former academic at the Cenderawahi University near Jayapura city in Papua.
She believes that domestic violence was rife in Papua because of the lack of awareness and media coverage on the issue.
Yembise told journalists from the Melanesian Spearhead Group countries, and from New Zealand and Australia in Jakarta, that Widodo had allowed journalists to freely enter Papua.
“So that is the biggest achievement to allow foreign journalists in to report on domestic violence to change the mentality of the Papua people,” she said.
“Domestic violence on women and children is big in Papua and the media needs to report more on that issue to change their mentality.” Yembise, from Biak Island, Papua Province said domestic violence was caused by men who drank too much alcohol.
She also said the Melanesian culture was still strong where man dominated society.
“It is hard to deal with man and only when we change the mentality then I believe there will be a reduction in domestic violence.”

24) More signals from Jakarta about opening up Papua

15 JUNE 20156

There are further signs from Indonesia’s government that it is willing to open up access to the Papua region.

The Minister for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, who is Indonesia’s first Papuan minister, says by reporting on Papua, journalists can help address the region’s main problems, such as violence.

Yohana Yembise says violence, including domestic and sexual violence, is Papua’s number one problem, and that men still hold the economic power in the region.

According to Ms Yembise, President Joko Widodo has made developing Papua one of his top priorities, and that his claim last month about lifting media restrictions is a sign things are changing.

While subsequent comments by senior government figures contradicted the president’s claim about relaxed restrictions, the Director General of Information in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists the process has changed.

Esti Andayani says the ‘Clearing House’ made up of representatives from the major government departments, including the military and police, with the power to reject visa applications, has been abolished.

She says the hope is that if journalists can go to West Papua they will be able to tell more balanced stories about what happens there.

Ms Andayani says that up until now, what is reported in the media are just small parts of the story.RNZI


25) Enga subsidises airfare

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

THE Enga provincial government has paid LinkPNG K250,000 as an airfare subsidy to encourage economic growth.
“The air service to Wapenamanda is vital to drive Enga as one of the education hubs,” Enga Governor Peter Ipatas said.
Ipatas also thanked LinkPNG for subsidising the essential service in the past 13 years though the partnership. The airline operates seven flights from Wapenamanda to Port Moresby. “Economically, it does affect the Enga province in terms of development,” he said.
He said the subsidy was to help grassroots people save time and reduce the transport costs for public servants on hired vehicles and accommodations in other provinces.
“We have to stimulate and maintain the economy in the province,” he said. He also clarified that the subsidy airfare included all people of Engan.
He also promised LinkPNG that due to the increasing number of activities in the province, the provincial government would  increases its support for the airline from K1 millionto K2 million annually.

26) Woman reaps first harvest under project

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

A RICE farmer in Central has successfully yielded her first harvest under a trial farm project with Trukai Industries Ltd.
Eileen Iambul (pictured) of Magabaira, Kairuku district, began her rice field last year after she offered a portion of her land to Trukai to trial the farming of 12 varieties of local and Trukai rice under the Amadi-Baga pilot project.
Last Friday, Trukai began the first harvest of four hectares of the rice field which was expected to produce 12 tonnes of rice valued at K8000.
Trukai’s rice development officer Humphrey Saese said Iambul’s commitment to the project showed that there were opportunities for people to make use of their resources and earn an income.
“The biggest resource that people in the country have is their labour and their land and that’s the thinking that we (Trukai) promote,” he said.
“Eileen and her family have two hundred hectares of land and they have their own family living next to that land. “So it demonstrates that people can move from a backyard that has a potential to yield to a move forward with an opportunity like this, from zero income to some level of income.”
Iambul said she was happy to participate in the project.
“The people of Magabaira were very interested when Trukai came into the village to do awareness,” she said. “And I am very happy that I had put my hand up to Trukai to participate in this project and to plant rice.
“You can now see the four hectares of rice growing and ready for harvesting.”

  27) Business loans ready

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

PEOPLE of Yangoru-Saussia in East Sepik will now be able to get loans from K1000 to K20,000 from the People’s Micro Bank Ltd (PMBL) for business purposes.
Local MP Richard Maru announced this last Friday signing an agreement with PMBL chief executive officer Anthony Dela Cruz for the “Save na Kisim” scheme.
Maru, who is also Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister, said the district would provide half of the guarantee required to secure loans and other half would be met by borrowers.
An initial K500,000 was provided by district to roll-out the scheme.
Maru said the people would have access to loans at PMBL’s Wewak branch.
“For my district, we want to leave the small businesses to our local people because if we don’t, they will not have other ways to grow,” he said.
Cruz said 12 per cent interest would be charged on loans borrowed.
“A borrower borrows K1000, will pay K120 interest for one year,” he said.
“It’s like paying K10 interest every month and repayment depends on nature of the cash flow of the client.
“If they (borrowers) make weekly income then they can come weekly to make payments … they make fortnightly then they come fortnightly to make repayments, etc.”
He added that turn-around time for approval would be three days, given that borrowers meet the requirements.
Cruz said a requirement would be that borrowers should have existing small businesses.
Maru said three days prior to the district’s small and medium (SME) day on July 3, PMBL would be opening accounts for clients with the scheme.

Cruz said so far 10 clients had been identified for the scheme

28) FIJI, PNG enhance business relations

Monday, June 15, 2015

Update: 11:32AM The Fiji-Papua New Guinea Business Council will host a networking event for members at the Holiday Inn in Suva tonight.

The event aims to enhance business relations between Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

CP Group and Telikom PNG chairman Mahesh Patel is expected to be the guest speaker.

The event starts from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Fijitimes

29) PNG Looks To Penalize Commercial Banks 

At issue profits over foreign exchange dealings

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 15, 2015) – Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister says he is looking at penalising commercial banks that he says are making businesses suffer because they are not happy with foreign currency restrictions imposed by the Central Bank.

Peter O’Neill says the banks have been giving people a hard time and the government has been talking with the Governor of the Bank of PNG to impose tougher penalties.

The Post Courier reports Mr O’Neill saying the banks are making massive profits from foreign exchange dealings, and the central bank needed to intervene because of the margins.

He says the banks have been unable to maintain a steady exchange rate, which has made the cost of importing goods expensive for businesses.

Mr O’Neill says in other parts of the world banks would be punished with heavy fines for such behaviour, and he is looking at doing the same in Papua New Guinea.

Radio New Zealand International


30) Censors seeking internet filter

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

THE PNG Censorship Board is hoping to have an internet filtering system in place soon as a measure to control unsolicited data and transactions entering the country, particularly those related to pornography.
Director (strategic policy co-ordination) of the Office of Censorship Ilikomau Ali told The National that the concept had been endorsed by the Security Advisory Council and was expected to be passed in Parliament by the end of this year.
The concept, designed by the Censorship Office, will enable security agencies, including police, the Defence Force, Customs and Immigration offices to deal directly with any unsolicited material for which they are responsible.
“It’s not to suppress people’s rights to information but to minimise the flow of unwanted materials,” Censorship Office’s principal mass media adviser Robroy Chiki said.
An internet filter is a programme that restricts unwanted information delivered over the internet and reduces the flow of harmful contents to electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones.
Deputy Chief Censor Jim Abani said the system, once in place, could be used as a tool to detect other security issues like money laundering and illegal trade which could then be referred to relevant authorities to investigate.
“It’s just a one-stop shop where once information reaches the database and is found to be unsolicited, it is sent to other agencies responsible for their areas,” he said.

31) 33 former workers, 156 unemployed register with Employment Service Vanuatu

By Len Garae

Posted: Saturday, June 13, 2015 1:00 pm

A total of thirty three former formal sector workers who lost their jobs due to Cyclone Pam and 156 unemployed youths have already registered with Employment Services Vanuatu (ESV).

The registration period started on 4th June, 2015 and will be open until Friday 19th June 2015 and is currently targeting Efate residents only.

A confident Commissioner of Labour, Lionel Kaluat says, “Registrations for our target groups are progressing well and we are simultaneously establishing a database to capture information and data on skills sets and interests available for work”.

The Commissioner of Labour is also Chair of the Tripartite Labour Advisory Council (TLAC).

“I therefore encourage more former formal sector workers and unemployed youths to register at ESV,” he adds.

Frank Garae was the first ni-Vanuatu to register at ESV. He was last employed a day after Cyclone Pam as a waiter/bartender at a large resort in Vanuatu.

“Since then, he has not been able to return to the labour force, hence to date losing three months of personal income and not able to support his family,” Kaluat explains.

Eighteen-year old Ms Melody John was the first youth to register at ESV. She is seeking training and employment opportunities through registering at ESV.

“After the registration period and creation of database, the next steps will be career counselling, training and referral and job placements,” said Lerrain Loughman, the Government lead for this initiative.

“Therefore, in order to access these post registration services, it is important that interested and unemployed persons register with ESV.”

Media partners Vanuatu Daily Post, Buzz FM, Christian Radio Station and Digicel are supporting the promotion of the registration period and process. A facebook page has also been established to reach as many of the target group as possible to avail information on where and how to register.

On 3rd June the former Minister for Internal Affairs, Charlot Salwai, while launching Employment Services Vanuatu said that he was very pleased to see one of the recommendations in the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) being implemented.

He also said that while this initiative is Government led, he was very grateful for the technical assistance provided by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as it is in-line with Government’s recovery and development plans.Vanuatu Daily Post


32) Refugee in PNG in hiding after advert

15 June 2015

A refugee is reportedly in hiding on Manus Island after allegedly being tricked by Papua New Guinea immigration officials into making an advertisement promoting resettlement.

The ABC reports that 33-year-old Haider Khan as saying other refugees have threatened his life after he appeared in a newspaper advert holding a sign saying: “Thank you for helping us”.

Mr Khan says he did not agree to the campaign and asked PNG officials not to use his image publicly.

He has been in hiding since he fled the Australian transit centre for refugees three days ago.

Mr Khan said PNG immigration officials paid him and promised him a meeting with the immigration minister, as well as refugee status, if he agreed to the photo.

An advertisement was later published in two national newspapers, stating “The government has permitted refugees to live and rebuild their lives in PNG – Let’s give them a positive start.”

No refugees have been resettled in PNG in the almost two years since it agreed to host an asylum seeker detention camp for Australia, nor does it have a resettlement policy.RNZI


33) Greenpeace Pacific Forum Calls For Action On Climate Change
Declaration signed for immediate action

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 15, 2015) – Village leaders from Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Fiji and Solomon Islands have signed a declaration calling for immediate action on climate change.

A senior oceans campaigner for Greenpeace, Lagi Toribau, says a meeting was held in Port Vila last week for communities affected by Cyclone Pam to voice their concerns about climate change.

Mr Toribau says the leaders say they are tired of waiting for the international community to decide their fate.

“We got a really strong sense from the community leaders that they wanted to do more. That they are sick of waiting. I mean we are looking at the upcoming 21st COP meeting that is 21 meetings that they have had and you know what have they, what have they delivered?”

Lagi Toribau says the meeting marked the end of a 20-day relief mission by Greenpeace’s flagship vessel, the Rainbow Warrior, which made 26 aid drops across 13 islands alongside 10 other aid organisations in Vanuatu.

Greenpeace and other groups are marking the 30th anniversary of the bombing of The Rainbow Warrior by French agents in Auckland in 1985. The Governor of Ha’apai, Mo’ale Finau.

Radio New Zealand International


34) Nautilus Minerals announces extension

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

NAUTILUS Minerals says it has agreed to extend by six months the exercise date for options granted to its joint venture partner in the Solwara 1 Project.
Last December, the company and state nominee, Eda Kopa Ltd, a subsidiary of Petromin PNG Holdings Ltd, formed a joint venture for the deep-sea mining project.
Under the terms of the venture, Eda Kopa took an initial 15 per cent interest with an option to take up additional 15 per cent interest within a year on paying certain amounts pursuant to a formula described in the agreement.
The option was exercisable in three 5 per cent lots within six, nine and 12 months respectively from the date the joint venture was formed.
If Eda Kopa does not exercise any of the five per cent options within the relevant time period then that option and any subsequent options are deemed to have lapsed.
To facilitate further discussion between the Nautilus and Eda Kopa, the Canadian subsea miner has agreed to extend the exercise date of the three five per cent options by six months respectively.

35) 358 exhibitors to participate at Toursim Fiji expo

Monday, June 15, 2015

Update: 3:55PM THE Fijian Tourism Expo will include the participation of 358 exhibitors in Denarau, Nadi, over the next three days.

Major sponsor Pacific Destinations will host an opening ceremony at the Sofitel Fiji Resort tomorrow morning before business appointments get under way at the Sheraton Fiji Resort, where 121 booths are being set up.

Figures from organisers Tourism Fiji, note that 151 buyers will be present at the expo, alongside 18 international media representatives.

The fete ends on Thursday and has been deliberately slotted ahead of the Australian Tourism Exchange in Melbourne to ease travel routes for buyers from long haul markets.Fijitimes


36) Centre for women

Shayal Devi
Monday, June 15, 2015

A WOMEN’S development centre costing $498,000 will be established in Ba to educate them on techniques involved in exporting local goods.

The development centre is funded by the Japanese Government and will also present opportunities to train women in cookery and sewing.

During the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, Ba Women’s Forum president Dr Maria Doton said the centre would be a complete facility.

“It will have a kitchen for food handling, baking and cooking preserves and we also have an area for sewing and other trainings,” she said.

“The Japanese Embassy has also given 10 heavy sewing machines and all the facilities, the stoves and benches that go with this building.”

Dr Doton said the training centre would help boost the confidence of women and inspire them to get into the export trade.

Minister for Local Government Parveen Kumar was present at the event and said the centre would represent the value that the community placed on the development of rural women.

“I have been informed that the centre will provide training programs to upskill our women in their production and business management,” he said.

“This will ensure the marketing of your products locally and internationally with the unique brand and identity of Ba.”

Mr Kumar said the project would also help towards the alleviation of poverty.Fijitimes

37) Kids top helpline call list

Atasa Moceituba
Monday, June 15, 2015

THE Ministry of Social Welfare has received 1851 calls on its Child Helpline within three months after its launch in April this year.

This was revealed by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar.

Ms Akbar said from the 1851 calls they had received, 153 cases had been referred to the Department of Social Welfare since it involved children’s welfare, adding the cases included report cases of physical abuse, emotional abuse and many more.

“A total of 153 cases had been referred to the Department of Social Welfare particularly cases concerning the welfare and wellbeing of children,” Ms Akbar said.

“Most of the callers are children who use the Helpline to report cases of physical abuse, emotional abuse and seek advice on issues like teenage pregnancies, peer relationship and family conflicts. Some callers also enquire about the Department of Social Welfare programs and the financial assistance we provide.”

She said it was very encouraging to find out that people were actually making use of the helpline.

Ms Akbar said they also received calls from adults who mostly wanted to enquire information on issues such as adoption policies, missing child, mental health care, child care advice and positive parenting tips and many more.

She said the Helpline operated from 6am to 6pm and seven days a week and they had a team of counsellors who were there to assist the members of the public.Fijitimes

38) Fiji Minister: Child Labor Needs To Be Eradicated

Over 173 cases in last 4 years

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 13, 2015) – Over 173 cases of child labour have been recorded in Fiji over the last 4 years.

FBC reports this was highlighted by the acting Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate while opening the World Day against Child Labour in Suva on Friday.

Mr Usamate says it is everybody’s business to try and eradicate child labor in Fiji, and that child labour is not only found in businesses but also in our homes.

He says there are instances in our homes and communities where children have had to stay home and miss school to tend to family commitments such crop harvesting or looking after younger siblings.

He says this means children miss out on school, and don’t get the development they need.

Radio New Zealand International


39) New Ireland choir to travel to US for SDA event

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

A CHOIR from New Ireland is travelling to the United States to represent the country at a major Seventh Day Adventist event.
The Emirau Praise Choir will be sending a large contingent to perform, courtesy of Kavieng MP Ben Micah.
The choir performed for a large audience at the People’s Progress Party fundraiser in Port Moresby on Saturday night. “This choir is going to San Antonio in Texas,” Micah said.
“In two weeks’ time they’re be performing for a global audience of 70,000 Seventh Day Adventists who meet every five years to change the leadership of the world church.
“They have been selected from throughout the  Pacific to represent the Seventh Day Adventist Church.”


40) All set to go

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

By Malum Nalu, Peter Pusal and Henry Kario
SPORTS Minister Justin Tkatchenko says Port Moresby is ready to host the Pacific Games, after 15,000 people enjoyed the new facilities at Sir John Guise stadium for the first time last Saturday.
As a bonus, the excited partisan crowd watched the Hunters come from behind to beat the South Logan Magpies 34-12 in a Queensland Cup rugby league match.
The Games opening ceremony will be held at the stadium on Saturday July 4.
Tkatchenko and National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop were overjoyed after the match as they walked across the road to a function at Vision City.
“We’ve just had a successful Hunters game, beat the Magpies before a capacity crowd of over 15,000 people. Unbelievable,” he said.
“As you can hear from my voice, we were screaming, shouting, and crying.
“But it was something very special for our city and our country – as a test event for our venues and our infrastructure for the Pacific Games. Let’s bring it on. We are Games-ready,” Tkatchenko said.
Acting Prime Minister Leo Dion was overwhelmed.
“The noise as I was driving past the stadium was overwhelming,” he said. “It is a good sign and Papua New Guineans can celebrate.”
Central and National Capital District Acting Police Commissioner Jerry Frank was pleased with how things tuned out because they were expecting a “more challenging” assignment for the police.
He thanked the people for behaving and staying out of trouble.
Pacific Games Organising Committee chief executive officer Peter Stewart told The National that the overwhelming response from the public was “Wow”.
“We had a sold-out venue of 15,000 people for the Hunters game and besides the usual minor teething problems, all our processes ran smoothly,” Stewart said.
“The whole idea of having a test event is to go through our systems and ensure that everything is running well.
“There will always be little problems but we were satisfied with how things went on the night.
“There were some really minor stuff such as the locks not working on one of the toilets. But there was nothing of concern.”
He said the movement of people and security went without any hitches.
“We had a mag-and-bag process in place at the entry points so there was no alcohol, dangerous weapons of any sort and even cigarettes brought in,” he said.
“The stands were filled to capacity and we had no issues whatsoever with the crowd. Any concerns about the safety of the structures, particularly the western and eastern stands, were dispelled. Those stands are structurally sound.”

41) Oceania proud of Solomons’ participation in hockey

The National, Monday June 15th, 2015

THE Oceania Hockey Federation was buoyed at the news of Solomon Islands sending a hockey team to the Pacific Games for the first time.
Oceania Hockey Federation Continental development officer Gill Gemming expressed the federation’s gratitude and promised to make a final visit to the team before the Games kick off next month.
“Oceania is so excited that the Solomon Islands have a team entered in the Pacific Games,” Gemming said.
“I have arranged a goalkeeping set for your goalkeeper for the Games and I will take the kit to Honiara and run some coaching for your team and goalkeeper.
“I am keen to meet with Solomon Island Hockey Association executive and the NOCSI, meet with its management for Pacific Games so that I can upskill them on their roles.”
Gemming said he would run a workshop on hockey five-a-side rules, including handing out booklets and run coaching sessions.
Last week the SIHA received a grant of A$1500 (K3100) from OHF to help with the preparations of the team for the Games.
This comes as a boost to their preparations. This will be the first hockey team to represent the country at the Pacific Games.

42) Top lifters represent Australia at 2015 Pacific Games

Shalveen Chand
Monday, June 15, 2015

FIFTEEN Australian weightlifters have been selected to compete at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in July, for some it will be a pathway to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The Team includes Commonwealth Games athletes Malek Chamoun and Erika Ropati-Frost (nee-Yamasaki).

Chamoun was diagnosed with the degenerative condition retinitis pigmentosa as a child and is legally blind but despite this, the Sydneysider is aiming to claim gold across all three categories at the Pacific Games clean and jerk, snatch and overall.

The 26-year-old says he’s learnt a great deal from his experience at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, where he failed to complete one lift.

“When I last represented Australia I didn’t do as well as I wanted to. This time when I wear the green and gold I am keen to do much better,” he said.

The Pacific Games is one of the first International Weightlifting Federation approved qualifying events for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for Australian athletes.

Chamoun has his sights set on making his Olympic debut.

For Ropati-Frost, a dual Commonwealth Games competitor and bronze medallist, the Pacific Games will be a chance to test herself against fierce competition in Papua New Guinea.

“My biggest competition in the region is PNG’s Dika Toua. She’s always beaten me and it will be tough to face her in front of a home crowd, but I want to take home all three gold medals,” she said.

The team also includes two Youth Olympic Games competitors, Liam Larkins and Kiana Elliot.

2015 Pacific Games chef de nission, Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page, says he’s excited Australia will be sending a team to the Games for the first time.

The Games run from 4-18 July, with more than 3000 athletes from 21 countries competing in 28 sports.

The first Games were held in 1963 in Suva, Fiji and are held every four years, with hosting rights shared across the South Pacific region.

The Games will form an integral part of commemorations for Papua New Guinea as it celebrates its 40th year of independence.

* Pacific Games coverage courtesy of BSP//Fijitimes

43) Mali shocks Germany

Monday, June 15, 2015

CHRISTCHURCH – Mali continue to defy the odds at the FIFA U20 World Cup after they booked their place in the semi-finals with a 4-3 win on penalties over Germany following a well-fought 1-1 draw in Christchurch.

Julian Brandt’s opener had put the tournament favourites ahead, though a Djigui Diarra penalty save and Souleymane Coulibaly header levelled things up, leaving the sides level for an hour. Niklas Stark then fired the crucial spot-kick wide and sent Fanyeri Diarra’s send into dreamland.

The outstanding moment of the opening passages of play was a disappointing one for the match, as Germany’s top scorer Marc Stendera was forced off the field, and without him the tournament’s most prolific side struggled to find their rhythm. Good pressing from the Malians limited their chances, although the Africans often struggled to make any themselves.

A couple from efforts from distance were all that brought either goalkeeper into action before Frank Wormuth’s charges broke the deadlock shortly before the break. A Hany Mukhtar free-kick couldn’t get beyond the defensive wall, but the ball eventually fell to Brandt, who hit a volley from the edge of the area that skipped off the turf and into the bottom corner.

Mali returned after the break looking bright and up for the challenge. Their early pressure looked to have been for nothing though after the referee pointed to the spot for a foul on Jeremy Dudziak. But the Africans held strong as Mukhtar saw his effort saved and, within two minutes, parity was restored.

A foul on the left flank gave Youssouf Kone the chance to swing a cross into the German area and Coulibaly met it perfectly. The defender got free at the front post and his diving header flashed beyond keeper Marvin Schwaebe and into the far corner.

Later, a weak back-pass left Malian hearts in mouths as Hamidou Maiga almost gifted the Germans a path into the last four. Mukhtar should also have atoned for his penalty miss, but directed his header wide, ensuring the game went to extra-time.

Malick Toure should have put Mali ahead for the first time when he headed over from three yards out as the Germans seemed to tire as the additional 30 minutes wore on. A shootout always looked like where it was headed though, and while Adama Traore saw his effort saved, Brandt then fired over before Stark’s off-target effort saw Europe’s two front-runners go out on spot-kicks in the space of minutes.

44) Bismarck in tears after Sharks last home game

Monday, June 15, 2015

DURBAN, South Africa – South African rugby hard man Bismarck du Plessis cried on Saturday after his final Super Rugby appearance for the Sharks ended in a 34-12 home victory over the Stormers.

Du Plessis, a 31-year-old rated among the best hookers in the world, is moving to France with elder brother and Sharks prop Jannie to play in the Top 14 competition.

While the brothers have not disclosed who they are joining, reports link them with Montpellier, where 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks coach Jake White is in charge.

“Durban has been a very special place for me,” said tearful Bismarck at Kings Park stadium in the Indian Ocean city after his 130th appearance for the Sharks, “and I will never forget my 11 seasons here.

“I will miss my teammates, the supporters and everyone who helped me develop my career.

“I was once the seventh-choice hooker at the Cheetahs and now I am told I am among the best in the world,” Bismarck added after receiving the official man-of-the-match award.

Bismarck recalled how he joined the Sharks after several seasons with the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs.

“I remember writing my last examinations and packing everything I owned into a little Volkswagen Beetle.

“It took me about 12 hours to drive from Bloemfontein to Durban in a car that could not go much faster than 80 kilometres an hour.

“I had to fill up about six times because it had only a small petrol tank,” he said.

Du Plessis and Northern Bulls hooker Adriaan Strauss are considered certainties to be included in the 31-man Springboks squad for the World Cup in England this September and October.

Bismarck scored the third of five tries as the Sharks romped to victory over a second-string Stormers side after leading 13-9 at half-time.

Sensing they were going to finish third whatever the result, the Cape Town outfit rested their first choices ahead of a home Qualifier (quarter-final) against Australia’s Brumbies next Saturday.

Fly-half Lionel Cronje, scrum-half Stefan Ungerer, fullback Lwazi Mvovo and winger Odwa Ndungane were the other try scorers for the winners. Cronje kicked two conversions and a penalty and his replacement, Fred Zeilinga, slotted a conversion.

The bonus-point victory had no effect on the Sharks’ final placing, though, as they came 11th, 13 points adrift of the last play-off position.

Stormers fly-half Kurt Coleman shrugged off woeful recent place-kicking form to succeed with his four penalty attempts.

45) Bolt unconvincing in New York 200m win

Monday, June 15, 2015

NEW YORK – Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt came away with a victory but says he has work to do after clocking 20.29sec to win the 200m at the New York Diamond League meeting on Saturday.

Even with a headwind of 2.8 metres per second, Bolt said he was baffled by a performance that included “the worst curve ever in my entire career,” and “concerned” about his form in a season pointed at the World Championships in Beijing in August.

“I’m not overly happy with it,” he said. “The first 100m was poor — was really bad. I didn’t feel like I was going anywhere. I don’t know what happened.”

It was Bolt’s first race in New York since 2008 when he broke the 100m world record for the first time on the same Icahn Stadium track on Randall’s Island.

On Saturday, however, he found himself leaning for the win, sneaking a look to make sure he got the victory ahead of training partner Zharnel Hughes of Anguilla, who was second in 20.32 with Jamaican Julian Forte third in 20.46.

Bolt holds the 100m world record of 9.58sec and the 200m world record of 19.19, both set in 2009.

He won 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics but last year was limited by foot and hamstring injuries.

While US sprint rival Justin Gatlin has been burning up the track — posting world leaders of 9.74 in the 100m and 19.68 in the 200m — Bolt said this week he’s focused on making steady progress toward achieving his peak form at Beijing.

However, he clearly was expecting better.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going on,” said Bolt, who said he realised early the race would not be fast.

“I ran for 150m then tried to shut it down, but then I saw Zharnel on my left and had to push again,” he said.

In other races, Tyson Gay, won the men’s 100m in 10.12sec in a brisk headwind of 1.7 metres per second. Gay, his sights on a World Championships challenge after completing an abbreviated doping ban, admitted that after Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago was charged with a false start for flinching in the blocks he was tense at the gun.

“I was little nervous, the starter held us a little bit so I just tried to take some deep breaths,” said Gay, who led Jamaican Nesta Carter (10.15) and South African Akani Simbine (10.18) across the line.

Gay said the victory was a confidence booster with the US World Championship trials coming up in Eugene, Oregon, in a fortnight.

“When you get a victory, you always feel good,” Gay said.

World record-holder David Rudisha returned from an early-season injury scare to canter to victory in the 800 in 1:43.59.



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