Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1110 ( Monday 13 July )

MELANESIA

1) Melanesian market women growing their skills – Thousands of women market vendors in Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands are growing their economic empowerment opportunities along with their crops. The UN Women’s Market for Change initiative has helped set up associations for women market vendors in all three countries with Vanuatu the latest to register their Silae Vanua Association. UN Women’s economic empowerment specialist Preeya Leli says the majority of market vendors in Melanesia are women.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/278603/melanesian-market-women-growing-their-skills

2) PNG PM Praises Stronger PNG-EU Relations

Coincides with end of EU ambassador post

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 10, 2015) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill expressed his appreciation of European Union Ambassador Martin Dihm’s efforts, saying he has seen increased trade and investments and cultural relations with Europe recently.

Dihm will complete his posting to PNG in July after four years during which time O’Neill said relations between the country and the European Union were strengthened on several fronts.

“During Ambassador Dihm’s posting to Papua New Guinea, we have seen an increase in trade and investments and a strengthening of cultural relations with Europe,” he said.

“I thank Ambassador Dihm for his contribution in this increasing engagement with Europe.”

O’Neill said there had been sensitive issues between PNG and EU in recent years, and the EU mission in Port Moresby worked with the Government to overcome challenges.

“The implementation of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement and the dialogue on compliance with the EU regulation on fishing are progressing very well.

“The IEPA has created more than 30,000 direct jobs, many of these being for women, as well as many more indirect jobs.

“The ongoing dialogue covering illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing continues to move forward and we expect to have further positive news soon. Papua New Guinea will continue to widen and deepen the list of tradable goods that we export to Europe.

The National

3) GJP i kontestem Luganville Munisipal Kaonsel eleksen 

Olgeta –

GJP i putum 15 kandidet blong kontestem eleksen blong Luganville Munisipol Kaonsel.

West Ward
1. ERICK TANGARASI
2. ROBSON NELSON
3. ALA KOKONA DAVID
4. MARTHA KENZEN

North Ward
1. JACOB BATICK
2. MORRIS WILLIAM
3. WALA RONGO
4. ROBERT TIBARL
5. MOSES WELWEL
6. REBECCA AIDIP

East Ward
1. BENJAMIN BONGNAIM
2. MICHAEL DAVID
3. JUDY GESA

Central Ward
1. WILLY SANDY
2. FREDA MANO

Yu save luk ol posta blong olgeta kandiet ia long ples ia.

GJP i gat 6 mein polisi we hemi stap kampen from long eleksen ia:

1. Mekem se Munisipol Kaonsel i yusum mane blong yumi long wan stret fasen. Stretem administresen sistem blong Kaonsel. Katem ol uneseseri spending. Lukaotem rod blong mekem moa mane i kam insaed long Kaonsel blong leftemap sevis diliveri.
2. Putumaot pablik ripot blong spending blong komuniti fand blong Kaonsel evri yia.
3. Komplitim wok blong diklerem ol pablik spes mo ol grin spes long evri eria blong taon mo komplitim wok blong biutifikesen.
4. Protektem mo promotem ol ni-Vanuatu bisnis.
5. Wok wetem Gavman blong putum niufala wota sos mo wota manejmen sistem.
6. Leftemap waste manejmen sistem blong kontrolem doti.

Mi wetem MP Alfred Maoh i stap givhan wetem kampen tim long wik ia long Luganville.
Eleksen bae hemi stap long Tyusde nekis wik 21 Julae.

Plis sherem infomesen blong ol kandidet blong yumi wetem ol famli mo fren long Luganville, mo askem olgeta blong vot GJP!

Ta, MP Ralph Regenvanu…  www.graonmojastis.org
 
 
4a) Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 13 July 2015

by bobmakin

  • Radio Vanuatu tells us today that next month the Government will hold a round-table conference with development partners concerning the recovery after cyclone Pam, and plans for the next 24 months. Foreign Minister Vohor advised accordingly when meeting foreign officials from other countries recently.
  • Radio Vanuatu also had the Opposition calling on the Government to maintain the pace for political reform instead of making threats to media freedom by controlling freedom of expression. If such laws involving police action against freedom of association had been in place, the Opposition would have used them long ago, Daily Post points out, when the then-Opposition was plotting the overthrow of the Natuman Government.
  • Mamas of the Manples Market are pleased to be back now that Au Bon Marché has improved their market sales area near ABM Manples. They say they are delighted to be back.
  • Daily Post also points out how 14 July 1980 was the date on which the Vanuatu pre-Independence administration led by Walter Lini entered into discussions with PNG PM Julius Chan concerning intervention in the state of rebellion in the New Hebrides. The Vemerana rebellion seemed about to upset the democratically elected government’s plans for Independence on 30 July, a fortnight later.

4b) Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 11 July 2015

by bobmakin

  • John William Timakata has been endorsed as Acting Public Prosecutor to the end of this month by the Judicial Services Commission. The newly appointed Public Prosecutor, Josiah Naigulevu, will take up his duties on 1 August. Many high profile cases involving bribery are being prosecuted by Timakata and the Judicial Services Commission points out the independence from government of the Public Prosecutor.
  • Both Saturday papers publish as front page the suggestion that the fire which guttered Vanuatu Treasures’ warehouse this week was deliberately lit. The main door to the building was allegedly open. There was no electricity supply there and there were no power points in the warehouse. Management of the business has been in the hands of one who has this week been reported as a victim, albeit compensated, in a court case involving a nuisance element.
  • The Media Association of Vanuatu points out to the Prime Minister that his call for more outside media regulation is inappropriate, there being adequate means to deal with usual complaints already. MAV is consulting with a view to setting up a media body for self-regulatory purposes.
  • Today’s Daily Post observes there are always many questions which arise in discussions by Lapita scholars as presently during this week in the 8th International Lapita Conference at USP. There seem to be presumptions made both as regards the data used and interpretations of results one participant observed. Never-the-less the conference provided a great deal of information useful to the scholar and of interest to the participants.
  • PM Kilman is suggesting Government MPs are being harassed by Opposition MPs,Daily Post reveals. Kilman says his government is forced to request police intervention.
  • The Independent says says the minister responsible for fisheries is putting right various matters which have gone wrong in departments associated with fishing activities. Never-the-less, not everything has gone crazy. Daily Post is able to point to an official Vanuatu Fisheries Observer testifying to a US Federal Court against the illegal activities of a US purse seiner. Congratulations observer Jino Suaki of Malekula.

POLYNESIA

5) 24-year-old dies in brawl in Tonga capital

13 July 2015

A 24 year old Tonga man died on Saturday night after a violent brawl in the streets of the capital, Nuku’alofa.

Photo: files

The acting Police Commissioner, Tevita Fifita, has told Radio Tonga they have arrested a 25 year old man who is facing a murder charge.

The dead man, who was found by police lying in the street in the centre of the city, is believed to have been stabbed.RNZI

6) Doctor and ward shortage at American Samoa hospital

13 July 2015

There’s a severe doctor shortage in clinics and wards for general medicine at the LBJ Hospital in American Samoa.

One doctor collapsed on the job last week after working extended hours without rest.

Another is taking leave that was long planned.

This leaves just two doctors on duty in the Medical Ward and Clinic.

Late last week Governor Lolo Moliga met with management of the hospital and the Department of Health to discuss the doctor shortage.

As a result of that meeting, the Community Health Center in Tafuna will be kept open longer.

The center which is usually opened from 8 am to four pm will now open into the evening.

The public is being urged to used this clinic and the others at Leone and Amouli while the hospital doctor shortage continues.RNZI

7) Cooks parliament clerk clarifies House of Ariki meeting impasse

13 July 2015

An impasse at the Cook Islands parliament last week has been put down to a miscommunication between parliament’s staff and members of the House of Ariki.

The group, which includes the high chiefs from various islands meets at the Parliament every year to provide feedback on policy issues such as permanent residence and preserving traditions.

The clerk of the House of Ariki, Tupuna Rakanui, said the group was barred from the chamber for nearly two hours, until they called MP, Nandi Glassie, who intervened.

However, the acting clerk of the parliament, Helen Maunga, says the issue was all due to a misunderstanding, and the chamber had not been booked for the meeting.RNZI

MICRONESIA

8a ) Marshall Islands to showcase ‘climate-proof’ building

13 July 2015U

The Marshall Islands’ first ‘climate-proof’ building is being showcased today as part of an annual conference on climate projects.

The Pacific Power Association meeting will also involve a tour of the newly-installed system that uses waste heat to power Majuro’s power plant.

The executive director of the PPA, Andrew Daka, says the waste heat conversion equipment has been used in developed countries but most utilities in the region have not seen it in operation.

The Marshalls Energy Company says it will save the Marshall Islands nearly 400 thousand litres of fuel a year, reduce the amount of carbon emitted by 10,000 tons over 10 years, and will generate 194 kilowatts of power daily.RNZI

8b) Nauru MPs To Spend Another Week In Custody Awaiting Lawyer

Fallout from purported connection to anti-gov rally

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 13, 2015) – Two opposition MPs on Nauru are spending another week in custody as they continue to battle for legal representation.The MPs, former president Sprent Dabwido and Squire Jeremiah, have been charged in connection with an anti-government protest outside parliament last month.

They appeared in court on Friday for their second attempt to secure bail, but the men do not have access to a lawyer on the island.

A pleader, who provides some legal support, returns to the island today, but a source on Nauru says the MPs have rejected his representation.

Mr Dabwido and Mr Jeremiah want a lawyer who is based in Australia to represent them, but the Nauru Government continues to refuse him a visa.

They have asked the Supreme Court to rule on their right to a lawyer of their choice, and will appear in court on Friday for their next bail hearing.

Radio New Zealand International

FRENCH

9) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 13 juillet 2015

Posté à 13 July 2015, 16:20 AEST

Élodie Largenton

  • C’est une nouvelle semaine que deux députés de l’opposition vont passer en détention provisoire à Nauru. 
Sprent Dabwido et Squire Jeremiah ont été arrêtés à la suite d’une manifestation devant le Parlement, il y a plus de trois semaines. Les deux hommes politiques sont obligés d’assurer seuls leur défense, pour le moment. Ils souhaitent être représentés par un avocat basé en Australie, mais le gouvernement de Nauru lui refuse un visa.
  •  L’Australie risque-t-elle d’être entraînée dans un conflit régional autour des îles de la mer de Chine orientale ? Dans un rapport publié aujourd’hui, des chercheurs australiens et américains estiment que la Chine a désormais le pouvoir d’atteindre l’Australie, avec des missiles de longue-portée et une force navale de plus en plus puissante. Mais le Premier ministre australien assure n’être pas du tout inquiet : « Je préfèrerais mettre l’accent sur la force de notre amitié avec la Chine plutôt que sur ce qui pourrait arriver dans de très nombreuses années », a réagi Tony Abbott. Depuis une semaine, 30 000 soldats australiens et américains participent à des exercices militaires dans le nord de l’Australie.
  • Des centaines d’Australiens sont bloqués en Indonésie depuis plusieurs jours à cause d’une éruption volcanique.Les vols au départ de cinq aéroports, dont celui de Bali, ont été annulés par mesure de précaution : le nuage de cendres qui s’échappe du volcan Raung perturbe la navigation. Or, cette panne survient en pleine période de vacances scolaires en Australie, et l’Indonésie est l’une des destinations préférées des Australiens – ils sont plus de 900 000 à s’y rendre chaque année.
  • Aux Îles Cook, les autorités craignent que l’épidémie de chikungunya ne redémarre lors des célébrations des 50 ans de la constitution. Les festivités commencent dans dix jours et de nombreux visiteurs sont attendus pour l’occasion. Tout est mis en place pour les prévenir et les inciter à se protéger en portant des vêtements longs et en utilisant des répulsifs, indique la directrice des services de santé publique. L’épidémie de chikungunya a atteint un pic en avril dernier, avec 73 nouveaux cas recensés en une semaine, mais elle est aujourd’hui sous contrôle.
  • Aux Samoa américaines, c’est la dengue qui inquiète les autorités. Une troisième personne, une femme d’une vingtaine d’années, est décédée la semaine passée après avoir été infectée par le virus.

PASIFIK

10) Call for Pacific to lead on disaster preparedness

13 July 2015

Pacific foreign ministers say Pacific countries must lead national and regional efforts to support disaster preparedness and build resilience to disasters.

Last week’s meeting under the auspices of the Pacific Islands Forum in Sydney called on international partners, regional organisations, the private sector and NGOs to support government-led processes for disaster-related assistance.

The Ministers say investment in multi-hazard early warning systems, transport and telecommunications infrastructure are cornerstones to enhanced resilience.

A regional response to the risks associated with disasters and climate change was also discussed through the development of the Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilience in the Pacific.RNZI

WORLD

11) Greece bailout: Alexis Tsipras accepts 86-billion-euro bailout from eurozone leaders after 17 hours of talks

Updated 13 July 2015, 19:40 AEST

Greece agrees to tough reforms in return for a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros after marathon talks with eurozone leaders in Brussels.

(Credit: Reuters) 

Greece has agreed to tough reforms after marathon talks with eurozone leaders in return for a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($129 billion).

European Council president Donald Tusk said eurozone leaders reached a unanimous deal to offer Greece a third bailout and keep it in the euro after 17 hours of talks.

“One can say that we have ‘agreement’. Leaders have agreed in principle that they are ready to start negotiations on an ESM (European Stability Mechanism) program, which in other words means continued support for Greece,” Mr Tusk said in a statement.

“There are strict conditions to be met.

 

“The approval of several national parliaments, including the Greek parliament, is now needed for negotiations on an ESM program to formally begin.

“Nevertheless, the decision gives Greece a chance to get back on track with the support of European partners.

“It also avoids the social, economic and political consequences that a negative outcome would have brought.”

This will be Greece’s third rescue program in five years, which will be funded by the European Stability Mechanism, the EU’s bailout fund.

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras emerged from the talks saying his government “faced difficult decisions”.

Greece drama unfolds

June 28: 
Greek banks are closed, withdrawal limits are set to 60 euros ($89) a day

July 5: 
Greek voters reject terms of a bailout proposition with 61.31 per cent voting “No”, boosting prime minister Alexis Tsipras at the negotiating table

July 6: 
Yanis Varoufakis resigns as Greek finance minister to improve relations with eurozone creditor countries, and is replaced by Euclid Tsakalotos, who has been steering talks with EU-IMF creditors

July 7:
Eurozone finance ministers meet in Brussels but no proposal reached European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, who is not in favour of Greece leaving the EU, warns a Grexit scenario has been prepared “in detail”

July 8:
Mr Tsipras is greeted by boos and cheers at the European parliament, says Greece will submit “credible” reform plans and wants to prevent a “divided Europe”. His speech draws a mix of boos and cheers from European MPs

July 11: 
Greek parliament backs new reform plan, submits proposals to the EU for consideration

July 12:
Eurozone finance ministers meet for talks, planned EUCO summit delayed

July 13:
Greece agrees to tough reforms in return for a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros

 

“We took the responsibility for the decision to avert the most extreme plans by conservative circles in Europe,” he said.

“We averted a plan of a financial choking and banking collapse.”

He said a growth package of 35 billion euros and debt restructuring “will make Grexit a thing of the past”.

European shares surged on the news of the deal which prevented Greece from crashing out of the European single currency.

Greece applied last week for a third program from the eurozone’s bailout fund after its previous bailout expired on June 30, leaving it without international financial assistance for the first time in years.

Greek banks have been closed for nearly two weeks and there were fears they were about to run dry due to a lack of extra funding by the European Central Bank.

This would mean Athens would have had to print its own currency and effectively leave the euro.

Athens infuriated its creditors with actions including a surprise referendum on July 5 in which Greeks overwhelmingly rejected previous bailout terms offered by its creditors.

AFP/Reuters

HEALTH

12a ) CWM Hospital maternity ward extension currently underway 
– The extension of the CWM maternity ward is currently underway. CWM Acting Medical Superintendent, Doctor James Fong says the government has provided $3 million for civil works this year to continue the extension of the hospital. Doctor Fong says this extension will see the removing of car parks, reducing the visiting space for relatives and also road reconstruction.

http://fijivillage.com/news/CWM-Hospital-maternity-ward-extension-currently-underway-k52s9r/

12b ) Villagers celebrate launch of sea ambulance
Source:
The National, Monday July 13th, 2015

Koil Island on the east of Wewak in East Sepik came alive with colour, singsing groups, choirs and displays to launch the million-kina sea ambulance and two floating jetties on Friday.
The jetties are for the far-flung Schoutern Islands off Wewak.
Wewak MP Jim Simatab launched the facilities  much to the delight of the islanders, who have been struggling to access health care and treatment at the Koil Island Health Centre.
The centre, run by the Seventh- day Adventist Church, will take charge of the boat to conduct its mobile clinics and assist in the evacuation of the sick from Biem, Kadawar, Ruprup, Wei, Vokeo and Koil Islands.
Officer-in-charge of the Koil Health Centre Esther Kange thanked Simatab, Wewak district chief executive officer Ricky Wobar and the board of directors for the sea ambulance.
Kange said their regular mother and child health clinics and other outreach programmes using small dinghies had been dictated by sea  and weather conditions.
“With this new ambulance, I will now be able to spend a week each month conducting clinics on all the islands,” Kange said.
“The boat will help in bringing very sick people from the islands to the health centre and take them back home when they are discharged.
“We used to have patients who waited for days and weeks to get back home,” Kange said.
Simatab, who is the Correctional Service Minister, said he would use part of the K2 million provided by the Government for health this year to add to the existing facilities – a TB and HIV/AIDS ward, a labour ward, septic toilets and solar lights.
He said Wewak district was partnering churches to deliver health services and thanked the Seventh-day Adventist Church for its commitment.
Simatab said a similar sea ambulance would be delivered to the Wewak Islands of Mushu, Kairiru, Wallis and Tarawai.

MELANESIAN ( Wantok/Itaukei/Man ples+ ) – LAND,  CUSTOM (KASTOM)

13) Reviving i-Taukei traditional practices – The Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs has been collecting information from villages and provinces about indigenous culture and tradition unique to those areas. It is hoped the cultural mapping exercise will help protect the rich and diverse traditional practices from various parts of the country. Permanent Secretary Savenaca Kaunisela says some villagers have very little knowledge of their indigenous ceremonies, dialects and heritage sites.

http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/31119/reviving-i-taukei-traditional-practises-#sthash.KD8t3Urr.dpuf

 MEDIA

14) Vanuatu media assoc says govt control not needed

13 July 2015

The Media Association of Vanuatu says the Government’s proposed curbs on media are excessive and unneccessary.

The new Sato Kilman led Government is proposing new media laws to control what it calls unbalanced and unfair reporting in both the mainstream and social media.

It has raised concerns of stories focussing on political instability in the country and the government’s position on West Papua’s bid for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

A draft of the proposed media laws is expected to be made public this week before it is put before parliament next week.

The Media Association says there are already legal avenues to deal with any issues.

It also says setting up a media disciplinary council would be preferable to a government controlled regulatory body.RNZI

15) Fiji media decree amendment may mean more freedom – The Fijian Media Association says it’s hoped an amendment to the Media Industry Development Decree will bring about more freedom for journalists. Under the amendment, individual journalists are spared fines not exceeding up to 500 USD ($1,000 FJD/$471 USD). However, media organizations, their editors and publishers, and corporate bodies are still liable to heavy monetary fines or imprisonment terms, or both. The president of the Fijian Media Association, Ricardo Morris, says this is a step forward, as it means ordinary journalists don’t have the prospect of a fine hanging over their head.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/278601/fiji-media-decree-amendment-may-mean-more-freedom

 16) Fiji TV Explores Partnership Options For SKY Pacific
By Online Editor
00:47 am GMT+12, 13/07/2015, Fiji

Fiji Television Limited has signed non-disclosure agreements with Digicel and four other companies to explore options for its SKY Pacific arm.

Fiji Television Limited board director, Nouzab Fareed said SKY Pacific has big potential and need a strong partner.

“We need a strong medium and a strong platform to take it to the next level so that is the purpose why we are doing that,” he said.

The other companies besides Digicel are a mix of local and foreign companies.

So the question is whether Fiji Television is selling off its SKY Pacific arm or not?

Fareed says: “No. It is basically an exploration.

“They explore and see what value we can add to SKY Pacific. Because as you know we have close to 30,000 SKY Pacific subscribers out of which 23,000 is out-sourced.

“There is a lot of potential for Fiji to go to the next level. Definitely we need a strategic plan so that is why we signed the non-disclosure agreement.”

Last week, Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Communication Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum moved the amendment to the Media Decree, which effectively allows foreigners to buy into pay television or become a strategic partner as long as that service does not provide any local content.

The non-disclosure agreement will allow Digicel and the other companies to obtain information about SKY Pacific.

The information cannot be made public by the companies but based on the information; they can make an offer for the type of partnership they are proposing.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

BUSINESS  

17) Top award for Fiji Surf Co

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, July 13, 2015

CONSIDERING the thousands of surf schools and companies around the world, the country’s very own Fiji Surf Co has been recognised as one of the best in the business after receiving high commendations from travel site Trip Advisor.

Fiji Surf School, under the arm of Fiji Surf Co, was recently awarded a certificate of excellence by the popular review website for travellers.

Fiji Surf Co’s Ian Ravouvou Muller said this was the first time for them to receive recognition from Trip Advisor, which was regarded as a top review site for travellers to express their appreciation and grievances about products or services.

“Trip advisor has been giving out these awards over the last five years or so and we are stoked to have been recognised — it’s a huge milestone for us and Fijian surfing as a whole,” he told this newspaper.

“We started Fiji Surf Co 20 years ago as the first local surf company from the back yard of my house with literally no start-up capital. No bank gave us any loan as surfing was so new and nobody believed in it.

“I’m a qualified aircraft engineer so went back into aviation to do part time work and started VSL — Viti Surf Legend (as it was known back then) from my back yard selling surf equipment, doing surfboard repairs and teaching myself and others to surf.”FIJITIMES

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION,ENVIROMENT 

18) Authorities prepare food relief in storm-affected Solomons

The Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office is gearing up to provide food relief following heavy rain in the region.

Wind and rain from Tropical cyclone Raquel caused damage through most of the country’s provinces earlier this month, affecting the welfare of about 10 thousand people.

Teams are currently visiting the affected areas to assess the extent of the damage.

The director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates, says most of the damage is to the food and agriculture sector.

We can see from the initial information that we have that major food relief is a must following confirmation of damages by the assessment teams. The first two or three weeks will be ok because people will be harvasting what they can from their gardens. It’s after three weeks onwards that they start to feel the impact of root crops rotting away and that is when food shortage will be felt.

Loti Yates says plans are in place to provide emergency relief and the NDMO is just waiting on government funding.RNZI

19) Fiji assures Kiribati of support as climate changes

By Online Editor
00:53 am GMT+12, 13/07/2015, Kiribati

Fiji has reiterated its offer to provide the people of Kiribati with a permanent home if their nation is affected by climate change.

In a congratulatory message to the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong on their 37th Independence Day anniversary, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the people of Kiribati should not fear being climate change refugees.

“Our door will always be open to you. And the spirit of Kiribati will continue to burn brightly in the hearts of its people for generations to come,” he said.

“You can be sure that Fijians will stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kiribati in our joint effort to secure binding cuts in carbon emissions from the industrialised nations at the forthcoming World Climate Summit in Paris, said PM Bainimarama.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

MINING,FORESTRY,AGRICULTURE,FISHERIES

20) Gold Ridge mine: Toxic tailings dam on the brink of overflow; environmentalists fear mass contamination

Updated 13 July 2015, 18:20 AEST
By Michael Walsh and staff

As heavy rain continues to fall in the Solomon Islands following Tropical Cyclone Raquel last week, fears the Gold Ridge mine’s toxic tailings dam will overflow are starting to intensify.

The local government declared the area a disaster zone, but experts fear hardly enough precautions are being taken to prevent looming disaster to surrounding communities.

The Gold Ridge tailings dam contains millions of tonnes of hazardous chemicals like cyanide and arsenic, and was purportedly not designed to accommodate overstrain.

An overflow would heavily contaminate the water supplies for the many people living downstream from the site whose livelihood depends on the same water supply..

The damn now sits at 20 centimetres below maximum capacity.

Lawrence Makili, the Earth Island Institute’s Solomon Islands director, said while some landowners were aware of the rising situation, the majority were not even aware anything was happening or the danger they potentially faced.

“Only those who are aware of the risk or the dangers of what is going to happen are preparing at the moment,” Mr Makili said.

He said the majority of those living around the mining dam were rural and farming communities who live directly off of the same systems of water.

A mass contamination would be catastrophic, and as of yet, there has been no major precautions taken outside of the announcement that the dam might overflow.

Australian miner Saint Barbara sold off the mine to the Gold Ridge company in May, after production was suspended for over a year in the midst of disputes over rejected recommendations that the polluted water needs to be released.

Part of the handover deal entailed that contamination issues would be dealt with, but Mr Maliki said nothing has been done since.

“Nothing as such is happening at the moment,” he said, adding that no experts had been sent to the site to perform assessments, create awareness, or put evacuation plans in place.

Due to independent campaigning, a few farmers have relocated, he said, but those people constitute a minority.

While Mr Maliki fears that government inaction might be due to a lack of means, he maintains that given the direness of situation, the government could, and must do more.ABC

21) Good money to be made from growing onions

Source:
The National, Monday July 13th, 2015

ONIONS have a good market and can generate a sound income for local farmers, an agriculturist says.
Noel Kuman, programme manager village chain and innovation with the Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA), said onions were a potential earner.
“Papua New Guineans spend between K40 million and K50 million to import around 1140 metric tons of bulb onions from overseas,” Kuman said.
“This money can be put back into the pocket of local farmers if we can produce bulb onions at a good scale locally.”
Kuman and members of the FPDA senior management and board were in Elimbari, Chuave, last Thursday to inspect seven “model onion farms” created by local people.
The seven model farms are Kiragu-Maina-Kumom, Kobukaware One, Berema, Kebai, Bougir, Yori-Aura and Mam.
More than 400 farmers were involved in the project.
“Bulb onions are better than coffee because they pay  K3 to K4 per kilo and they take up little space but give a greater return,” Kuman said.
“They can be preserved and can be easily transported to the market for selling.”
Kuman said each model farm in Elimbari in their current stage could produce up to 10 tons of onions per harvest.
He said this could generate between K50,000 and K60,000 for each farm.
Kuman said onion farmers in Hela raised K1.1 million from selling their produce last year.
He said the major onion buyers in the country included mining catering companies, supermarkets and distributing agencies.
Kuman said it took FPDA between K7000 and K8000 to start up each of the farms.
He said the funds were used to buy greenhouse net, spades, insecticides, watering cans, nails, wire fences and safety gear.
Local community leader Max Sowa said the onion project in Elimbari was new and the people see it as a means to change their lives.
Sowa said they left their coffee gardens because coffee work was harder but the income small.
“For some 20 years we have not seen government services in this part of Chimbu,” Sowa said. “We feel that the onion project introduced here by the FPDA will change our lives.”
Sowa said the Government planned to open the nearby Chimbu Limestone Project in Elimbari and his people were planning to sell their onions and other produce at the mine.
FPDA has other onion projects in Hela, Chimbu, Morobe and Eastern Highlands.

22) Shortage of fish affects business

Ropate Valemei
Monday, July 13, 2015

THE shortage of fresh fish on Taveuni is affecting many businesses including restaurants, fish shops and hotels.

The Garden Island of Fiji is known for its abundance and variety of fresh fish, and visitors always expect fresh fish on the menu when they visit eateries on the island.

Some businesses have turned to using sliced fish from fish shops to meet the demand from customers for fish dishes.

Sasulava’s Fast Food owner Susana Neli said they hadn’t had fresh supplies of fish for two months and was hopeful things would improve soon.

“There hasn’t been a good supply of fish and it is probably because of the change in weather,” Ms Neli said.

“There is a big demand from eateries here, visitors and hotels and resorts.”

If there was no change in the supply of fish, she said, they would have no choice but to serve sliced fish to customers.

This shortage, she said, had also affected sales.

Charles Fish Shop owner Roshni Sidal said they had to use yellow fin tuna and sunfish to substitute fresh fish because of the shortage.

Yellow fin, she said, is bought for $6.50 per kg in Suva and sold at a much higher price to her customers.

“I have had a lot of orders but I could not meet the demand because of the shortage of fresh fish.”FIJITIMES

SPORT

23) PM: Embrace spirit of Games

Source:
The National, Monday July 13th, 2015

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has thanked Pacific island athletes and members of the public in Port Moresby for embracing the Pacific Games.
He said as the Games entered its final week, “this is a proud time to be a Papua New Guinean”.
“We have thousands of visitors from around the Pacific sharing our home and we are competing in a spirit of unity,” he said.
“I have seen many thrilling contests from athletes at the peak of their careers from all Pacific nations.
“Our visitors have praised the hospitality of Papua New Guineans and they have been made to feel so welcome.
“I thank all Papua New Guineans for demonstrating to the region and the world the warmth of the nation.”
He said the facilities built for the Games would be used for many more years.
“We have world class sporting facilities. Children watching the Games with sporting dreams will one day train and compete at these stadiums, pools and courts,” he said.
“Let’s continue to get behind our athletes, and our competing nations, to have a great final week of the Games. ”
O’Neill urged Opposition leader Don Polye to leave politics aside and join in supporting the Games.

24) Nines gold

Source:
The National, Monday July 13th, 2015

By MALUM NALU

PAPUA New Guinea asserted its claim to rugby league supremacy in the Pacific with a 38-10 win over Samoa in the nines gold medal playoff at the Sir John Guise Stadium yesterday.
Tonga edged out Fiji 16-14 for bronze in an at times aggressive encounter.
In front of a parochial hometown crowd, the star-studded PNG Hunters’-dominated side rode roughshod over Samoa, to put the icing on the cake to two-day tournament which it ruled from beginning to end.
They were then feted as national heroes with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill presenting them their gold medals.
Player-of-the-tournament Wartovo Puara Jr opened the PNG account in first minute and there was no stopping them.
An ensuing brace of tries from tall winger Bland Abavu and Ase Boas made it look as if the hometown heroes were going to put on another big score as they led 18-0 at the break.
Puara’s magic set the stadium on fire at resumption with a quick try to put the issue beyond doubt 22-0.
Down, but not out, Samoa strongly through hard-working forward Michael Rasmussen to trail 22-4.
Backrower Israel Eliab found the line again for PNG and with the extras from winger Thompson Tete, were up 28-4.
Samoan fullback Leia Saofaiga scored a centre try which he goaled himself to trail 28-10  but there was no stopping the indomitable PNG machine with two more tries from back Rex Yallon and Teteh, to add what was already a foregone conclusion.
“It was a good performance by all the players,” a beaming PNG coach Michael Marum said after the game.
The tournament’s All-Star team named after the grand final: Ase Boas, Gahuna Silas, Israel Eliab, and Wartoto Puara Jr (PNG), Etika Rokubuli (Fiji), Ionataga Tino (Samoa), Vahai Nau (Tonga), Chedyn Mani (Cook Islands), and Tino Tingiia (Solomon Islands).

25) PNG dear to Williams’ heart

Source:
The National, Monday July 13th, 2015

By HENRY MORABANG

NEW Caledonian swimmer Adeline Williams has a special place in her heart for Papua New Guinea where her mother was born.
Her mother, Andrea Williams nee Meehan was born in Kavieng in New Ireland, before moving to Australia, then migrating to New Caledonia to become a French citizen.
After smashing her own record last night in the 100m breaststroke in a time of 1:11.05, Williams said she was happy to swim here as her family has a long history here in Papua New Guinea.
“And I am happy to be part of this history by swimming in this world class facility to break a Pacific Games records, and I am very proud of it,” she said.
Williams family are Australian but have been working and living in New Caledonia for more than 30 years, and they have become citizens which allows Adeline to represent New Caledonia.
Her uncle Tony Meehan had to travel from Australia to see her swim and win two gold medals. Her first medal was in the 50m breaststroke in a time of 32.61 which is much lower than her Games record of 32.50.
Meehan said he was very happy to see her win which is good news for her family in New Caledonia. “I was very happy to see Meehan win two gold medals at the 2015 Pacific Games,” he said.
“After hearing that she made the New Caledonia swim team three weeks ago, we made arrangements for one of our family members to come to stay and support her during the 2015 Pacific Games,” he said.
No stranger to PNG with business interests in Kavieng, Meehan was happy for his niece, Adeline.
Meehan said his niece, based in France, was currently a member of the French national swimming team
Adeline Williams and her fellow New Caledonians, Lara Grangeon and Emma Terebo are smashing Pacific Games record at will along with Amini Fonua of Tonga and Ryan Pini of PNG.

26) Guam, Fiji women rule the basketball courts

Source:
The National, Monday July 13th, 2015

GUAM (men) and Fiji (women) are the new basketball kings and queens of the Pacific Games.
In the men’s gold medal match Guam beat Fiji 78-61 yesterday and in the women’s final Fiji brushed aside American Samoa 78-61 to snatch the gold medal in a jam-packed but peaceful atmosphere.
The two champions had all the reasons to smile after going through the event unbeaten, which set a new Pacific Games record in Port Moresby.
In 2011 in Noumea, New Caledonia, Guam lost to New Caledonia in the men’s final in but this time it was very sweet victory for them in PNG.
Fiji women won the bronze medal in the 2011 Games but on Saturday they were just too good for American Samoa for the gold medal challenge.
The gold medal victory for Guam came after 36 years and they had the vocal local crowd loving their style of play and barracking for them.
The top scorer was Joseph Blas Junior, who had a high 21, followed by William Stinnett 18, Tai Wesley 14 and Jesus Cruz 12. Blas said Guam were blessed with the inclusion of US-based players from a college league.
Fiji’s double figures were from Marques Whippy (17 with two trebles), Joshua Fox 16 and Mataika Koyamainavure 12, while captain Leonard Whippy had eight and two three-pointers.

27) More gold for PNG and New Caledonia

13 July 2015

Hosts Papua New Guinea have claimed more gold at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby after cruising past Samoa 38-10 in the rugby league final.

Oti Bland Tony and Wartovo Puara Junior scored two tries apiece, with the latter picking up the player of the tournament award.

The hosts, with a team mostly made up of players from the top domestic side the PNG Hunters, were unbeaten through seven matches throughout the competition.

Tonga claimed bronze after beating Fiji.

New Caledonia wrapped up a dominant display in the water with back to back gold medals in the ocean swim.

Thibaut Mary touched home first in the men’s race with Charlotte Robin taking out the women’s title.

The race had been reduced from five to three kilometres after the start was delayed by nearly three hours, by which time the tide on Loloata Island had gone out.

Robin finished the Games with five medals, including three gold, while for Mary it was an extra special occasion.

“The men of New Caledonia don’t have a gold medal [in the water] – it’s the first – and I’m just very happy. [It was] so difficult – the condition is very bad but I’m first so it’s ok,” he said.

The French territory was typically dominant in the water, having also claimed 19 of 40 gold medals in the pool at Taurama.

Samoa’s gold medal performance in the women’s cricket final has been labelled the biggest achievement in the country’s cricketing history.

Having set Papua New Guinea 104 to win in wet conditions at the Bisini Sports Complex, the hosts collapsed from 37 without loss to be 58 for 5.

Needing 32 off the final four overs, the Lewas got desperate and lost three more wickets to run-outs before eventually finishing four runs shy of victory.

It was Samoas first win ever against PNG and coach Ian West said it was the biggest result in their history.

“We’re just an affiliate nation [and] we’re up against all these associate nations,” he said.

“We only brought 12 players with us because it’s all we could afford. We lost our two opening batters before the tournament, we lost one of our best bowlers before the tournament and the girls just came out and walked away with a gold medal.

“I was absolutely cursing at the start of the second innings and then they got off to a flying start [but the] girls just fought back, never gave up and I couldn’t ask for any more.”

Ian West said Samoa cricket had been living on potential for a long time but this showed they can beat anyone in the region.RNZI

28) PNG win first Twenty20 cricket qualifier

13 July 2015

The Papua New Guinea cricket team has edged Jersey by 24 runs to win its first Twenty20 qualifier.

The runs were shared across the Pacific team’s lineup after they batted first.

Number three Assad Vala top scored with 29 as the team reached 145 runs with nine wickets down.

The PNG Barramundis struck with key wickets to restrict their opponents to 121 in response.

Norman Vanua was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for 19 runs in four overs.

Next up for PNG is Hong Kong, who lost their first match against Jersey.

PNG coach Dipak Patel said his players were not getting carried away.

“As far as we’re concerned every game in this tournament is going to be tough,” he said.

“We’re not taking any team lightly – they’ll be hurting after losing and I’m sure they’ll come out with a different plan and make sure they’ll be difficult to beat.

“We just want to rest up on what we’ve achieved today and there are little things we want to do better tomorrow.

The top six sides from the 18-day tournament in Britain qualify for the World Twenty20 tournament in India next year.RNZI

29) First week of Pacific Games a success: PGC President
By Online Editor
5:21 pm GMT+12, 12/07/2015, Papua New Guinea

By Pita Ligaiula in Port Moresby, PNG

Pacific Games Council (PGC) President Vidhya Lakhan has described the first week of the Pacific Games a success.

Lakhan made the remarks at the PGC Annual General Meeting held yesterday (Sunday 12 July) in Port Moresby.

He said the success of the games is attributed to the world class facilities provided by host nation, Papua New Guinea.

“The much awaited 2015 Pacific Games is upon us and we have already seen one week of a very successful competition in a number of sports on our games programme.  We again thank the Prime Minister and the government of Papua New Guinea for the magnificent venues and facilities they provided for our games.

“Admittedly some of the venues are of world class and better than those we’ve had for our games in the past. I would like to think of the high quality of these venues has a contributing factor in the large number of records that are being created at these games,” Lakhan told delegates.

He also thanked the Games Organising Committee (GOC) for their teamwork and tireless efforts that has enabled PNG to host the Games successfully.

“This is not to say that we have not had any challenges for the preparations of the delivery of these games. The very late delivery of some of our games venues and the athlete’s village added unnecessary pressures on the Games Organising Committee. However I thank both the GOC and the PGA heads of delegation for their patience and understanding and I congratulate you both in working as a team in resolving some of these outstanding issues amicably.

“The council thanks the International federations’ representatives and technical delegates for their assistance in the delivery of the 28 sport competitions.

“The incredible opening ceremony set the scene for what no doubt will be an outstanding two weeks of competitions in PNG. As we move in to the second week of competitions I wish all of your athletes who are still in competition a very successful games,” said Lakhan.

PNG’s Olympic Committee President, Sir John Dawanicura said their aim was to deliver the best for the games.

“Our aim was to deliver a most successful games.

“When I was asked if we would be the biggest and the best, my response was will wait after the games, and let the athletes be the judge of that,” he said.

SOURCE:PACNEWS

30) Fiji beat Vanuatu on penalties to reach Olympics for first time

By Online Editor
3:17 pm GMT+12, 12/07/2015, Papua New Guinea

Fiji beat Vanuatu 4-3 in a penalty shootout to qualify for the Olympic Games soccer tournament for the first time after a remarkable day of drama on and off the pitch on Sunday.

Jale Dreola scored the decisive spot-kick that sent Fiji to Rio 2016 after the two sides played out a 0-0 extra-time draw at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.

Vanuatu’s Chanel Obed is the unfortunate player who will be remembered for missing his side’s last penalty – a nervous effort that was scuffed well wide of the post.

Vanuatu only found out they would be playing in the final on the morning of the game following New Zealand’s exclusion from the competition for fielding an ineligible player in the teams’ semifinal match, which the Kiwis won 2-0.

Instead, Vanuatu were handed a 3-0 walkover and hours later were lining up against the Fijians in one of the most significant games in both sides’ histories. Neither had qualified for an Olympic Games before.

“We were preparing to play New Zealand in the morning and then we find out it’s Vanuatu, but it didn’t make any difference to us,” said Fiji hero Dreola.

“Since I was at school I used to be good at taking penalties, so I told the boys I was confident and I wanted to take it. Going to Rio was my aim.”

Vanuatu captain Brian Kaltack was left rueing numerous missed chances by his team, particularly in the first half.

“We dominated the first half and the second half – we had so many great chances. I don’t know what happened. It’s hard luck, but we accept it,” the defender said.

“It was a strange day because we had no idea what the management and staff had been doing. We were just sitting there after lunch waiting – then they told us it would be Vanuatu v Fiji in the final. So we just got our stuff and went straight to the field.”

If Vanuatu had lacked preparation time, it didn’t show as they utterly dominated the first half – with Bill Nicholls and Bong Kalo spurning clear chances.

Even Jean Kaltack, the striker who bagged 16 goals in Vanuatu’s 46-0 win against Micronesia in the pool stage, saw his finishing touch abandon him as he skewed a header wide.

The second half was a different story, as Fiji – ranked five places higher than Vanuatu in the Fifa rankings at 195 – suddenly looked the side more likely to score.

Nickel Chand’s fierce strike was saved acrobatically by impressive Vanuatu goalkeeper Selonie Iaruel, who then made an even better stop to deny Chris Wasasala with his legs.

The chances kept coming at both ends in a frantic extra-time, with Iosefo Verevou heading Fiji’s best chance just over and Jean Kaltack seeing a shot blocked in the final seconds.

But in the end, the sides who famously rattled in 84 goals between them in their recent pool matches against Micronesia could not muster a single strike after 120 minutes.

All three players to score penalties for Vanuatu were brothers – Jean, Brian and Tony Kaltack – but after Obed missed in sudden death, the stage was set for Dreola to slam home the historic winning penalty for Fiji.

Meanwhile for New Zealand, who were resounding favourites to qualify for Rio 2016 since the tournament began, it was a case of being left to wonder what might have been.

SOURCEp: GAMES NEWS SERVICE/PACNEWS

 31) NZ Disqualified From Olympic Football

Fielded ineligible player at Pacific Games

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 13, 2015) – New Zealand has been disqualified from the final to determine Oceania’s representative at next year’s Rio Olympics men’s soccer tournament after it fielded an ineligible player in the semi-finals, the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) says.

Fiji beat Vanuatu on penalties in the final on Sunday as behind-the-scenes ructions continued, ABC reporter Richard Ewart said, at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby.

He said the OFC is refusing to speak on the matter.

New Zealand had advanced to Sunday’s qualifying final against Fiji, which is also the gold medal match at the Pacific Games, following a 2-0 win over Vanuatu in the semi-finals.

Vanuatu, however, lodged a protest with the Oceania Football Confederation Disciplinary Committee who found New Zealand had fielded an ineligible player, and awarded the game 3-0 to Vanuatu instead.

“The committee has declared that New Zealand has forfeited the match against Vanuatu … and therefore Vanuatu proceed to the final match of the OFC Olympic qualifying tournament against Fiji,” its statement said.

The OFC did not name the player, nor said why he was ineligible, though New Zealand Football later said that defender Deklan Wynne had been deemed to be ineligible and they would challenge the decision.

“We strongly refute the ruling regarding the ineligibility of the player in question and we will be challenging this decision,” NZF chief executive Andy Martin said in a statement.

“While we firmly believe tonight’s match should have been delayed, we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that any final decision is only reached after a proper and fair process has been carried out.

“We trust that Oceania Football Confederation will change its position and conduct that proper and fair process.”

NZF said Wynne had been deemed ineligible due to him acquiring a new nationality under article 7 of the FIFA statutes.

Under the article, either the player or a parent or grandparent needs to be born in the country they wish to represent.

If they are ineligible under the first three criteria, they can represent the country if they have lived there for five years continuously since the age of 18, making the 20-year-old Wynne too young to qualify under that clause.

Such a clause, however, would restrict many age-group players, particularly those wanting to play in the under-23 Olympic tournaments from representing a country they were not born in or had any family ties to.

Gordon Watson, former OFC media manager and Pacific Games soccer commentator, said the situation was quite extraordinary.

“I was just absolutely shocked beyond words,” he said. “Who knows what is going to happen next.

“Where the discrepancy appears to have been picked up from what I understand is that he is not eligible to play for New Zealand until he has spent five years in that country after the age of 18.

“But he is 20 years old so he hasn’t fulfilled that criteria.”

The 20-year-old Wynne has played for the senior All Whites side, as well as playing in the under-20 World Cup recently held in New Zealand.

Radio Australia

w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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