Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1111 ( Monday 20 July )


1) Tributes flow for PNG anthropologist Sullivan

20 July 2015 

Tributes have been pouring in for the Papua New Guinea-based anthropologist and philanthropist, Dr Nancy Sullivan who was killed in a car crash in the United States last week.

Having lived in PNG for 23 years, Nancy Sullivan ran an anthropology consulting company in Madang and employed various students from the PNG Studies Department of Divine Word University.

Dr Sullivan forged a reputation as an ardent campaigner for protection of PNG culture and local citizens’ rights.

The PNG journalist Scott Waide says Dr Sullivan provided a formidable voice against the exploitation of Papua New Guineans by large scale industries and foreign governments.

According to the editor of the PNG Attitude website, Keith Jackson, she showed great bravery and dignity in continuing to expose exploitation in the face of repeated threats and intimidation.

The 57-year old North American native, who wrote about her campaigns in her blog Nineteen years and counting in Papua New Guinea.

Nancy Sullivan had became a popular community figure in Madang and was a mother figure to many, including homeless children.

Two of three PNG children accompanying Dr Sullivan were critically injured in the crash.RNZI

 2) One shot dead in religious violence in Papua

20 July 2015

Police have reportedly opened fire on protesters in Indonesia’s Papua province, in an incident they are blaming on church officials.

The National police chief, General Badrodin Haiti, says police shot at people on Sunday in Tolikara, as they were pelting stones at Muslims who were praying.

The Antara News agency reports one attacker was killed and 11 others wounded in the incident.

He says the violence may have been prompted by a circular letter distributed a week earlier, bearing the signatures of local church officials.

General Haiti says he was sent to investigate after the President, Joko Widodo, asked for a report about the letter.

General Haiti says he calls on all parties, including community members, religious figures and administrative officials, to help to get at the root cause of the incident.RNZI

3) Drought to follow ‘extreme’ cold snap in Papua

20 July 2015

Following ‘extreme’ winter weather in Indonesia’s Papua province, some areas are now facing drought conditions.

Tempo reports that the cold snap claimed seven lives – five children, and two infants – over the first ten days of July.

Hail and snow storms hit Lani Jaya Regency, and now the Head of Public Relations and Information of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, Purwo Nugroho, says snow covered potato plants and ruined the crop.

He says the weather also killed livestock and now residents in three different regencies are facing food shortages.

Mr Nugroho says the regencies affected are Nduga regency, Puncak regency, and Lani Jaya regency, covering 21 villages in 6 districts and 20,160 households.RNZI

4) Torres Strait Wants Recognition In First Aus Constitution
Seek removal of ‘discriminatory’ clauses

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 20, 2015) – Torres Strait Islanders say they will not give up their fight for recognition in Australia’s constitution.

The islands’ indigenous leaders last week joined aboriginal leaders in a meeting with Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott and opposition leader Bill Shorten, seeking the removal of what they say are discriminatory clauses in the constitution.

The co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Kirstie Parker, says the meeting was both encouraging and disappointing, but the fact it was held at all was an important step.

“We have a right to information. We have a right to determine amongst ourselves what we think will be the best way forward. The way forward that actually respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and as I say makes this a meaningful process or otherwise.”

Kirstie Parker says one of the good things was the show of bipartisanship from both major parties to tackle the issue.
Radio New Zealand International

5) Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 18 July 2015

by bobmakin

  • Yesterday’s Digest had to be finished in a hurry without proper attention being given to the Transparency page in Daily Post by your editor. It reveals a story of marital transgression, not normally a matter for consideration by this Digest, but here receiving attention because it appears to involve complicity on the part of a police officer and an immigration officer and the issuance of a second passport to the wife of a civil servant. This passport, it seems, has enabled the wife to leave her family and Vanuatu and live elsewhere. The story has also achieved prominence on Yumi Toktok Stret.
  • Another story missed earlier in the week was that of PM Kilman warning politicians that police can investigate them if he, the PM, receives reports they have influenced other politicians. This was in Vila Times at the start of the week which said Radio Vanuatu reported Kilman as saying that it is an offence to influence another person. The story continues with a report of Government back-benchers instigating another motion of no confidence against the present PM.
  • Today’s Daily Post headlines lower election costs for the Luganville Municipality election (for which Radio Vanuatu advises today is the last day of campaigning). The lower costs when compared to the same exercise of democracy in Port Vila, are due to one vote rather than two (as in the capital) in order to ensure more women on the council. The Luganville wards each have a seat reserved for a woman (scoring the highest vote) regardless of whether that ward’s seat has been won already by a woman.
  • Post reveals a confrontation between Phil Manhire, Bukura resident, and the men working for the Wong of the much detested building site at the Mele cemetry corner. Manhire was attempting to photograph the ugly construction, but a dozen men man-handled him and forced him against the wall. He was not seriously injured.
  • Both the former Cultural Centre Director and former legally appointed President of the Vanuatu National Cultural Council deplore political interventions continuing at the Cultural Centre where the new Board meets every day and seems to be running the centre, even though this position has been awarded by that Board to the person occupying the First Political Advisor position in the Ministry of Home Affairs. Daily Post also mentions the suspension of veteran media exponent Ambong Thompson, head of the audio-viual department of the Cultural Centre.
  • The Independent has Acting Police Commissioner Aru Maralau deploring previous governments’ involvement in police matters causing security to fail. The same writer hasActing Police Commissioner Job Esau required to re-instate officers affected by the conspiracy case because the Public Prosecutor has entered a Nolle Prosequi in the matter. It would be nice to know who is the Acting Police Commissioner. But, meantimes, the Amended Police Act passed a month ago by Parliament has yet to be gazetted, the Indy says. This is the Act which would enable a foreign police commissioner which, apparently, like many in the public talk-back radio tells us, Parliament thought a good idea.

The Independent today leads with MP Robert Bohn claiming the decision of the Reserve Bank not to enable the take over of Westpac operations by Bank South Pacific will meanvillage people denied lower rates for their loans. It seems these are promised by BSP.

6) Leta i go long PM long saed blong ol lis long State Land 

Olgeta –
Las wik mi bin sendem wan leta i go long PM blong askem Gavman blong no stopem kot kes agensem ol staf blong Dipatmen blong Land blong karembak ol lis we foma Minista Steven Kalsakau i bin givim long olgeta long 2012.  Mi mekem leta ia folem toktok blong niufala Minista Paul Telukluk se bae hemi stopem kot kes ia.  Mi kopi leta ia i go long evri MP blong Port Vila – inkludum Deputi Praem Minista Moana Carcasses mo Minista blong Faenans Willy Jimmy – mo tu long ol MP blong Luganville mo Lord Mayor blong tufala taon.  Ol media tu i risivim kopi blong leta ia mo oli bin stap askem long PM mo ol Minista blong givim eni ansa long leta blong mi, be nogat wan i givim eni ansa kasem tede.  Lord Mayor blong Port Vila nomo hemi givim ansa, mo hemi se bae hemi toktok wetem Gavman blong sapotem rikwes blong mi blong no stopem kot kes ia (Lord Mayor blong Port Vila hemi blong UMP we hemi part blong Gavman naoia).
Kopi blong leta we mi sendem i stap daon.
Ta, Ralph

10th July 2015.

Hon. Sato Kilman Livtunvanu
Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu
Office of the Prime Minister
PMB 9053
Port Vila.

Dear Hon. Prime Minister,

Issue of State Land leases granted to Department of Land staff:
Request to continue to pursue the court case to get the leases back

I am writing to you in my capacity as the MP for Port Vila to appeal to you and your Government to continue pursuing the court case to get back the state land leases issued to Department of Lands staff under former Minister Steven Kalsakau in 2012.

I am making this appeal because I have read media reports and received copies of correspondence which indicate that the new Minister of Lands intends to “strike out” the court case to allow the staff to register these state land leases in their own names.

Prime Minister, the State has already obtained Consent Orders from the court in the caseTransparency International Vanuatu (Inc.) v Minister of Lands & Ors; JRC 28 of 2012which state that the decision to issue these lease to staff at a 50% discount was unlawful and which quashes this decision, thereby nullifying all these leases.  However, the staff concerned have responded with further legal action against the State in the caseDepartment of Lands Staff v Transparency International Vanuatu (Inc.) & Ors; CAC No.9 of 2014, and as a result of that pending case the Consent Orders have been stayed.  The State is now in court defending the Consent Orders and, given the very thorough investigation report produced by the Public Service Commission on this affair, there is a very strong likelihood the State will defeat the action brought by the staff and the leases can finally be cancelled.

Prime Minister, it was under your leadership that the Public Service Commission initiated their extensive investigation into the issuing of these leases that resulted in the report that is now assisting to inform the court in its deliberations. That report shows that most of the leases were issued even contrary to the Minister’s instructions and that most staff have paid nothing or very little for them and not even the stated 50%.  I am attaching the full report for your consideration.

Prime Minister, if the State discontinues pursuing this case to get back these state land leases and the leases are registered, the following will happen:

1. some of the last remaining vacant state land areas located in the central parts of Port Vila and Luganville that are suitable for public purposes (such as new government offices, public toilets, tourism information centres, recreation areas, playgrounds, etc.) will be lost to the State.  Any plans for such public buildings in the central parts of the our two towns in future will require the State to acquire back these leases at great (and unnecessary) cost to the public purse

2. vacant land around the former State House, which is the largest vacant land in a prime position remaining in Port Vila, for which there have been expressions of interest as the site for a new State House building or a National Chapel or similar such important State buildings, will be lost to the State

3. parts of the land required for the new Hall of Justice on the former Court House site will no longer be available for this purpose

4. Millenium Park in Seaside (the former agriculture showground) will cease to exist, it will become covered in privately-held leases

5. the Seaside School will have to abandon plans to construct new classrooms on the land next to the school to allow for the school to offer years 9 to 12, thereby worsening an already acute problem with lack of places in schools in Port Vila – the school now already accommodates 376 students in years 1 to 8

6. the land between the cemetery and the Ex-FOL and APTC School that the Municipal Council was planning to use to expand the overcrowded cemetery will no longer be available for this purpose – it will be leased out

7. the green spaces maintained by the Bourgeois family for decades for the enjoyment of the public along the road between the USP roundabout and the Holiday Inn will be gone and will become covered in privately-held leases

8. the Luganville Municipal Council’s plans for beautification of our northern town including a tourism master plan that provides public access to the water via parks all along the canal seafront will no longer be possible – the area alongside the canal will become covered in privately-held leases

9. a number of government houses currently occupied by serving civil servants will be transferred to private individuals – the State will lose these valuable assets and the civil servants will need to move out and find housing on the market.

10. the Government will lose state assets (belonging to the people of Vanuatu) worth almost 1 billion vatu. The total value of leases over state land issued by Minister Kalsakau and based on an independent (non-Department of Lands) evaluation in Port Vila was approximately VT781,818,000 and for Luganville is VT181,054,000, a total of VT962,872,000. The state land leased in Port Vila and Luganville was 128,288 m2 was 67,205 m2 respectively. The public interest requirement associated with the leasing of state land should have ensured that the process to lease involved the competitive tendering for land and assets greater than VT5 million, in accordance with the Financial Services Act. These processes were not followed and resulted in a loss of substantial income to the public with most staff lesees paying premiums of less than 1 per cent of the independent value of the land.

Prime Minister, I think it is very clear to us all that every effort should be made by the State to hold onto these important parcels of land in our two towns in the interests of the public.  Should the Government wish to sell off some of these parcels in the future, it should be as part of a considered policy based on proper analysis and consultation.  For example, I understand that the National Housing Policy currently in development with the assistance of the World Bank may make some recommendations for selling off some of the stock of government housing.  Any such decision should require the State to recover the maximum market value for this valuable land again in the public interest.

Finally, it is part of our duties as elected MPs is to take decisions that are in the long term interest of the many, not those that are in the short term interest of the few. Our children and grand children will live in Port Vila and Luganville in the decades to come; surely it is our responsibility to bequeath them everything we can in the way of public facilities?  This will not be possible if we permit a wholesale selling off of what limited state land remains in the urban zones.

Thank you for your consideration of this request, and I hope your Government can continue to pursue the case to cancel these leases and get back our state land.

Yours sincerely,

Ralph Regenvanu
MP for Port Vila

– Hon. Moana Carcasses Kalosil, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Commerce, and MP for Port Vila
– Hon. Willy Jimmy Tapangararua, Minister for Finance, and MP for Port Vila
– Hon. Nipake Edward Natapei, Leader of the Opposition, and MP for Port Vila
– Hon. Tony Wright, MP for Port Vila
– Hon. Jean Yves Chabod, MP for Port Vila
– Hon. George Wells, MP for Luganville
– Hon. Kalfau Moli, MP for Luganville
– Hon. Ulrich Sumptoh, Lord Mayor, Port Vila
– Town Clerk, Luganville Municipal Council
– Solicitor General, State Law Office
– CEO, Transparency International Vanuatu

7) Fijian PM To attend Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting In Malta
By Online Editor
10:53 pm GMT+12, 19/07/2015, Fiji

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will attend this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta, from the November 27-29.

In response to a Fiji Sun query, he sent a text from Beijing saying: “Yes in Malta just before COP 21.” He is now on a State visit to China

COP 21 (The Conference of Parties) will take place on December 7-8 at the Stade de France in the Le Bourget area of Paris. It is the supreme body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It currently meets once a year to review the Convention’s progress and establish the rules of its implementation. Bainimarama will lead the charge of small island nations on climate change.

Before that, Bainimarama will be attending CHOGM for the first time in Malta. Fiji was readmitted to the Commonwealth last year after the general election.

It was suspended in 2009 following the 2006 takeover. This is the second time Fiji has returned to the Commonwealth. The first was in 1997 after Fiji was suspended following the 1987 military coups.

CHOGM is held every two years. The last one was in Sri Lanka.

The theme of the CHOGM this year will be ‘Adding Global Value’

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma in a release said: “The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting brings together leaders of an immensely diverse yet cohesive grouping of 53 countries representing one third of humanity.

“They assemble from islands and continents at varying stages of development to work on common approaches and to plan practical action motivated by the shared values and principles of the Commonwealth Charter. Goodwill and co-operation, supported by an enduring sense of affinity between the peoples of the Commonwealth, pave the way to fresh approaches to collective benefit.”

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are all to attend the summit.

The meetings would take place at a number of historical venues around Malta, while the Heads of Government retreat would be held at Fort St. Angelo, in Vittorioso.



8) Polynesian leaders sign PACT
By Online Editor
11:09 pm GMT+12, 19/07/2015, French Polynesia

The leaders of Polynesia hope a new declaration on climate change will help bring the issue away from the hands of science and into political action.

The Polynesian Leaders Group, made up of eight countries, are due to sign the Polynesia Against Climate Threats declaration in French Polynesia at marae Taputapuatea.

This is ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris at the end of the year.

The Premier of Niue and chairman of the Polynesian Leaders Group, Toke Talagi, says it’s about getting the issue into the political sphere.

“We’re putting it down in a way that it becomes a political document so that the politicians focus their attention on this. We’ve tended in the past to allow the scientists to dictate the terms. This is never about scientists any more. This is about the politicians making political decisions on climate change.”

Toke Talagi says political leaders need to work together on the issue.

He says politicians can make an impact where scientists cannot.


9) “If land is lost, so will the matai system and culture of Samoa”

By Online Editor
11:14 pm GMT+12, 19/07/2015, Samoa

Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s government has again been warned about the implications of promoting the economic use of customary land.

“Land in Samoan culture is regarded as an inheritance from God and connected intimately to the matai system,” the government is told. “The fear is that if land is lost so will the matai system, hence also the culture of Samoa.”

The warning is contained in a report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which had been tasked to investigate a complaint by a group of matai claiming that the government’s plan – with assistance from ADB – could alienate 80 per cent of customary land in Samoa.

The group is made up of four prominent village matai, Fiu Mataese Elisara, of Sili, Leuleuiali’i Tasi Malifa, of Afega, Tele’ai Dr. Sapa Saifaleupolu and Liliomaiava Ken Lameta of Vaimoso and Safotu.

“The complainants are of the opinion that promoting just the economic aspect of customary lands is contrary to Samoa’s commitment to sustainable development,” reads a copy of the report obtained by the Sunday Samoan.

“They fear that the environmental, social and cultural pillars of sustainable development will be ignored if economics takes the highest priority.

“It is their opinion, that there are more effective land-use approaches which are more sustainable.

Although these approaches may not bring economic gains it may help maintain food security at the community level for generations.”

Leasing of customary land to secure a mortgage, according to the complainants, comes close to alienation of customary land.

“Furthermore, there may be unintended consequences to governance and social welfare systems because customary land is a cornerstone of these systems,” the report reads.

The group also claimed that meaningful consultation regarding the reforms brought about by the projects has been lacking.

“The reforms must take into account the social and cultural aspects of customary land tenure.

Consultations should not only define the leasing mechanisms for customary land and its economic benefits, but also discuss the risks involved such as the loss and destruction of ecosystems.

“Another concerned raised is to do with the Customary Lands Advisory Commission (CLAC). While CLAC is an advisory body with a function of consulting and advising the public regarding the reforms, the complainants allege that CLAC has no mandate to give advice that is contrary to the predetermined set of reforms even it may find good reason to caution and/or advise Cabinet against the reforms.”

Two months ago, the Samoa Observer obtained a brief summary of the report, urging the government to ensure that the community is engaged so that the outcome “reflects community needs, views, and aspirations.”

The summary went on to say that “not many people in the business community have heard or know about the project and how it can help economic development in Samoa.”

Asked for a comment at the time, Prime Minister Tuilaepa rejected the claim that the government did not consult members of the public properly. He said the claim that the consultation process was not thorough is wrong.

“The consultation has been done and those people who keep digging it up don’t understand,” he said. “They are probably stirring things up for a personal agenda to get money. But there were consultations and a Committee was called.”

According to Tuilaepa, the Committee in question was chaired by the late Revered Elder Oka Fauolo.

“The Committee did their work here (in Upolu) and they also went to Savai’i,” he said.

“From their report, the majority of people in the country supported the lease of customary lands.”

The Prime Minister said the problem with the world today is that “there are too many professors.”

He added that the group of matai, which has lodged a complaint with the A.D.B with regards to the economic use of customary land, refuses to understand the process of leasing customary land.


10) American Samoans told to watch for dengue fever signs

20 July 2015

An American Samoa doctor has encouraged residents to watch for early signs of dengue fever, after four people died.

An epidemiologist from the Department of Health, Scott Anesi, says early detection of dengue fever can help prevent a person from developing the severe stages of the disease.

Following two earlier cases, the Department of Health has confirmed a male in his 40s and a woman in her early 20s have also died.

The outbreak began six weeks ago.

Dr Anesi says there needs to be engagement from the community to help stop the spread of dengue.RNZI

11) Samoa union calls for urgency in ending child labour

20 July 2015

Samoa’s First Union says it has received notification of what appear to be several child labour cases in Apia in its first three weeks of operation.

The union’s coordinator, Jerome Mika, says the cases involve children working as street vendors in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mr Mika says child labour is unacceptable, and is reminding parents and employers that it’s illegal under both Samoan and international law.

He says the government has made progress in domestic legislation such as disallowing children under 15 years to work during school hours.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour has been urged to ensure that child labour is monitored, and offenders prosecuted.

Mr Mika says the government must also give urgency to its new bill which will crack down on child labour.RNZI

12) Cooks police concerned at crime levels

20 July 2015

Cook Islands Police are calling for the community to be more vigilant after a recent wave of burglaries.

Police Inspector John Strickland says there were four burglaries reported last weekend, with the victims mostly losing cash and electronic equipment.

He says they hope if the public have any information they will come forward.

Mr Strickland is advising people to keep homes and properties locked, and he says commercial buildings could consider installing more lighting or even CCTV equipment.

And he says during this week’s Te Maeva Nui celebrations there will be a greater police presence around Rarotonga, which is hosting hundreds of visitors from the outer islands.

Mr Strickland says police also want to see greater observance by motorists of speed limits on the island.RNZI


13) Nauru allows in lawyer to represent Kun

20 July 2015

The Nauru opposition MP Roland Kun has high hopes he’ll be able to reunite with his family in New Zealand after a lawyer arrived at the weekend to help him fight his case.

Mr Kun has been forced to stay on Nauru after the government cancelled his passport.

He is waiting for his lawyer Georgie Coleman to be admitted to the Nauru bar under urgency so his case against the Nauru government can proceed.

Ms Coleman was granted a visa by the Nauruan government and is representing Mr Kun for free.

They are hoping the case will go ahead tomorrow if certain formalities are waived.

Mr Kun was pulled off a plane a month ago as he tried to leave Nauru and has since remained apart from his young family.

He’s one of five opposition MPs in Nauru who have either had their passports cancelled or are facing criminal charges in the wake of protests against the government last month.

Two of the MPs were bailed last week after a month in custody.

There has been mounting international pressure on the Nauru government over its treatment of the MPs.RNZI

14) Periled by climate change, Marshall Islands makes carbon pledge

By Online Editor
11:10 pm GMT+12, 19/07/2015, France

The Marshall Islands, a small island country at high risk of climate change-induced sea level rise, vowed Sunday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a third within a decade.

In a pledge to be officially filed with the UN next week, the sparsely populated cluster of Pacific atolls becomes the first small island nation to submit a carbon-cutting pledge ahead of a year-end conference in Paris tasked with producing a world climate pact.

It is also among the first developing country to commit to lowering – rather than merely slowing – the growth of CO2 output.

“We will reduce emissions by 32 per cent below 2010 levels by 2025,” Foreign Minister Tony de Brum told AFP.

“And we will aim for a 45-per cent reduction by 2030. This is in line with our longer-term vision to move towards zero-net emissions by 2050.”

In the overall effort to curb global warming, these are symbolic numbers.

The Marshalls, with only 68,000 inhabitants and virtually no industry, accounts for an infinitesimal percentage of the planet’s carbon pollution.

At the same time, climate change is a life-and-death issue for dozens of small island nations and underdeveloped countries, especially in Africa.

“As a people and a nation, our very survival is absolutely threatened by the effects of climate change,” de Brum said ahead of a 45-nation climate meeting of foreign and environment ministers starting in Paris on Monday.

“We want to make sure that the voice of the most vulnerable is heard in the process and taken seriously.”

The low-lying Marshall Islands has been devastated in recent years by storm surges amplified by sea level rise as well as severe drought – impacts scientists say are consistent with climate change.

As a member of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), The Marshalls want the global temperature rise to be capped at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-Industrial Revolution levels, rather than the 2.0 C threshold embraced by the 195-nation UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Paris agreement will be supported by a roster of voluntary national CO2-reduction pledges, but commitments submitted so far suggest that even the less ambitious goal is in doubt.

“With most of the big emitters’ targets now on the table, everyone knows we are falling well short,” de Brum said.

“Our message is simple: if one of the world’s smallest, poorest and most geographically isolated countries can do it, so can you.”

China, the United States, the European Union and Japan – which together account for more than half of global CO2 emissions – have already published their targets.

Projected sea-level rise and enhanced storm surges, even under optimistic greenhouse gas emission scenarios, may force the inhabitants of some island nations to relocate before the end of the century.


15) CNMI fishing community venture into live fire zone

20 July 2015

A fishing community in the Northern Marianas has set itself up inside an area eyed by the US military for its live fire training exercises.

The Saipan Tribune reports 20 native residents of Pagan island are planning to bottom fish and troll for tuna, mahi-mahi and marlin in the same region as anti-submarine exercises.

The US Navy is planning to detonate underwater mines as part of the exercises.

The Northern Island mayor, Jerome Aldan, says he wants to develop a viable fishing community which would see fish being caught, processed and exported from around Pagan using both modern and traditional methods.

Last week, an independent consultant, Nicholas Yost, said the environmental impact statement for the United States military training in the Northern Marianas is “woefully inadequate”.

But the executive director of the US Marine Corps for the Pacific, Craig Wheldon, says plans have already been modified to restrict live-fire on Pagan to a certain area.

He says the US wants to be a good steward of the environment and is listening to concerns.RNZI


16) Anti-Islam rally plan

Monday, July 20, 2015

HOBART – An anti-Islam rally planned for Hobart is due to include a stop-off at the city’s ABC headquarters where protesters will denounce the public broadcaster.

The event is being co-organised by Reclaim Australia and United Patriots Front, with a spokesman for the latter, named only as Danny, saying the ABC detour has been inspired by the decision of Q&A producers to allow convicted criminal Zaky Mallah into the live studio audience to ask a question of a government minister.

“We’re going to let them know that we think the ABC is unbalanced, biased and at times dangerous, particularly in relation to Q&A,” he told News Corp.

“They put a known terrorist on their show and gave him air time … so we need to go by and give them a serve.”

The rally is due to start at 10.30am (AEST) on Sunday at Hobart’s Franklin Square, moving through the Elizabeth Street Mall, past the ABC, and ending at the cenotaph.


17) Solomon Islands gavman i spendim moni ino stap long bajet

Postim 20 July 2015, 15:56 AEST
Sam Seke

Gavman blong Solomon Islands i wok long spendim planti milion dolla long moni blong gavman we ino stap long bajet.

Odio: Philip Manakako, Research na Communications officer blong Transparency Solomon Islands i toktok
Transparency Solomon Islands i tokaut strong long pasin coalition gavman blong Praim Minista Manasseh Sogavare ibin spendim planti million dollar lonmg ol samting ino stap insait long bajet.

Ol dispela moni i inkludim 900,000 dollar long hotel expens blong tripela gavman minista we ibin stap sampela mun insait long wanpela luxury hotel long Honiara.

Gavman ibin spendim 3.7 million dollar tu long “gavman sapot” long dinau blong ol grup insait long coalition gavman taim ol i wok long traim long kirapim gavman.

Narapela em long wanem ol $2.million long wanem ol i kolimon Forbes Bill gavman ino bajet longen.

TSI i tok ol dispela kain kost we i kam aut long moni blong ol pipol – ino soim gutpela pasim blong gavman ol i toktok olgeta taim longen.ABC

18) Loa trening blong ol meri long PNG

Postim 16 July 2015, 8:56 AEST
Caroline Tiriman
Ol meri lawyer blong Papua New Guinea inap mekim ol kaen wok olsem ol man lawyer bihaenim halvim ikam long ol meri lawyer blong Australia.

Director blong Legal Training Institute, Pauline Mogish i mekim despla toktok bihaenim ol treining em sampla meri lawyers blong Victoria ibin givim igo long 40pla ten ol nupla law graduates long Port Moresby long wik igo pinis.

As tingting blong despla treining em blong helpim ol despla nupla meri lawyers long save gut long ol rot blong strongim  wok blong ol taem oli stat wok.

Despla treining istap aninit long ol wokbung emi stap namel long Legal Training Institute na Victorian Bar em gavman blong Australia i givim moni long sapotim.

Mrs Pauline Mogish itokim mi  tu olsem despla kaen wokbung bai helpim ol meri lawyers long helpim ol pipal taem oli bungim heve long saed blong domestik vailans.ABC


 19b ) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 20 juillet 2015

Posté à 20 July 2015, 16:34 AEST

Élodie Largenton

Opération risquée pour sauver des bébés triplés en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée. 

La semaine dernière, une femme a donné naissance, sans assistance médicale, à des triplés dans un village reculé de la province de Morobe. Elle avait essayé de se rendre dans un centre médical, mais des combats entre tribus rivales l’en ont empêchée. Après six jours d’attente, elle a finalement été secourue par un hélicoptère, qui a réussi à vaincre le mauvais temps et le terrain montagneux et à se poser à sa troisième tentative. La mère et ses triplés sont toujours à l’hôpital, mais ils se portent bien, selon le pilote d’hélicoptère.
Un conflit religieux a entraîné la mort d’une personne en Papouasie. Selon la police indonésienne, des hommes ont lancé des pierres sur des musulmans en train de prier, dimanche dernier, dans la localité de Tolikara. La police a alors ouvert le feu, faisant un mort et onze blessés. Les autorités soupçonnent des dignitaires religieux d’avoir attisé ces violences. Le président indonésien, Joko Widodo, a demandé aux autorités locales de mener l’enquête.
Les Îles Marshall se fixent un nouvel objectif en matière de réduction des émissions de carbone : -32% en 2025 par rapport à 2010. La République marshallaise ambitionne même d’atteindre zéro émission de gaz à effet de serre d’ici 2050. C’est le premier pays en voie de développement à se fixer un tel objectif.

19b ) Après les Jeux du Pacifique, la PNG veut accueillir les Jeux du Commonwealth

Mis à jour 20 July 2015, 16:47 AEST

Élodie Largenton

La Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée tire un bilan très positif de ses Jeux du Pacifique.

Jason Wuri)
Sur le plan sportif, le pays organisateur arrive en première position, devant la Nouvelle-Calédonie et la Polynésie française. Côté organisation, la fréquentation des stades a été bonne, de nombreuses épreuves se sont même déroulées à guichets fermés.
Mission accomplie, donc, pour la Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, qui regarde désormais plus loin, comme l’a annoncé le gouverneur général, Michael Ogio, à la foule venue assister à la cérémonie de clôture, samedi soir :
« Est-ce que la Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée peut accueillir les Jeux du Commonwealth ?
Oui, ensemble, nous le pouvons !
La Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée doit se porter candidate à l’organisation des Jeux du Commonwealth 2026 ici, à Port-Moresby, et dans d’autres endroits du pays. »
Cette compétition rassemble, tous les quatre ans, les meilleurs sportifs des pays membres du Commonwealth.
 Le gouverneur général papou a aussi envoyé un message de solidarité au comité organisateur tongien des prochains Jeux du Pacifique, en 2019. La Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée est prête à aider le royaume des Tonga à préparer l’événement.
Ces derniers jours, plusieurs responsables tongiens, dont le Premier ministre, Akilisi Pohiva, ont semé le doute, déclarant que le royaume était dans une situation financière trop délicate pour accueillir ces Jeux dans de bonnes conditions. Mais samedi soir, la présidente du comité organisateur tongien, Robyn Tu’ivakano, a cherché à balayer ces doutes :
« Vous laissez un héritage que nous devons tous chérir. Le roi Tupou VI et le gouvernement du royaume des Tonga s’engagent et sont honorés d’accueillir les 16e Jeux du Pacifique dans quatre ans. Bienvenue dans les Îles amicales. Notre peuple, nos Jeux, que Dieu nous bénisse tous ! »

20) Pacific Ministers Call for EU’s Commitment to the EPA Negotiation
By Online Editor
01:09 am GMT+12, 17/07/2015, Fiji

The PACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers met in Suva, Fiji on 17 July 2015. Ministers expressed concerns at the EU’s proposal to defer the EPA negotiations and reaffirmed their intent to continue engagement in the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations as a region with solidarity.

The Pacific region values its relationship with the EU and its continuation beyond the expiry of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in 2020.

The Ministers also emphasized that the comprehensive EPA must be a development-oriented agreement which delivers benefits to all Members including flexible rules of origin to allow them to export fish steaks and fillets to the EU and additional financial resources to enable them to develop the productive capacity to address their trade and development challenges.

The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment and efforts to maintain sound fisheries management and conservation of the fisheries resources in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and to combating Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing, noting that these efforts are ongoing and require cooperation and assistance of the Distant Water Fishing Nations, including the EU.

The Ministers highlighted that the interim EPA in its current form is not the preferable option for most parties as it has no development benefits especially for smaller island states that may not be able to set up canneries.

The Ministers are concerned that interim EPA also contains provisions that could constrain development policy space for the region.

Ministers are concerned that the EPA negotiations have been going on for more than 10 years and called for a commitment by EU for a political dialogue to find a mutually satisfactory conclusion of a comprehensive EPA in 2015.


21) Third Pacific Meteorological Council opens in Tonga
By Online Editor
11:03 pm GMT+12, 19/07/2015, Tonga

The Third Pacific Meteorological Council opened in the Kingdom of Tonga today bringing together over 100 Pacific Met Directors, partners and stakeholders to strengthen the path ahead for Pacific Meteorology under the theme – “Sustainable Weather and Climate Services for a Resilient Pacific.”

This event reaches a historic milestone in that it will be followed by the very first Pacific Ministers Meeting on Meteorology.

“Our capacity to manage natural hazard impacts and bounce back and improve our development pathways through timely and accurate weather, climate and water services makes it necessary to improve the capacities of National Meteorology and Hydrological Services in the Pacific region,” said the Siaosi Sovaleni, the Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga as he opened the four day event.

“There is an urgent need to improve infrastructure and human resources to enable National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to make the most of advances in science and technology to improve weather, climate water and related environmental services.”

The aim of the PMC is to help coordinate facilitation of meterological services in support of development agendas, contributing to the strengthening of community resilience.  It will also discuss ways to continue to implement the Pacific Island Meteorological Strategy.

This is the third meeting of Pacific Met Directors (PMC-3) and partners under the auspices of the PMC, prior to this the biannual gathering was held under the Regional Meteorological Services Directors Meeting which first began in Vanuatu in 1993.  The last event hosted by Tonga was the 9th RMSD in Neiafu, Vavau in 2003.

The last PMC was held in Fiji in 2013.

“I would like to say that a lot of progress, achievements and contributions have been made collectively as a region and by each and every one of your National Meteorological Services to safeguard the well being of our people in the Pacific,” said Dr Netatua Pelesikoti the Director of the Climate Change Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), currently home to the Pacific MetDesk Partnership.

“I am sure the weather events continue to stretch the operations of our National Meteorological Services and will continue to reshape them to ensure they are effective, relevant and resilient which leads us to the theme of this meeting; Sustainable Weather and Climate Services for a Resilient Pacific”

The Pacific Meteorological Council will take place from 20 – 23 July, followed by the very first Meeting of Pacific Ministers of Meteorology on 24 July.  It is there that the way forward will be paved, to continue strengthening the Meteorological Services in the Pacific islands.

“Small Islands Developing States and their people have often demonstrated leadership in calling for determined and urgent action to address climate change and build resilience and adaptation to weather and climate extremes,” said Dr Elena Maneankova, the Assistant Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“For the first time the council will be followed by the first Ministerial meeting, an extraordinary opportunity to enhance the contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to the sustainable development of Pacific countries.”

Globally 90 per cent of natural disasters are caused by weather and climate related hazards.  In the Pacific, the majority of hazards are weather and climate related.  Cyclones accounted for 76 per cent of reported disasters from 1950 to 2004 followed by earthquakes, droughts and floods.

The Finland-Pacific Project which spans across the Pacific region aims at reducing the vulnerability of Pacific communities to the impacts of climate change through strengthening the capabilities of Pacific Meteorological Services.

“The experience of the vast ranging global collaboration of Finnish Met Service is that the capacity building activities between two sister Met Services are best based on peer learning through concrete development actions,” said Dr. Matti Nummelin, Senior Environmental Adviser for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

“Actions like in this region, implemented by restoring weather and climate observations, creating new weather, climate and early warning services, establishing Quality Management auditing teams as well as by creating and increasing commercial revenue for national met-services.”

The Third Pacific Meteorological Council and the Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology is a culmination of partnerships between the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, the Government of Finland through its partnership with SPREP under the FINPAC Project, the World Meteorological Organization, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The Pacific Meteorological Council Meeting and the Pacific Ministers Meteorology Meeting is held at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre in Nuku’alofa, Tonga..



22) Diabetes scare in Fiji

Atasa Moceituba
Monday, July 20, 2015

FIJI is ranked 11th on the World Diabetes ranking.

This was revealed by economist Ian Anderson during the 2015 Pacific Update Conference that was held at the University of the South Pacific in Suva on Thursday.

Mr Anderson said Pacific Islands recorded the highest number of diabetes and non communicable diseases (NCDs) in the world.

He said about 38 million people died because of diabetes and NCDs every year.

Of the 38m deaths recorded, he said 80 per cent of the people were from developing countries whereas as the other 20 per cent were from Western Pacific region.

“Government spent $38,686 per patient every year and only 1.31 per cent of the population can be treated with insulin before the country’s total drug budget allocation is used,” Mr Anderson said.

He said the multi-sectoral approach was required to address the issue and Pacific Islanders should refrain from eating unhealthy foods and fizzy drinks.

Diabetes Fiji president Dr Wahid Khan, said a lot needed to be done in order to reverse the country’s high rate of diabetes estimated to be about one in three adults.

Dr Khan said those who had been diagnosed with diabetes should register as there is no national register.

He said more needed to be done to reverse the rate.

“I think reversal will be done in the next generation,” Dr Khan said.Fijitimes

23) PNG’s Only Medical Helicopter Service To Expand
Aims to have all of PNG within 2 hours of service

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 20, 2015) – Papua New Guinea’s only medical helicopter service is expanding, and its chief executive says it’s having dramatic results in its coverage area.

Manolos Aviation started a service in Morobe province in 2009 with only a helicopter, a pilot and a stretcher.

But its chief executive, Jurgen Ruh, says the service now has a nurse and medical equipment on every flight, which has drastically improved survival rates, and the service has just expanded into Milne Bay and Oro provinces.

Mr Ruh says since the expansion into Milne Bay in January, people in rural areas now have a significantly improved chance of survival should they become sick or injured.

“The health workers would often go from the health centre into villages, would treat a patient, then would perhaps put the patient on a speed boat, go across rough waters and try and arrive in Alotau a day, maybe two days, later in order to see that the patient expired on the way. And now from the time that health worker calls for help, it’s perhaps an hour to Alotau hospital.”

Jurgen Ruh says he aims to eventually have all of PNG within two hours of a helicopter service.

Radio New Zealand International


24) 50 ‘ghost’ teachers cut from Solomons payroll

20 July 2015

The names of about 50 teachers in Solomon Islands have been removed from Ministry of Education files after a nationwide assessment found their jobs could not be verified.

Director of Teaching Services, Mattias Kutai, says some teachers had left their postings as far back as three years ago, but the ministry was still paying their salaries.

Mr Kutai says a lack of resources made it difficult to monitor teacher postings, especially in remote areas.

“We could have one or two teachers teaching in the provinces in some of the remote islands and we would assume that they have been teaching. But in some instances they have already transferred and work somewhere (else). So the education authorities might not have reported that to us.”

Mattias Kutai says the ministry is currently working on a reform strategy to improve the monitoring of teachers.RNZI


25) Anti-Independence Group Reforms In New Caledonia Congress
Anti-independence groups still hold congressional majority

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 18, 2015) – Anti independence political groups have reformed in the New Caledonian Congress after the break up of the Union for Caledonia within France or UCF.

Former members of the UCF Sonia Backes and Isabelle Lafleur have joined the Republicans formed out of the ex Rassemblement-UMP grouping.

On Wednesday another UCF member Nicole Robineau announced she was joining the centre right Caledonia Together party.

Three remaining UCF members now sit as independents.

The Republicans formed following calls for an end to the disputes between the various anti-independence factions which had fragmented the loyalist camp and left the territory without a president for nearly three months.

New Caledonia’s anti-independence parties hold the majority in Congress winning 59 percent of the seats in last year’s election.

In March a former French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a renewed focus on collegiality in the running of the territory, urging in particular the anti-independence camp seek a consensus.

The Congress has the task of organising a referendum on self-determination by 2018 or France will step in to arrange such a vote in line with the 1998 Noumea Accord.

Radio New Zealand International

26) Solomons government to channel disaster funds through MPs

20 July 2015

The Solomon Islands opposition has called on the government to reconsider its decision to channel disaster relief funds directly through members of parliament.

About 400 thousand US dollars has been approved by Cabinet, which will be paid to MPs for disaster relief in the 33 constituencies affected by recent heavy rains.

The opposition leader, Jeremiah Manele, says the Cabinet decision is an affront to the National Disaster Management Office which he says has also put in a request for 400 thousand dollars for ongoing relief work.

“Now it turns out cabinet has made a decision and approved some funds to go through the members of parliament. So the opposition believes that this money should be channeled through the NDMO who has the capacity to administer relief efforts and relief supplies for that matter.”

Jeremiah Manele says if the funds are disbursed, various MPs from both the government and the opposition will each get around 12,000 US dollars to use in their constituencies.

The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet says the money is to be used to buy rice for cyclone affected people as a first line of support.

In a statement it also says the National Disaster Management Office will deliver its own relief assistance once assessments of the affected constituencies have been completed.RNZI


27) Vanuatu minister stops investigation into his department

20 July 2015

Vanuatu’s former lands minister, Ralph Regenvanu, says his successor Paul Telukluk is going against the public interest in his decision to withdraw a case against senior staff at the Department of Lands.

The case was ordered by Mr Regenvanu after it emerged that a previous minister, Steven Kalsakau, deliberately undervalued state land properties for the benefit of his staff.

Mr Telukluk’s office says he withdrew the case over concerns that he would not be able to work with the staff if he had a case against them.

Mr Regenvanu says the withdrawal is politically motivated due to Mr Teluluk’s close links to Mr Kalsakau, and that it’s questionable whether the case can be stopped.

“The state has already consented to the fact that the issuing of the leases was unlawful, and in fact the claimant is Transparency International. So, that’s one question. But simply his stated intention to withdraw the case or stop the case, it leaves a lot to be questioned because all of the land involved is the last remaining prime vacant land in Port Vila and Luganville which could be used for public purpose.”RNZI

28) Landowners demands being considered in PNG’s Rabaul

20 July 2015

Landowners in the Papua New Guinea town of Rabaul have submitted a petition demanding money they say is owed to them by PNG Ports and the East New Britain Development Corporation.

The Towalingan Tobebe Ratagul landowners have threatened to shut down Rabaul town this week if their demands are not met.

The acting provincial administrator for East New Britain, Wilson Matava, says the landowners are asking for a substantial amount of money but he is yet to find any evidence to support their claims.

“My date is hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday next week I should meet with the executive of this land group. I have briefly talked to some of them already but I will, I want to talk to all of them. Getting all the information first from these two companies and then I will be talking to them.”

Wilson Matava has asked the landowners to give him ten days to get to the bottom of the matter.RNZI

29) Fiji: Squatter Settlements Among Top Concern During Talks
National Development Plan consultations

By Atasa Moceituba

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, July 19, 2015) – The formalising of informal settlements in peri-urban areas and sanitation improvement topped the list of grievances raised by residents of Newtown in Nasinu during the National Development Plan consultations on Friday.

According to the residents, the consultation was an important one since they were given the chance to raise their issues and opinions on certain matters they wanted to highlight.

Resident, Loraine Tevi said the Government should look into formalising informal settlements.

She said informal settlements contributed to the high rate of unemployment in the country.

“One of the main issues faced in these areas is that when we have informal settlements we are contributing to the high rate of unemployment which increases the crime rate,” she said.

Ms Tevi also requested the Ministry of Health to include more programs to assist in the prevention of non-communicable diseases for the next five to 20 years.

Another resident, Semi Drau said the Government should focus more on creating more employment opportunities for youths in Fiji.

“There are a lot of unemployed youths in this area and we are suggesting for Government to provide more employment opportunities,” Mr Drau said.

Highlights of the day were the safety and security of the community in relation to recent rape cases, teenage pregnancy and the need to improve road conditions in the area.

Strategic Planning officer Sandeep Kumar said he was overwhelmed with the response from the community.

Fiji Times Online.


30) $18.49m profit

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, July 18, 2015

AFTER five consecutive years of financial losses, Telecom Fiji Ltd has turned its performance around to record a profit of $18.49million for the financial year ending March 31, 2015.

TFL chief executive officer Mothilal De Silva said the turnaround was achieved through persistent initiatives addressing key business performance areas.

He said the TFL board also declared a dividend of $5m as a result of the positive financial results — the payment was made to its 100 per cent shareholder, Amalgamated Telecom Holdings in Suva yesterday.

“Broadly, our strategies were focused on four different areas. First and foremost was cost rescaling or minimisation. This is one of our key strategies. On many fronts, we had reduced our costs in human resource, power, fleet management, annual maintenance and licence costs that had come through suppliers. We had tough negotiations with our suppliers,” he said.

“Another area was space; space is very expensive in the Suva region so we reduced unutilised space with the reduction in human resource.

“The second strategy is revenue maximisation in a segmented market. We have different market segments and designed packages to suit each segment. We have introduced services and products through the year to cater to the demands of those sectors.”

Mr De Silva said the third strategy was effective utilisation or monetisation of existing resources and investment rationalisation, while the fourth strategy focused on organisational restructuring to increase efficiency by consolidating and streamlining business processes.

ATH general manager Ivan Fong said one of the key factors they noticed with TFL’s strategy was that improvements were across the board.

“At the top line, you see revenues and gross margins improving, certainly on profit and loss; the operational efficiencies have kicked in and you can see from the balance sheet that they are starting to get capital efficiencies as well,” Mr Fong said.

He added it was also pleasing to note the changes at TFL looked sustainable with no cutting corners in terms of services to customers.Fijitimes

31) Fiji’s PM Expresses Concern At China Trade Imbalance

Proposed feasibility study on free trade agreement

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 18, 2015) – Fiji’s prime minister has expressed his concern at the country’s trade imbalance with China at a meeting with the Chinese premier.

Frank Bainimarama told Li Keqiang that Fiji currently imports $5.60 worth of Chinese products for every $1.00 of Fijian exports to China.

FBC reports that Mr Bainimarama asked Mr Li to lift tarrifs for importing Fijian goods into China.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two countries regarding a joint feasibility study on a free trade agreement.

Two other agreements were also signed, one to expand economic and technical cooperation, and another to expand sports cooperation.

However, Mr Bainimarama turned down a proposal which would have allowed Chinese airlines to originate flights from anywhere in China to Nadi, saying it would affect Fiji Airways’ business.

Radio New Zealand International


32) Water supply to reach 20,000 villagers

The National, Monday July 20th, 2015

CERTAIN areas in Madang district are beginning to enjoy Government services thanks to MP Nixon Duban.
For example, more than 20,000 people living along Siar, Nagada and Riwo will soon have access to a proper water supply.
Water PNG supply connections only reached the old RD Tuna canned fish factory, which could not be accessed by nearby Siar, Nagada, Riwo villages and Good Shepherd Lutheran High School.
Duban paid K75,000 to Water PNG last Thursday for water experts to conduct feasibility studies.
“This commitment we are making is for feasibility studies to have water connected to Siar, Nagada Good shepherd Lutheran high school and after that Water PNG will give a proposal for the actual project to connect water into those areas,” he said.
Duban gave K50,000 to the Meri Wantok women group going to Queensland, Australia for a cultural exchange programme in September.

33) District installs solar lights

The National, Monday July 20th, 2015

THE Kabwum District Development Authority is installing solar lights at schools and health centres to reduce the cost of electricity.
The first to receive the solar equipment are the primary schools at Kumbu, Uruwe, Ozusage and Sombore.
The health centres are Derim, Indagen and Kabwum.
District Works manager James Zoriong said the equipment was bought for K200,000 from Australia. A hydro-power supply from Gatop feeds the Etep health centre.
A feasibility study is being carried out to build another at Kabwum station.
Another hydro-power station is under construction at Dawot and Kombongdong primary school.
The solar power supply will enable teachers to use the photocopier, printer, computers and low voltage lights. It will help health centres to store vaccines in the refrigerator, suction pumps and lights in wards, medication rooms and delivery rooms.
Zoriong said the main components of the solar power were 200 watt solar panels, 2.5kw inverters, regulators and deep cycle batteries.
He said the next supply of solar-power equipment would be used in government agencies.


34) Corruption undermines democracy, says Luveni

Monday, July 20, 2015

Update: 5:04PM CORRUPTION is undeniably one of the most serious impediments to human development, says the Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni.

“It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes quality of life, and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish,” she said.

“Corruption hinders efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by obstructing unfettered public access to social services and diverting resources away from investments in public infrastructure, public institutions and social services.”

Dr Luveni made the comments at the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) Parliamentary Oversight Workshop at the Novotel Hotel in Nadi today.Fijitimes

35) Fighting corruption

Mavuku Tokona
Monday, July 20, 2015

PACIFIC Parliamentarians will meet in Nadi this week to discuss ways to step up anti-corruption initiatives and engage more strongly with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption Oceania chair John Hyde said: “Our region has been buoyed by the Tongan Parliament’s unanimous vote to establish the Pacific’s first Standing Committee on Anti-Corruption so the time is right for Pacific MPs to examine how they can fast-track more initiatives.”

Tonga is one of the five remaining Pacific nations yet to sign on to the UNCAC, and the GOPAC along with the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project are working with parliamentarians from across the Pacific in a two-day workshop on UNCAC and parliamentary oversight in Nadi.

“GOPAC strongly believes in the primacy of parliamentarians affecting change and we’re delighted that MPs from the five Pacific countries yet to sign onto UNCAC are willingly attending our workshop which will be opened by the Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau with a keynote speech by Fiji’s Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni,” said Mr Hyde.

Mr Hyde praised the commitment of Australia for supporting the UN-PRAC project, a four-year $US4.3 million ($F9m) project in the 15 Pacific nations.

GOPAC Tonga chair Lord Fusitu’a, who is also participating in the workshop said MPs in the Pacific wanted to enhance anti-corruption policies, laws and institutions.Fijitimes

36) Fiji targeted as drug trafficking hub

20 July 2015

Fiji’s police say the country is being used as a key distribution point for illicit drugs, but Fiji is not a market for drugs itself.

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reports the Police Chief of Intelligence and Investigation Henry Brown saying despite recent drug busts, involving 50 kilograms of cocaine in Lautoka and 21 kilograms of methamphetamine in Nadi, the main focus for criminals is transshipment.

He says the market is Australia and New Zealand, and Fiji is being used as a port for repackaging and sending on.

Henry Brown says local authorities have proved their abilities with the recent drug busts but says they need to stay vigilant to combat transnational crimes.RNZI


37) Solomons food struggle expected to last months

20 July 2015

The National Disaster Management Office in Solomon Islands says it will be a struggle for many to find food over the next few months, after heavy rain ruined crops.

Tropical Cyclone Raquel and a subsequent tropical disturbance swept through the country at the start of the month, with about 10 thousand people affected across seven of the nine provinces.

The director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates, says interim reports strongly indicate that the food and agriculture sector is most affected, and food relief is a must.

He says 85 to 90 percent of people are subsistence farmers that only grow enough to feed their families.

“So when we have events like this, potato garden, or kasava garden is washed away or inundated by water, it means that these people will be having difficulties finding food for the next three months, because it takes up to three months for the new plants to start to bear fruit, mature and people can eat them.”

Loti Yates says the NDMO is asking the government to fund the distribution of rice to those in need.RNZI


38) PNG landowners threaten to shut down LNG project

20 July 2015

A major liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea is set to be disrupted this week after angry landowners say they will enforce a threat if demands are not met.

The 19 billion US dollar project, whose gas fields are in Hela province, is being developed by ExxonMobil PNG Ltd, which received a 21-point list of demands two weeks ago.

The company says it has fulfilled its obligations and the landowners need to pursue their claims with the government.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the prime minister, Peter O’Neill, has promised all landowners’ royalties will be honoured and paid.

However, on Friday, the landowners held a press conference and told media they will shut the operations down this Wednesday if the demands are not met.

Among the list of demands, they are calling on the government to deliver the 10.6 million US dollars in outstanding business development grants for the province.RNZI

38) Agriculture remains PNG’s backbone

The National, Monday July 20th, 2015

THE agricultural sector remains the backbone of PNG’s economy, Professor Alan Quartemain of the University of Goroka said.
“Regardless of the country’s economic growth and boom in oil and gas industry, the agricultural sector continues to sustain bulk of the country’s population,” he said.
“Most of the people depended on agriculture to sustain their daily lives and not the much-talked about LNG project and other multi-million kina investments.
“There is no doubt at all that our existing smallholder farmers can rise to the occasion, feed the nation and continue to be the backbone of the economy if given the necessary support and empowerment.
“Government should be mindful and make meaningful investments of the revenue earned from the LNG project into developing the agricultural sector, especially the smallholder farmers.
“Smallholder farmers continue to produce the bulk of the food consumed by the ever-increasing population. This cannot change inspite of promotion of the dubious benefits of large scale, mechanised, capital intensive agriculture.
“But these smallholders are crying for help and so it became critical that Government must invest there.”


39) PNG PM praise athletes, organisers efforts
By Online Editor
11:22 pm GMT+12, 19/07/2015, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has praised organisers and teams for the most outstanding Pacific Games in history, and said while the road to Games was not easy it was a very good decision.

“Last night we thanked the best athletes of our region for their outstanding performances over two weeks of competition,” PM O’Neill said in a statement .

“We saw the best of our athletes and Papua New Guinea won our home games.

“People around the nation are filled with pride and a heightened sense of national unity.

“In the 40th anniversary of our country as a state, the outcome of the Games is a wonderful achievement.

“I congratulate our super-fish, Ryan Pini as the best male athlete of the Games.

“Eighty-eight gold medals and 217 medals overall is outstanding.

“Forever our country will remember these past two weeks for their heroics, for the outpouring of national passion and for the strengthening of bonds with 23 other countries in our region.

“Thank you, Papua New Guinea, for getting behind our Games.”

Upon reflection, the Prime Minister said proceeding with the hosting of the Games was one of the toughest decisions the new Government had to make when it came to office in 2012. “When we formed Government we were faced with an enormous challenge when it came to the Pacific Games,” the Prime Minister said.

“Papua New Guinea had earlier agreed to host the Pacific Games, but there had been no planning to get us to July 2015. “There were no usable facilities and no budget identified to build or refurbish existing facilities.

“The months earlier had been lost to political challenges, but with a clear mandate at the election we now had the chance to properly govern and to make plans for our country.

“I was given the options by our officials and there was a simple decision that had to be made.

“We had to either proceed and spend millions of Kina on developments in a very short period of time, or to quit and walk away.”..

Meanwhile, PNG Opposition Leader Don Polye has said Papua New Guinea’s medal tally in the Pacific Games is a show of athletes’ true sportsmanship and does not reflect the Government’s “cash for medal” incentive.

He credited the PNG athletes for their display of true sportsmanship and praised their efforts in the Pacific Games.

Polye said PNG’s lead in the overall medal tally demonstrates the true spirit of sportsmanship by our athletes and not because of the financial incentive offered by the government.

PNG claimed an overall total of 87 gold medals, 69 silver and 60 bronze, comfortably ahead of New Caledonia and Tahiti on 55 and 38 gold respectively.

He said the O’Neill Government must not mislead the country that our athletes have done well because of promises of financial incentives and construction of modern sporting infrastructures in the city.

“The Government must not see the medal tally and claim that this is reflective of its incentives,” Polye said.

He said the Government in fact failed to develop sports and again jumped on the bandwagon poisoning the minds of the athletes with its concept of “cash for medals”

Polye challenged the Government to do real development of sports through a bottom-up development program where school children are engaged in sports.


40) PNG finish atop Pacific Games medal tally

20 July 2015

Papua New Guinea finished atop the medal tally with 88 gold, 69 silver and 60 bronze at the Pacific Games, which came to a close in Port Moresby at the weekend.

The host nation repeated the feat achieved when the Games were last staged in PNG back in 1991.

New Caledonia were second with 59 gold out of a total of 167 medals, with Tahiti third, ahead of Fiji.

Papua New Guinea swimmer Ryan Pini and New Caledonia’s Lara Grangeon were named outstanding male and female athletes of the Games, with seven and 11 gold medals respectively.

Australia finished sixth in the overall medals tally in their first ever Pacific Games, with 17 gold medals, 19 silver and 11 bronze, despite only contesting four sports.

New Zealand managed one gold and 20 medals in all, in weightlifting and taekwondo.

It was also a memorable event for Tuvalu, who won their first ever Pacific Games gold medal among four powerlifting medals.RNZI

41) Australia and New Zealand participation in 2015 Pacific Games praised for raising quality of event

By Online Editor
11:19 pm GMT+12, 19/07/2015, Papua New Guinea

Pacific Games Council (PGC) executive director Andrew Minogue has hailed the participation of Australia and New Zealand at at the 15th edition of the event, which finished last Saturday.

Both countries competed at the Pacific Games for the first time in the competition’s 52-year history, representing a major step forward for sport in the region.

The Australian contingent was made up of 43 athletes and took home a total of 47 medals, including 19 gold.

New Zealand finished with a haul of 20 medals, with Angela Kilday’s victory in the under 46 kilograms taekwondo event their only gold.

Both countries were invited to take part by the PCG in four sports – taekwondo, sailing, rugby sevens and weightlifting – and were largely well received throughout the two-week long event.

It is hoped the two Oceania powerhouses will continue to compete at future editions of the Pacific Games.

New Zealand’s participation here, though, has been fraught with controversy after their football team decided not to stay in the Athleties’ Village due to the accommodation being, what they called, “substandard”.

Weightlifter Douglas Sekone-Fraser then withdrew from the team after posting a hashtag of “cannibals” on a picture of locals dressed in traditional attire on social networking site Instagram before the Opening Ceremony, held on July 4.

Their men’s football side, competing purely in the Olympic qualification tournament, were thrown out hours before they were due to face Fiji for a place at Rio 2016 after allegedly fielding an ineligible player.

New Zealand Football have appealed the decision made by the Oceania Football Confederation after they insisted they did “nothing wrong” and that the player in question, South African-born Deklan Wynne, was eligible to play.

“On the evidence we have seen in the four sports, Australia and New Zealand have added to the competition and the quality of the competition,” Minogue said.

“The crowd has been appreciative of both countries athletes.

“My personal highlight was the rugby sevens final between Australia and Fiji.

“Australia really took to it Fiji and it signified to me that when pacific athletes dedicate themselves to excellence they can match Australia.”

The event itself has received widespread praise among athletes and supporters alike, with Australia Chef de Mission Malcolm Page, a double Olympic sailing champion, claiming Papua New Guinea had taken the Pacific Games “to a new level”.

He added: “The spirit here has been incredible, an amazing welcoming for Australia at its first Pacific Games.

“From what I’ve heard Papua New Guinea has taken to the Pacific Games to a new level.

“The facilities are world class and the Village is equal to any Olympic Games I’ve been to.

“I think they have an amazing legacy for the future.”

Another nation to praise the facilities and hospitality are Fiji, who returned home with a total of 114 medals, including 33 gold, to finish fourth on the medal table.

They dominated the hockey finals on the last day of competition, winning both men’s and women’s crowns, while they also enjoyed a high level of success in shooting, lawn bowls, karate and weightlifting during the event.

“It has been an awesome experience for Team Fiji,” Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committees President Joseph Rodan said.

“The venues were of international standard, the athletes were accommodated very well at the Games Village, the food was nice, the people even nicer and friendly.

“We have to admire the hard work and dedication put in by everybody in Papua New Guinea to host a successful games.”

Port Moresby 2015, which attracted more than 3,000 athletes from 24 countries competing in 28 sports, came to a conclusion with a festival-style Closing Ceremony at the Sir John Guise Stadium Saturday..

42) PNG cricketers one win from T20 World Cup despite loss

20 July 2015

Papua New Guinea have kept alive their hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Twenty20 tournament despite an 18 run defeat to USA overnight.

Having restricted the Americans to 147 for 6 from their 20 overs, the Barramundi’s run chase started disastrously with openers Tony Ura and Lega Siaka dismissed in the first eight balls.

Sese Bau grafted 26 from 31 deliveries and was supported by Kila Pala and Mahura Dai but the run-rate proved too much with PNG only managing ten boundaries as they finished on 129 for 9.

The Barramundi’s finished fourth in Group A with three wins, two defeats and one no result.

Ireland and Scotland sealed automatic qualification after finishing top of their groups, with four more spot up for grabs in the playoffs.

PNG have a few days off before their knockout clash on Thursday against the loser of Afghanistan vs Hong Kong, from which the winner will advance to the World Cup.RNZI

43) Argentina, Belgium in semis

Monday, July 20, 2015

BUENOS AIRES – Argentina reached their 10th Davis Cup semi-final in 13 years on Saturday when they defeated Serbia in their World Group last-eight clash.

Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer sealed the crucial point with a 6-2 6-4 6-1 win over Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic in the doubles.

Belgium made their first semi-final in 14 years by seeing off Canada in Ostend.

Serbia were playing without world number one and recently-crowned Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic who opted to rest rather than make the trip to Buenos Aires.

On Friday, Mayer defeated Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 while Federico Delbonis saw off Troicki 2-6 2-6 6-4 6-4 6-2 for a 2-0 first day lead.

Belgium wrapped up a first semi-final spot since 1999 by seeing off Canada 3-0. In Ostend, Ruben Bemelmans and Kimmer Coppejans gave Belgium victory with a 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-3 triumph in the doubles against Daniel Nestor and Adil Shamasdin.

Canada, without injured world number eight Milos Raonic and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Vasek Pospisil, had lost both of Friday’s singles.

Steve Darcis saw off Frank Dancevic 3-6 6-1 7-5 6-3 while world number 14 David Goffin beat Filip Peliwo 6-4 6-4 6-2.

“To play against Nestor and Shamasdin, who were favourites before the match…I think we played amazing,” said Bemelmans.

“The emotions of going to the semi-final with a country like Belgium are unbelievable. To do it with this team is something great.”

44) FIFA to set election date

Monday, July 20, 2015

ZURICH – FIFA’s leadership meets tomorrow to decide the date of a vote to replace president Sepp Blatter as a corruption storm inflicts ever worsening damage on world football.

The meeting takes place just two days after Jeffrey Webb, until May a FIFA vice-president, made his first appearance in a New York court to deny charges that he accepted millions of dollars in bribes for marketing deals.

Webb is one of 14 football officials and business executives facing charges in the United States. He was one of seven FIFA officials detained in a raid on a Zurich hotel ahead of the world body’s congress in May.

Two days later Blatter was re-elected to a fifth term but within four more days he announced he would organise a new election.

The 79-year-old Swiss, the most powerful figure in sport by many counts, is to announce a date for a new election after Monday’s executive committee meeting. The vote will be held in Zurich sometime between December this year and February 2016.

Following some ambiguous comments in media interviews, Blatter will be pressed to make clear that he is standing down. He did not use the word “resign” when he announced that a new election would be held.

FIFA also faces mounting pressure to quickly start reforms and Blatter is also expected to announce what measures could be proposed to the special election congress. Top sponsors, such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, have called for radical changes in the way the multi-billion dollar world body is run after many years of scandal.



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