Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1117 ( Monday 10 August )

MELANESIA

1) McCully to lead NZ delegation to PNG, Solomons

10 ASugust 2015 

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully is to travel to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands this week leading a delegation of aid officials and business people.

The companies travelling with the delegation represent a range of sectors including energy, infrastructure development, and broadcasting, as well as regional business organisations.

In Port Moresby Mr McCully says he will meet with PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and other ministers to discuss bilateral cooperation and regional issues, including PNG’s hosting of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum summit and New Zealand’s support for their hosting of APEC in 2018.

Mr McCully says the visit to Honiara will be his first opportunity to meet with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare since he came to power late last year.

The talks are to focus on Honiara’s plans for economic development, particularly in the fisheries and tourism sectors.RNZI

2) Indonesian Army Chopper Shot At In Papua
Ongoing investigation, no casualties

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2015) – There are reports from Papua that an Indonesian Army helicopter was allegedly shot at by an unidentified person.

The Jakarta Post reports an army spokesman Brigadier General Wuryanto said that one bullet-sized hole was found in the body of the helicopter.

No casualties have been reported.

General Wuryanto says the helicopter had been delivering goods to Army officers in the Jila district of Mimika regency.

He says his staff are still investigating the incident.

Radio New Zealand International 

3) Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 10 August 2015

by bobmakin

  • Saturday’s Digest bulletin promised you main stories not covered from last week. There weren’t many of huge importance apart from the bribery cases, dealt with Saturday in Post and this Digest. The main one was probably the government’s presenting itsNational Recovery Plan to development partners enabling a great photo opportunity for Government, Opposition and every Development Partner, and there seemed to be a lot of them present. Recovery will proceed with “realistic projects and implementation arrangements, including the appropriate engagement of partners,” said PM Kilman as reported in Post Thursday. He wants no mis-match between what the government sees as needs and what donors want to give. There is still much gratitude for what has already been given.
  • China will be giving a million vatu towards the Malvatumauri nakamal reconstruction, Post reported Friday.
  • The Government’s Half-Year Economic and Fiscal Update was included in many pages of both Daily Post and The Independent over the weekend. This has encouraged an analysis by Dan McGarry of Daily Post on the front page today. He sees it as a mix of good news and bad. The downside is explained by cyclone Pam. The move forward McGarry sees as the financial rescue plan being negotiated with the World Bank. However, half grant and half loan, the new debt then begins to cost the country more than was planned for borrowing servicing in 2015. McGarry sums up “it seems we have alittle more muddling through to do before we see the back of cyclone Pam.”
  • Stake-holders in the Mele to Devil’s Point developments have agreed on a public road management plan according to Daily Post today. Cyclones and sand stealers have all played havoc with proper road connections to the area. Stake-holders include Shefa council, PWD, the Area Secretary for Mele village and representatives of the community. There was no mention of high cement fence builders, but maybe they’re outside the limits.

4) Oposisen Pres Rilis: Kampani blong ol MP we oli faenem i stap traem blong importem ol sigaret haed

OFFICE OF THE OPPOSITION – PRESS RELEASE (6/8/2015)

Opposition asks authorities to ensure Messrs Telukluk, Prasad and Yao are properly dealt with
 
[The article this Press Release responds to is here]

The Office of the Opposition calls upon the Director of the Department of Customs and the Commissioner of Police to properly investigate the attempt by MP Telukluk, MP Prasad and Mr Yao to defraud the Government and people of Vanuatu by not declaring their company’s import of a large quantity of cigarettes.  The Office of the Opposition also calls upon the Government and in particular the Deputy Prime Minister to refrain and cease from attempting to interfere with the lawful operation of the Department of Customs in dealing with this attempted criminal act.  These three individuals must be treated just like anyone else who breaks the law – there must be a full investigation and then prosecution and there must be no political interference in the relevant authorities’ exercise of their lawful duties.

The Office of the Opposition also calls upon the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) to withdraw Mr Yao’s investor status.  Mr Yao has friends in high places within the current Government – the last time Sato Kilman held the post of Prime Minister he appointed Mr Yao to a diplomatic position and bestowed citizenship upon him.  It was subsequently discovered that Mr Yao did not lawfully qualify for citizenship – it was given in breach of the law as a political favour – and his citizenship was stripped off him by the Citizenship Office.  Mr Yao has also attempted to defraud the Government and people of Vanuatu before – he was convicted of an offence under the VAT Act and had to pay a fine.  Now, once again, Mr Yao is found knowingly and deliberately breaching the laws of this country through this latest incident.  The Office of the Opposition sees no reason for this undesirable person – who uses his political connections in the current Government for personal gain and for the enrichment of his MP friends by defrauding the people of Vanuatu – to continue to maintain his status as an investor.  If VIPA is really serious about fulfilling its legal mandate to regulate investment and ensure Vanuatu attracts the “right kind” of investor, there is no conceivable reason why they should not now kick Mr Yao out.

In mature democracies, Mr Telukluk would have resigned by now for being a partner in a company which has been caught committing such a serious offence – an offence which is punishable upon conviction by a fine of up to 5,000,000 vatu and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.  In mature democracies, even if Mr Telukluk had not resigned, he would have been sacked as a Minister by now by the Prime Minister.

In his recent Independence Address to the nation, the Prime Minister placed much emphasis on stability and the need to change the Constitution to allow a government to serve its full term.  Surely, a critical requirement for a stable government is good governance and adherence to the rule of law.  It would strengthen the Prime Minister’s case for legislating for stable government if he demonstrated leadership now and took action, at least, against Minister Telukluk.  To follow past practice and do nothing would be a clear demonstration of the risk Vanuatu runs if it legislates for a stable government that then allows ministers and members of parliament to breach Vanuatu laws at will. 

The Office of the Opposition will also be making an official complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman against Messrs Telukluk and Prasad for breaches of the Leadership Code. Credit MP Ralph Regenvanu –  www.graonmojastis.org

5) Concern At Violent Attacks Stirs Rally In New Caledonia
Murders and attacks spurred 3,000 person march


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 8, 2015) – More than 3,000 people marched in silence through New Caledonia’s capital, Noumea, on Friday to express concern at a recent spate of violent attacks in the territory.

Marchers wore stickers saying “stop the violence” and carried placards that read “We are all Daniel”, referring to 71-year-old retiree Daniel Monteiro, who was found drowned, bound and beaten in a stream in July.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce and leader of the procession, Jennifer Seagoe, handed a white paper to the French High Commissioner calling on the government to introduce additional measures to counter violence.

As well as Mr Monteiro’s muder, the last two weeks have been marked by a series of murders and violent attacks that have sparked a wave of indignation and increased a sense of insecurity.

Radio New Zealand International

POLYNESIA

6) Samoa Police Called In As Temporary Prison Guards
Follows mass prison escape and recapture


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2015) – An assistant police commissioner in Samoa and ten other senior officers are providing security back up at Tafa’igata prison after ten prisoners escaped.

The inmates escaped from one of the prison cell blocks last Saturday night after drilling a hole in a concrete wall.

They were recaptured by police after two days on the run.

The police spokesperson, Su’a Muli’aga Tiumalu, says the temporary security assistance will enable the police to share their experience after managing Samoa’s prisons for many years.

Last year the Government set up a separate division to run the prison service.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Staffing Crisis At American Samoa’s Only Hospital
Doctors are at a ‘breaking point’, situation ‘unsustainable’


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 10, 2015) – A paediatrician at American Samoa’s LBJ hospital says there’s a staffing and resource crisis, and doctors are at breaking point treating seriously sick children.

Doctor Tanga Broge has told parliament’s Health Committee medical staff are being stretched too thin.

She says she has decided not to renew her contract with the hospital as the unrealistic rostering means doctors are sleeping at the hospital between extended shifts.

“In the last two weeks we’ve taken care of children with very severe illness which is why our on-call has been exhausting. Meningitis, leukemia, sepsis, heart failure. We’ve had multiple codes and intubations in the last two weeks alone. In order to provide safe and competent care, the current staffing situation is unsustainable and is not safe.”

Radio New Zealand International

8) Tonga’s Speaker of Parliament adjourns sitting due to absence of cabinet ministers

By Online Editor
11:34 pm GMT+12, 09/08/2015, Tonga

The Speaker of Tonga’s Parliament is disappointed with the absence of cabinet members from today’s Parliament sitting.

As a result, Lord Tu’ivakano adjourned Parliament because of a lack of quorum. Only 12 Members of Parliament were present in Chambers.

Lord Tu’ivakano said a letter from the Office of the Prime Minister saying that Cabinet members will be ready to attend today’s Parliament session. This morning, a second letter was received saying, all Cabinet ministers will not be present in Parliament until August 13.

Lord Tu’ivakano said the Royal Agricultural Show only required the presence of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food.

He has proposed that no parliamentary visits be scheduled next year.

Parliament will resume next week.

SOURCE: RADIO TONGA NEWS/PACNEWS

9) Men in Samoa dominate matai and village titles

10 August 2015

A report in Samoa says more work is needed to achieve gender equality, with men dominating the powerful positions available, including matai and village titles.

The survey report reveals 93 percent of matai title holders are men.

That means 16,583 men are matais and 1,228 women are in the same position.

Men hold more than 2 thousand village chief titles, compared to just 168 women, and just under 9,500 men hold Tulafale or oratory titles, compared to 330 women.

The Minister for Women and Social Development, Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei’ataua, says much work is needed to achieve gender equality in terms of leadership and decision making both at the local and national levels.

He says women’s perspectives on political participation and leadership are critical to supporting programme delivery and development, for the empowerment of women.RNZI

MICRONESIA

10) Weather Service Blindsided By CNMI Typhoon’s Strength
Multidimensional recovery approach underway


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2015) – The United States National Weather Service in Guam has admitted that it did not expect Typhoon Soudelor to be as strong as it was when it hit the Northern Marianas on Sunday.

The typhoon destroyed more than 380 homes and damaged other infrastructure on the territory’s main island of Saipan.

The service has acknowledged that its wind forecasts were too low, affirming residents’ suspicion that the devastating winds were much stronger than forecast.

Meanwhile, a third water filling station has been opened as the recovery gets into full swing.

The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation is replacing 400 power poles, while the Department of Public Works has begun clearing debris from secondary roads.

A fuel tanker has also arrived at the Port, alleviating fears of a fuel shortage, and the Navy ship USS Ashland is en route carrying additional supplies for the recovery.

Radio New Zealand International

NEW ZEALAND

11) NZ’s Suspension Of Fiji Imports Labelled ‘Extreme’
Fiji minister cites commitment to biosecurity and record


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 8, 2015) – Fiji’s government says New Zealand’s decision to suspend eggplant, mango, breadfruit and papaya imports from Fiji is unjustified and extreme.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries made the decision to suspend imports after a shipment of eggplant was rejected due to an anomaly in operational measures taken by Fiji.

But in a statement, Fiji’s public enterprises minister, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, says the ban is unjustified in light of Fiji’s strong commitment to biosecurity and ublemished record in exporting agricultural products.

He says New Zealand authorities raised no concerns about any specific biosecurity risks, saying he finds it highly irregular to suspend all imports instead of rejecting a single consignment.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says ministry officials have requested to meet with New Zealand authorities, saying the Fijian government will not rest until the issue is resolved and normal exports resume.

He says the Fiji government is also conducting an audit of its procedures and facilities.

Radio New Zealand International

TOK PISIN

12) Wanpla PNG Bank i laik halvim wantem bisnis

Updated 10 August 2015, 15:44 AEST
John Papik

PNG National Developman Bank i laik helpim pipal wantem bisnis long kantri

National Development Bank Investment blong Papua New Guinea em bai go het long wokim wok blongen long halivim pipol em  oli laik igo insait long ol bisnis.

NDBI we i hap blong National Development Bank ibin tok olsem bank ibin gat sampela heve long budget blong em blong halivim ol liklik na “medium size” bisnis insait long yia ikam.

Tasol bank i tok ol igat moni blong halivim ol yangpela oa ol Youth long girapim kain liklik  bisnis blong ol.

Gloria Savua cordinator blong dispela bisnis development program blong ol Youth itok program emi go pas long en bai igo hed long wok blong em long halivim ol yangpela.ABC

13) Vanuatu i wuas iet long Ambrym Volkeno

Updated 10 August 2015, 15:43 AEST
Sam Seke

Geohazards Division blong Vanuatu Meteorological and Geohazards Department itok Ambrym Volcano i gohet stap olsem denja long ol pipol.

Esline Garabiti, Geohazards Division Manager i tok mak blong aktiviti long Ambrym Volcano i stap yet long level 2 na ol i gohet long lukluk klostu-klostu long em.

Ms Garaebiti i tok ol i putim aut tu wanpela map we i soim pipol long ol denjaras peles we pipol imas noken go longen.

Em i tok Volcano long Ambae tu long “unrest” na ol i putim aut tok lukaut long pipol long dispela.

Ms Garaebiti i tokim Radio Australia olsem  Ambae Volcano i wanpela Crater Lake volcano na em i moa denjaras.ABC

FRENCH

14a) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 10 août 2015

Mis à jour 10 August 2015, 16:33 AEST

  • Un navire américain a quitté son port d’attache japonais pour rejoindre les Mariannes du nord, frappées par le cyclone Soudelor la semaine dernière. 
Dans ses cales, l’USS Ashland transportait des biens de première nécessité – de l’eau et de la nourriture, des couvertures, mais aussi des générateurs. Selon les autorités de l’archipel micronésien, l’électricité ne sera totalement rétablie que dans trois à quatre semaines.
  • Tout va bien, l’économie de la Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée est stable, assure le Premier ministre, Peter O’Neill. La semaine dernière, le pays a pourtant revu son déficit à la hausse : il devrait atteindre 9,4% cette année, du jamais vu. Plusieurs analystes financiers ont prévenu le gouvernement papou qu’il risquait de subir le même sort que la Grèce s’il ne réagissait pas au plus vite. Des critiques balayées par Peter O’Neill, qui affirme que l’économie papoue est suffisamment forte pour résister à la baisse du prix des matières premières. Le gouvernement projette toutefois une rallonge budgétaire et prévoit des coupes dans des secteurs « non-prioritaires ».
  • La situation s’améliore dans la province d’Enga, en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, affirment les autorités. Le calme est revenu depuis que la région a été placée en « zone de guerre tribale ». Une centaine de policiers ont été envoyés en renfort, et la consommation d’alcool a été interdite. Quatre personnes suspectées d’avoir déclenché les violences des semaines passées ont été arrêtées. La police recherche toujours vingt autres suspects. Les heurts ont éclaté le mois dernier à proximité de la mine de Porgera, entraînant la mort de 15 personnes.
  • L’observation des baleines rapporte de moins en moins d’argent aux Îles Tonga. Un manque de réglementation, mais aussi de surveillance des activités, auraient fait perdre 12 millions de dollars au royaume ces huit dernières années. Le ministre du Tourisme vient de se rendre aux îles Vava’u pour faire un point sur l’activité. Il envisage de changer la législation et de revoir le système de récolte des recettes.ABC
PASIFIK


15) Pacific Advisor Defends Pacer Plus Process
Meeting with critical NGOs planned


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2015) – The Office of the Chief Trade Advisor to the Pacific says NGOs’ concerns about the PACER Plus trade agreement being unbalanced are unfounded and inaccurate.

The latest talks on the free trade agreement conclude today in Samoa but have faced calls from the Pacific Network on Globalisation that they be suspended and the negotiation texts published.

The Chief Trade Advisor to the Pacific Edwini Kessie says such a hardline approach does not help the development of free trade in the region.

“If they do have genuine concerns obviously we would like to address them but some of them I think, if they say that the agreement is unbalanced because Australia and New Zealand would just be making promises, there is no truth to that. And I think that is a distortion of what the situation really is.”

Dr Kessie says a meeting to engage with NGOs and allow them to voice their concerns about the agreement is being planned for later in the year.

Radio New Zealand International

WORLD

16) Women beaten to death

Abc
Monday, August 10, 2015

Villagers in a rural part of eastern India have killed five women accused of practising witchcraft, police say.

Police in the state of Jharkhand said a group of assailants dragged the women out of their huts and beat them to death at around midnight on Friday in Kanjia village, about 40 kilometres from the state capital Ranchi.

“A group (of villagers) dragged the women out and beat them to death with sticks, accusing them of practising witchcraft,” Ranchi deputy police chief Arun Kumar Singh said.

Mr Singh added that 24 villagers were arrested over the killings.

The villagers also used stones and knives after blaming the five women for bringing illness, poor crops and bad luck on the village through witchcraft, a state police spokesman said.

“It looks like the village held a grudge against these women for a very long time, holding them responsible for … various misfortunes,” Jharkhand police spokesman S.N. Pradhan told news agency AFP.

“The whole village is ganging up against the police now saying they all killed the women.”

He said an investigation was underway.

HEALTH

17) Forum Leaders Hope To Tackle High Rates Of Cervical Cancer
One of 5 ‘priority issues’ at Port Moresby meetings

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2015) – Pacific Islands Forum Leaders are to address the need for action on cervical cancer in the Pacific, when they meet in Port Moresby next month.

They will urge governments to take leadership and to allocate adequate resources to combat the increasing burden of the cancer in the region.

Forum officials have put the matter forward as one of the five priority issues for discussion in the September summit.

The Internation Agency for Research on Cancer says some Melanesian countries have incidence levels among the highest in the world.

The death rate from cervical cancer in Papua New Guinea is 12 times that in Australia

Prevention programmes in the Pacific region are insufficient with only two of the 21 countries and territories surveyed having cancer screening above 40 percent.

Radio New Zealand International

POLITIC

18) Revenue cut by K2.5bn

The National, Friday August 7th, 2015

 THE Government says its revenue has been reduced by K2.5 billion on what it forecast for 2015, thus necessitating cuts on expenditure.
Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch said the department’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook report released this week showed that “fiscal outlook has deteriorated in the first half of 2015”.
He said apart from priority areas such as education, health, essential enabling infrastructure, district and provincial functional grants and the service improvement programmes, “all sectors will have their expenditure appropriation reduced”.
All State agencies were invited last month “to identify appropriate areas for reductions”. This is responsible fiscal management,” he said.
However, he said the reductions “must occur in a way that does not impede the growth momentum that is still prevalent in our economy”. “The fall in global commodity prices since late 2014, which is beyond the Government’s control, has coincided with the first full year of exports from PNG LNG and subsequently reduced revenue flows to government,” he said.
“There are some constraints on domestic financial markets that are impacting on the ability of the Government to fund its priorities.”
He assured the nation that the “debt-to-GDP ratio will be not greater from that allowed under the Financial Responsibility Act”.
“As most observers are aware, the drop in global oil prices has had an effect on gas prices in 2015. This has had an impact on revenues derived from the PNG LNG project. There have been drops in other commodity prices, including gold and copper, as well as a decrease in taxes collected.”
 
BUSINESS

19) PM says PNG economy is stable

10 August 2015

The prime minister of Papua New Guinea has hit out at warnings by economists about the country’s fiscal position.

This follows the release of his own government’s mid-year economic outlook, which revised the 2015 budget deficit from 4.4 percent of GDP to 9.4 percent, with revenue set to shrink by 20 percent this year.

A former Australian official within PNG’s treasury, Paul Flanagan, led the chorus of economists warning that the Peter O’Neill-led government must make tough choices about spending cuts or face a Greece-style fiscal meltdown.

Mr O’Neill has dismissed them as critics with vested interests – who are talking about potential scenarios that would only eventuate if his government did not attend to global economic challenges.

He said the PNG economy was stable and robust enough to ride out the current dip in commodity prices.

He has emphasised that, unlike many other countries, PNG has good cover in foreign exchange reserves – and that most of its debt is domestic.

He said cuts would be made to non-priority areas but not health, education, law and order, and infrastructure.RNZI


20) NDBI to host first youth summit

The National,Monday August 10th, 2015

 THE National Development Bank Investments Ltd (NDBI) will be hosting its first annual entrepreneurial youth summit.
Chief executive officer Des Yaninen said the inaugural two-day summit which will be held next month in Port Moresby, aims to provide a platform for aspiring youth entrepreneurs to voice their concerns about the challenges they face in starting a business. “Every year we have about 24,000 young people sitting for the Grade 12 exams with only about 4000 spaces in tertiary institutions so the majority of our young people basically cannot continue on with their education,” Yaninen said.
“And with our society that pushes young people towards furthering their education, once you don’t get an offer, you are labelled a drop out and its very disempowering and demoralising for young people.”
Yaninen said the summit aimed to showcase initiatives from agencies targeted at empowering youth enterprises.
Registrations for the summit are now open for young entrepreneurs aged 16 to 39 with registration forms available at NDB branches.
 
INFRASTRUCTURE

21) Call to support shipping firm

The National, Friday August 7th, 2015

 PEOPLE in five coastal districts in Morobe have been urged to take ownership of their newly-established shipping company and maximise its use for their benefit.
The Morobe Coast Shipping Ltd (MCSL) is owned by Kabwum, Tewae-Siassi, Finschhafen, Nawaeb and Huon Gulf districts.
Surrounding villages of Kamlawa and Kolem welcomed the vessel, mv Gejamsao, with singsing.
The vessel starts its normal routine on Monday.
“Establishing and managing shipping services are critical but the political leaders, administrators and the boards from five districts took the challenge and are mindful with determination to ensure people benefit from shipping services,” Finschhafen MP and Parliament Speaker Theodore Zurenuoc said.
“We can no longer live in isolation from essential services and I urge the five coastal districts to take ownership and support MCSL,” Zurenuoc said.
He said that involvement in the shipping industry needed perseverance, determination and persistence.
Zurenuoc applauded MPs Ross Seymour, Gisuwat Siniwin, Bob Dadae and Mao Zeming for working together to initiate the company. The Government chipped in K5 million to help buy the vessel.
The Tewasi Cooperative bought mv Lady Zeming for K8 million and is managed by MCSL, together with mv Gejamsao and mv Maneba – bought for K2 million.  Mv Rainforest is likely to be towed in after anh out-of-court settlement between Huon Gulf district and Bau Transport on Friday.
Outgoing MCSL chairman Fuac Singin said  the company was set up for the people to help them improve their living condition.

LAW& ORDER,CORRUPTION

22) 15 Vanuatu police to become UN peacekeepers

10 August 2015 

The commander of the Vanuatu police’s Mobile Force, Job Esau, says 15 of his staff are to join a United Nations peacekeeping mission to the Ivory Coast in West Africa.

The commander of the police unit says this is the largest contingent of VMF officers to be contracted by the UN on peacekeeping duties anywhere in the world.

Mr. Esau says the men were recruited by the UN after a telephone interview, followed by a series of tests the men.

The commander’s announcement breaks his silence following his return to the VMF from his former position as the acting Commissioner of Police.

He has been replaced in the acting commissioner role by Vake Rakau.RNZI

23) Two Vanuatu MPs Accused Of Customs Fraud
Their company did not declare large cigarette import

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2015) – Vanuatu’s opposition has asked authorities to investigate alleged customs fraud by two MPs and a sometime diplomat.

It is alleged that government MPs Paul Telukluk and Arnold Prasad, along with a former diplomat turned businessman, attempted to defraud the government and people of Vanuatu by not declaring their company’s import of a large quantity of cigarettes.

According to the opposition, Vanuatu’s Director of the Department of Customs and the Commissioner of Police should properly investigate the allegation.

The opposition also called on the government to refrain and cease from attempting to interfere with the lawful operation of Customs in dealing with this allegation.

Radio New Zealand International

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION, ENVIROMENT

24) Quake hits Solomons

19 August 2015

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck of the coast of Solomon Islands this afternoon.

The quake’s epicentre was located 214 kilometres west of Honiara at an estimated depth of 10 kilometres.

Residents in the capital who felt the quake say it was strong enough to shake larger buildings and was followed by mild aftershocks.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says there was no threat of a tsunami from the off shore quake.RNZI

25) Long dry spell cripples ENB

The National, Friday August 7th, 2015

 EAST New Britain, like Chimbu, is going through a dry patch as the weather pattern settles into the country.
Drier conditions are being felt in all the four districts of the province as people are seen carting water in drums, with water tanks running low.
Some people in the villages are  now forced to resort to using well water. The health centres in the province have reported an increase in the number of patients, especially children, with flu and fever.
People in the province were advised to manage their food crops well during the period as heat from the sun was maximising, accompanied by strong winds churning up and dust.
Adviser of the Primary Industry Division, Blaise Magaga said people should refrain from lighting unnecessary bush fires.

MINING,FORESTRY, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES,TOURISM

26) Green light for new PNG air links to Brisbane

10 August 2015
Papua New Guinea’s national planning minister has announced the approval of direct flights to Brisbane from the PNG urban centres of Alotau and Mt Hagen.

PNG Loop reports Charles Abel saying that Cabinet has endorsed direct flights linking Australia with the capitals of PNG’s Milne Bay and Western Highlands provinces.

Both provinces are leading hubs within PNG’s tourism sector.

The minister says the flights will be supported by visa on arrival for Australian tourists.RNZI

27) Association says mine sharing proposal ‘illegal’

The National, Friday August 7th, 2015

 THE people of Western have rejected the sharing proposal of 33 per cent agreed to by Governor Ati Wobiro, with some mine villages and Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) leaders, a local leader says.
Ok Tedi Mine Impacted Area Association (OTMIAA) president Nick Bunn said it was illegal and not in best interest of the 200,000 people of Western.
Bunn said there was no consultation and community consents and North Fly, Middle Fly and South Fly Open members and District Development Authorities (DDAs) were left out in the negotiations. “What were the criteria used to share the 33 per cent when it as agreed that 12 per cent was allocated to Fly River provincial government, 12 per cent to CMCA communities and 9 per cent to mine villages.”
Bunn said the 33 per cent equity sharing in Ok Tedi approved by the National Executive Council was compensation for the extensive damage done to the livelihood of the people who depend on Fly River for their daily living.
“The river people have long suffered extensive environment harm that has been caused by Ok Tedi mine. There is a lot of harm to the people, their health and their way of life.”
Bunn appealed to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to listen to the people.
“The association has received petitions from the people from North, Middle and South Fly demanding the Prime Minister immediately put a stop to the proposal by the governor.”
He said the people would not hesitate to go courts to seek orders to stop distribution proposal if a fair, transparent process was not followed.

28) Farmers get training in Indonesia province

The National, Friday August 7th, 2015

 SIX farmers from West Sepik have undergone a month-long agriculture and aquaculture training in  Papua province of Indonesia.
The farmers were trained at Koya, about 120 kilometres from Vanimo.
Farmer Nikro Wangare from Nuku district in Sandaun said they spent “more than one month learning how to plant crops like tomatoes, rice, potatoes, fruits, carrots and vegetables”.
Fellow farmers Zachery and Justin Koki from Vanimo said they received training on how to cultivate freshwater fish in the Sentani Papua lake.
“We gained a lot of experiences and we can now practise it in our villages that have lakes,” Koki said.
Sandaun provincial director of agriculture and animal husbandry Steven Kambase said the training was meant “to expose our farmers to improved systems of farming from traditional subsistence farming to higher levels of farming”.
“We tried to review and open the farmers’ eyes and minds on the way they do farming,” Kambase said.
Indonesian consul in Vanimo Elmarlubis Iwan praised the cooperation between the provinces of Papua and West Sepik not only in the training of farmers but the training of youths in Jayapura on carpentry and hairdressing.

29) Ban will promote local agricultural products


By Online Editor
11:32 pm GMT+12, 09/08/2015, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea will ban imports of fruits and vegetables from overseas to promote small to medium enterprises (SMEs)in the agriculture sector, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll says.

Tomscoll said bulb onions, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and other imported fruit and vegetables would be banned within the next two years.

“We cannot create SMEs in the sector without the ban. We will ban imports of foreign products because most of them can be produced by local people,” he said.

“We can create our own domestic markets which can earn a lot of money for the country.

“Why do we have to import uncooked chicken from Australia when the poultry market in PNG can earn K712 million(US$257.3 million) annually? It is not only for health reasons that we banned uncooked chicken but to protect and create markets for our own industries.”

Tomscoll was speaking at the conclusion of a two-day agriculture stock-take forum in Port Moresby.

He said Australia, New Zealand and other countries banned certain foreign products to protect their local industries and markets.

He said agriculture sustained the lives of the people “where food is the common denominator of both life and economic growth”.

“All over the world the majority of poor people rely on the agriculture sector,” Tomscoll said.

“Agriculture is a renewable sector where the Government has to invest more unlike non-renewable resource sectors that it is making massive investments where a few benefit and the rest are left out, said Tomscoll.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

29) US And Pacific Fail To Reach Tuna Agreement
Interim agreement in place for 2016, nothing long term


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 7, 2015) – Negotiations this week in Brisbane failed to produce a new long term South Pacific Tuna Treaty agreement between the United States and the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency.

The treaty allows the US purse seiner fleet to fish in the exclusive economic zones of FFA members.

In a statement, the U.S. based South Pacific Tuna Corporation says there are still obstacles to reaching a new long term agreement.

However, members of the U.S. State Department, and U.S. Commerce Department did agree to an interim agreement for 2016 with the FFA and the Parties to the Nauru Agreement.

The current Tuna Treaty agreement of $US90 million dollars, paid by the US, and covers only 2015.

The South Pacific Tuna Corporation says there is an opportunity for the process to continue, but that is in the hands of the Pacific Island Nations.

Radio New Zealand International

EVENT,EXHIBITION

30) Tribal art show

Abc
Monday, August 10, 2015

An exhibition of tribal artefacts from the remote Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea, including reminders of the long-dead customs of headhunting and cannibalism, has been launched at the National Gallery of Australia.

Myth and Magic: Art of the Sepik River includes 85 works drawn from collections in Australia and PNG and many have never been seen publicly before.

Included in the Canberra exhibition are tribal sculptures depicting ancestral beings and mythical animals, including a 6.5-metre-long spirit crocodile which guards the display. The exhibition also includes an ancestral figure made with human bones and a structure to display the heads of vanquished tribal foes.

NGA director Gerard Vaughan said while many Australian institutions had significant collections of PNG art, they were mostly stored out of public sight.

“We have hardly scratched the surface, I think, in showing the greatest works of art that we have in this country from PNG to the Australian public,” Dr Vaughan said.

“Very few museums have substantial spaces dedicated to those collections. We have a very particular interest in PNG and even a kind of responsibility because we are such close neighbours.”

But Australia’s attitude to Papua New Guinea was not always so neighbourly.

Early in the 20th century, some Christian missionaries encouraged villagers to burn old tribal objects which were seen as pagan reminders of a bygone culture.

SPORT

31) Eden Park decider

Aap
Monday, August 10, 2015

SYDNEY – They knocked the All Blacks over in Sydney, but the Wallabies know a different beast will be waiting for them at Eden Park next weekend in the Bledisloe Cup decider.

The Wallabies have just four wins from their past 25 Tests at the famous ground in Auckland, having not won there since 1986.

Australian coach Michael Cheika was measured after his side’s 27-19 win in the Rugby Championship decider at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night and very much looking ahead to next week as the Wallabies look to claim the Bledisloe for the first time since 2002.

“It’s probably the biggest challenge in world rugby going to Eden Park, and we know that,” Cheika said.

The match next Saturday will be the first time the Wallabies have played a Bledisloe Cup decider since 2008, with the victory in Sydney their first over the All Blacks in 11 Tests and first since 2011.

“The reality is we’ve only won one game against New Zealand in a long time,” he said.

“It doesn’t stand for nothing it stands for a little bit. Consistency is key and we’ve got to go out and prepare each day to be competitive with the number one team in the world on their own patch.”

Cheika’s call to start a couple of openside flankers David Pocock (No.8) and man of the match Michael Hooper proved successful, and while the coach said they combined well together, he admitted there was work to do.

“Not bad,” said Cheika when asked about how the pair went.

“I thought they did a lot of work. They struggled in a couple of set-pieces, a couple of line-outs which we can’t really afford to do … so we’ll have to have a look at how that went down.”

Cheika admitted it was important for his team to enjoy the win.

“I don’t want to be a sad sack … you take a moment congratulate your players and sing the national anthem with pride and loud and you sit down with your mates afterwards in the dressing room like old fashion times and talk about the game and what happened and enjoy that,” he said.

“Then you’ll get on the bus and back to the hotel and start thinking about what am I doing now to get ready for next week. That’s what I’m going to do as a coach.”

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen admitted his team must lift at Eden Park.

“What we’re going to get next week is another pressure cooker game and an ideal build up for the Rugby World Cup and we are going to have to improve a heck of a lot if we are going to keep the Bledisloe Cup and I’m looking forward to that,” Hansen said.

32) City hosts Oceania

The National, Friday August 7th, 2015

 OCEANIA Rugby Union and the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) have announced that the 2015 Oceania Rugby Cup will be held from August 22-30 in Port Moresby.
Oceania Rugby tournament director Wayne Schuster, pictured, confirmed that the nations taking part in this month’s tournament are the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, American Samoa and Papua New Guinea
“The tournament is an excellent opportunity for the participating nations to develop their rugby,” Schuster said.
“The matches will be played at the new Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Konedobu.”
The four teams will play a round robin competition format over three rounds.
The team with the highest number of competition points will be declared the winner.
PNGRU general manager, Frank Genia was looking forward to the tournament.
“The Oceania Rugby Cup is not only an excellent opportunity for PNG to develop and promote rugby at home, but is a wonderful chance for PNG to showcase its new facilities and venues in Port Moresby,” Genia said.
“We would like to prove we are worthy hosts for future regional and international rugby tournaments.”
The Oceania Rugby Cup will feature American Samoa for the first time and it is expected to provide some tough competition.
The Solomon Islands will be looking to avenge its loss in 2013 to Papua New Guinea and may be the team to watch during the tournament.
Tahiti will have players from France in its lineup and could be the surprise package of the tournament.
Pukpuks coach Sydney Wesley said his team was well aware of the dangers the visiting teams will present.
“We know it is going to be a tough tournament, but we want to win the tournament for our fans and the country. Fixtures: Sat, Aug 22 – Solomon Islands v  American Samoa, PNG v Tahiti; Wed, Aug 26 – Tahiti v Solomon Islands, PNG v American Samoa; Sun, Aug 30 – American Samoa v Tahiti, PNG v Solomon Islands.

33) City to host Pesipura-Jayapura on anniversary

The National,Monday August 10th, 2015

 PORT Moresby is bidding to host Indonesia’s Papua province representative soccer team, Pesipura-Jayapura as part of PNG’s 40th Independence anniversary celebrations.
NCD Governor Powes Parkop yesterday told The National that he has forwarded his interest to the Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby and his staff were now working on costs of logistics for hosting the team. The visitors from Jayapura will play with a Port Moresby All Stars-select team — something Parkop will work out with Port Moresby Soccer Association.
Parkop said his office would work closely with the PNG Football Association to sanction the match and hopefully upgrade it to have PNG All Stars playing with the visitors from the other side of the border. Pesipura-Jayapura is the heart and soul of the people of Papua, and they would make a huge turn-out to support their team while in Port Moresby.
A similar plan for the 40th Independence anniversary is being drawn up.
Parkop said he had plans to host an NRL match — probably a North Queensland Cowboys game through a sister-city agreement.
While his office will be working on these two events, Parkop is calling on national sporting bodies to host exhibition matches in Port Moresby as part of the independence celebrations.

34) Hunters show class

The National,Monday August 10th, 2015

 THE Hunters proved they are one of the best teams in the Queensland Cup with a convincing 32-14 win over the Ipswich Jets on Saturday.
The Round 22 match at the North Ipswich Reserve saw the Michael Marum-coached outfit put on a performance with the same intensity as their Round 11 meeting with the competition leaders the Townsville Blackhawks at the Jack Manski Oval in Townsville.  The Hunters won 22-16 that day and proved they are capable of playing a high standard of football on the road.
The Jets did themselves no favours with a high error count (13) as well as ill-discipline, giving Hunters’ sharp-shooter Noel Zeming four penalty goals.
Zeming, pictured, finished with a 20-point haul from four conversions, four penalties and a try.
The Jets’ helter-skelter style of continuous movement and changing of angles did not trouble the Hunters defence which was up to the challenge.
Perhaps the biggest problem for the Ben and Shane Walker-coached team, who dropped to fourth on the ladder, was their lack of a plan B.
Their short kick-offs offset their mistakes somewhat with the hosts managing to regain possession on four of their eight restarts. The Hunters handled periods of sustained pressure on their line early in both halves and came back to score through Zeming penalties before stamping their class with tries.
The Hunters were the first on the board (2-0) with a Zeming penalty in the 9th minute. Before that the Jets had dominated the opening exchanges but for no return.
Stargroth Amean scored a try in the 16th minute and Zeming converted for the SP-sponsored side to move to an 8-0. The Jets finally got on the board thanks to fullback Carlin Anderson.
With the Hunters on attack in the opposition’s 20m a spilled ball by centre Edward Goma saw the Jets custodian pick up the ball and skirt down the sideline before flicking a pass inside to flyer Marmin Barba who jetted 80m to score.
Anderson missed the conversion and the Hunters lead 8-4. Replacement Atte Bina crashed over under the uprights in the 29th minute and the Hunters took a 14-4 lead.
Zeming then slotted a 35m penalty in the 38th minute and the visitors took a deserved 16-4 lead at halftime.
The Jets started off the second 40 much the same way they had the first and with the same negligible result.
Zeming banged over another penalty in the 52nd minute and the Hunters edged out to an 18-4 lead.
The 26-year-old then added a try to his tally four minutes later which he converted to see his side break away to a 24-4 lead.
Captain Israel Eliab produced another highlight reel moment in the 63rd minute to all but end the home side’s hopes.
Zeming kept his kicking at 100 per cent with the conversion as well as another penalty and Marum’s side was 32-4 in front with eight minutes remaining.
The Jets scored two consolation tries to Dane Philips and Barba to close out the match but that only flattered them as they were out-played for most of the match. 

 35) Fiji name Rugby World Cup training squad

10 August 2015

Fiji have named a 38-man preliminary squad as their Rugby World Cup preparations move up a gear.

Nemani Nadolo is back after recovering from an injury sustained against the New Zealand Maori last month, while veteran utility back Seremaia Bai also returns.

Coach John McKee says the camp, which runs from Wednesday until the end of the month, will focus on re-conditioning fitness-wise and further developing the team Game Plan from the Pacific Nations Cup.

Extended Squad:

Akapusi Qera,Api Ratuniyarawa,Asaeli Tikoirotuma,Ben Volavola,Campese Ma’afu,Dom Waqaniburotu,Gabby Lovobalavu,Henry Seniloli,Isei Colati,Jale Sassen,Jerry Yanuyanutawa,Joeli Veitayaki,Josh Matavesi,Kini Murimurivalu,Leeroy Atalifo,Leone Nakarawa,Lepani Botia,Malakai Ravulo,Manasa Saulo,Metuisela Talebula,Napolioni Nalaga,Nemani Nadolo,Nemia Kenatali,Nemia Soqeta,Netani Talei,Nikola Matawalu,Peceli Yato,Peni Ravai,Sakiusa Matadigo,Savenaca Tabakanalagi,Seremaia Bai,Sunia Koto,Talemaitoga Tuapati,Tevita Cavubati,Tevita Koroi,Viliame Veikoso,Viriniki Goneva,Waisea Nayacalevu

 w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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