Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1122 ( Sunday 30 August )


1) MSG Trade Agreement to break new ground

By Online Editor
01:52 am GMT+12, 28/08/2015, Fiji

MSG Trade Agreement to break new ground

NADI, 28 AUGUST 2015 (MSG SECRETARIAT) — The MSG Trade Agreement is set to make new ground as the only trade agreement in the Pacific that will include services, investment and labour mobility, says Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali.

Senior MSG Trade and Economic officials met in Nadi today to finalise recommendations and items to be presented to MSG Trade Ministers next week.

This is the second-last meeting to finalise the draft legal text of a new and more comprehensive trade agreement known as MSGTA 3, which will include new chapters on services, investment and labour mobility, to be presented for adoption by Ministers in November.

Trade officials went through the reports and outcomes of the MSG technical working group meetings on goods and services that were held earlier this week, including the heads of investment promotion agencies meeting.

They also considered the first-ever regional study on an MSG private sector development strategy.

MSG officials have been pleased with the progress made so far on some of the key outstanding issues such as the Rules of Origin – the criteria under which Goods will be deemed eligible for preferential treatment by member states in the new MSGTA.

“The revised trade agreement will provide impetus for deeper and increased integration amongst MSG and also open up avenues for further trade opportunities to take place in the MSG region,” says Fiji’s Permanent Secretary Shaheen Ali.

“It is the only fully operational trade agreement which has achieved free trade area status for trade in goods. MSG leaders have a vision to increase the scope of this trade agreement to include services, investment, telecommunications, e-commerce, and temporary movement of natural persons,” he said.

Other senior officials from MSG countries have echoed this view stating they intend to make the MSGTA3 a premier trade agreement.

This week’s meetings are being supported and funded by MSG members and the European Union, through the Pacific Islands Forum, under the Pacific Integration Technical Assistance Project (PITAP.


2) PNG population hits 8 million

By Online Editor
01:37 am GMT+12, 28/08/2015, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s population has now increased to 8.17 million.

According to statistics by the National Department of Health (NDoH), the population has increased from 7.3 million (2011 census) to 8.17 million in 2015.

It reports also that 14,000 Papua New Guineans die annually with four deaths every day and one death every six hours nationwide.

NDoH technical advisor for population and family health services Dr Lahui Geita revealed this today at a Family Planning meeting in Port Moresby that discussed the overview of family planning issues in PNG.

Dr Lahui said PNG currently has a fertility rate of 4.3 children per family which is too high for a developing nation.

He said our population is bigger than the resources we have so we need to seriously plan our family to stabilize the growing population.

“Family planning advocacy is very important at this point to ensure   every woman throughout the country has access to the family planning methods.”

“I urge all health workers to do advocacy planning for their provinces.”

“You must ensure that every female who requests family planning services is given priority regardless of their age group, marital status, literacy level and religion,” Dr Geita said


3) Bougainville remembers ‘disappeared’

28 August 2015

The International Committee for the Red Cross says many families in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville still have no idea what happened to some family members during the civil war.

This Sunday is International Day of the Disappeared and it is being marked with events in Bougainville, under the theme ‘In the Darkness and Still Waiting.’

Hostilities officially ended 18 years ago but the ICRC’s Bougainville delegate, Tobias Koehler says they are unable put a number on how many are missing but it could be many hundreds.

“Basically their family members have no knowledge of their fate and their whereabouts, what has actually happened to them. If they are dead, if they have been killed or died of a disease. If they are buried at a certain place or their bodies are lost at sea. There are a lot of families who are completely left in the dark about the fate of their loved ones.”

Events are being held from today through Sunday in Arawa and Buka.RNZI

4) Two Indonesian army officers arrested for Papua killing

29 August 2015

Two Indonesian army officers have been arrested for allegedly killing two men and injuring two others in Papua region.

The Jakarta Post reports that conflicting details have emerged over what exactly happened, but the victims have been identified as Imanuel Mailmaur and Yulianus Okoare.

Soon after the incident, a Papua military spokesperson, Teguh Pudji Rahardjo, said the shooting happened when a soldier was attacked by a mob in Timika, prompting troops to fire into the crowd.

But the commander of the Merauke Regional Command, Brigadier General Supartodi, told the newspaper that the officers were drunk when they opened fire into the crowd, and have been arrested.

The Papua police chief, Brigadier General Paulus Waterpauw is currently in Timika to assist with the handling of the situation.RNZI

5) Fiji’s soldiers will march in China’s V-Day parade

29 August 2015

Fijian soldiers will be among 1000 foreign troops at a massive military parade in China next week.

The V-Day parade will showcase China’s weaponry and military might to mark the seventieth anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the Second World War.

Fiji is among 17 foreign countries which have sent troops to join the parade.

Fiji’s land force commander Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho has told China’s Xinhua news agency Fiji has seven troops taking part and five senior defence officials observing the parade on Thursday.

A total of twelve thousand troops will march in the ceremony.

Colonel Qiliho says Fiji’s participation exemplifies its strong relations with China.

He says Fiji continues to send troops to China for military training and there was no better way to reciprocate China’s support for Fiji than to march with them in the parade.RNZI


6) Fuel depot upgrade planned for Cooks’ Penrhyn

28 August 2015

A fuel depot, schools and clinics in the Cook Islands’ remote northern atolls are to get an upgrade during a New Zealand Defence Force exercise starting at the end of the month.

One of the main projects for the force’s Tropic Twilight exercise is the relocation and rebuilding of the fuel depot on Penrhyn.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully says improving fuel storage will enable better use of the patrol boat Te Kukupa to carry out fisheries surveillance around the islands.

The force’s engineers will also upgrade buildings on Manihiki.

The exercise will involve China, the United States, the UK and France and is aimed at testing the force’s abilities to provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. deploy alongside other militaries and governments to provide humanitarian help and disaster relief to the region.

It will take place from August 31 to October 12.RNZI

7) Warning over American Samoa wage hike proposal

28 August 2015

The United States based StarKist Company says a US government subsidy on minimum wage increases in American Samoa would most likely violate World Trade Organization rules.

American Samoa’s governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has proposed increasing the local minimum wage on condition the US Congress provide a federal subsidy to support the rise.

The minimum wage in the territory is set to rise by 50 cents in September, following a three year wage freeze.

StarKist’s fish cannery in Pago Pago is one of the territory’s biggest employers.

StarKist’s CEO and president Andrew Choe has told the governor wage subsidies for manufacturing most likely violate WTO rules and would possibly throw the United States immediately into proceedings under anti-dumping and free trade agreements.

Mr Choe says even if it were possible, such a subsidy would require extra processes like offsetting the spending with tax increases.

He has reiterated the American Samoan economy cannot sustain an increase in the minimum wage at the moment.RNZI

8) Samoa digital broadcasting switch a financial challenge

28 August 2015

A Samoan private broadcaster says it will be a financial challenge having to switch to digital broadcasting next year.

The chairperson and CEO of Samoa Broadcasting Limited, Galumalemana Faiesea Lei Sam Matafeo, says going digital will not be easy for Samoa and other Pacific countries.

She says she is not sure what the government’s plan is but the station is looking for funding for the exercise which is not cheap.

“Almost all the countries that are going through digitalisation are finding it very very expensive because it means replacing all equipment and the audience as well also has to change their television sets.”

Digitisation has been discussed at the fifth Pacific Media Partnership Conference in Apia this week.RNZI


9) US$4 million in typhoon relief for Saipan

28 August 2015

Saipan is to receive more than US$4 million in disaster relief following Typhoon Soudelor.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved the assistance to help the Northern Marianas island after it was battered by the Soudelor three weeks ago.

It says there have been 7,500 registrations for assistance.

The agency says almost 90 concrete utility poles on CNMI have been installed more than 2000 homes inspected and nine out of ten commercial cellular communication sites are back online with emergency power.

Around 58 wells are currently operable with 4.7 million gallons of potable water being pumped into the system daily.

The international airport and port have both resumed 24/7 operations.RNZI


10) ABU to help Pacific media embrace digital

27 August 2015

Pacific media executives from around the Asia/Pacific region have been looking at how they can help Pacific operators adapt to digital media.

The meeting in Samoa is facilitated by the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.

The ABU’s Director of Technology, Amal Punchihewa, says the transition for media to digital is recognised all over the world as a matter of survival.

He says the advanced media corporations of Asia have a lot to offer the Pacific in making sure they are not left out of the global digital movement.

“The ABU coming in to the Pacific to work with all the media stakeholders in this region, to enhance, to educate and then to further development of the media in this region.”RNZI

11) Commonwealth urges Pacific to engage youth

The Commonwealth Youth Programme is urging governments in the Pacific to put young people at the forefront of their development policies.

Commonwealth youth ministers are meeting in Samoa next week to discuss the issues and challenges facing the region’s youth.

The programme manager Sushil Ram says at 60 percent, the Pacific has the highest youth population of any commonwealth region and engaging young people in development is simply common sense.

“Young people are always at the forefront of challenges, at the forefront of innovation and I think that ebergy, that innovation needs to be tapped by member governments for their own development and young people need to be seen as partners rather than merely recipients of development.”RNZI


12) ‘Border Farce’ (Melbourne) (Daily Mail, 29.8.15)
Social media lights up after the ADF announces plan to carry out random visa checks on Melbourne streets – only to cancel Operation Fortitude in the wake of the backlash’

‘Social media lights up after ADF plans to carry out random visa checks

A deluge of memes have appeared on Twitter mocking the plan, while more than 200 demonstrators packed the streets near Flinders Street Station on Friday.’

Read the full story:


13) Focus turns to data as slowdown looms

Sunday, August 30, 2015

NEW YORK – After a dizzying two weeks that saw a rapid plunge and rebound in equity prices, investors are looking forward to a week of economic data that may provide clarity on the likelihood of a near-term US interest rate hike and help tamp down the market’s recent wild swings.

The economic figures will culminate in Friday’s jobs report that should reveal more about the strength of the US economy. Car sales, construction spending, the Federal Reserve’s “beige book” and jobs growth may show the economy is strong enough to withstand the first rate hike in nearly a decade from the Federal Reserve, despite worries about a hard landing for China’s economy.

Global stock markets were stung by severe swings in recent weeks, stoked by concerns that a slowdown in China’s economy may be more harsh than anticipated.

But after confirming a move into correction territory, the S&P 500 rebounded to score its best two-day percentage gain in over six years this week, as comments from Fed officials led some investors to believe the market turmoil and global growth concerns had diminished the possibility of a rate hike at the central bank’s September meeting.

A September rate increase hasn’t been ruled out, however. Fed vice-president Stanley Fischer told CNBC during the Fed’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that the committee was “heading in the direction” of higher rates. Traders in futures markets that bet on rate increases boosted September’s odds after his words.


14a) Brèves du Pacifique – vendredi 28 août 2015

Mis à jour 28 August 2015, 16:21 AEST

Élodie Largenton

  • En Indonésie, les munitions retrouvées dans le bagage d’un homme qui se rendait en Papouasie étaient en fait destinées à la police indonésienne. 
Dans un premier temps, les autorités pensaient que c’était probablement un groupe indépendantiste papou qui avait cherché à s’armer.
  • Aux Îles Fidji, le nombre de personnes arrêtées ces deux derniers mois a encore augmenté : il y a aujourd’hui 70 accusés, répartis en trois groupes. Certains sont accusés d’incitation à l’émeute, d’autres d’avoir voulu former un État chrétien indépendant, d’autres encore de s’être entraînés avec des armes à feu lors de pseudo-camps militaires. Beaucoup sont représentés par le même avocat, Aman Ravindra-Singh, qui se plaignait récemment du manque de transparence des autorités dans cette affaire. Depuis, il a obtenu quelques informations et des éléments de preuve, qui vont lui permettre de faire son travail, dit-il. Aman Ravindra-Singh ne décolère pas pour autant : selon lui, la police et la justice ont créé un dangereux précédent en inculpant des personnes sans divulguer au moins quelques preuves des accusations portées à leur encontre.
  • Les écoles ont rouvert aux Îles Mariannes du nord, trois semaines après le passage du cyclone Soudelor. Plusieurs bâtiments de l’université de Saipan ont été abîmés ; quatre sont mêmes inutilisables, dont la salle de sport. De nombreuses salles de classe sont toutefois aptes à accueillir les étudiants, pressés de retourner en cours pour, en quelque sorte, retrouver une vie normale, explique le directeur des relations internationales de l’université au micro de la radio nationale néo-zélandaise.
  • À propos d’éducation, les Îles Cook ont de plus en plus de mal à trouver des professeurs. Vingt-deux postes sont vacants aujourd’hui, à Rarotonga comme dans les îles éloignées. Beaucoup préfèrent se tourner vers des emplois mieux rémunérés, estime le gouvernement, qui a décidé d’offrir des primes à ceux qui accepteraient d’aller enseigner dans des endroits isolés. Les autorités cherchent aussi à recruter des professeurs étrangers.
  • En Australie, un spécimen rare de baleine a été retrouvé sur une plage du Victoria, mercredi. Il s’agit d’une jeune baleine pygmée de 2,6 mètres, pesant 500 kg. L’animal a été transporté de la baie d’Apollo au musée du Victoria, où des scientifiques vont tenter de comprendre ce qui a causé sa mort. Jusqu’à aujourd’hui, seules cinq baleines pygmées ont été aperçues dans la région.
  • 14b) DÉCRYPTAGE – La tuberculose, problème de santé majeur dans les îles du détroit de Torrès
Mis à jour 28 August 2015, 18:02 AEST

Élodie Largenton

Le Premier ministre australien est en train de passer ses dernières heures dans la région des îles du détroit de Torrès, à l’extrême nord du Queensland. Autoproclamé Premier ministre des Affaires indigènes, Tony Abbott a décidé de consacrer une semaine par an aux communautés aborigènes isolées.

Des populations qui font face à de grandes difficultés : vie chère, chômage, éducation limitée et problèmes de santé. Dans les îles du détroit de Torrès, la tuberculose se propage rapidement. En juillet dernier, une femme de la région est décédée dans un hôpital de Cairns de cette maladie infectieuse, qui touche le plus souvent les poumons. Dans le Queensland, la maladie a fait trois morts en 2013, quatre en 2012 et neuf en 2011.
La maladie se propage à la frontière avec la PNG
Warwick Britton est professeur de médecine à l’université de Sydney, directeur du département de recherche sur les maladies infectieuses et l’immunologie. Il nous explique pourquoi tant d’habitants de la région contractent la tuberculose :
« Le nombre de malades de la tuberculose en Australie est plus élevé parmi les populations aborigènes et indigènes du détroit de Torrès que parmi les gens qui vivent en ville. Le pourcentage de personnes touchées dans les îles du détroit de Torrès reste relativement faible, mais il est plus élevé que dans les autres communautés australiennes. C’est notamment dû au fait qu’ils sont en relation étroite avec la Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, particulièrement avec la province Ouest, où il y a un grand nombre de malades. Les habitants de la région sont donc plus susceptibles d’être contaminés et de transmettre, à leur tour, la maladie. Les enfants et les adolescents infectés l’ont été à cause de cette récente propagation dans le détroit. »
La femme qui est décédée le mois dernier aurait ainsi contracté la maladie sur l’île australienne de Saibai, située à seulement 4 km des côtes papoues.
En vertu d’un traité signé en 1985, les habitants de 13 villages papous peuvent se rendre librement dans les îles australiennes pour faire du commerce, visiter leur famille ou pêcher, notamment. Une sorte de reconnaissance des liens culturels et coutumiers entre les habitants mélanésiens du détroit.
La forme multirésistante de la tuberculose est très difficile à soigner
Les gouvernements des deux pays coopèrent pour lutter au mieux contre la maladie, mais la tâche n’est pas facile, souligne Warwick Britton :
« Pour enrayer la tuberculose, vous devez avoir un système de santé très efficace, ce qui n’est pas le cas en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée. L’autre problème, c’est le développement d’une forme de tuberculose pharmacorésistante. Il y a des endroits en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée où il y a de très forts taux de cette maladie résistante aux traitements. En général, un malade doit prendre des médicaments pendant six mois, mais si vous avez la tuberculose pharmacorésistante, ce traitement ne fera pas effet. Traiter cette maladie est bien plus difficile, plus cher, les gens doivent prendre différents médicaments pendant 18 mois, avec davantage d’effets secondaires. »
Le coût total d’un traitement atteint plusieurs centaines de milliers de dollars. Les habitants des îles du détroit de Torrès peuvent être pris en charge gratuitement dans les centres de santé et hôpitaux du Queensland, mais l’État australien a décidé de ne plus soigner les malades papous sur son sol. Les autorités australiennes préfèrent aider financièrement le voisin papou à développer des infrastructures de santé adéquates. Elles financent aussi la recherche de nouveaux traitements et de meilleurs outils de diagnostic – en mars dernier, Canberra a ainsi annoncé un don supplémentaire de 30 millions de dollars au bénéfice de centres de recherche qui travaillent sur le sujet.
La situation empire
Malgré ces investissements, la situation ne s’améliore pas, rapporte Warwick Britton :
« L’un des problèmes, c’est que si vous ne traitez pas la tuberculose pharmacorésistante, ça prend peu à peu le dessus au sein de la communauté. Au niveau mondial, la forme multirésistante de la maladie représente 4% des cas, mais ce taux est nettement plus élevé en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, notamment dans la province Ouest, et c’est en augmentation, ça va jusqu’à 20% des cas. Notre credo, c’est : si l’on veut enrayer la propagation de la tuberculose en Australie, on doit enrayer la propagation de la tuberculose dans notre région. »ABC



15a) PNG Goroka University sumatin i stap iet long haus sik

Updated 28 August 2015, 14:10 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Tupla sumatin em ol polis ibin sutim hed blong tupla long trabal aste i gat bikpla heve long haus sik


Tupla sumatin blong University blong  Goroka long Eastern Highlands provins blong Papua New Guinea nau i sik nogut tru long Haus sik bihaen long oli bin sutim hed blong tupla long fait wantem polis aste long Goroka taon.

Ol ripot ikam long PNG itok olsem ol despla sumatin ibin mas long taon long sapotim askim blong ol long  University Vice-Chancellor Gaio Onagi imas lusim wok blong en.

Aste Provincial Police Commander John Tale ibin tokim mipla olsem taem oli bin laik stopim despla mas blong ol sumatin, sampla narapla pipal long taon ibin joinim na stat long sutim ol polis wantem ol ston na ol hap hap diwai.

PPC Kale ibin tok tu olsem  ol despla sumatin ino bin kisim tok oraet long holim despla mas.

Tasol niusmeri blong NBC long Goroka  Antonia Mission husat ibin lukim despla trabal itok emi bin lukim pas blong ol sumatin em oli bin givim igo long polis.ABC

15b) PNG PM itoktok long halvim em gavman igivim long ol pipal

Updated 28 August 2015, 13:59 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Papua New Guinea gavman i tok emi givim ken narapla 25 milian kina long helpim ol pipal em oli wok long bungim heve long bikpla sot long wara na tu bikpla kol long ol provins blong Highlands rijan.


Papua New Guinea gavman i tok emi givim ken narapla 25 milian kina long helpim ol pipal em oli wok long bungim heve long bikpla sot long wara na tu bikpla kol long ol provins blong Highlands rijan.

Praim Minista Peter O’Neill itokaut long despla moni bihaen long emi bin go raon na lukim ol ples long Highlands olsem Tambul na Mendi long stat blong despla wik.

Aste Bruce Hill blong Pacific Beat, ibin toktok wantem Praim Minista O’Neill long Brisbane we emi stap long PNG Avantage Investment miting.

Mr O’Neill itok despla wokabaut blong en igo long Highlands em blong lukim hau oli wok long skelim kaikai em gavman ibin givim moni long en bifo.

Emi tokim Bruce Hill tu olsem emi givim tok lukaut igo long ol pipal olsem oli mas redi na wuas gut nau long wonem despla taem blong nogat ren na bikpla kol bai go het iet long sampla moa mun ikam.

Praim minista itok gavman blong en ibin givim k5 milian kina long wik igo pinis na oli baem pinis ol kaikai blong helpim sampla femili.

Bruce Hill ibin askim tu Praim Minis O’Neill sopos despla moni em gavman i givim long baem kaikai blong ol pipal inap oa nogat na emi bin bekim olsem.

Praim Minista O’Neill itok tu olsem ap aste gavman blong en ibin givim narapla K25 milian kina long baem planti moa kaikai na helpim ol pipal.

Mr O’Neill itok tu olsem, emi save sampla pipal bai tok despla 30 tausan kina ino nap tasol emi tok emi wanpla wok em oli statim pinis na bai oli wuas long despla heve.

Despla tupla taem nogut, bikpla sot long wara na bikpla kol i hamarim PNG long wankaen taem em minista blong agrikalsa Mr Tommy Tomscoll ibin tokaut long stopim Australia na New Zealand long salim ol kaikai na fruit igo long PNG, na despla i mekim planti pipal na sampla bisnis laen olsem ol stua i wari nogut bai oli sot tru tu long kaikai.

Emi tok tu olsem despla heve long kantri nau inap mekim ol i lukluk gut ken long despla tingting blong stopim wok blong baem ol kumu na fruit ikam long Australia na New Zealand.ABC

15c) Wantok Futsal Final long Vanuatu

Updated 28 August 2015, 14:45 AEST

Sam Seke

Ol team em bai pilai long despla kompetisan ikam long Vanuatu, Solomon Islands na New Caledonia


Ol laen isave bihaenim na sapotim soka long Vanuatu bai gat planti sans long lukim oa harim kavarej blong ol faenol blong tupela futbol code we bai gohet long Port Vila tede na long wiken.

Tupela ia nau i ol fenal blong Wantok Futsal Challenge we i five-a-side soka, na ol  faenol blong Pre-season TVL Cup kompetisan blong Vanuatu Premier League.

Long sait long Wantok Futsal Challenge, wanpela klab blong Vanuatu na wanpela blong Solomon Islands bai plei long Sarere.

Dispela em long wanem long tede nait, tupela Paramartyr Kings na The Saints klab blong Solomon Islands bai plei long wanpela semi-faenol, na Tupuji Majik na  Aveck klab blong Vanuatu bai plei long narapela semi-faenol.

Media ofisa blong Vanuatu Football Association, Harry Atisson i tok wanpela tim blong New Caledonia tu i stap insait long kompetisan.ABC


16)  Need for integrated approach

Repeka Nasiko
Sunday, August 30, 2015

MINISTER for Health and Medical Services Jone Usamate says the lower limb amputation rate of one in every 12.5 hours is a statistic that the country should not be proud to speak about.

Mr Usamate said amputations caused by diabetes was a reality that the country faced and if not addressed, could get worse.

“This is a challenge that needs the collaboration of anyone who cares about the wellbeing of a fellow Fijian whether they are young or old, iTaukei or of another ethnicity and whatever gender or belief lines or occupation they belong to,” he said.

“Because diabetes is a condition that does not discriminate in the way it affects people — so everyone’s input is needed,” he said.

Mr Usamate said the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) had created a lot of inequities especially with the way health resources were utilised in Fiji.

“I have no doubt that the big complications of kidney failure, cardiovascular events like stroke and heart attacks and lower limb amputations have hugely impacted the country’s productivity and therefore the sustainability of any development project or plan. Out of the major complications mentioned, diabetic lower limb infections and amputations is a major contributing factor to the high cost of health care today and creating more burdens on families, communities and the nation.”

Mr Usamate said in order to achieve positive outcome and a target on any part of national strategies on NCDs, an integrated approach was needed at all healthcare stages.Fijitmes

17) Cuban Education Doctors Arrive Home In Solomon Islands

17 qualified graduates ready to serve their country

By Biriau Wilson Saeni

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 27, 2015) – Seventeen medical doctors who recently graduated from Cuba arrived back in the country Wednesday this week.

The group consists of four female doctors and 13 male doctors.

They were welcomed by representatives from the Ministry of Education – National Training Unit (NTU), Solomon Cuba Student Family Association (SCSFA), family members, friends and friends on their arrival at Henderson International Airport.

Official from the National Training Unit of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Rose Kudi thanked the newly graduated doctors for their achievement.

She said it was due to their dedicated commitment that saw their successful completion of their training as qualified medical practitioners.

“Your arrival home as newly qualified doctors is a blessing to the country because your success story is also a success story for the National Training Unit and the country as a whole.”Ms Kudi told the newly graduated doctors.

Solomons Cuba Student Family Association president Sampson Tahuniara said, they were very happy to welcome back the newly graduated doctors in the country.

He said as a local association which looks after the welfare of the students studying in Cuba, they were very happy to see each of the 17 newly graduated doctors returning with their qualifications to serve the country.

He said their association will keep on working hard to support the students who are still studying in Cuba the same way they supported the new doctor graduates.

Representative from the newly arrived doctors Dr. Frank Mautai said they want to thank God for bringing them home safely.

“We also want to thank our parents and guardians for their support and prayers during the course of our studies,” he said

The students spent some seven years to complete their medical studies.

Solomon Star


18) PM’s warning

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari
Sunday, August 30, 2015

FIJIANS living abroad who were plotting against the State will be tracked down and brought to justice. This was the warning from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday.

“If you encourage sedition, you are committing a serious offence. If you urge violence against anyone in Fiji, you are committing a serious offence,” he said.

“The hand of the law is very long and rest assured the authorities in Fiji will not rest until you are brought to justice.”

Mr Bainimarama also reminded those living next to people trying to divide Fijians not to be fooled.

“It is not only illegal but even if they were permitted, they would have no hope of surviving economically.”

He said it would not only make people poor but also “foolish”.

“So turn your backs on these messengers of division. Report any illegal activity to the police, and if anyone you know is involved, tell them they risk spending many years in jail.

“This also applies to Fijians who are plotting against the State overseas, including certain high profile figures in Australia.”

Mr Bainimarama said those behind the move were those who do not believe in democracy and in listening to the will of the people.

“They want to impose their will on everyone else. They are enemies of the State and enemies of the Fijian people. They are enemies of investment.

“They are enemies of a modern Fiji. They are enemies of prosperity for all Fijians.

“And we are going to track them down and bring them to justice.”Fijitimes

19) MPs to undergo training

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Update: 10:03PM THE United Nations Fiji Parliament Support Project team will hold a training for parliamentarians tomorrow.

Parliamentarians will be trained on media skills and public speaking.

Known as the Professional Development Training, it will be conducted by the secretariat of the Fijian Parliament in collaboration with the UN support team.Fijitimes


20) Solomon Islands Government Launches Land Reform Report
Framework to utilize customary land for development released

By Ronald Toito’ona

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 27, 2015) – Solomon Islands Minister for Lands, Housing and Survey Andrew Manepora’a has launched a report on land reform on Wednesday during the day-long summit, in Honiara.

Entitled ‘Building Successful Pathways for Land Reform in Solomon Islands’, the key findings of the report was discussed by presenters at the conference.

The report was written by Siobhan McDonnell, an Australia National University (ANU) representative, with local contributors like Joseph Foukona and Dr Alice Pollard.

Speaking at the launching, Mr Manepora’a said, that the report has drawn out a strategic direction for land reform in the country.

“This document sets out a ‘road map’ for land reform, by setting out possible steps that should be taken towards the end goal of how best we can develop a framework to utilise our customary land system for development.

“Importantly, it does not dictate exactly how many customary land should be recorded, registered or owned.

“That is a matter for Solomon Islanders ourselves to work out by going through the steps,” the Minister said.

He added that the first steps identified in the report involves consultation, including the idea of a National Land Summit, which was successfully hosted yesterday.

[PIR editor’s note: Solomon Star reported that ‘Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare has highlighted the important components of the land reform when delivering his speech to officially open the summit at the FFA conference centre, Wednesday. … Land reform is one of the key priorities of the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) government, and Mr Sogavare said, that the summit is timely given the fact that the country is decades behind addressing the doorway for development. … He said that, with the growing issues related to customary rights over land, his government wants to achieve an effective reform that would recognize the existence of customary land tenure systems.’]

“The ideas expressed today will help the government to form a clear policy vision and approach for how customary land can be used, occupied and developed in the future.

“As we figure out the best approaches to customary land reform, this will guide us in the drafting of new legislation for customary land,” he added.

The summit also includes a number of key speakers from the Melanesian region who have also shared their experience of land reform including the former Minister of Lands from Vanuatu, Ralph Regenvanu.

Mr Manepora’a added; given that there are speakers from other neighbouring countries sharing their experience in the summit, there are lessons to be learned about their success and failures.

Solomon Star


21) Positive growth

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, August 29, 2015

POSITIVE sectoral outcomes and strong demand conditions in the year so far are in line with the 4.3 per cent economic growth projection for this year, says Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Barry Whiteside.

He said this was particularly for increased consumption and investment demand, which continued to be supported by favourable financial and labour market conditions.

Mr Whiteside said the RBF board also agreed to maintain the overnight policy rate at 0.5 per cent during its monthly meeting for August.

“In contrast, global economic conditions remain fragile, particularly as the recent China currency devaluation heightened uncertainty for the international growth outlook, apart from pushing commodity prices further downwards,” he said.

“Given the low global commodity prices, especially for oil and soft trading partner inflation expectations, the 2015 year-end inflation is expected to be below 3.0 per cent.

“Foreign reserves are currently comfortable at $1969.3million, sufficient to cover 4.9 months of retained imports of goods and non-factor services. In short, the dual mandates of the bank remain stable.”

Mr Whiteside said the bank would continue to monitor the latest global and domestic developments and align monetary policy accordingly.

Meanwhile, the central bank said consumer demand continued to strengthen and confirmed by higher net value added tax collections and increased registration of new and second-hand vehicles in the year to July.

In its economic review for this month, the bank said elevated disposable incomes as reflected by annually higher pay as you earn tax collections, increased new lending for consumption purposes cumulative to July and higher personal remittances in the year to June continued to support consumption activity.Fijitimes

22) Assistance program

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, August 29, 2015

FIJI has received $US317million ($F685m) in loans and $US27m ($F58m) in technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank since joining the institution in 1970.

And according to the ADB, 45 per cent of the total had gone to the transport sector.

“This sector contributes an annual average of 12 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product,” the bank said ahead of an official visit to Fiji by ADB president Takehiko Nakao yesterday.

The visit was Mr Nakao’s first to Fiji where he was expected to discuss ADB’s assistance program with Government officials as well as visits to ADB-financed projects such as the Kinoya sewerage treatment plant upgraded under the Suva-Nausori water supply and sewerage project.

“The treatment plant, servicing a population of 85,000, now has new water mains and state-of-the-art computer systems to monitor water quality,” ADB said.

Mr Nakao is also expected to deliver a keynote address at the University of the South Pacific (USP) this afternoon about opportunities for the Pacific from the continuous global economic transformation, the potential benefits of even greater regional co-operation, the continuing need for an amplified “Pacific voice” on the world stage, and how ADB was changing to help the Pacific region achieve those goals.Fijitimes


23) Ministry assists elderly couple

Repeka Nasiko
Sunday, August 30, 2015

AN elderly couple of Sabeto in Nadi who were reportedly abandoned by their family has been given assistance by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.

Jai Prasad, 68, and his 67-year-old wife Pushpa Wati have moved to Sabeto after a family dispute.

Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Minister Rosy Akbar said officers from her ministry visited the elderly couple to find out the story behind the couple’s dire situation.

“It’s really sad and appalling to find that some of our senior citizens are neglected and ill-treated in their own homes. In this case the assessment report shows that the elderly couple had to relocate due to a family dispute,” she said in a statement.

“They have five sons and one daughter and the ministry has also liaised with the family and the long-term plan is to help in the reconciliation process of their differences and integrate the elderly back to their families.

“Appropriate steps have also been taken by the ministry to assist the couple through the Poverty Benefit Scheme, through which they will receive monthly cash allowances and food voucher.

“The ministry has continued to elaborate on the need for families and communities to treat senior citizens with care and compassion.

“They need to be protected, cared for within the boundaries of their home.

“We will continue to monitor this case and work together with key stakeholders to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the elderly couple,” said Ms Akbar.

Mr Prasad said he hoped some resolution could be reached between them and their estranged children with the assistance of the ministry.

“We have raised them and we really hope to resolve the matter,” he said.

“Living alone at this stage is something we are not prepared for and we hope that our voice reaches out to our families.

“My wife is also sickly and at this age, I need the help of my children to look after their mother.”Fijitimes

24) PNG Baby Sold By Father, Returned To His Mother

Police arrest father and man who bought son

By Dellyanne Ilai

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Aug. 27, 2015) – The two-month-old baby boy sold by his father for K500 [US$175] last week has been returned to his mother, police say.

National Capital District Met Supt Andy Bawa told The National yesterday that Tyle Pori was back with his mother Evodiah Saulap, who had lodged a complaint with police.

His father Keret Pori, 32, from East Sepik, sold him last Saturday to Abol Mikel from Wabag, following a row with wife Saulap.

Bawa said both Pori, who sold the child, and Mikel who bought him for K500, were in police custody.

Police retrieved the baby boy yesterday from Mikel’s home at 5-Mile.

Bawa said Mikel surrendered himself to police for questioning.

“This is a human being and should not be sold like a commodity,” Bawa said.

He warned parents intending to sell their babies that they would be dealt with severely.

“Babies have to be treated with care and parents have a responsibility for the child’s welfare to ensure he or she is in good condition,” he said.

Mikel and his wife Rose had refused to return the child, saying they had spent a lot of money to buy milk and other necessities for him.

The National


25) A concerted voice from small islands on climate change will be vital

By Online Editor
01:44 am GMT+12, 28/08/2015, Fiji

By Pita Ligaiula

The Asian Development (ADB) says a strong and coordinated voice on climate change for the Pacific is vital ahead of the Climate Change talks in Paris in December later this year.

Speaking at a public lecture in Fiji, ADB President Takehiko Nakao says the Pacific Islands are already among the most vulnerable in the world to disasters – as cyclone Pam in Vanuatu earlier this year reminded us.

He said natural disaster cost most Pacific island countries over 2% of Gross Domestic Product each year.

Nakao said expert on International Panel on Climate Change has reported without policy chnage, we can expect a world that is  4 degrees warmer by the end of the century.

“The stakes are high. A concerted voice from small islands – at the forefront of having to adapt to climate change – will be vital. A proposed “Suva Declaration” arising from the Pacific Islands Development Forum in Fiji next week will be an important step in this direction. Simply, a clear message from the Pacific need for greater funds on grants to assist with adaptation efforts will be important,” he said.

“ADB is trying to help the Pacific better manage risks from natural disasters and climate change. In close coordination with governments and partners, for instance, we’ve been able to respond quickly to assist with reconstruction after natural disasters, such as the 2009 Samoa tsunami Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu this year.

“We are integrating resilience to climate change and natural disasters into everything we do in the Pacific. We have to date mobilised over US$80 million in new and additional grants resources to help countries adapt to climate change. And we hope to work closely with the new Green Climate Fund to make futher resources available in the region,” said Nakao.


26) Ni-Vanuatu urged to prepare for extended dry spell

27 August 2015

People in Vanuatu have been urged to prepare for low rainfall leading into a drought that may last until next year.

The call has come from the head of the Climate Division of the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department Philip Mansale who says that the 2015 El Nino phase is well established.

Despite rains in recent months, Mr Mansale is warning the public to expect a dry run in the coming months.

“The Met Service is still forecasting below normal rainfall to last in the next three months. The long term outlook is we are still expecting the El Nino to occur until the first quarter of 2016. Therefore people in Vanuatu should be really taking the information from the Met Service seriously and start preparing whatever sectors they are involved with.”

Meanwhile in Port Vila, cold and dry weather is reportedly having an effect on agricultural home plots which government encouraged to cope with the devastation brought by Cyclone Pam in March.RNZI

27) PNG Agriculture Dept left out of Disaster Committee

29 August 2015

Papua New Guinea’s agriculture minister says he is disappointed his department has been left out of the National Disaster Committee as it deals with severe frost and drought caused by El Niño.

Tommy Tomscoll says he feels the department should be included as the main issue caused by the drought is food supply, which is where the department of agriculture comes in.

Mr Tomscoll told the newspaper, The National, that there’s a major disconnect as many farmers have lost crops, and once food is distributed they will need seedlings and other supplies to re-establish their lives.RNZI


28) Resolution reached in New Caledonia nickel dispute

29 August 2015

A resolution has been reached in New Caledonia to end a weeks-long industrial dispute which crippled traffic around the capital, Noumea.

Truck drivers, contracted to mining entities and nickel carriers, have been protesting a decision by the territory’s government not to allow exports of ore to China after a decline in exports to Australia.

Negotiations had reached a stalemate last week when the drivers blockaded Noumea, causing days of traffic chaos in the city of just under 100,000 people.

But late on Friday night, a breakthrough was reached when a Memorandum of Understand was signed between the drivers’ union and the New Caledonia government.

It was signed in the presence of the French High Commissioner and the president of the Caledonian Union Party, Daniel Goa, whose intervention on Tuesday helped break the stalemate and saw the roadblocks lifted.

The agreement provides that the government, the export committee, and signatories to the Noumea Accord will re-examine exports to China in coming weeks.RNZI


29) Fiji youth want better opportunities, not new flag

28 August 2015

Fiji’s Sodelpa Youth Council says young people would prefer money is spent on better education and job opportunities, rather than the planned national flag change.

The National Flag Protection Bill was passed this week, with the law seeking to provide a declaration for a new Fijian national flag, and set out rules for how the flag cannot be misused.

The Sodelpa Youth have previously submitted a 2,000 person petition asking that a referendum on the flag be considered, as well as 11,000 signatures of people who do not want a flag change.

It’s president, Peter Waqavonovono, says a referendum on the issue is important for the country’s democracy.

“We would like government to concentrate on more pressing issues. This is a expensive diversion. We believe that a lot of young people, we want jobs, we want better education, better scholarships, we want better opportunities, the last thing we want is for a government to spend tax payers money on trying to get a new flag.”

Peter Waqavonovono says the social benefits of having a referendum on the flag outweighs whatever cost it might incur.

In June this year, a Tebbutt poll for the Fiji Times found at least 86 percent of Fijians would prefer to vote on whether the flag should be changed.

In July, Frank Bainimarama told parliament, that there will be no referendum on whether Fiji should change its national flag.RNZI

30) Youths take lead role

Mere Naleba
Sunday, August 30, 2015

THE Youth Champs 4 Mental Health organisation has now taken a leading role in preparing for the World Suicide Prevention and World Mental Health Day celebrated globally on September 10.

Part of their awareness program will include volunteers spreading the message of silencing stigma associated with mental illness and suicide on the day.

YC4MH president Lionel Rogers said the silencing stigma campaign was another form of advocacy.

“It is our way of showing others that we disagree with the culture of silence in the sense that most people suffer abuse alone and cannot report it because of fear of intimidation and also this is our way of showing that most people who suffer from mental illness do not have a voice in society,” he said.

Mr Rogers said the silencing stigma campaign would be for 24 hours, during which volunteers would be stationed around the city square having duct tapes over their mouths and holding encouraging messages showing support for people living with mental illness.

“I always try and encourage the volunteers to be brave because most times when they stand at stations with tapes and placards people laugh at them, taunt them and insult them,” he said.

“Just imagine people suffering from mental illness in our communities get taunted and insulted, this is what they go through every day and we are only living it for 24 hours.”

The silencing stigma campaign will see YC4MH volunteers being stationed at the bus stand, MHCC, Tappoos City and McDonalds areas within the Capital City.Fijitimes


31) Suva wins IDC title

Amit Raj
Sunday, August 30, 2015

SUVA outplayed Lautoka 55-36 in the grand final to retain the Punjas/ Digicel National Netball Championship title yesterday.

Fiji Pearls goal shooter Afa Rusivakula, 23, led the Suva onslaught with 30 goals at the National Netball Centre in Laucala Bay while her fellow national teammate Nina Cirikisuva, playing goal attack, scored 19. Suva player/ coach and former national rep Filo Korovulavula, a late substitute in the final, was successful with six goals.

Suva goal keeper Reijeli Daveua was a tower of strength for the Capital City side and her timely intercepts combined with clever body movement often put Lautoka on the backfoot. Wing defence and Fiji Pearls utility Sarah Dakuitoga was instrumental in the win as well.

Rusivakula’s younger sister Maliana Rusivakula played goal attack for Lautoka and ended the game with 34 points. Goal shooter Kinisimere Saulo was successful with two goals.

In a tactical move, coach Korovulavula started experienced players like Fiji Pearls duo Maria Lutua and Losa Tuifagalele off the bench.

The duo made deadly impact once coming on the court.

An elated Korovulavula said she was proud of the Suva girls.

“I think this is the third year we’re playing Lautoka in the final. Lautoka is a good team and I’m very proud of my girls,” she said.

“It was a very good game.”

Korovulavula said the big win was expected and did not come as a surprise.

“We have lot of national reps in our team. I told them you play, never mind which team we play.

“You play to your best. We play as a team and not individuals. If you want to win, it’s teamwork.”

Lautoka Netball Association president Sala Drasuna said Suva had a lot of national reps while the westerners only had goal defence Alisi Naqiri.

“We take back the learning experience and carry on from here. We are a very young side,” Drasuna said.

Lautoka also lost to Suva in the finals of U19 and Major B divisions. Suva won 39-32 in the U19s and 38-19 in the Major B division.

Naitasiri beat Savusavu 36-32 in the Minor grade final.

32) Leali’ifano out to make a point to Australia selectors

Sunday, August 30, 2015

LONDON – Christian Leali’ifano is eager to prove a point to the Australia selectors who left him out of the Wallabies World Cup squad when he plays for the Barbarians against Samoa in London today.

The Brumbies star was left out of Michael Chieka’s final 31-man squad for the showpiece tournament, which starts in England next month, after losing out to Toulon playmaker Matt Giteau following the Wallabies’ decision to ease their rules on calling up overseas-based players for Test duty.

But Barbarians coach Jamie Joseph, who will be in charge of a star-studded invitational side when they play Samoa in what will both be a first rugby union fixture at the Olympic Stadium and a World Cup warm-up match for the Pacific Islanders, is in no doubt of the 27-year-old Leali’ifano’s talent.

“Christian is a quality player, I think the Wallabies are well aware of his abilities too,” said Joseph.

“But it never hurts to show what you can do in the international arena.

“You never know when injuries can strike either, so whilst he hasn’t been selected initially, stranger things have happened than him being drafted back in.

“So I’m sure he knows just how important it will be to have a strong game, and I know that he will be ready.

“I don’t think it will be preying on anyone’s mind — but a good performance wouldn’t hurt, that’s for sure.

“World Cup squads are very difficult to balance, I haven’t really put a lot of thought to the Wallabies squad in itself.

“It certainly speaks to their quality and strength in depth though, in that they felt in a position to leave some of that ability out of the 31.”

Joseph added: “But we’re delighted to have Christian with us and it will be extremely exciting to see what he can do.

“I’d say it’s a nice second prize to be representing the Barbarians against Samoa in the first-ever rugby match in the Olympic Stadium. He’s hungry, he’s been training really well, so we’ll just let him do his thing.”

33) Tonga to host Oceania U20 Women’s Football Champs

29 August 2015

Tonga has been named as host of the Oceania Under 20 Women’s Football Championship, which kicks off in less than five weeks time.

New Caledonia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu will square off, hoping to earn a berth alongside host national Papua New Guinea at next year’s Under 20 Women’s World Cup.

Tonga Football Association CEO Lui Aho says women’s football is a major focus for their organisation and it will be a real treat for local fans to see the teams in action.

Nuku’alofa is also playing host to the first stage of Oceania qualifiers next week, for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.RNZI

34) South Africa name Rugby World Cup team

Planet Rugby
Sunday, August 30, 2015

SOUTH Africa have announced their 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup, with scrum-half Rudy Paige a surprise inclusion ahead of Cobus Reinach.

Paige, who has yet to receive a Test cap, is preferred over the Sharks back and joins Fourie du Preez and Ruan Pienaar as the Boks’ number nine options.

Three Test centurions, Victor Matfield, Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers, have been included in the squad that will travel to England next month.

De Villiers will captain the Springboks at the global rugby showpiece and Matfield is vice-captain, with Schalk Burger providing captaincy back-up.

Matfield and Burger will take part in their fourth Rugby World Cup, while De Villiers, Habana, JP Pietersen, Pienaar, Du Preez, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis will play in their third. Six players who featured in 2011, are back for their second tournament.

Sixteen members of the 31-man squad, 12 of whom made their Test debut under Heyneke Meyer since 2012, will have their first taste of Rugby World Cup action.

One uncapped player was included in Paige, who was first selected to tour with the Springboks last November.

35) Rousey to fight in Australia

Sunday, August 30, 2015

MELBOURNE, Aug 29 AAP – The world’s most marketable mixed martial arts fighter is coming to Australia.

Ronda Rousey, the undefeated bantamweight champion who has won every one of her fights except one in the first round, will take on Holly Holm at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on November 14.

The two Americans were due to step into the octagon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on January 2, but UFC president Dana White announced the rescheduling on ESPN’s SportsCenter in New York on Friday night.

“Rousey vs Holm is main event at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. We’ll break all-time attendance record for an MMA event,” tweeted White.:

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