Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1123 ( Monday 31 August )


1) MSG trade talks

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, August 31, 2015

TALKS on new and important chapters for the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement (MSGTA 3) will continue this week.

The negotiations on trade in services which is a new chapter within the MSG Trade Agreement drew different reactions from the participating countries.

Officials were held up on key issues such as working out the implementation realities, ensuring the interpretations were clear, and seeking more time to consult with other government agencies and governments.

In a statement, MSG secretariat director general Peter Forau said it was to be expected.

Mr Forau said members wished to be clear about the implications of the services liberalisation given the lessons from other trade negotiations.

Officials from MSG country agencies such as Trade, Customs, Biosecurity, Economic Planning, and State Law were engaged in complex and painstaking discussions and thorough examination of the draft legal text of the agreement.

The meetings were supported and funded by MSG members and the EU under the Pacific Integration Technical Assistance Project (PITAP).

The outcomes from the week-long technical working group negotiations were tabled before the Trade and Economic Officials Meeting last Friday.

The same report would be tabled as recommendations to the MSG Trade Ministers Meeting today.Fijitimes

2) Trade commissioner to be named soon

Monday, August 31, 2015

Update: 9:19PM THE country’s new trade commissioner to Papua New Guinea will be named soon.

Minister for Industry and Trade, Faiyaz Koya said this during the 2015 Trade Ministers Meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group in Nadi today.

Mr Koya said the announcement was in line with the Government’s desire to promote Melanesian trade between the two countries which was first explored by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during his visit to Port Moresby in 2013.Fijitimes

3) Pacific Churches condemn killing in West Papua

By Online Editor
5:05 pm GMT+12, 30/08/2015, Fiji

Pacific churches have condemned the killing of two West Papuans by Indonesian soldiers last week.

And they have called on regional leaders to speak out against summary killings, torture and human rights abuse in the Indonesian-occupied territory.

Reports from Timika, West Papua, say a group of Special Forces troops shot dead two members of the Catholic Youth Group at the Cathedral Parish of the Three Kings Timika.

At the time of the Kamoro people were performing traditional rituals.

Sources say the soldiers, who were refused entry to the area, went to their barracks, returned with weapons and fired on the group.

PCC General Secretary, Rev Francois Pihaatae, said the killings were uncalled for and an indication of Indonesia’s contempt.

“Pacific leaders – especially those who have readily invited Indonesia into the Melanesian spearhead Group – have a duty to speak out against these murders,” he said



4) Tourism Authority welcomes Tonga Heritage Society.

31 August 2015 The head of Tonga’s Tourism Authority says he hopes the creation of a local heritage society will lead to better preservation of historical sites.

The Tonga Heritage Society had its first meeting last week amid concerns that developments were being proposed for significant histoical sites.

The TTA has begun focusing on promoting the local culture and heritage to visitors.

The acting General Manager Owen Pau’u says the new society will help the change in focus.

“That’s really encouraging for me. From the work that I do, it’s very encouraging because that means that there are a lot of people out there taking it seriously to the point that they are formalising groups that advocate in preserving the cultural and heritage sites.”RNZI

5) New Zealand celebrates Tongan language

31 August 2015

Tongan language is being celebrated this week throughout New Zealand with this year’s theme aimed at enriching the country with Tongan arts.

Community events will include tapa cloth making workshops, combined church services, story telling and poetry sessions.

Hana Sevao, the Pacific liaison person from Otara library in South Auckland and co-ordinator for some of this week’s activities, says the events attract people from other cultures who want to learn more about Tongan language.

Ms Sevao, who is Samoan herself, says celebrating Pacific languages in New Zealand helps raise awareness of other cultures.

“It’s also very important for others to be learning the Tongan language. Like, for myself and I’m excited to support and to promote all these activities in the Tongan language and I’m learning as well.”RNZI

6) “Foolish” human rights report draws Samoa PM’s ire

31 August 2015

Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has described a report into human rights in the country as foolish.

He told the Samoa Observer the report’s observations on poverty come from “palagi” thinking and the report’s writers have based their ideas on African countries.

The first State of Human Rights Report for Samoa was compiled by the Office of the Ombudsman in Samoa and says one in five people in Samoa lives below the poverty line.

Tuilaepa says there is no one walking around without clothes in Samoa, nor has anyone died because of a lack of food.

He says not being able to afford school fees is also a sign of poverty but he says with free education in Samoa people are lying if they say they have no money to send their children to school.RNZI

7) Niue Parliament looks for more control over village councils
By Online Editor
11:55 pm GMT+12, 30/08/2015, Niue

A member of the Niue legislative assembly says a law that aims to give government more control over village council administration is all about accountability.

Seven village constituencies have elected five village councillors, and new legislation governing their councils is set to pass.

Legislative assembly member, Terry Coe, says at the moment there is no real accountability for how members spend their money, and the new law will address this.

“To make sure that they are having regular meetings with the committee, and also the village council, and the village itself. Because the members of the committee are getting paid $2,000 a year, the government is making sure tha money is being well spent.”

Terry Coe says if councillors don’t meet their obligations, the law would allow the government to take over the council and call new elections.

The proposed Act places emphasis on reporting and auditing accounts and stricter supervision over funds provided for local communities by government.

It’s expected that maintenance of administration and financial records will be imposed, and councillors can be suspended by the director general for badly conducting council business.



8) May be December before Saipan is back on grid

31 August 2015

While power to the Northern Marianas hospital and some businesses has been reconnected after Typhoon Soudelor, the rest of Saipan may have to wait more than two months.

With the help of private groups from Guam and public utility crews from Palau and the Federal States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth Utility Corporation has now installed about 200 power poles out of the more than 800 downed by the storm more than 4 weeks ago.

The utility says with some luck the grid could be restored to pre-Soudelor conditions by November but manager Gary Camacho says it could be into December.RNZI

9) CNMI tourism industry loses US$30 million

31 August 2015

The tourism industry in the Northern Marianas lost US$30.8 million in August due to Typhoon Soudelor and a downgrade of the territory’s airport.

The typhoon battered the territory earlier this month damaging homes and infrastructure and cutting power.

A fire truck needing maintenance at the airport has also restricted flights into Saipan.

The Marianas Visitors Authority says 12,491 tourists have cancelled their trips to the CNMI this month.

It says nearly 2,000 cancelled because of a downgrade of the airport.RNZI

10) Kiribati President Tong is co-laureate of inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize
By Online Editor
5:08 pm GMT+12, 30/08/2015, Korea, Republic of

By Vosita Kotoiwasawasa in Seoul, South Korea

Kiribati President Anote Tong has become one of two winners of a major new international peace award conferred in Seoul on Friday for his efforts to highlight the impacts of sea-level rise on his atoll nation.

President Tong, 63, was awarded the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize along with Indian fisheries scientist Modagadu V Gupta. Gupta is noted for his research, which resulted in significant increase in fish production and laid the foundation for the Blue Revolution, a possible solution said to address a potential food crisis.

The event was attended by over 1000 delegates from the around the world, as well as Pacific dignitaries including a delegation from Fiji led by the first lady, Adi Koila Nailatikau.

The event was the highlight of the Third World Summit on Peace, Security and Human Development taking place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Seoul.

In his acceptance speech, laureate President Tong paid a special tribute to the late founder of the Sunhak Peace Organisation, Dr Sun Myung Moon, for his lifelong commitment working to achieve universal peace for all under the slogan ‘one family under God’.

“I am honoured to receive this award and looking back the last 12 years to the challenges there were since being elected into power in 2003, my people had placed their hopes in me to guide them to a safe and secure future and to ensure that their voices were heard on issues they raised in the international arena,” he said.

Tong emphasised the need to continue raising awareness on climate change.

“Over the years, climate change has threatened the future survival of our generations. The low-lying atoll islands are at the frontline of climate change and unless we address this, an entire identity and culture may cease to exist,” he said.

The Kiribati president elaborated that as leaders at the World Peace Summit here in Seoul, they had to ensure they worked to safeguard their moral obligation to all humanity to ensure a safe future for all.

Tong was emotional as he also acknowledged the support of his wife who has been the backbone of his fight in the international arena to get the world’s attention about the threats of climate change to their island home.

“I would like to also take this time to acknowledge my wife who has been there and has gone through the difficult times I faced when no one was listening to my story. This is also for our grand children and for all others. Let’s do what is right!” he said.

For his part, fellow laureate Gupta urged global leaders to invest more heavily in aquaculture to address the rapidly growing challenge of hunger in developing countries.

“It has been estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that to meet the demand of increasing population by 2050, we need to increase food production by 60 percent globally, [and] by 90 percent to 100 percent in developing countries,” he told the audience, according to remarks prepared for delivery.

“The enormity of the situation can be further gauged from the fact that more food has to be produced in the next 35 years than what was produced in the last 8,000 years,” he said.

He said he was pleased the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee had recognised the need for global food security.

“This is important due to the ever-increasing population and with the threat of global warming, there is a threat to food security,” he said.

Dr Gupta acknowledged the contributions made by his family towards his ambition and also to the farming community, planners and fellow scientists who came together to get the project done.

“We have IT experts, rocket technicians, space scientists but we all fail to provide enough food to address malnutrition in the world today. Lack of food leads to rampant hunger which leads to civil unrests and even riots in some places,” he said.

Tong and Gupta each received US$500,000, a medal and a certificate.

The Sunhak Peace Prize will be awarded annually to an individual or organisation that has made significant contributions to the peace and well-being of future generations.



11) PNG bai wokabaut long sapotim West Papua

Updated 31 August 2015, 15:47 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Ol pipal blong West Papua na ol sapota blong ol long Papua New Guinea nai redi long holim wanpla Walk for Freedom wokabaut taem ol Pacific lida bai holim Forum miting blong ol long Port Moresaby long wik bihaen.

Fred Mambrasar, lida blong Free West Papua Campaign long PNG itok despla Walk for Freedom March bai kamap tu long Mount Hagen long Western Highlands Provins, Madang Provins na long Popondeta long Oro Provins.

Em i tok as tingting blong despla wokabaut em blong soim ol Pacific Island lida olsem wari blong ol long human rights aninit long Indonesia istap iet na oli laikim sapot ikam long rijan long luksave long despla wari blong ol.

Mr Mambrasar i tok oli laikim planti moa pipal long PNG long sapotim ol tu.ABC

12) PNG palamen i mekim wok painim aut long HIV/AIDS

Updated 31 August 2015, 16:09 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Gavman blong Papua New Guinea nau iwok long mekim wanpla wok painimaut oa enquiry igo long Hiv/Aids long kantri.

Wanpla Special parliamentary Committee long  HIV na  AIDS nau i raon long fopla rijan blong kantri long mekim despla wok blong lukim wonem kaen heve despla sik isave kamapim long laif na sidaon blong ol pipal.

Gavana blong West New Britain Provins na Siaman blong despla komiti Sasindran Muthuvel itok as tingting blong despla wok painimaut em blong save tu long ol kaen wok em gavman aninit long Helt dipatman i mekim blong helpim ol pipal em oli gat sik Aids.

Papua New Guinea i gat bikpla namba tru long ol pipal em oli gat Aids winim ol narapla kantri long Pacific rijan.

Gavana Muthuvel itok i tok ol i wok long raun long New Guinea Islands rijan long mekim despla wok.ABC

13) Aveck FC blong Vanuatu i winim Wantok Futsal Challenge

Updated 31 August 2015, 16:28 AEST
Sam Seke

Aveck Futsal Club blong Port Vila Futsal league i kamap champion blong Wantok Futsal Challenge long nabawan taim.

Ol AVECK FC i winim Paramartyr Kings blong Solomon Islands 6-3 long Sarere long Port Vila.

Narapela Club blong Vanuatu, Tupuji Majik i kam naba tu bihain long ol i winim narapela club blong Solomon Islands, The Saints long 8-3.

Wanpela club blong New Caledonia tu ibion stap insait long dispela kompetisan.

Long narapela stori, Amicale FC i winim Trophy blong TVL pre-season bihain long em i winim Tupuji 1-0 long wiken.

Harry Atisson blong Vanuatu Football Federation i tok,  2015/16 TVL National Super League bai stat long 7th September 2015.

Em i tok wina blong dispela league bai makim Vanuatu long OFC 2016 Champions League.ABC

14) PNG Hunters i go long Queensland Cup faenols bihain long bikpela win

Updated 31 August 2015, 14:58 AEST
Sam Seke

Ol PNG Hunters ibin winim ol Burleigh Bears 44-24 long Sir John Guise Stadium long Port Moresby aste.

Dispela ibin laspela Home and Away raun long Queensland Intrust Super Cup kompetisan – na i lukim ol Hunters i stap long naba 2 long lada bihainim ol Townsville Blackhawks.

Ol PNG Hunters i stap long 42 points bihain long ol ibin NO lusim 17 pela match – na ol minor-premiers Townsville Blackhawks i stap long 43 point.

Tupela tim ia bai plei gen bihain long tupela wik na wina bai go stret long grand faenal.

Maski bikpela win long aste, Hunters Coach Michael Marum i tok planti wok i stap yet long kompetisan.ABC



15a) Bougainville : 18 ans après, toujours « dans l’obscurité »

Mis à jour 31 August 2015, 16:31 AEST

Élodie Largenton

Cela fait 18 ans que les combats ont cessé à Bougainville, province autonome de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, mais de nombreuses familles continuent à chercher leurs proches disparus. « Dans l’obscurité, continuant à attendre » : c’était d’ailleurs le thème choisi par la Croix-Rouge à l’occasion de la Journée internationale des personnes disparues, hier.
Il est difficile de connaître exactement le nombre de personnes qui ont disparu pendant la guerre civile ; il y en aurait entre une centaine et un millier, selon les estimations. Les combats ont fait plus de 15 000 morts en une dizaine d’années.
Le gouvernement de Bougainville a mis en place une politique de recherche des disparus à la fin de l’année dernière, mais pour le moment, cela en reste au stade des discussions. Peter Garuai, qui a perdu son frère Benedict, tué par des soldats de l’armée papoue, voudrait que les autorités passent maintenant à l’action :
« J’ai moi-même perdu mon frère, il n’est jamais revenu. Il avait 20 ans quand il a rejoint l’armée révolutionnaire de Bougainville, mais il a été tué. »
Le corps de Benedict n’a jamais été retrouvé. La Croix-Rouge tente de pousser les gouvernements de Port-Moresby et de Bougainville à travailler ensemble pour soulager la souffrance des familles comme celle de Peter Garuai. Cela a une importance fondamentale, souligne Tobias Koehler, le représentant de l’ONG dans la province autonome :
« Ça a des répercussions psychologiques. Les habitants de Bougainville sont très attachés à leur terre et la question de rapporter les restes humains de leurs proches chez eux, c’est capital. Les gens croient énormément aux esprits, aux esprits des morts. Souvent, quand on aborde le sujet, ils disent que ces esprits ne sont pas à l’aise, qu’ils vagabondent et interfèrent dans les vies des vivants jusqu’à ce que leurs os soient rapportés là où ils doivent être. »
La disparition de leurs proches peut aussi avoir un impact économique sur les familles : impossible de toucher la pension qui leur serait due. Certains se voient même menacés sur leurs propres terres, ne pouvant pas prouver que leur famille vit à cet endroit depuis des générations. Or, souligne Tobias Koehler, « la terre, c’est la vie, ici ». ABC

Australie : l’« opération fermeté » pas assez forte pour résister aux manifestants

Mis à jour 31 August 2015, 16:42 AEST

Élodie Largenton

Avant même d’avoir commencé, l’opération a dû être annulée. Des agents de la police aux frontières avaient prévu de contrôler les visas des passants dans les rues de Melbourne, le week-end dernier, mais ils ont très vite fait marche arrière.
C’est vendredi midi que tout a commencé, quand les autorités ont annoncé leur « opération fermeté » via un communiqué :
« Des agents seront placés à différents endroits autour du centre-ville, interrogeant les personnes qu’ils croiseront. Vous devez être au courant des conditions de votre visa, si vous commettez une fraude, vous devez savoir que serez attrapés, ce n’est qu’une question de temps. »
Très rapidement, le sujet a envahi les réseaux sociaux. Des dizaines de personnes ont alors décidé de manifester dans le centre de Melbourne pour dénoncer une opération « raciste ». Parmi elles, Anitra Nottingham :
« L’idée que des personnes se baladent dans la rue pour vérifier les papiers des gens, c’est franchement orwellien. Je n’ai pas manifesté depuis plus de 20 ans, je travaille aujourd’hui, mais je me suis dit que je ne pouvais pas ne pas y aller et dire quelque chose. C’est pas comme ça qu’on fait les choses en Australie. »
La police aux frontières a ensuite publié un autre communiqué, précisant ne « pas viser les gens en fonction de leur race, de leur religion, ou de leur origine ethnique ». Mais le mal était fait et l’opposition politique s’est vite emparée du sujet. Le député indépendant Andrew Wilkie, ancien analyste des services secrets, n’a pas mâché ses mots :
« C’est une chose dont Joseph Staline serait fier. Il serait fier du Premier ministre Tony Abbott. L’ancienne police secrète d’Allemagne de l’est, la Stasi, serait impressionnée. Le général chilien Pinochet serait impressionné. »
La controverse a obligé les autorités à annoncer l’annulation de l’opération en fin d’après-midi. Elle n’est pas éteinte pour autant, et continue à agiter l’Australie, ce lundi.
Pour la première fois depuis le début de cette affaire, le ministre de l’Immigration, s’est exprimé, aujourd’hui, sur le sujet. Selon Peter Dutton, certains chauffeurs de taxi sont soupçonnés de n’avoir que des visas étudiants, qui ne les autorisent pas à travailler comme ils le font. Ce sont eux qui étaient visés, assure-t-il au micro d’ABC :
« Il était entendu, comme cela m’a été expliqué, que des agents de la police aux frontières seraient dirigées vers certaines personnes par la police de Melbourne – il n’était pas question qu’ils arrêtent des gens au hasard. Je pense que la manière dont cela a été présenté dans le communiqué est regrettable, c’est évident. La police aux frontières s’en est excusée. Mais que l’opposition vienne maintenant attaquer les policiers en uniforme, je pense que c’est plutôt dû à sa frustration concernant d’autres activités de cette division, notamment le fait qu’on ait arrêté les bateaux de migrants en route vers l’Australie. Ce n’est pas dû à cette opération bénigne qui devait avoir lieu à Melbourne. »
La seule erreur que reconnaît donc le ministre, aujourd’hui, c’est une erreur de communication.
On ne sait pas si les autorités ont l’intention de relancer cette opération fermeté dans les prochaines semaines.ABC
15b) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 31 août 2015
Mis à jour 31 August 2015, 16:25 AEST

Élodie Largenton

La police n’avait pas d’autre choix que d’ouvrir le feu : c’est, en substance, ce que déclare le chef de la police des Hautes-Terres orientales, en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée.

Des policiers ont fait usage de leurs armes jeudi dernier, à Goroka, lors d’une manifestation d’étudiants. Selon le commandant de police, John Kale, ses officiers ont tiré en l’air et n’ont pas visé la foule. Plusieurs témoins et la presse locale ont fait état de deux blessés par balles, mais le chef de la police affirme qu’une seule étudiante a été touchée et qu’elle est sortie de l’hôpital. Il rappelle que les étudiants de Goroka n’avaient pas reçu l’autorisation de manifester, parce qu’ils n’avaient pas de « raison valable » pour cela. Depuis plusieurs semaines, les étudiants demandent la démission du vice-président de l’université.
Deux hommes ont été tués par des militaires indonésiens en Papouasie, vendredi dernier. Les deux victimes étaient âgées de 18 et 23 ans. D’autres personnes ont été blessées. Le déroulé des événements n’est pas clair : selon un militaire papou, un soldat a été attaqué par la foule à Timika, ce qui a déclenché la tuerie ; le commandant de la région explique, lui, que les officiers étaient ivres quand ils ont ouvert le feu.
Le Premier ministre fidjien prévient : ceux qui veulent renverser le gouvernement passeront « de nombreuses années » en prison, y compris ceux qui habitent à l’étranger. Des propos tenus le week-end dernier par Frank Bainimarama, alors que 70 personnes ont été arrêtées ces dernières semaines, la plupart pour incitation à l’émeute. Le Premier ministre a accusé des Fidjiens installés en Australie de comploter contre le gouvernement. « Le bras de la justice est long. Ils ne parviendront pas à leur fin, et si vous êtes suffisamment bêtes pour les rejoindre, vous serez sévèrement punis », a menacé Frank Bainimarama. S’il n’a cité aucun nom, on sait que les autorités ont refusé à Mereoni Kirwin d’entrer aux Îles Fidji. Cette Fidjienne installée en Australie est accusée d’avoir « tenté de former un soi-disant État chrétien dans les provinces de Ra et Nadroga ». Le principal parti d’opposition, Sodelpa, critique le ton « agressif »employé par le Premier ministre, un ton qui « rappelle celui utilisé avant le coup d’État de 2006 ».
L’industrie forestière est en pleine restructuration aux Îles Salomon. Le gouvernement vient d’annuler plus de 30 permis agro-forestiers. Ces permis donnaient la possibilité aux entreprises d’abattre des arbres pour d’autres raisons que l’exportation de rondins de bois. Cela a causé de vives tensions dans l’île de Mono, dans la province occidentale, où certains sont allés jusqu’à prendre les armes. Des lois plus strictes sont actuellement en préparation.
Les Îles Tonga veulent réduire l’utilisation des sacs plastiques. On en voit souvent par terre dans les rues de Nukua’alofa, ou accrochés aux arbres… Pour mettre fin à ce gâchis environnemental, 1 000 sacs réutilisables ont été distribués à la population. Une opération financée par le Rotary Club néo-zélandais de Rotorua.
On connaît les noms des 31 joueurs qui disputeront la Coupe du monde de rugby avec le maillot des All Blacks. Et il y a une surprise : la présence de Waisake Naholo. Victime d’une fracture du péroné le mois dernier, l’ailier a d’abord été soigné en Nouvelle-Zélande. Mais quand on lui a dit qu’il avait besoin de trois mois pour se rétablir, le jeune joueur a décidé de remettre son sort entre les mains de la médecine traditionnelle fidjienne, avec succès. Waisake Naholo explique que sa blessure a disparu en seulement quatre jours grâce à l’application de kawakawarau, une plante locale, sur sa jambe. La Coupe du monde commence le 18 septembre. Les All Blacks vont tenter de conserver leur titre, ce qu’aucune nation n’a encore réussi à faire.ABC


16) China business journalist ‘confessed’ to causing stock market slump: state media

Updated 31 August 2015, 15:20 AEST

A financial journalist has “confessed” to causing “panic and disorder” on China’s stock market and inflicting “huge losses on the country”, state media reported on Sunday.

Wang Xiaolu, a journalist with Caijing magazine, was detained by Chinese authorities following China’s recent stock market crash.

He was held for fabricating and spreading fake information on securities and futures markets, according to news agency Xinhua.

According to the report, Mr Wang “confessed” his “false information” had “caused panics and disorder at [the] stock market, seriously undermined the market confidence, and inflicted huge losses on the country and investors”.

His story in July said the nation’s securities regulator was studying plans for government funds to exit the market.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) quickly denied the Caijing story, labelling it “irresponsible”.

But Caijing said it “defended journalists’ rights to do their duty under the law”, according to a statement posted on its website.

Chinese state media regularly carries what it presents as confessions of suspects in high-profile cases.

The China tide has turned

China saved Western capitalism in 2009, but it may now trigger the next crisis, writes Ian Verrender.

Formal arrest in China normally comes after some time in police detention, when the case is handed to prosecutors, with trial and conviction almost guaranteed.

The news agency also reported 197 people had been punished in a special campaign by Chinese police targeting online rumours about China’s stock market,the recent fatal explosions in Tianjin and “other key events.”

No details of the punishments were given, but according to the report the crimes punished included claiming a man had jumped to his death in Beijing due to the stock market slump, falsifying the number of people who had died in the Tianjin blasts, and circulating “seditious” rumours about China’s upcoming commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.


17) The rise of Asia

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, August 31, 2015

ASIA’S contribution to total global economy output has doubled from about 15 per cent in the mid-1960s to about 30 per cent today, says Asian Development Bank president Takehiko Nakao.

During his first official visit to Fiji last week, Mr Nakao said this figure could contribute to more than half of global output by 2050.

“The fastest decline in poverty anywhere in the world has been in Asia where, despite a growing population, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen from 1.5billion in 1990 to about 600million today,” he said in his keynote address at USP in Suva.

He said the Pacific was benefitting from Asia’s rise in that many Pacific Island countries had adopted the “Look North” economic strategies.

“They are strengthening their links with Asian economies, boosting growth and incomes for citizens,” Mr Nakao said.

“While recognising gains, ADB sees further opportunities for Pacific Island countries to strengthen links with the fast-growing Asian countries.

“Over the past 50 years, the world has transformed. The rapid rise of Asia over this period is one of the most successful economic development stories in history.”

On a similar note, Mr Nakao said Pacific Island countries had also made similar progress over the past 50 years.

Across the Pacific, he said, children born today could expect to live to 70 compared with a life expectancy of 56 in the mid-1960s.

Hundreds of thousands more girls and boys were attending primary schools each year and average incomes had increased by thousands of dollars, he said.

However, Mr Nakao said, the progress had varied among countries.

“Despite progress, continued challenges remain. While absolute poverty in several Pacific Island countries is limited, many people face hardship and are vulnerable to natural disasters and other shocks,” he said.

Several countries, he said, had made progress in meeting millennium development goals including maternal and child health but countries still needed renewed efforts.Fijitimes

18) Top class training

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, August 31, 2015

THE South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Centre and member central banks continue to provide the best training opportunities for staff members at the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

And according to RBF governor Barry Whiteside, Fiji’s relationship with the SEACEN family went back a long way.

“It is something that we have never had second thoughts about. As a bed of learning, The SEACEN Centre and member central banks have provided us with the best training opportunities and our staff members have been the richer for it,” he said in a statement on Friday.

Mr Whiteside made the comment while opening the recent 37th meeting of the SEACEN Directors of Research and Training and high-level seminars at the Sofitel Resort and Spa.

The directors of research and training meet annually to discuss the learning and research needs of the SEACEN member central banks and monetary authorities in order to propose learning and research programs for 2016 that were aligned with the business requirements of the members.

“This is the third time that Fiji has hosted this meeting with the last two held in 1993 and 2008. The RBF took the opportunity to invite fellow central bankers from the Pacific Islands to the seminars to share the learning experience, as well as network with SEACEN members.”

With the theme “Globalisation: Impact on Central Bank Strategies of Emerging Economies”, the seminar for Directors of Research provided opportunities to discuss the implications of increasingly integrated production chains across borders for trade and economic growth, as well as the consequence of the globalisation of international finance for the conduct of monetary policy.Fijitimes


19) Egyptian court sentences three Al Jazeera journalists to prison

Monday, August 31, 2015

CAIRO – An Egyptian court sentenced three Al Jazeera TV journalists to three years in prison on Saturday for operating without a press license and broadcasting material harmful to Egypt, a case that has stirred an international outcry.

The verdict, in a retrial, was issued against Mohamed Fahmy, a naturalised Canadian who has given up his Egyptian citizenship, Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian, and Peter Greste, an Australian who was deported in February.

Rights advocates say their arrest was part of a crackdown on free speech waged since the army overthrew President Mohamed Mursi, a senior Muslim Brotherhood figure, in July 2013 following mass unrest over his rule.

Judge Hassan Farid said the defendants, dubbed the “Marriott Cell” by the local press because they worked out of a hotel belonging to that chain, “are not journalists and not members of the press syndicate” and broadcast with unlicensed equipment.

Baher received an additional six months in prison. The state news agency MENA said extra time was handed down because he was in possession of a bullet at the time of his arrest.

The three men were originally sentenced to seven to 10 years in prison on charges that included spreading lies to help a terrorist organisation, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which the military toppled from power two years ago.

The three defendants denied all charges, calling them absurd. Three other Egyptians, all students, also received three-year sentences for the same charges.

20) Hungary erects razor wire fence on border

Monday, August 31, 2015

BUDAPEST – A razor-wire barrier along Hungary’s border with Serbia, aimed at keeping out migrants, has been completed.

“Two days before the August 31 deadline, the first section of the border closure has been completed,” the Hungarian defence ministry said on Saturday.

The barrier consisting of three rolls of razor wire along the 175km frontier is however failing to prevent people getting across, AFP saw in a recent visit.

A four-metre-high is due to follow and is already being built by the Hungarian army which will “also provide a defence against illegal border-crossers”, the Defence Ministry said.

About 1000 border police control the border, and 2000 more are due to be in operation from September 1, the government says.

Hungary, a member of the EU and of the visa-free Schengen zone, has this year intercepted more than 140,000 migrants entering from Serbia.

In the past week along, some 10,000 have crossed over as the surge reaches record levels.

The vast majority have trekked up through the western Balkans and want to travel onwards to western European countries like Germany and Sweden.


21) Fijian Hospital Vessel Soon
By Online Editor
11:49 pm GMT+12, 30/08/2015, Fiji

Fijian Hospital Vessel Soon
Fiji will soon have her own hospital ship, thanks to Government’s development plans.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said a new government vessel, MV Raiyawa will be bought next year to provide medical and navigational services to maritime Fijian islands.

He revealed this while commissioning the new government vessel, MV Cagivou at Walu Bay, Suva on Saturday .

“Next year, we will complete our fleet replacement programme with a new vessel to replace the decommissioned navigation aid ship, MV Raiyawa,” he said.

“The ship will have a multipurpose function – a platform for aids to navigation and doubling up as a hospital ship.

“These are two critical roles – maintaining safe sea lanes in line with our international obligations and providing our maritime communities with much- needed medical services.”

The PM said professionals on ship would be able to conduct surgical operations similar to those offered in hospitals.

He said this would benefit Fijians living in maritime islands. The Government Shipping Services fleet now has six vessels.



22) Fear of losing iTaukei language

Sikeli Qounadovu
Monday, August 31, 2015

THERE are fears there might come a time when the iTaukei may lose the iTaukei language.

And the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs is working to prevent this from ever happening.

Permanent secretary for iTaukei Affairs Savenaca Kaunisela said this was evident as the standard of the quality of iTaukei language was not of same.

“Some of us cannot speak our language, others there is a mixture of iTaukei and English. There can come a time that we may lose our language.”

Mr Kaunisela said it was therefore important to hold onto our identity which included language, custom and tradition.

“For many of us we say we are iTaukei yet we do not live the iTaukei way.”

“It is us the iTaukei we do not see our identity as very important.”

Mr Kaunisela said Government was committed to protecting the iTaukei, its identity and resources but the onus would always be on every individual.

He said our willingness to accept and practise new ideas such as drugs, HIV/AIDS etc were crippling our iTaukei society.

“There is no better classroom then to begin from home. It is the duty of parents, the vanua, and everyone else,” Mr Kaunisela said.

Mr Kaunisela said they were engaging the iTaukei Trust Fund to see to the protection of the iTaukei identity.

“We have published books that comes with pictures which the young can read and understand. We have seen that everything is in English so why not have something in plain and simple iTaukei language which the young can also understand.”

Mr Kaunisela said as part of Government’s initiative they were visiting villages and educating them the importance of preserving and protecting their identity as well as teaching their younger generation the importance of knowing and understanding their identity, language, customs and traditions.

Compulsory studying of the iTaukei language in the education system is another government initiative to protect its unique identity.Fijitimes

23) PM stresses need to master English language

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Monday, August 31, 2015

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has stressed the need for Fijians to master the English language properly, it being the global language of commerce and many other areas of human endeavour.

Mr Bainimarama made the call at the Fiji National University’s inaugural alumni gala dinner and awards night at Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Saturday.

“I realise that for many people, English is not their mother tongue at home,” he said.

“But it is our national language used in official communications and medium of teaching, so we need to master it properly.

“And we certainly need to do so when we go out into the world and compete against other nations where English is the mother tongue. Everyone wants to learn it.”

Mr Bainimarama also called on Fijians to maintain and improve their national capability to speak and write English by way of reading a lot of books, newspapers and any publication where there is good writing because reading was key to improving written language skills.

He said the culture of reading in Fiji was not strong enough.

“While our parents certainly read a lot more in the news and on television, many young people don’t seem to read at all for recreation- they’ve got their heads buried on their mobile phones.

“And as long as they can text, tweet or put up a Facebook posting, that’s all the writing they think they need to do.

“So I’d like to leave you all with the idea that we need to develop more culture of reading in Fiji- a love for reading.

“And when we do so, its bound to raise our standard of English expression,” said Mr Bainimarama.Fijitimes

24) Child education

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari
Monday, August 31, 2015

THE Government wants all primary schools in the country to have early childhood education centres by 2017.

Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said this in Parliament on Friday.

Dr Reddy said of the 730 primary schools in the country, 332 do not have Early Childhood Education centres but have Class 1.

With the Constitution providing the right to early childhood education, Dr Reddy said they planned to establish ECE centres in every primary school by 2017.

“We have appointed four EC advisers in the districts so that they will go and inspect the schools and advice,” he said.

“Out of the 730 primary schools, 332 do not have EC centres.

“By 2017, we want all primary schools to have an EC centre and we will assist.”

Dr Reddy said they planned to recognise the importance of ECE centres.

“It’s not only about preparing them for Year One but also identifying any deficiency they might have at an early stage so that we can give them specialised attention.”

He said before the announcement of the assistance from Government for early education, they only had 940 registered centres and this increased to 1008 this year.

The Education Ministry is also now profiling these ECE centres like what they do to primary and secondary schools.

A small section has also been set-up within the ministry to look after early childhood education.Fijitimes

25) University strives to be regional education hub

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Monday, August 31, 2015

THE Fiji National University aspires to become the hub of all education needs for the Fijian economy as well as to its neighbouring island nations.

Hence, FNU council chair and chancellor Ikbal Jannif has reiterated the need for an active FNU Alumni Association to strengthen their ties with other key stakeholders.

This was his message to more than 500 alumnis at their inaugural alumni gala dinner and awards night at Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Saturday with the theme — Many Journeys, One Legacy.

“A university’s reputation is built largely through the accomplishment of its alumni. Though we take pride in their successes, we cannot take credit for them,” Mr Jannif said.

“We do all we can to encourage mystery of subject matter, offer opportunities for intellectual growth and foster civic and professional engagement. In other words, we provide the recipe.

“How you combine the ingredients in your work place and what you turn out as a result is entirely your effort.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in his message to the alumni said there was no reason for any Fijian — no matter what their background or family circumstance — to miss out on getting the best education they could.

Mr Bainimarama said the free schooling initiative as well as the scholarship and tertiary loans had transformed the prospect of even the poorest Fijian children.

“We have given them the key to a life of opportunity through learning. We have given the best chance any Fijian has ever had to carve out satisfying and worthwhile careers for themselves and to contribute to the development of the nation,” he said.Fijiotmes


26) Bainimarama warns of severe punishment for sedition

31 August 2015

Fiji’s prime minister Frank Bainimarama has warned of severe punishment and many years in jail for anyone joining attempts to allegedly form a breakaway state or overthrow the government.

Mr Bainimarama’s comments came in a weekend speech at the launch of a new government vessel as about 70 people await court appearances for charges of sedition.

He says any challenge to his government is an attack on democracy and would not be tolerated.

The prime minister described the people behind insurrections as enemies of the country and would be tracked down and brought to justice.

He pointed to “high profile figures” in Australia who were among the plotters who he described as enemies of a modern Fiji.

Mr Bainimarama also called on people to report any illegal activity and to tell anyone who may be involved they risk spending many years in jail.

The prime minister attacked the opposition party SODELPA for not joining in his condemnation of those he said were threatening the integrity of the nation.

Fiji’s SODELPA has hit back at the Prime Minister Frank Bainaimarama saying his threats over sedition are becoming aggressive and similar in tone to his behaviour before the 2006 coup.

Mr Bainimarama attacked the opposition party at the weekend for not joining in his condemnation of those he said were threatening the integrity of the nation.

Up to 70 people are facing court charges for sedition and various offences related to attempts to form a breakaway state in Fiji.

SODELPAs leaders say while the prime minister has warned the citizens of Fiji not to break the law, he refuses to answer for his own lawless behaviour and has hidden behind immunity provisions in the Constitution brought in before the elections last year.

SODELPA says the Prime Minister’s urging family and friends to spy and report on each other is typical of the tactics of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.

The party says the opposition’s overtures for a more collaborative approach have been rejected by Mr Bainimarama and has described the parliament as a facade for democracy.

The party’s leaders say the government’s strategy using the US based PR company Qorvis and the Fiji Sun is tantamount to a fraud on the nation.RNZI


27) Abbott dismisses PNG plan for Torres treaty review

31 August 2015

Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott has rejected a Papua New Guinea plan to review the Torres Strait Treaty.

The PNG prime minister in July signalled his intention to renegotiate the treaty to allow his citizens easier access to Australian islands and for longer periods.

Peter O’Neill also said he wanted a restoration of traditional access rights to Trans-Fly communities who he claimed had been denied their hunting and fishing rights in the Strait.

However the Cairns Post reports that the Abbott Government fears any move to make it easier for Papua New Guineans to travel across the Torres Strait could increase drug trafficking and the spread of diseases.

Tony Abbott said he would treat any request from PNG with appropriate respect and courtesy but insisted there was no plan for change.

He also dismissed calls for a bolstered Customs, Immigration and Federal Police facility in the Strait, declaring there was no crisis on the border.RNZI


28) Fijian PM signs agreement for medium radio wave transmission
By Online Editor
00:10 am GMT+12, 31/08/2015, Fiji

A historic agreement was signed today between the Fijian and Japanese Governments for the rehabilitation of the medium radio wave transmission.

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama and the Ambassador of Japan to Fiji Takuji Hanatani signed the agreements which will modernise Fiji’s radio broadcasting capabilities and increase access to information in even the remotest islands of Fiji.

Through this upgrade, the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation will be able to provide clearer and more dependable programming to Fijians in maritime areas and improve the overall quality of radio coverage for all Fijians.

In his speech, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of disseminating information especially to those living in the most remote or rural parts of the country.

“This project has been made possible by the assistance of the Japanese Government in the form of a $14.5 million (US$6.7 million) grant. Fiji is eager to access the top-of-the-line equipment and technology provided to us by the Japanese Government. Not only are we getting technology capable of reaching the furthest reaches of the country but it will provide the entire nation with a reliable service for many years to come.

“It is my fundamental belief that information belongs to the people. The right to information ensures that Government remains accountable and that the public cannot be fooled by those who are misinformed. By increasing access to information for all Fijians, we increase transparency — and greater transparency brings greater trust between Government and the people.

PM Bainimarama said, “We have a public broadcaster in Fiji not only to complement our private broadcasters but to provide everyone with a broader sweep of programming. The FBC exists to serve the Fijian people. It is a vital tool in nation building. And it is crucial that its reach extends to every corner of the nation.



29) Vanuatu law reforms culminate in launch of online business registry
By Online Editor
5:21 pm GMT+12, 30/08/2015, Vanuatu

The benefits of a series of legal reforms are set to be realized in Vanuatu, with the opening of an online service that will dramatically simplify the way business is done in the country.

The online business registry allows both Ni-Vanuatu and overseas investors to register a business, maintain its details, and pay fees online, reducing the average time for company registrations from more than 3 weeks to under 3 days. It was launched by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Willie Jimmy, and Deputy Chairman of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) Board, Lionel Kaluat, at a ceremony attended by representatives of the private sector and supporting development partners, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

“The launch of this registry represents a fundamental shift in Vanuatu’s business environment,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office. “All business entities—from newly established sole-traders to growing businesses looking to incorporate—can easily enter the formal economy, and women especially now have the option to register their business through an accessible and affordable service.”

The legal reforms recognize new corporate structures, including one-person companies that encourage women to register a business independently, and community companies, which allow communities to run a business and ensure the profits from it, are shared fairly.

The registry will add to Vanuatu’s international business standing and make it easier to do business in the country through search functions, which allow users to obtain important information about the status of a business, its management, and ownership structures.

“Completion of these reforms and the availability of the services they enable through the registry is an enormous achievement for Vanuatu,” said VFSC Commissioner George Andrews. “In terms of transparency and making it easier to do business, we now have a world-leading legislative and regulatory system.”

The convenience of submitting annual filings via the registry, coupled with online payments and digitized reminders, is expected to increase compliance with business regulations.

The registry can be found at or accessed through kiosks in VFSC offices. Comprehensive training programs on its use and services will be provided throughout September in Port Vila, Luganville, Malampa, Penama, Tanna and Torba with an extensive corporate governance training program to follow.

Support for the creation of the registry and the legal reforms that underpin it have been provided by ADB’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI). PSDI is working with ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and to support inclusive, private sector-led economic growth. It is cofinanced by the Government of Australia, the New Zealand Government, and ADB.


30) Asian Development Bank expresses confidence in new Fiji

By Online Editor
5:19 pm GMT+12, 30/08/2015, Fiji

The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Takehito Nakao, has praised Fiji’s economic development under the FijiFirst Government at a meeting last week in Suva with the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

He said the ADB was confident about the direction Fiji was taking and offered further assistance in a number of sectors.

Meanwhile, Fiji and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have engaged in talks to finance the upgrading of Fijian water and sewage systems.

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum met with ADB President,  Takehito Nakao, Friday to discuss how ADB can become more involved in Fijian development projects.

Sayed-Khaiyum said that Fiji’s recent reforms to spur the Fijian economy will enable ADB to assist with Fiji’s economic development.

“The Asian Development Bank is interested in the strong economic climate and stability we have created in Fiji through our Government’s comprehensive economic reforms. I believe that a strategic partnership with ADB will help further develop Fijian infrastructure and open up more economic opportunities for Fijians,” said Sayed-Khaiyum


31) Khan: Think, explore and discover

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, August 31, 2015

DECISIONS in State-owned enterprises are largely driven by fear of audit compliances rather than value propositions, says Fiji Pine Ltd and Airports Fiji Ltd executive chairman Faiz Khan.

Mr Khan was one of a number of high-profile speakers at the recent Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Congress in Nadi and spoke on changing mind-sets about Government-owned entities.

He was at the leadership helm of Fiji Pine Group and AFL’s positive financial turnaround in four years.

“We need to get our people to think, explore and discover value propositions. We need to get rid of the mind-set of fear if we are to evolve and grow,” he said.

“I am not saying that we breach any of the Governance compliance issues and I am also not saying that we go out looking to make mistakes. What I am saying is that we don’t get caged or imprisoned by audit compliance but have the courage to make informed decisions.

“We must also understand the concept of risk. Risks over the same issue change over time. How well we mitigate and manage risks is a constant challenge. Some manage risks better than others. However, sometimes no matter how well you have planned or prepared, things can go wrong. Without courage our teams at Fiji Pine and AFL would not be undertaking such major capital upgrade works.”

He said they had seen or would see about 500 per cent turnarounds in four years, adding this was sheer coincidence and not by any design.

“I make the point that we had compared ourselves to past inefficient performances and said let’s grow by 10 per cent every year we would have had about 46 per cent growth in profitability in four years.

“Instead, we have had 500 per cent growth as a result of not benchmarking against past inefficient results that allowed us to discover the potentials of both Pine Fiji Ltd and Airports Fiji Ltd.”

Mr Khan is also chairman for Fiji Hardwood Ltd and board member at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority.Fijitimes

32) Fuel crisis looming in PNG

By Online Editor
5:17 pm GMT+12, 30/08/2015, Papua New Guinea

Staff members of PNG Puma have been told that the country is likely to run out of petrol in the coming weeks as the company winds down its supply to Papua New Guinea.

A staff member told LOOP News that they were briefed last week that the company had made a decision to stop supplying petrol over the weekend.

LOOP News tried unsuccessfully to get confirmation from PNG Puma management .

However a statement on this is expected today.

It is understood Puma has been negotiating with the government over K4 billion in taxes it has been asked to pay for crude oil it imports into the country.

Recently about 50 staff from Puma were asked to stay at home as the company continues to find solutions to its financial  issues.



33) Solomons capital to slash jobs

31 August 2015

The Honiara City Council in Solomon Islands has announced plans to cut the size of its workforce.

The Honiara mayor, Alfrence Fatai, says his administration is set to undertake a massive redundancy exercise, which aims to get rid of unproductive workers.

He says the council has a big workforce, but its output has proved to be below par, with Honiara called the dirtiest city in the Pacific by visitors.

The mayor says the city’s residents deserve a council that can effectively deliver services.

He would not reveal the exact number of workers to be made redundant, but he says by 2016 the Honiara City Council should be left with a highly productive workforce.RNZI


34) One dead, 30 houses razed on Malaita, Solomon Islands

31 August 2015

Police in Solomon Islands are still searching for a man who allegedly stabbed another man to death yesterday in the northern region of Malaita province.

The alleged murder inflamed the relatives of the deceased resulting in the burning down of around 30 houses in Kafoi’ilo, Sulufoloa and Faufanea villages in the Suava Bay area.

Latest reports from the RSIPF Headquarters indicate police are on location attempting to defuse the volatile situation while launching investigations into the alleged murder and arson.

Local provincial leaders have made a public appeal for the murder suspect to turn himself into police for his own safety and the restoration of peace to the community.RNZI


35) Climate Change to top PIDF agenda in Suva this week
By Online Editor
00:05 am GMT+12, 31/08/2015, Fiji

Climate change is set to dominate the agenda of the 3rd Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Summit in Suva this week as Pacific nations prepare for the forthcoming United Nations Climate Summit in Paris at the end of November.

The summit’s chief guest, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand,  General Tanasak Patimapragorn, is arriving in Suva tonight and will join the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change and former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson along with other heads of state, governments and special envoys from across the globe.

This year’s summit, hosted from 2 September to 4 September, is themed “Building Climate Resilient Green Blue Pacific Economies” and comes at a time when Pacific leaders are lobbying larger western nations to agree on binding cuts in carbon emissions to combat global warming.

The Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister will hold talks with the President Epeli Nailatikau and hold separate talks with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

This year’s PIDF Summit will also be attended by the presidents and vice presidents of Nauru, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia, the prime ministers of Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tokelau and Tuvalu, foreign ministers from Marshall Islands, Indonesia and Kazakhstan, and envoys and diplomats from other countries who will represent their states at the meeting.

Also attending this year’s summit is the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma…. PACNEWS


36) El Nino alert in PNG

By Online Editor
5:00 pm GMT+12, 30/08/2015, Papua New Guinea

The  Papua New Guinea National Disaster office is preparing for its highest Category 5 alert to date as five deaths related to the current drought and frost are reported in Chimbu Province. Seventeen districts, mostly in Highlands province, are currently on the non-life threatening Category 4 alert.

The office announced in an update last Friday that more than two million people – one-quarter of Papua New Guinea’s population – in these districts are now affected by these natural disasters, including an elderly man and five children.

National Disaster Committee chairman Dixon Guina, who is also Provincial and Local Level Government Acting Secretary and National Disaster Office boss Martin Mose say they are verifying the deaths and will decide this week whether a Category 5 alert is necessary.

That will be factored in the K5 million (US$1.4 million) released last week by the Treasury to the Disaster Trust Accounts and a further K25 million (US$8.9 million) announced by the National Executive Council late last week.

Category 5 is the top of the scale category, which normally applies to loss of lives and threats of more lives. Guina and Mose said there is a real threat some of the provinces are now moving towards this category.

They predicted much less rainfall nationwide during the next six months and temperatures to drop by two degrees in frost susceptible areas.

There are 17 districts badly affected and listed as Category 4 are Kandep and Surinki in Enga Province; Imbonggu, Kariz and Upper Mendi and Ialibu-Pangia in Southern Highlands Province; Tambul-Nebilyer in Western Highlands; Menyamya and Waria in Morobe, Kundiawa-Gembogl, Sinasina, Chuave, Kerowagi, Gumine, and Nomane in Chimbu; Unggai-Bena and Henganofi in Eastern Highlands, Rabaul and Kokopo in East New Britain; Goilala in Central Province and Manus.

The people of all affected districts and population have been warned to adhere to strict instructions, singling out bush fires – that anyone caught burning or making bush fires will be arrested by police.

Guina and Mose appealed to administrators of provinces that may be affected to immediately send in their reports so the Disaster office can move in swiftly for any decisions.

Guina said that only four provinces have presented their reports – Western Highlands Province, Enga, Chimbu and Central Province.

Guina said the predicted El Nino would be much greater than what was experienced in 1997. “This will be more severe and I think it is clearly evident already,” he added.

“The Government has already acted on this and has already released K5 million (US$1.7 million) and we have already taken action by deploying a disaster assessment team to the Highlands region to conduct rapid major assessment,” he said.

The four teams, for all four regions, are made up of key National Government agencies.

There are five Categories/effects that is cause by El Nino. Right now we have four so we are monitoring that, it may go up to five hopefully or it may not, but we will see how the situation goes.

Category 1: Virtually dry but no major food supply or drinking water problems.

Category 2: There will be some inconvenience like staple food is reduced but other foods will be available, or people may walk further distances to get water, which is basically satisfactory.

Category 3: Conditions are difficult with food reduced and some famine food being eaten, which means that they are dried up. Water is only available at a long distance or some can’t walk far to have water and there is a little bit of risk as it involves life.

Category 4: There is no food in the gardens. There is famine and water availability is in short supply or there is no water supply, or if there is water, it is possibly polluted and may increase sickness and also life of children and the old, even the animals may die because of no food and water so this is a very severe situation.

Category 5: And I hope we do not get to that because it will be an extreme situation where food is going to be very, very short, there is no water and people will be sick, small children or old people will be at high risk or even die.



37) Fiji Airways introduces new online feature

Monday, August 31, 2015

Update: 3:23PM NATIONAL carrier Fiji Airways has introduced a new online feature that will enable customers to conveniently check-in through the company’s website.

Airline’s acting CEO David Bowden said the online check-in service would offer customers the flexibility and comfort of checking-in from their home or office.

“This would save them time and enable them to avoid airport queues,” he said.

The online check-in opens 24 hours before and closes four hours prior to all departures.Fijiitmes

38) Pole-and-line tuna catch remains healthy, affirms IPNLF

By Online Editor
4:53 pm GMT+12, 30/08/2015, Indonesia

Research conducted on behalf of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) confirms that Indonesia’s pole-and-line tuna catch remains at a healthy level.

The study focused on the production of Indonesian tuna fisheries in selected provinces, with the aim of  helping dispel any confusion over the size of the country’s pole-and-line catch and to clarify how much of the production enters commercial supply chains.

Recent reports have been circulated claiming Indonesia’s pole-and-line tuna catch fell to 10,000 tonnes last year, which is just one-tenth of the total volume that is generally accepted and reflected in the most recent Government capture fisheries statistics for 2014.

The IPNLF claims that as this low estimate clearly failed to incorporate the main pole-and-line fisheries management areas (FMAs) in Pacific archipelagic waters, which account for most of the pole-and-line catch, these wildly different figures could lead to concerns in the supply chain.

Several findings from a recent study undertaken by IPNLF trustee Dr Tony Lewis now show that Indonesia’s pole-and-line catch has not declined to the low level reported.

Lewis has more than 40 years experience in all aspects of the tuna industry, originally in the Pacific Islands then South East Asia and later globally. This latest piece of research was prompted by elevated skipjack pole-and-line catches in a few key production regions that were reported in the official statistics of Indonesia’s Directorate General for Capture Fisheries (DGCF).

The IPNLF found that that the country’s pole-and-line catch was over 100,000 tonnes last year and that 80 per cent of this total was accounted for by skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna, which are the main species that are processed or canned.

Thus the estimated pole-and-line catch of these species for Indonesian Pacific waters was 113,678 tonnes in 2014 (20 per cent was tongkol/bonito).

Importantly, the research also finds that while the production from artisanal tuna fisheries in particular may be overestimated, relatively little of this catch by a large number of small fishing units enters commercial production supply chains. Instead, a large proportion of the catch is consumed fresh or processed for local consumption.

Andrew Harvey, Indonesia Country Director for the IPNLF, comments, “While Indonesia’s reported pole-and-line catch appears to have fluctuated in recent years, it has certainly not fallen by the drastic levels that have been suggested in a few recent reports and is in no way an indication of declining stocks or the fishery’s potential. In addition to the local consumption findings, it is important to note that the reduction in the pole-and-line landings have coincided with the rapid growth of the purse seine catch.

“Over the past 10 years, the Government of Indonesia has pursued a strategy of ‘industrialisasi’ – the rapid industrialisation of its fishing sector. This has included promoting considerable investment into the large-scale fishing sector. However, thanks to the progressive attitude of its Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), the Government of Indonesia is now focused on promoting and expanding its small-scale fisheries, including its pole-and-line and handline sectors. We fully expect this to bear significant fruit over a realistic timescale, both commercially and for the wellbeing of coastal communities,” Harvey explained.

IPNLF director commented that the entity is investing heavily in assisting MMAF to improve fisheries governance in Indonesia, such as strengthening management systems, effort controls and enforcement strategies.

“These are steps that in the long term will benefit not just the pole-and-line and handline sectors, but all tuna fisheries in Indonesia,” he concluded.



39) PNG PukS PukS win Oceania Rugby Cup
By Online Editor
00:21 am GMT+12, 31/08/2015, Papua New Guinea

The Monier Papua New Guinea Pukpuks brought back at least some credibility by winning the Oceania Rugby Cup.

In a match where the home-side was always expected to win, but by how much, brought some respite from rugby fanatics when they put on a nine try blitz over the hapless Solomon Islands at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby Sunday. PNG led 22-5 at half-time and then moved into high-gear to win 58-19.

The win capped off an ideal debut for Pukpuk coach Sydney Wesley as his charges went through unscathed over Tahiti (32-10) and American Samoa (36-22) earlier to claim bagging rights.

Tahiti claimed second spot after putting on a power performance to beat American Samoa 20-8 yesterday as well.

American Samoa finished third and the winless Solomon Islands in fourth.

For the Pukpuks, losing to the Cook Islands in the 2013 World Cup qualifier is still fresh and that monkey will remain on their backs until they meet them again.

Hopefully that will be in 2017, the next World Cup qualifiers for the third tier Oceania countries.

This tournament was only for ranking purposes only.

On a positive note, over half the team are in their early 20’s and are primed for 2017.

One thing is for sure, new talent and combinations for Wesley’s expansive game plan came to the fore.

And again it was the flankers in sevens international and most outstanding player of the tournament in Butler Morris and Brisbane-based Bradley Kelegai working in tandem at the breakdowns that allowed the freedom to express themselves.

Solomon Islands opened with the first points with a try to full-back Chris Saru, and did trouble the Pukpuks for a short while.

When Nigel Genia landed a penalty and a try gone begging when five-eighth Richard Aitsi held on with full-back Liebert Suang screaming on the fly with the tryline in front of him, the parochial home-crowd was starting to get edgy.

Then the pendulum swayed and never looked back when hooker Rabbie Namaliu Jr scored the first of his two tries, then a sizzler from Morris and Wesley Vali at least gave some hope of an action filled second-half.

And they didn’t let the crowd down with James Lumaris, Kelegai, Namaliu, replacement Paul Nelson, Morris for his second and then Nelson again on the stroke of the final whistle, ripped the visitors defence apart for the win.

Solomon Islands were awarded a penalty try for a high-tackle from Suang (yellow carded) and Saru in for his second for their 19 points.


40) Team Fiji presents itatau to President

Monday, August 31, 2015

Update: 1:41PM TEAM Fiji members who will participate in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa were today reminded to have faith in themselves to succeed.

The President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau gave the reminder while addressing the Team Fiji contingent, who presented their itatau to him at Government House in Suva.

Fiji will participate in seven sports at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Team Fiji leaves for Samoa on Friday.Fijitimes

41) Task at hand

Shalveen Chand
Monday, August 31, 2015

WHEN it comes to talking about Fiji’s achievements at the Rugby World Cup, the most talked about team is the 2007 Flying Fijians who reached the quarter-finals.

In 2007, Fiji first toppled Wales and then showed South Africa they were a force to reckon with.

One of the members of that team, the vice-captain Mosese Rauluni, is a backline coach for the Vodafone Flying Fijians.

Rauluni believed the national team is far more skilled than the 2007 team.

“This team is much more skilful than the team in 2007. I think they have a good chance and the good thing is that we are playing England first,” he said.

“It’s going to be tough. The boys will have to play for the full 80-minutes and the boys cannot just play 60-minutes only, because England would keep on coming for the full 80 or 90 minutes, especially in front of their home crowd, it is going to be tough.

“England will be very structured.

“Their coaching staff will have to work on all areas. They will certainly try and starve us off the ball.

“They will try to put pressure on our set pieces but we are expecting that.

“We need to win too, so we will have to do the same.”

Rauluni said while support was great, there were critics also.

He said the team needed to prove the critics wrong.

“Just in Fiji has been great. There is a lot of support for the boys, you will always have your critics and you have to know how to take that criticism.

“You can take it two ways, you can be just down about it or you can prove them wrong,” he said.

“It was the same in 2007. We had a lot of critics about team selections saying the right people were not picked. We proved them wrong.

“These boys now need to perform. They have trained hard.

“They went on to win the PNC when everyone doubted them.

“We need the support of everyone in Fiji.

“I know everybody will be watching us at 7am here when we run out.

“Everybody keeps talking about England. There is Australia and Wales also.

“But whatever happens, we are aiming to get out of that pool and play in the quarter-final.”

The team left for England today.

“After a warm-up match against Canada on September 6, Fiji faces England at 7am September 19 in their first pool match.

Fiji is pooled with England, Australia, Wales and Uruguay.Fijitimes

42) The Navosa version of the Melbourne Cup

Maciu Malo
Monday, August 31, 2015

THE Navosa Horse Race may be a far cry from the famous annual Melbourne Horse Race in Australia but its impact has rebuilt lives in rural settings, improved standard of living and most importantly united the people from all walks of life.

The locals branded the event as the Melbourne Cup — Navosa version mainly because of its uniqueness.

Despite the lack of proper racing facilities, the event never fails to provide the much needed excitement enjoyed by the participants, horse owners, spectators, farmers and villagers alike.

The race track used is a feeder road that lies adjacent to the Sigatoka River close to Sautabu Village.

Times Sport was invited to be part of this inaugural event and experienced first-hand the joy and the excitement that made this event a special one.

As we approached Sautabu Village — the venue of the horse race, we encountered villagers, horse owners, farmers and spectators making their way to the race track.

It was surprising to see the many number of horses being escorted by their respective owners to the race site.

Some of the horses were guided by the owners crossing the nearby Sigatoka River to the race area.

The race track is only 600m and only two horses can compete at one time but plans are in the pipeline to widen the race track to accommodate at least eight horses.

Dressed in a patched Lee-brand three quarter pants and a long sleeved shirt, the tournament Master of Ceremony welcomed the participants in Navosa and Hindi dialects.

Temporary sheds were erected near the race course for spectators together for the foods and farm produce to be sold.

It’s more like killing two birds with a stone because apart from the race itself, farmers also took the opportunity to sell their farm produce and foods while many enjoyed the flow of the traditional kava.

But the funny thing that caught our attention was the name of the horses being called out by the MC.

Some of these horses that I could vividly recall their names were Please Forgive Me, Playboy, SODELPA, Mission Babasiga, Pepsi, Air Force, Rambo, Khwadjo, Vodafone, Grace, Bullet, Tamil Tiger, John Cena and John Cena Jr. John Cena Jr is a female horse while Grace is a male horse.

During the race itself, spectators cheered on their favourite horses making the event exciting.

According to the horse race co-ordinator Marika Nagata, the event started in the early 80s and was used as a major tool to eradicate marijuana cultivation in the area.

He said a village in Navosa managed to buy its fibreglass boat for cash from the proceedings gained at the race.

Nagata said the organisers were building a bus stop at Olosara through the horse race entry fees.

The entry fee ranges from $5 to $50 which goes direct to the organisers and more than 80 horses participated in a day.

“This horse race is compared to the Melbourne Cup in Australia but this is our Navosa version,” said Nagata.

“If two horses compete in a race they agree to pay certain amount of money each and the winner to take all. In some cases horse owners agree to pay $1000 each and the winner to take $2000.

“Imagine some of these farmers and villagers returned home in the afternoon with more than $2000 in their pockets.

“It helped them to improve their standard of living and at the same time encouraged them to take part in the next event thus promoting the sport. The sport has also enabled us to assist with many community works in Nadroga Navosa.”

He said almost all youths in Sautabu and surrounding villagers had their own horses.

Former Fiji 7s star forward and France-based Semi Kunatani usually took part at the event before pursuing his rugby career.

“Semi Kunatani also participated and won many prizes. The name of his horse is Qere which is named after his mataqali.”

Nagata said the event was an opportune time for the people of Navosa to socialise and unite.

“This is the only time of the year we meet our relatives from nearly every parts of Navosa, Nadroga and Nadi.”

Nagata said horse owners looked after their horses because they had benefited from this race.

He said the plan was to widen the race track to accommodate more participants and to also construct a pavilion for the spectators.

“We want to build new six race tracks and to accommodate our spectators in a good pavilion.”

“The plan is to raise the standard of the competition and the best way to do that is to improve the facility. We are planning to visit the Prime Minister for his assistance with the new facilities as the event has gained popularity in our area.”

While people from Fiji and around the world anticipate to witness the annual Melbourne Cup race, the people of Navosa don’t really bother to watch because they have their own Melbourne Cup version right on their doorsteps.

And who knows if given the much needed funding and the support, this event could become the biggest horse racing event in the South Pacific.Fijitimes

43) Tonga To Host Oceania U20 Women’s Football Champs

Kicks off in less than 5 weeks

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 29, 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.

Radio New Zealand International


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