Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1129 ( Monday 5 October 2015 )


1) President Momis praises Mekamui leaders
7:37 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, Papua New Guinea

President for the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Dr John Momis has heaped praise on Mekamui leaders who have said to put down their weapons and support the ABG.

In an event held at Panguna on the 24th of last month, a declaration was made by Mekamui strongman Moses Pipiro that Panguna will be a weapon free zone.

This means all weapons will be collected and locked away.

Momis said this was a positive way forward by the Mekamui who have taken the initiative to start the realignment process with the ABG.

“I would like to congratulate the leaders from Panguna and Mekamui, Philip Miriori and Deputy Philip Takaung for taking the creative initiative for them to join the ABG and the rest of Bougainville in preparing our people for the referendum,” said Momis.

Momis also extended his congratulations to the Vice President and Minister, Patrick Nisira and his departmental Secretary James Tanis of the Peace Building, and Referendum Department for working with the Mekamui to make this happen.

The President made a further call on other factions of the Mekamui, the Konnou Group and U-Vistract Group to take the same decision and join the ABG.


2a) Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 5 October 2015

by bobmakin

The Head of State urged people to respect the Constitution at the official 36th anniversary celebration at Constitution Place this morning. President Baldwin Lonsdale listed the signatories who had passed on and those still with us and upheld the importance of following the laws of the nation. “The Constitution laid a foundation on which the country could build,” he said, and “a united and free Republic was thus guaranteed on 5 October 1979,” for Independence which was finally obtained on 30 July the following year. President Lonsdale upheld the values of the makers of the Constitution, which values are enshrined in the document.

It is alarming to learn from today’s Daily Post that we have not yet legislated to ensure adequate protective abortion laws. 36 years after the signing of our National Constitution giving everyone security of the person, “unsafe abortion is not fully illegal.” Security of the person follows immediately after life and liberty as our third fundamental right. The Director of the Vanuatu Family Health Association, Arnold Bani, this week launched a booklet containing the results of a survey on health issues such as the rise in sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. The survey found that unsafe abortion is becoming a big problem in Vanuatu. “Contraceptive services and care must increase,” said Bani. “Unsafe abortion is not fully illegal and we need to re-look at the laws associated with abortion.”

Today’s Daily Post also carries news of the Chamber of Commerce assisting the Ministry of Lands through an Economic Land Reform Policy Initiative Committee.This Committee wants to see the Customary Land Management Act of 2013 and its Amendment of 2014 repealed. These are both legally enacted laws of the Parliament of Vanuatu. The Committee says that most of the 19 resolutions of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs on the subject are not adequately addressed by this legislation. And amendment is also needed to the Malvatumauri Act.

Land issues are also discussed by the young VKS lands desk officer Anymio David in Daily Post. Governments see land as money, he says, as do parents in need of funds for school fees or a truck. “We are actually giving away our power for our right to a lease title number,” says Anymio David.

And a judgement concerning Ifira Trustees and the legality of their meeting at Le Lagon on December 13 2014 is reported as “entirely reasonable, sensible.” Aspects of the meeting are considered contentious and it is thought an appeal may be intended.

Happy National Constitution Day.

2b) Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 3 October 2015

by bobmakin

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is unable to function owing to the Government side delaying in the appointment of its officials, reports today’s Daily Post. For the Opposition on the PAC, MP Ralph Regenvanu says the Opposition side is aware of the massive haemorrhaging of public funds that is occurring now as various boards are unlawfully terminated and replaced and then staff members unlawfully terminated and replaced (e.g., Vanuatu National Cultural Council and now Airports Vanuatu Limited, NISCOL and VNPF); as numerous new vehicles are being bought by various ministries, departments and SOEs; and as the Speaker of Parliament treats his office like a personal enjoyment fund,” the Opposition spokesman said. He added that the Prime Minister was effectively muzzling any investigation by failing to appoint his representatives to the PAC.

In the same paper the PMO says it is appalled at the Opposition’s tactics to divide the Government and stressed that the PM needed to be in New York to address the UN General Assembly on Climate Change, sea level rise and the impacts of El Nino. (Daily Post)

An Agri-Services Promotion and Regulation Authority will replace the Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board. The VCMB Act was repealed in 2009. The only Vanuatu prescribed commodities are coconuts, cocoa and kava and the Chamber of Commerce (VCCI) is wanting better consultation and control of these and other sectors which have so far been dealt with on a piece-meal basis. A consultation was arranged at the VCCI this week and another will be held at Santo. (Daily Post)

The Forestry Minister and Mayor of Port Vila are spear-heading a campaign to have sandalwood planted in public green spaces. The project was started last year with the late MP Edward Nipake Natapei. This week has seen the area near the netball court so planted. (Radio Vanuatu)

Large families from Whitesands, Tanna, are hoping to have some of their children evacuated to the capital and even live here for some time as a move to combat the drought conditions. (Independent)

Minister Tony Nari allegedly explains the termination of the CEO to Airports Vanuatu in the Independent as “whenever the government changes, there are new share-holders,” and the former CEO did not recognise the new Board.


3) Concern Over Tonga Breast Cancer Rate

Most common cancer in the country, encourages mammograms

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 5, 2015) – A Tongan doctor says breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the country, with 27 women dying from the disease in the past two years.

Ana ‘Akau’ola, who was speaking at the launch of Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, says 22 of those women were younger than 70 and many were in their 30s and 40s.

Dr ‘Akau’ola says women must be encouraged to use the new mammogram service at Vaiola Hospital, as mammography has been shown to reduce breast cancer mortality.

Matangi Tonga reports her as saying women can protect themselves by not overeating, decreasing alcohol intake and stopping smoking.

Radio New Zealand International

4) Public servants who are candidates for 2016 election should resign, says Samoa Opposition
7:40 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, Samoa

“Public servants who have declared their candidacy for the 2016 general elections should resign the moment that declaration is made public.”

This is the view of the Tautua Samoa Party shadow minister for Finance Afualo Dr. Salele Wood in an interview with Talamua Media.

Afualo told Talamua that allowing public servants who intend to run in the elections to continue working could result in the abuse of public assets for their personal use.

His opinion includes public servants running for any political party including Tautua Samoa. However, he differentiated the ways Tautua and the ruling Human Rights Protection Party do things.

He said when the HRPP candidates declared their candidacy publicly last month, they should have also had the courtesy to resign from their current positions within the Ministries.

As for Tautua candidates, they are yet to make that declaration which Afualo said would be sometimes soon.

“They cannot serve two masters at the same time  and they would be cheating on their working hours paid by taxpayers,” said Afualo.

“The majority  of taxpayers are from the private sector with a few from the Government,” he said.

He made reference to the old act where public servants were told to resign from their jobs once they declare their interest to run in the 2011 general elections. Afualo was one of the public servants affected then.

“Before that act was enforced, I took  3 months leave without pay, before Cabinet sent a memo to all public servants who wanted to run to resign,” Afualo explained.

He said  back then, the policy was for public servants to take 3 months leave without pay prior to the general election, but he believes that has changed.

Unless they resign once their intentions are declared publicly, there is a chance that they will  use public resources unfairly.

“How can we expect good and honest leaders for Samoa in the future if this is the kind of ethics they uphold?” Afualo pointed out.

“There is no honesty in this kind of behavior,” said the former University lecturer.

Tautua Samoa is planning to declare their candidates for the 2016 general election at the end of this month.


5) American Samoa Minimum Wage Raise Welcome
Ongoing concerns about employment security

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 5, 2015) – Employees at American Samoa’s largest tuna cannery say they are happy their wages have increased, but have reservations about their job security.

A federally mandated increase in the territory’s minimum wage has come into force following a three year wage freeze, despite opposition from the business sector and some in government.

The latest wage hike is a compromise, with the Senate passing a 40 cent rise to be in effect for three years, instead of the proposed 50 cent rise.

An employee at StarKist Samoa, Line Tauatama, has welcomed the increase.

“We don’t have enough to support our families and put our kids to school, bread on the table and all that. So for us labour workers, I know it’s not that much, but it can help us.”

However, Line Tautama says he is concerned about the effect the wage rise might have on job security at the cannery.

Radio New Zealand International

6) Rarotongans urged to conserve water in face of drought

5 October 2015

People in the Cook Islands are being urged to conserve water as intakes across Rarotonga operate well below capacity and the island faces three months with little or no rainfall.

Infrastructure Cook Islands says the system around Rarotonga is working at 20 to 50 percent of its normal capacity.

It says the stream flow at water intakes across the island has dropped, reducing the pressure in the pipeline network and the flow of water to homes and businesses.

The stream at the Avatiu intake usually supplies up to 40 to 60 litres of water a second, but because of limited rainfall it now supplies just 6 litres of water a second.

The water authorities are urging residents to be conservative with the way they use water and to educate young family members children not to play with water during the shortage.RNZI

7) Futuna chiefs raise independence question

2 October 2015

Some chiefs in Wallis and Futuna are unhappy with the French administration and have reportedly raised the question of seeking independence.

The territory’s public broadcaster says the customary council of the kingdom of Sigave on the island of Futuna has directed its displeasure in a letter to the French prefect amid concerns over land ownership and rights to the sea.

The chiefs are worried that fishing rights within the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone have been given to US boats and oppose recent calls by France to exploit seabed minerals.

They say before France arrived, all authority was with the king and now they may possibly seek independence as well as outside help either from China, Japan, Australia or the US.

Their letter also expresses concern that there is an imbalance between Sigave and Wallis in the allocation of funds.

Wallis and Futuna became a French territory in 1961, incorporating three traditional kingdoms – two of which are on Futuna.RNZI


8) Climate woes fuel labour mobility calls
7:46 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, Kiribati

Labour mobility in the Pacific will be on the agenda when the small atoll nations meet in Kiribati later this week.

Kiribati, with help from the Prince Albert of Monaco Foundation, is hosting a conference to consider how to prepare for climate migrants to move in a dignified way.

The Kiribati Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Akka Rimon, says it is part of the gradual process of preparation for something that will become inevitable.

She says one thing they will want to look at will be extensions to existing labour mobility arrangements with countries like Australia and New Zealand.

“It is really us now faced with a dilemma where what do we do, and where do we go and what do we do from here if the time comes for us to go. So yes it is going to require more labour mobility programmes. More opportunities for us to be able to migrate and become citizens of other countries,” said Rimon.


9) Kiribati: Climate Driven Labor Mobility On Agenda
Small atoll nations conference on climate migrants

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 5, 2015) – Labour mobility in the Pacific will be on the agenda when the small atoll nations meet in Kiribati later this week.

Kiribati, with help from the Prince Albert of Monaco Foundation, is hosting a conference to consider how to prepare for climate migrants to move in a dignified way.

The Kiribati Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Akka Rimon, says it is part of the gradual process of preparation for something that will become inevitable.

She says one thing they will want to look at will be extensions to existing labour mobility arrangements with countries like Australia and New Zealand.

“It is really us now faced with a dilemma where what do we do, and where do we go and what do we do from here if the time comes for us to go. So yes it is going to require more labour mobility programmes. More opportunities for us to be able to migrate and become citizens of other countries.”

Radio New Zealand International

10) Nauru: Asylum Seekers Have Movement Freedom Around Island
Advocate: meaningless gesture given threat of violence

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 5, 2015) – Asylum seekers on Nauru are to be allowed to move freely around the island from today.

Nauru’s Department of Justice and Border Control posted a notice on Friday saying Open Centre arrangements at the asylum seeker detention centre would be expanded to allow asylum seekers freedom of movement 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The government says it will introduce legislation at the next sitting of parliament to enshrine the arrangements in law.

Previously asylum seekers had to abide by strict curfews.

The government started trialling its Open Centre arrangement in February this year allowing selected asylum seekers out into the community at certain times of day.

At the time it said it hoped to ease some of the asylum seekers’ tension and frustration and prepare those deemed to be refugees for life outside.

The government says the network of community liaison officers is being expanded and other security measures are being put in place.

The policy change comes just days before an Australian court challenge to the lawfulness of the Australian government’s role in offshore detention on Nauru.

Recent attacks make a “mockery” of new arrangement

The Refugee Action Colaition says recent attacks on Nauru make a mockery of the the island’s new open camp arrangement.

A spokesperson for the group Ian Rintoul says the open camp arrangement is a meaningless gesture as some people are just too afraid to leave the centre.

He says there is a lack of security in the camp and the community.

Mr Rintoul says this was highlighted again last week when two 18 year old refugees were attacked as they returned to their camp at Ewa.

He says the men were ambushed by up to a dozen local Nauruan men who hurled abuse, demanded money and stole their mobile phones.

Mr Rintoul says one of the men, a Pakistani refugee named Zijah, was severly cut and brusied after being knocked to the ground.

Radio New Zealand International

11) Marshalls Government Adds To Trust Fund

Supplemental contributions help ensure sustainability

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 3, 2015) – The Marshall Islands government has added $US650,000 to the Marshalls Trust Fund.

The government initially contributed $US30-million to the fund when it was created in 2004.

The Fund Chair Nikolao Pula says the annual supplemental contributions help ensure sustainability of the Trust Fund beyond 2023.

This year the US contributed over $US14.5 million and Taiwan $US2.4 million.

At the end of 2014 fiscal year, the audited value of the fund was over $US240-million.

Radio New Zealand International

12) CNMI: Burgeoning Opposition To Military Plan
Strong concerns raised lead to 2nd impact statement

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 5, 2015) – The United States military will conduct a second draft environmental impact statement for its plans in the Northern Marianas after strong opposition was voiced regarding the first draft.

The deadline for public comment on the document passed on Friday after being extended twice because of an undersea cable breakdown and Typhoon Soudelor.

The Marine Corps now says potential impacts on groundwater and coral from live-fire training needs further analysis.

Earlier consultants hired by the CNMI government said a new round of public comment was needed.

The Historic Preservation Office criticised the statement for not including the local Chamorro and Carolinian languages and says there was an improper scope of analysis.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago says it also came under strong criticism from the CNMI governor.

“Governor Eloy Inos in his cover letter in his comments to the EIS insists that the navy’s proposed actions are presenting an existential threat, quote/unquote, to the two islands’ tourism-driven economy, fragile ecosystem and cultural resources. Basically they are saying that the CNMI cannot survive if these plans are pushed through.”

Radio New Zealand International


13) Ol papa graun imas rausim SABL: Gary Juffa

Postim 5 October 2015, 15:14 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Gavana blong Oro Provins long Papua New Guinea itok taem i kamap pinis long ol papa graun imas sanap strong agensim ol foran kampani em oli wok long stilim graon aninit long despla Special Agrikalsa Bisnis Lisis oa SABL.

Gary Juffa i mekim despla toktok bihaen long Chief Secretary blong gavman, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc itok bai gavman i karip aut ol toktok long ripot blong wanpla wok painimaut igo long SABL.

Despla wok painimaut em Commission of Inquiry igo long ol  SABL em oli bin statim long 2011  ibin tok olsem oli mas stopim planti long ol despla tok oraet ino bin bihaenim loa na ol kampani ibin mekim ol giaman pasin long kisim nating graon.

Tasol Gavana Juffa i tok ikam inap nau nogat wanpla gutpla stori i kamap iet long despla ripot em despla enkuairi ibin mekim.

Em i tok ol papa graun imas sanap strong long rausim ol displa SABL lease we em ol giaman samting blong stilim nating graun blong ol pipol blong Papua New Guinea.ABC

14) PNG Bougainville polis polisi

Updated 1 October 2015, 15:01 AEST
Sam Seke

Niupela Chief blong Bougainville Police Service, Francis Tokura i tok nabawan wok blongen em long kamapim wanpela polisi long rot we polis sevis long Bougainville bai bihainim.

Deputy Police Commissioner Tokura husat ibin wok bifo olsem Regional Police Commander blong Niugini Islands na tu blong NCD long Port Moresby, na ibin Assistant Commissioner blong Police Human Resources.

Na tupela wik igo pinis, Mr Tokura i bin kamap olsem Chief blong Bougainville Police bihainim askim blong Autonomous Bougainville Gavman long PNG Police Commissioner.

Em i tok niupela polisi oa loa  blong Bougainville Polis Sevis em i kamapim, bai em i givim igo long ABG na long PNG Police Commissioner long oraitim, na bai ol i bihainim.ABC

15) PNG Drought i stopim wok kakao

Updated 1 October 2015, 14:25 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Bikpla sun oa drought long Papua New Guinea nau i stopim ol Cocoa farmers long East New Britain provins long planim Cocoa long wonem igat bikpla wari long wara.

East New Britain i wanpla provins we igat bikpla wok blong agrikalsa tasol despla bikpla sot long wara nau iwok long kamapim heve long ol pipal.

Planti mama tu ino salim planti kaikai tumas nau long ol maket long wonem ol gaden ino gutpla tumas nau.

Despla drought  em El Nino i kamapim, nau iwok long hamarim planti hap blong PNG na ol narapla kantri long Pacific rijan.

Laniet Aua emi go pas long Women na Youth in agrikalsa long East New Britain itok oli gat ol liklik wara istap iet, tasol emi wok long go daon nau.

Emi tok tu olsem ol gaden kaikai tu iwok long go daon na ol mama ino save salim planti kaikai nau long maket.ABC

16) Aquaculture fisari i wok long kamap long Vanuatu
Updated 5 October 2015, 14:55 AEDT
Sam Seke

Darekta blong fisari long Vanuatu, Kalo Pakoa i tok aquaculture em i wanpela indastri we i wok long kamap gut long Vanuatu.

Aquaculture em i kaen we ol i save wokim farm blong ol fis na ol kainkain samting olsem kindam oa prawn na sea cucumber.

Mr Pakoa i tok wanpela kain fis we fisheri division em i wok long introdiusim long ol komiuniti long famim tu em i Tilapia.

Tilapia em i fresh water fis we ol i introdiusim long 2004, na Mr Pakoa i tok em i nau gat bikpela interest longen long sampela komiuniti long Vanuatu.

Em i tok tilapia em i gutpela we ol pipol long ol komiuniti iken kisim protein long kaikai blong ol.

Mr Pakoa i tok gavman i save givim aut ol bebi fish long ol fama long ol komiuniti we igat fres wara iken famim.

Em i tok tilapia fis em i kaikai olsem ol fis blong ol fresh wara.

Tasol em i tok bikpela samting long em nai em i gutpela protein ol pipol iken kaikaim na i gut long sait long helt blong ol.ABC

17) Helen Hakena i laik lukim moa wok long PNG Mental Health

Postim 5 October 2015, 15:31 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Direkta blong Leitana Nehan Development Agensi long Bougainville, Helen Hakena itok P apua New Guinea imas putim ol Mental Haus sik long fopla rijan blong kantri,Southern, Highlands, Momase na Islands rijan.

Mrs Hakena i mekim despla toktok taem Australia ronim  ol progrem long makim Mental Helt wik long despla wik.

Mrs Hakena na laen blong en isave helpim ol pipal em oli gat sik long hed bihaenim bikpla trabal long Bougainville we planti tausan pipal ibin dai long en.

Emi tok PNG igat wanpla haus sik tasol blong ol mental sikman-meri we emi stap long Port Moresby na emi tok despla ino nap.

Mrs Hakena itokim  tu olsem despla isave mekim ol femili blong ol sikman long ol narapla provins isave lusim planti moni tumas long salim ol despla sikman igo long Port Moresby, na long go visitim ol.


19a) Brèves du Pacifique – vendredi 2 octobre 2015

Mis à jour 2 October 2015, 18:31 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Vanuatu:  deux enfants sont morts de faim et de déshydratation dans le nord de Tanna. 

Les cultures de l’île ont été largement détruites par le cyclone Pam en mars dernier, et la sécheresse les force à manger un type de racine non comestible, qui provoque des diarrhées sévères. La famine et le manque d’eau créent des mouvements d’évacuation spontanée. Un chef du nord de Tanna a décidé d’envoyer les enfants de son village à Port-Vila, où ils sont pris en charge par des parents, souvent eux-mêmes très pauvres. Quant au gouvernement, il a envoyé un bateau de ravitaillement à Tanna cette semaine.
Tony De Brum et la population des Îles Marshall reçoivent le Prix honorifique de la fondation Right Livelihood. Ce prix récompense le courage du chef de la diplomatie marshallaise, qui a décidé de poursuivre en justice les puissances nucléaires. Car, estime Tony De Brum, elles ne respectent pas les traités de non-prolifération et leurs obligations de désarmement nucléaire. En février, la justice américaine a rejeté la plainte des Marshall, mais le gouvernement marshallais a fait appel. En parallèle, il a intenté d’autres actions devant la Cour Internationale de Justice de La Haye contre la Grande-Bretagne, l’Inde et le Pakistan. L’académie Nobel refuse de créer un prix pour l’Environnement et le Développement. Le prix de la fondation Right Livelihood, considéré comme un « Nobel alternatif », vient donc combler cette lacune. ABC

19b) Australie: une zone indigène protégée plus grande que la Suisse

Posté à 2 October 2015, 18:14 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Une partie du Territoire du Nord devient zone indigène protégée. La région Katiti-Petermann couvre environ 5 millions d’hectares autour d’Uluru, le grand rocher rouge, emblème de l’Australie. 


Des dizaines de personnes ont fait le déplacement à travers le désert pour assister à la cérémonie officielle de la signature du nouveau statut de leur région, organisé à Tjitjingati, situé à une heure et demie de route d’Uluru.

Les peuples aborigènes sont déjà les propriétaires officiels de ce territoire plus grand que la Suisse. Mais aujourd’hui il devient zone indigène protégée. Concrètement, cela signifie que les coutumiers vont recevoir 1.6 million de dollars du gouvernement fédéral, sur les trois prochaines années, pour entretenir ce vaste territoire – l’environnement et les hauts-lieux spirituels, puisque la terre et la spiritualité sont intimemement liées pour les cultures aborigènes.

Sam Rando est membre du Conseil Central des Terres. Il a mené la négociation avec le gouvernement pour obtenir le classement de la région Katiti-Petermann en tant que zone indigene protégée:

« Jusqu’à présent beaucoup d’habitants de la zone ne pouvaient pas parcourir leur terre, tout simplement parce que très peu d’entre eux ont de bons 4×4. Ce financement va donc leur permettre de circuler, et de reprendre leurs activités coutumières, comme nettoyer les points d’eau, pratiquer des brûlis, ou organiser des cérémonies. Et le plus important, c’est que les anciens vont pouvoir transmettre leur culture aux jeunes et leur enseigner comment prendre soin de la terre. » 

Autre priorité: lutter contre les espèces importées, qui menacent la faune endémique. 8  espèces sont menacées d’extinction, dont une espèce de wallaby. Benji Kenny, ranger  aborigène:

 « Nous protégeons des animaux locaux contre l’invasion des chameaux, des  chevaux et des chats sauvages, mais aussi des renards et des dingos. » 

Le nouveau financement lié au classement de la région comme zone indigène protégée  va permettre de créer de nouveaux postes de rangers, particulièrement pour les jeunes,  dans une région où les emplois se font très rares.ABC


19) Sogavare urges UN Human Rights Council to address West Papua
3:50 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, United States

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called on the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council to do more in investigating and monitoring allegations of human rights abuse and violations in the Papua and West Papua regions of Indonesia.

Sogavare made the call in New York Thursday in his address at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

“All states have a legal duty and moral responsibility to uphold, respect and promote human rights and where necessary take preventive, protective and punitive measures against human rights abuses or violations in accordance with the UN Charter and applicable international laws,” Sogavare said.

“Against the foregoing backdrop, the General Assembly is well aware of the continuing concerns of human rights violations in the Papua and West Papua regions of Indonesia and Solomon Islands further calls on the Geneva based Human Rights Council to do more in investigating and monitoring of allegations of human rights abuse and violence on the ethnic Melanesians there.

“We (Solomon Islands) would like this issue attended to in a timely manner,” he added.

Prime Minister Sogavare said Solomon Islands together with the Pacific Islands Forum are seeking genuine dialogue and cooperation with Indonesia to resolve and dissolve the reported allegations of human rights violations.

He said the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in their recent ‘Leaders Summit’ in Port Moresby approved the deployment of a fact finding Mission to West Papua to establish the alleged abuse of human rights there.

He said the summit resolved to appeal to the Government of Indonesia to allow free and unrestricted access to this mission ‘in the true spirit of regional cooperation.’

Prime Minister Sogavare added that, “In the long term however, the United Nations cannot shy away from the root causes of these violations.”.


20) Pato briefs US on Pacific meet
3:52 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, United States

Papua New Guinea Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato has conveyed Pacific Island State concerns and sought support from the United States on issues such as climate change.

Pato, who is representing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, raised the issues at a meeting of Pacific Islands Forum leaders with the United States assistant Secretary of State Danny Russell in New York last Friday.

He also sought the US backing at the COP21 Conference in Paris next month on climate change issues that are of vital significance to lives and communities in the Pacific.

“The United States is aware of the threat brought about by climate change and extreme weather in the Pacific.

“Mr Russell expressed his concern at the devastation caused by tropical storms in Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and the need for concerted efforts at all levels to assist small island countries in mitigation and resilience efforts.

“He further informed the meeting that while the US administration wished to do more, the political dynamics in Washington does not always help the administration’s desire in this regard.

“We appreciated Mr Russell’s concern for the issues affecting our region and the broader global community, as well as the difficulty faced in gaining bipartisan support in the United States capital.”

Pato said Russell and his team received a briefing on the Pacific Regionalism framework endorsed by the recent PIF Leaders’ meeting in Port Moresby.

“Areas such as fisheries, climate change, cervical cancer and West Papua, that are covered in the Pacific Regionalism framework, truly captured the concerns and aspirations of the people of the Pacific.

Assistant Secretary Russell made the point that the United States is a Pacific State and hence appreciates the need for solidarity with PIF countries in advancing issues of common concern.

“On the nuclear weapons issue, Pacific Leaders have urged the United States to ratify the Treaty of Raratonga, as well as find just solutions for the people of Marshall Islands as a consequence of nuclear tests in the region.

Assistant Secretary Russell congratulated PNG for successfully hosting the 45th PIF Forum, and a copy of the PIF leaders joint communique was given to the US contingent.


21) Island States at UN call for ‘genuine and durable partnership’ to meet Global Goals
3:56 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, United States

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, leaders of small island States called for the urgent need to expand genuine and durable partnerships within the international community to successfully implement and meet the objectives of Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“If our collective will to implement the 2030 Agenda is sincere, then it is essential to greatly enhance the means and mechanisms of implementation on a much greater scale than those recommended in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda,” said, Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of Palau to the United Nations, referring to another recently adopted plank making up the UN post-2015 framework, this one dealing with development financing.

“Such scaling up is the only way to achieve the promise of a more inclusive and sustainable world that is without hunger and where poverty is eradicated, he added.

“He also noted that the recent adoption of the 17 SDGs reflects a very clear recognition, that the results of the MDGs would have been more impressive had they addressed the underlying causes of poverty and environmental degradation, and had Goal 8 – Partnerships – been better realized.

“I am hopeful that in 2015, we will all embrace the last, and perhaps most important, of the new Sustainable Development Goals, that is, our commitments to one another to ‘revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development’,” he added.

Otto also added that world leaders must recognize the need to develop these partnerships, and through such initiative, dedicate themselves to a much expanded and more accessible financing, technology and human resource capacity.

Dunya Maumoon, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Maldives, also reiterated the need to encourage holistic and stronger partnerships within the Member States to meet all the objectives of the Global Goals.

“We are ready to be part of the solution. In Samoa last year, the small island developing States (SIDS) asked for building partnerships as the way forward. Alone, we might be weak: but united, we can move mountains,” she declared.

She also stressed on the need for a system-wide reform at the UN, including its approaches to finding resolutions in order to make the Organization more resilient and efficaciously face emerging challenges of our time.

“Last week, we adopted a new Agenda for Sustainable Development. It recognizes at its core that development must be holistic; that poverty is a multi-dimensional problem; that what matters is the human being, whose rights must be protected, and promoted,” she asserted. Yet here in the United Nations, “we remain trapped in silos: hiding away, behind the excuse of mandates. Why is it that the Security Council must only discuss guns and bombs? Why can’t the Economic and Social Council discuss war and peace? Why can’t development, why can’t war, have a human rights dimension? Why must issues be confined to one specific body?” Maumoon asked.

“Turning to climate change, she also remarked that this has turned now to a security threat in Maldives.

“It damages our economy, deprives us of our rights, of our land, and our way of life. It is a threat to the very existence of our nation,” she said. “Together with other small island developing States, we have taken urgent action to keep the rise of global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius. We are reducing our emissions,” she stressed.


22) Island States at UN Assembly call for stronger global partnerships to tackle crises

3:55 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, United States

Leaders from, small island States took their turn at the podium of the United Nations General Assembly last week to call for the strengthening of cooperation between international organizations in solving global crises, from resolving conflicts to tackling climate change.

From Tuvalu in the South Pacific, Foreign Minister Taukelina Finikaso noted that climate is an existential issue for his small island nation, whose highest point is only 15 feet above sea level.

“Sea level rise continues to inundate many of our small island coastlines and inundate our food plantations,” he said. “That is a security issue, an urgent one and an inter-generational one. It is an existential issue for Tuvalu and other Pacific countries and also bigger populated countries in the flood plains, and wilt displace many people.

“Whilst many of our citizens are opting to migrate on their own terms because of existential issues, migration does not solve global warming and the UN does not sanction climate change migrants as refugees. That is a dilemma for us in Tuvalu.”

He stressed that the Paris conference must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep the global average temperature rise to beiow1.5 degrees Celsius, as well as provide credible, timely public finance and clarity from developed countries to the pledges of US$100 billion for climate change finances.

Kiribati, a Pacific Island State straddling the Equator, stressed the need for a collective global effort to help those nations most threatened by climate change. “We cannot do it alone,” Natanaera Kirata, Minister of Public Works and Utilities said.

“We call for new and accessible financial resources to assist the most vulnerable to adapt and build resilience to climate change,” he added. “We must all step up our national and collective efforts to mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions. We must urge major greenhouse gas emitters to do their part.”

He said the new challenges demanded all the resources available to the global community since sustainable development and global challenges such as climate change should not be confined to the sphere of Governments only.

“Let us call on those with the ability to assist and who have a contribution to make, to join in the global dialogue and more importantly, join urgent action to address this major challenge,” he declared.


23) Information exchange crucial to keep Pacific safe from transnational crimes

7:45 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, Samoa

Outgoing PTCU Chairman, Cook Islands Police Commissioner, Maara Tetava and current chair, Samoa’s Police Commissioner Egon Lincoln Keil both agreed on the urgency and need for sharing such information between countries.

“We need one brain and one team,” said Cook Island Commissioner Maara.

“Share what you have and get the messages to the chiefs who will make the call on what’s needed to do, to action what you have gathered,” Commissioner Mara told the conference participants.

“There is no point sitting on information you have while the Pacific is increasingly becoming a target  area for transnational crimes,” he emphasized.

“The quicker you pass on the information,, the better it is to make decisions to keep the Pacific safe for generations of islanders to enjoy,” said Maara.

Detective Superintendent Don Allan of the New Zealand Police and Liaison Officer in the South West Pacific said the Pacific is becoming the target market for money laundering and other related cyber crime activities.

“The last PTCU conference identified transnational crimes and that was used as a baseline or starting point to try and understand the problem,” said Allan.

He said the recent conference was a very critical one as representatives from 18 countries shared and dialogued on ideas and ways to better developed a campaign to combat transnational crimes.

Working in the Pacific for the past 15 years covering 14 countries, Allan said he is seeing the transformation and trend of transnational crimes coming into the region.

“Criminals are tapping into the Pacific and our countries need to be aware that these crimes are happening,” he said.

Illicit drugs,  human trafficking and other transnational crimes are all surfacing in the pacific, but money related crimes top the list. Alan believes that people who are making money from these illicit activities are the ones that needed to be stopped, not the victims.

He said countries need to trust each other and share factual information if they want a safe Pacific.

Samoa Police Commissioner  Egon Keil said Samoa has come a long way and sometimes wen you are on the top, things do not get down and  you have to get all the way down and explain what you want.

Keil believes in receiving raw information first hand rather than the filtered information handed down to commissioners.

“Better to have raw materials which we can analyze and make a fair decision on than the filtered information,” said Commissioner Keil.


24) Solomons Calls On France To Comply With UN Process
Decolonization for French Polynesia approved 2 years ago

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 3, 2015) – The Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has called on France to implement the decolonisation process for French Polynesia approved by the United Nations two years ago.

In 2013, the General Assembly voted for a resolution sponsored by Solomon Islands to re-inscribe the territory on the UN decolonisation list but Paris has all but ignored the decision.

France has said it won’t buy into the UN decolonisation process and also ruled out holding an immediate independence referendum as requested by the territorial assembly.

Speaking at the UN in New York, Mr Sogavare has urged France to change.

“Solomon Islands calls on the administrating power to fully co-operate with the work of the special committee. We note that 30 years of nuclear testing by the administrating power caused widespread atomic radiation and has resulted in considerable health and environmental concern.”

Meanwhile, Mr Sogavare also used his address to call on the UN to take immediate action on alleged human rights abuses in Indonesia’s Papua region.

He said the Solomon Islands and other Pacific countries were seeking genuine dialogue and cooperation with Indonesia on the situation, but called on the UN Human Rights Council to do more to investigate abuses for itself.

“We appeal to the government of Indonesia to allow free and unrestricted access to this mission in the true spirit of regional cooperation. In the long term however the United Nations can not shy away from the root causes of these violations.”

Radio New Zealand International


25) China’s coastal provinces brace for typhoon

Monday, October 05, 2015

SHANGHAI – Coastal provinces in southern China braced for a typhoon set to hit the country on Sunday, with authorities ordering fishing fleets to stay ashore and cancelling flights and rail services.

Typhoon Mujigae will likely hit land around midday, according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), striking the southern island province of Hainan as well as Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.

Fast winds caused by the approaching typhoon led authorities in Hainan, a popular holiday island, to cancel 68 flights on Saturday and suspend train services, official news agency Xinhua said.

In Hainan and coastal Guangdong province, around 60,000 fishing boats were recalled to harbour to shelter from the storm, Xinhua added. Winds are expected to be around between 162 and 180 km (100-112 miles) an hour.

The CMA, which raised the emergency response level for the typhoon to its second highest level, said Mujigae was 170 km off the coast of Guangdong province around 0730 hours local time on Sunday.

The typhoon is likely to disrupt plans for thousands trying to travel during the current week-long public holiday in China. Xinhua said about 80,000 people had travelled to Hainan on Friday.

Meantime, the Philippine coast guard searched for 23 fishing boats with more than 120 fishermen lost when Mujigae hit the main island of Luzon.


26) Europe’s challenge

Monday, October 05, 2015

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe needed to protect its external frontiers as it faces the greatest influx of refugees since World War Two — a crisis that she said was “testing Europe’s mettle”.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe this year from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, many fleeing war or poverty.

Speaking in a weekly video podcast released on Saturday, Ms Merkel said Europe needed to contribute to dealing with this global challenge.

“And for Europe, this means we of course need to, above all, protect our external borders across Europe — and protect them together — so that immigration to Europe is orderly,” she said.

“But it also means we must take on more responsibility for countries where the causes for people to flee are, or where there are a lot of refugees, such as in Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey,” Ms Merkel added.

Many of those on the move are heading to Germany, which is Europe’s largest economy and has relatively liberal asylum laws and a generous system of benefits.

A poll on Thursday showed Ms Merkel’s popularity slump to its lowest level in nearly four years, reflecting growing concern about the flood of migrants.

More than 200,000 people are estimated to have arrived in Germany in September alone — roughly the same as for all of last year — and the government estimates that 800,000 or more might come over the course of 2015.

In her podcast, Ms Merkel said Germany needed to make clear that those who needed protection would get it but those who were only coming here for economic reasons would have to leave again.

“We need to be even more resolute about that and make that clear,” she said.

She also said integrating the new arrivals was a “big task” and people should be able to express their concerns about it.

Ms Merkel said Greece’s external border with Turkey — a frontier that many migrants had crossed on perilous boat journeys — was an issue. Talks with Turkey were needed and in fact had already begun, she said.

It will also be necessary to provide more development aid and spend more on refugees via UN programS, she added.

27) Extreme poverty to fall below 10 per cent for the first time: World Bank
7:50 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, United States

Extreme poverty will this year fall to less than 10 per cent of the global population for the first time, although there is still “great concern” for millions in Africa, a World Bank report says.

“This is the best story in the world today — these projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty,” said Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank.

According to World Bank projections, about 702 million people, or 9.6 per cent of the world population, will live below the poverty line this year, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

In 2012, that number stood at 902 million, or about 13 per cent of the world population.

It stood at 29 per cent in 1999.

According to Kim, the continuing decline in extreme poverty was the result of dynamic economic growth in developing nations and investment in health and education, as well as social safety nets that prevented millions of people from falling back into poverty.

“This new forecast of poverty falling into the single digits should give us new momentum and help us focus even more clearly on the most effective strategies to end extreme poverty,” he said.

Previously, people living on US$1.25 or less a day were defined as living in extreme poverty. That figure is now US$1.90, to reflect inflation.

The report comes after world leaders last month pledged to end extreme poverty within 15 years, adopting an ambitious set of United Nations goals to be backed up by trillions of dollars in development spending.

Releasing the figures, the World Bank nevertheless urged caution, saying “major hurdles remain” in the goal to end poverty by 2030.

“The growing concentration of global poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa is of great concern,” it said in a statement.

“While some African countries have seen significant successes in reducing poverty, the region as a whole lags the rest of the world in the pace of lessening poverty.”

The report singled out Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo as particularly worrisome examples of deprivation in Africa.

It also cautioned that reliable current data was not available in part of the Middle East and North Africa because of conflict.

In contrast, the report noted a marked decline in extreme poverty in Asia — particularly India — and in South America.

However, Kaushik Basu, chief economist at the World Bank, sounded an alarm over a slowdown in emerging markets worldwide – with Latin America an emblem of the sputter.

“There is some turbulence ahead,” Basu said.

“The economic growth outlook is less impressive for emerging economies in the near future, which will create new challenges in the fight to end poverty and attend to the needs of the vulnerable, especially those living at the bottom 40 per cent of their societies.”

Oxfam welcomed the landmark figures below 10 per cent, but warned that hard work remains to drag the remaining 702 million people out of extreme poverty.

“That figure remains unacceptably high and much remains to be done,” said Nicolas Mombrial, head of Oxfam International’s Washington office.

“A lot of new resources and fundamental political change are needed.”

The World Bank is holding its annual meetings from October 9 to 11 in Lima, along with the International Monetary Fund.



28) ‘Antibiotics not for flu’

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari
Monday, October 05, 2015

DO not ask for antibiotics if you are infected with Influenza (flu) or cold during this cold season.

This is the advice from the Health and Medical Services Ministry.

Antibiotics are medicines which mostly contain penicillin such as amoxicillin and flucloxacillin the ministry’s chief pharmacist Apolosi Vosanibola says.

He said these medicines were only for bacterial infections.

He made the comments at the National Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop last week.

“The constant use of antibiotics on viral infections like flu and cold could lead to bacteria being resistant to medicine which could lead to more serious health risks in future,” he said.

“When we use antibacterial (antibiotic) it will only kill the bacteria and not the virus, it will be of no effect to viral infections.”

Mr Vosanibola said different bacteria had different medicine to kill them and doctors, because they were the agents, needed to inform patients on what each medicine would do and its side effects. An example of bacterial infection is boil and skin infections.

“Now we’re in the season of cold and flu, people are in the habit of using amoxicillin, it won’t work because it is not for viral infections like cold and flu.

“People need to understand the difference between medicines.”

Mr Vosanibola clarified that Ibuprofen was for joint pains, muscular and bone pains, and paracetamol tablets were used to control fever.

He said patients needed to learn to ask the reasons they were being prescribed a particular medicine and they also needed to learn to listen to the doctor’s advice and not demand that doctors prescribe a particular medicine.Fijitimes


29) More Sedition Arrests In Fiji

Main focus of investigation remains Nadroga and Ra regions

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 3, 2015) – Fiji police have reportedly arrested more people in relation to ongoing sedition investigations.

FBC News reports the men were apprehended in Vanua Levu, in the country’s North, but did not say how many had been arrested.

The director of intelligence and investigations, Henry Brown, says the suspects fled to the North when police made a series of arrests in the Western Division.

He says the men have been returned to the West for questioning, and the main focus of investigations remains the Nadroga and Ra regions.

Dozens of people from various groups have been rounded up after being accused of sedition in recent months, with one group in Ra accused of trying to form a breakaway Christian state.

Radio New Zealand International


 30) Monopoly not good: MP

The National, Monday October 5th, 2015

COMMUNICATIONS and Information Technology Minister Jimmy Miringtoro says the communication sector will be crushed if foreign conglomerates monopolise the market.
He will be tabling a proposal in Parliament on ways to regulate cross media-ownership laws in Papua New Guinea.
Miringtoro said he was concerned at the way the National Rugby League broadcast rights were suddenly taken away from a free-to-air television station.
“We will not allow one dominant player in the PNG communications market as this is not fair on the people of our nation,” Miringtoro said.
“Given enough power, these large companies can force out the smaller phone, television, radio and newspaper platforms, and then expand to other areas such as advertising.
“When one company has a monopoly over multiple media platforms, they could potentially take the market for granted and charge much higher prices to our people.
“Cross-media ownership structures need to be clearly defined so that competition is ensured in our country and this will deliver better media services to our people.
“We already pay high prices that are imposed for internet and mobile telephone calls.
“If a large phone company was able to expand into television, the savings afforded by vertical integration backed up by the deep pockets of the foreign conglomerate, would probably mean the end of any competition in PNG media and communications.
“It would also mean one foreign company has control over the entertainment, news and sport seen by our people, and would probably see Papua New Guineans forced to pay to watch each NRL game.”


31) Ex-resident opens real estate firm

Monika Singh
Monday, October 05, 2015

JASON Raj believes there is room for a real estate operator who wants to work with clients with the long-term view of developing a sustainable business relationship.

Mr Raj launched his real estate company on Friday.

Originally from Vanua Levu, Mr Raj migrated to Australia in 1985.

“When I looked at some of the real estate market and agents in Fiji, I saw an opportunity not only to sell and market our own projects but to establish an agency with the potential to become a leading provider in this space.

“Real estate prices in Fiji have been rising steadily which is also a trend in many developing nations and as almost always supply and demand play a key part,” he said.

Mr Raj said staff members/agents would be well qualified and someone who vendors would trust.

He said that was why he had come up with the slogan “Service you deserve from people you trust”.Fijitimes

32) Government to eliminate bogus agents

Monika Singh
Monday, October 05, 2015

GOVERNMENT is aware of bogus real estate agents in the country and measures are being put in place to remove them from the market.

This was revealed by the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa at the launch of a real estate company on Friday.

Iselect Real Estate Ltd which is owned by former Fiji citizen Jason Raj was launched at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.

Mr Boseiwaqa said there was a growing market for real estate in Fiji and as a result there was a lot of opportunities for investment.

“This is an investment by a former citizen and this investment is a testimony that government is providing an enabling environment for businesses,” he said.

Mr Boseiwaqa said there was room for more investment by former citizens.Fijitimes

33) $130m trade loss
7:57 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, Fiji

Fiji is losing about $US60.26million ($F130m) in exports to the United States.

Fiji Trade Commissioner in Los Angeles, Jitendra Singh said Fiji exports to the US amounted to $US31.6m ($F68m) which was a decline of 34.4 per cent on annual basis.

“While the decline in exports was broad-based across most categories, lower export of tuna was the main driver of the decline in the first quarter,” Singh said.

He said during the same period, Fiji’s imports from the US rose to $US19.8m ($F43m), from $US16.6m ($F36m) in the same period in 2013.

“Cumulative to March 2014, Fiji recorded a trade surplus with the US valued at $US11.8m ($F25m); this was lower than the $US31.6m ($F68m) surplus recorded in the same period of the previous year,” Singh said.

He also highlighted that there are a number of factors that impede the competitiveness of our products in the US markets.

“One of the crucial ones is the freight cost to the US which is quite high,” he said.

Fiji’s fresh produce such as taro, cassava and yams and dry goods are competing strongly on price with products from Mexico, Costa Rica and other Asian countries.

Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Uraia Waibuta said geographical location and close proximity to the US, could land these nations their product at ports more cheaper than Fiji.

He said this was the reality for all Fiji products exported to the US and it was crucial that Fiji focused its effort in developing value-added products.

“However, our comparative advantage is quality; all our products are sold under Fiji brand which is liked by the American consumers,” Waibuta said.



34) 4 villages accessible by road

Luke Rawalai
Monday, October 05, 2015

RURAL service license vehicles can now access the villages of Natokalau, Nasasaivua, Waisa and Korovou in the district of Kubulau, Bua following FRA’s road rehabilitation work in the area.

The authority’s chief executive officer, Neil Cook said they had managed to open up a forestry track as part of their fast response work carried out in May this year costing them $84,172.25.

Responding to queries from villagers in the district on the state of their road, Mr Cook said fast response work was not full upgrading work.

“Fast response done on the road is not full upgrading work but safe upgrade for access to RSL standard or light vehicles, RSL standard only,” he said.

“Work carried out on the 10-kilometre access road included the cleaning of existing side drains, culvert works, supply, spread and compacting maintenance aggregates.

“Work has been done but not a full upgrade nor rural roads rehab as it is not a road that is listed under our top priority list.”

Mr Cook said the Waisa access road was old and overgrown as it was a logging track in the past.

“We have safely opened up that forestry track” under fast response work in May costing to $84,172.25.

“It is a 10km access road that leads to the villages of Natokalau, Nasasaivua, Waisa and Korovou.”

Earlier this week, villagers in the four villagers approached this newspaper to air their grievances on the condition of their road which they said hindered development through their district a lot.Fijitimes

35) New ports to become shipping hubs: Micah

The National, Monday October 5th, 2015

THE new Lae Port tidal basin and Motukea port in Port Moresby will become the two main shipment hubs in the country, Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Ben Micah says.
He opened the K45 million Kimbe port extension project in West New Britain last Thursday.
“We will have two major trans-shipment hubs at Motukea in Port Moresby and Tidal Basin in Lae that will bring in the big ships that take 40-foot containers,” Micah said.
“I am looking at developing another regional hub that will serve the New Guinea Islands and Popondetta-Oro Bay, Milne Bay and even the Solomon Islands.
“The big cargo will come in from the West Coast of America, from North Asia, into Lae and Port Moresby and ship into a port in either East or West New Britain.”
Micah said in three years, a new K800 million port had been built in Lae and the K725 million facility at Motukea had been acquired from Curtain Brothers.
“We are borrowing another K1 billion to develop all these small ports, including Bialla in West New Britain,” he said.
“This will create the maritime infrastructure that will enable the people of the coastal regions to ship cargo, to ship exports, and others.”
He said the government will spend another K1 million to develop seven ports in the country and Bialla will be included.
The Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Ben Micah urged the people in the coastal areas to work along with government for these develpments to take place.


36) Law group decries ban on Aussie lawyers

The National, Monday October 5th, 2015

THE Law Council of Australia has joined the condemnation of the banning of two Australian lawyers from entering Papua New Guinea to represent clients in a high-profile case.
Greg Egan and Terence Lambert were banned from entering PNG by Chief Migration Officer Mataio Rabura.
They were representing the National Fraud and Anti-Corrupt Directorate and the anti-corrupt agency Task Force Sweep in cases relating to PNG politicians.
Law council executive member Morry Bailes said the ban was concerning.
“I endorse the Australian Bar Association’s statement (Sept 30) asserting that lawyers must be free to practise the law and represent their clients without fear of reprisal,” Bailes said. “The reported ban is a threat to the rule of law and transparency in the region which are fundamental principles driving regional stability, growth and development.
“As such it is vitally important that the legal profession remains independent and that the executive arm of Government does not interfere with the administration of justice.”
PNG Law Society president Peter Kuman said earlier the ban on the Australian-based lawyers was a violation of the rule of law.
He said Egan and Lambert held valid practicing certificates and were entitles to practice in PNG.
The Australia Bar Association had also called the PNG Government to lift the ban, saying it was a “deeply disturbing situation”.


37) Another earthquake in south of Fiji

Monday, October 05, 2015

Update: 11:12AM A 5.1 magnitude earthquake was recorded in the south of Fiji this morning.

The earthquake at 6:16am struck at a depth of 536 kilometres.

It was 372.55 kilometres south southwest of Ono-i-Lau and 665.17 kilometres south southeast of Suva.

The Mineral Resources Department said it was a moderate size earthquake with deep depth source location, a characteristic of non-threatening event particularly to the region.

Meanwhile, at 7:58am yesterday, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded 677 kilometres south southwest of Suva and 607 kilometres southwest of Nukuni village on Ono-i-Lau.

The earthquake was at a depth of 10 kilometres and was of no threat to the region.Fijitimes

38) Helicopter Pilot Dies Fighting New Caledonia Wildfire

El Nino system continues to exacerbate conditions

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 5, 2015) – A helicopter fighting a forest fire in New Caledonia has crashed killing its pilot while a mechanic on board remains missing.

Last night a rescue operation was underway to recover the victim who was helping to douse the flames of a fire at Voh in the north of the territory.

Homes were evacuated and the main highway was cut on Sunday when fire engulfed bush in the area.

About 200 hectares of vegetation was burnt and about 20 homes threatened.

Three helicopters were brought in to help fight the fire which also involved security personnel who led convoys of motorists to safety.

A territory-wide fire ban is in force after strong winds helped spread several bushfires across the territory last week as a prolonged dry spell continues.

Like much of the Pacific, New Caledonia is predicted to experience well below normal rainfall in coming months as what’s expected to be one of the worst El Niño systems in over a decade intensifies.

Radio New Zealand International


39) Appeal to miner to clear mess it left behind

The National, Monday October 5th, 2015

POMIO MP Elias Kapavore is calling on the Canadian developer of the abandoned Sinivit gold mine in East New Britain to come back and clean up the mess it left behind.
Landowners during a meeting last week raised their concerns over the damage to the environment and pollution from the mine leaking into the rivers.
Resource owners moved into the mine site recently and tampered with cyanide-filled vats and vandalised the camp buildings, after New Guinea Gold left abruptly in July 2014.
According to the Mineral Resources Authority, under the Mining Act, the company still had mining lease licence at Sinivit, which had not been cancelled.
The company there must ensure that regulations are in place and safety measures followed.
“This is a clear example of a company that is allowed to come in and do everything it could and get whatever it wanted and then gone leaving our people like this,” Kapavore said.
“This is a good lesson for ENB and especially Pomio district to seriously consider in future when allowing similar companies to come in.
“The NGG is given until the end of October to return and clean up the mess.”
He urged the provincial government to act on the recommendations compiled by the Department of Environment and Conservation last November.

40) Nickel crisis rocks French islands in Pacific

4:02 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, New Caledonia

Plunging nickel prices and the market woes of world mining giants have shaken the French territory of New Caledonia, a tropical archipelago in the Pacific that is hostage to the metal’s fortunes.

Though best known for its stunning lagoon, pristine beaches and diverse wildlife, New Caledonia’s economy actually relies heavily on nickel, discovered here in the 19th century.

The price of nickel — essential to the manufacture of stainless steel — has plunged 35 percent so far this year to a six-and-a-half year low of less than US$10,000 (9,000 euros) a tonne.

A slowdown in economic growth in China, the world’s biggest consumer of nickel, and stockpiles of the metal amounting to more than 450,000 tonnes, have depressed the market.

“We were already in a deteriorating situation when the crisis hit because every sector was in a slowdown. I think we are not far from zero economic growth,” Catherine Wehbe, director of the employers’ federation Medef in New Caledonia, told AFP.

The federation is calling for a cut in government spending and for New Caledonia’s economy to be diversified, moving away from what it describes as an “all nickel” mentality.

The archipelago, which has an estimated one-quarter of the world’s nickel reserves, fretted this week as market turmoil engulfed Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore, which owns 49 percent of the Koniambo Nickel smelter in the north of the territory.

Glencore shares plunged 29 percent in London on Monday but regained the losses later in the week after protesting that it has “no solvency issues”. Its shares have nevertheless tumbled by about 70 percent this year.

Glencore has invested more than US$7 billion in Koniambo Nickel, which has been troubled by technical difficulties as it seeks to ramp up production.

Though the complex is 51-percent owned by the Northern Province populated mostly by the indigenous Kanak people, Glencore provides 95 percent of the financing.

On Monday, the head of Glencore’s nickel unit, Kenny Ives, met with French overseas territory minister George Pau-Langevin. No details of the talks were released but speculation about Glencore’s future in the project runs rife on the archipelago.

“We know they did not buy Koniambo to lose money,” said Yann Vu Van Lang, union representative at the smelter. “Today, we are all scared.”

New Caledonia’s historic nickel producer SLN says it is losing about 12.5 million euros (US$138 million) a month and shares in its Paris-headquartered parent company, mining group Eramet, have fallen 50 percent so far this year.

“It is a deep crisis. Today, 80 percent of nickel producers are losing money,” said Daniel Katrawa, general secretary of SLN.

Brazilian multinational miner Vale warned in January that 2015 would be a decisive year for its smelter, which is increasing output in the south of the archipelago. Vale has invested more than US$7 billion in the island but the commodities crash has squashed its ambitions to break even for now.

The group, its shares now at a 12-year low, will review all of its projects in November.

Private ore exporters, whose major customers are Japan and Australia, hope they will be able to keep going, so long as the crisis does not endure.

The exporters’ key concern is the failure of local leaders to agree on a mining strategy.

“We have no visibility on what they want to do with us,” said Xavier Gravelat, head of the ore exporters’ syndicate.

The organisation wants to be able to export nickel ore freely to China, a route that has provoked controversy within the government, with some leaders fearing that selling ore to China would lead to selling the resource off too cheaply. A draft accord has been signed but is now bogged down in legal and political rows.

Further complicating the outlook, pro-independence Kanaks are calling for ore exports to be halted in 2019 unless they are destined for off-shore smelters in which the archipelago has an interest.


41) New Caledonia Union Welcomes Nickel Talks

French ministry forces government debate on nickel exports

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, October 3, 2015) – The union behind a three-week long industrial conflict in New Caledonia last month has welcomed a debate about the future of the territory’s nickel exports.

In an interview on local television, a union spokesperson, Max Foucher, said there is no doubt that allowing exports to China is the only solution to arrest decling exports to Australia.

In August, truck drivers set up blockades that brought the capital, Noumea, to a standstill to protest the government’s policy to not approve exports of low grade ore to China.

Last week, the French overseas ministry invoked its rights under organic law to force the territory’s government to debate the issue of nickel exports.

Mr Foucher says he welcomes the debate, saying the decline is threatening jobs and livelihoods.

Radio New Zealand International

42) PNG welcomes lifting of Yellow flag ban by the European Union

3:59 pm GMT+12, 04/10/2015, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is expected to make an official announcement on the lifting of the yellow flag ban by the European Union, in the next few days.

This was revealed by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) chairman Job Pomat in Port Moresby last week, while also announcing the authority’s payment of K50 million (US$17.3 million) in dividends to the National Government.

Pomat in announcing this had stated that NFA had received a letter from the EU advising it of its decision to lift the yellow card. He said this was a proper opportunity to raise PNG’s standards to be the first-class tuna provider in the world.

Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, who was present for the occasion, welcomed the news and commended NFA.

“I would also like to applaud the National Fisheries Authority for its efforts in successfully meeting the European Union’s requirements, which has resulted in the uplifting of the yellow flag restrictions on our fishing regulations,” Sir Manasupe said.

During the fifth Pacific Tuna Forum in Fiji last month Fransciso Blaha, an international fisheries advisor based in New Zealand, said in a presentation that PNG was one of several countries in the Pacific region to have been warned by the EU.

The forum heard PNG was issued the yellow flag in June 2014 while the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu were issued the yellow flag in late 2014 to join Kiribati and the Republic of Marshall Islands.

Blaha had added that the Federated States of Micronesia were in talks with the EU to better manage their fisheries sector.

NFA managing director John Kasu said during the forum that PNG had taken significant steps to addressing issues in the fishing industry after being flagged last year.

Kasu said NFA had committed vast amounts of resources to address the issues including review of the National Fisheries Management Act, review of the national tuna management plan, development of national plan of action for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and enhanced port monitoring.


43) Villagers benefit from marine protected project

Monday, October 05, 2015

Update: 2:15PM VILLAGERS of Vusasivo and Nadavaci in Natewa have benefitted from a marine conservation project implemented on their fishing grounds – following consultations with the Fisheries Department.

Nadavaci villager Lote Saro said the fish which disappeared from the fishing grounds were returning after they placed a fishing ban on the reefs in the marine protected areas.

Mr Saro said villagers could now fish a good catch from the safety of their shoreline without having to go out to the open sea.Fijitimes

44) Agriculture has huge opportunity: Muthuvel

The National, Monday October 5th, 2015

WEST New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel says opportunities are abound to develop agriculture in the province.
This is apart from oil palm, the country’s largest agricultural commodity, which brings in K2 billion annually and complements a thriving beef cattle industry.
Muthuvel says there is potential to produce chicken feed in West New Britain for the farmers.
He told Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Ben Micah that “we have potential business opportunities in the province, especially in the agriculture sector, which can be developed under the public-private partnership”.
“Locally-grown chickens are costly because we are also importing stock-feed. Would it be an option to reduce production cost of local chicken products by investing in establishing a stock-feed manufacturing company in partnership with an investor?” he said.
“I am sure there are adequate raw materials to produce stock-feed concentrate using fish by-products from our canneries and oil palm expellers.”
Muthuvel said West New Britain had a poor record of bidding and getting development funds under the Public Investment Programme over the years.
“Since West New Britain does not have a voice in cabinet, I ask you as a senior minister from the New Guinea Islands region to support West New Britain to get some development funds for some of its key development projects in the 2016 budget,” he said.
“We have submitted proposals under PIP for our teachers college, nursing college, 2016 PNG Games infrastructure development, and upgrading of Bialla Health Centre into a rural hospital.”


45) Minister reassures youths on promises

Sikeli Qounadovu
Monday, October 05, 2015

The Minister for Youth and Sports has reassured youths in the Eastern Division that he will make every effort to deliver and fulfil his promises.

While speaking to youth representatives from Lau, Lomaiviti and Rotuma, Laisenia Tuitubou said his first target was to meet more than half of the 2541 registered youth groups.

Mr Tuitubou, while addressing the youths at the ministry’s head office in Suva this week, confirmed that so far he had visited about 500 youth groups.

“As promised, we will come to your villages to see what you need and also to hear of your concerns.

“For those in Rotuma, our assistant minister will be leaving on Friday to visit the youths in Rotuma and will be spending a week there but I will come to visit you before the end of this year,” Mr Tuitubou said.

Juju youth club from Rotuma representative Lorraine Rigamoto expressed her gratitude that despite the islands geographical location, the Government had not forgotten them.

“We are very glad that we have had the opportunity to raise our concerns with him and his reassurance that he will come and visit maritime youths will boost our confidence as young people and will strengthen our relationship with the ministry.”Fijitimes

46) Women told to claim rights

Shayal Devi
Monday, October 05, 2015

IT is the responsibility of women to claim their rights to access better education, health services and employment opportunities.

This was the message from Women’s Minister Rosy Akbar during the foundation laying ceremony for a new development centre in Ba on Thursday.

The new centre is being funded by the Japanese Government, estimated to cost more than $400,000.

“Research has shown that a certain level of education and health strengthens women’s human capital,” Ms Akbar said.

“However, persistent gender stereotypes, which hinder women from fully utilising their education and training, need to be explicitly addressed.

“Work and economic independence are entry points for women’s access to other services, such as health, further education and training.”

Ms Akbar also urged the women of Ba to take advantage of the new development centre to gain new skills.

She said this would help reduce the poverty rates in rural communities.Fijitimes

47) Women’s organisation turns 40

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, October 05, 2015

MEMBERS of Soroptimist International of Ba gathered over the weekend to celebrate 40 years of service and community work while raising awareness of important socioeconomic issues that affect women and girls.

The NGO celebrated the milestone with the launch of a Pinktober program and reiterated the call to stop violence against women and children.

Soroptimist International of Ba president Veena Sharma said the celebration was used as a time to reflect on the work carried out by past and present members.

“Soroptimists unite around the principles of educating and empowering women.

“We work to enable girls and women locally and internationally to do work that will not only serve them but serve the community that they live in,” she said.

SI Fiji president Dr Maria Doton said the Ba club had the second largest group of members in the country.

“This club has been instrumental in projects that have made an impact in Ba Town.

“We don’t do things for the sake of recognition but for the sake of our women and as an extension of God’s work,” she said.

Minister for Women and SI Ba member Rosy Akbar congratulated the group.

“Women are good agents of change and one which the Fijian Government embraces in its national development, policies and legislations,” she said.

“I congratulate the Soroptimist Ba as it celebrates and honours our women of their achievements and their enduring spirits.”Fijitimes


48) Pacific playoff hopes all but over at Rugby World Cup

5 October 2015

Pacific Island hopes of making the Rugby World Cup playoffs are all but over following Argentina’s 45-16 win over Tonga in Leicester.
The Pumas scored five tries to two to leapfrog the ‘Ikale Tahi into second place in Pool C, and only need to beat Namibia to confirm their spot in the last eight.

Tonga dominanted possession and territory but captain Nili Latu says they didn’t take their chances.

“At half-time we wanted to get points straight off from kick off and we got that. The momentum was on our side but the mistakes crept in and Argentina scored straight away. We missed five kicks today and our team is a team that strives on confidence but it’s little mistakes that we can control and fix for the All Blacks game”.

The ‘Ikale Tahi’s quarter final hopes are effectively over but Latu remains philosophical about their World Cup campaign.

“We had high hopes and that’s the way you’ve got to come into this World Cup – you can’t just let the tier one [teams have it all their own way]. It doesn’t really matter where you are on the table you’ve got to come out fighting. I’m really proud of my boys and know we’ve got one more big game up our sleeve against the All Blacks”.

Manu Samoa’s quarter final hopes were ended yesterday by Japan while Fiji have suffered consecutive defeats to England, Australia and Wales.

50) Island town to host boxing champs

The National, Friday October 2nd, 2015

BOXING associations are gearing up for the 2015 National Boxing Championships to be held in Kavieng, New Ireland.
Instead of waiting for official confirmation from the PNG Amateur Boxing Union, little-known Kerema Amateur Boxing Association (KABA) wasted no time in holding it selection trials in preparation for the Kavieng trip.
KABA spokesman Joseph Ka’au said six clubs — NCC, Rabia Camp, Central Kerema, Malalaua and Ihu — took part in the trials held in Kerema.
The trials were sponsored by Gulf Governor Havila Kavo.
Kau thanked technical officials from Kairuku Amateur Boxing Association for officiating the fights.
Kairuku Amateur Boxing Association president Andrew Magaiva said his association held its trials over the Independence anniversary week and will be out to defend its title as the nation’s champion association. NCD Boxing Association president Honk Kiap is working around the clock to put a team together to represent Port Moresby.
PNGABU president John Avira said finer details were yet to be confirmed but urged associations to be on the watch.

51) Team to attend Australian Masters

The National, Friday October 2nd, 2015

CORPORATE Touch Port Moresby Masters women’s team are competing in the Adelaide Masters 7s in the 40-45 category from Oct 6-12.
The team leave for Adelaide today and return on Tuesday.
“The team will be managed by an all-woman outfit,” veteran player Esther Lari- Geno said. Geno said the team were part of a Corporate executive decision urging gender equality for the five-day event.
She said it was a great opportunity for the eight women attending the Australian Masters.
“We have trained together for some time after the local competition and are looking forward to the challenge against the Aussies.
“Our aim is to best our age division and come out on top.
“This is not the first time for us to compete in the Masters in Australia,” she said.
Geno thanked Corporate executives for allowing them to attend the meet.

52) New rugby league partnership

Zanzeer Singh
Monday, October 05, 2015

THE Lautoka zone rugby league has formed a partnership with the Saint Mary’s Rugby League Club from Australia to strengthen its development programs.

The Saint Mary’s under-13 team played the Lautoka U14 side in a friendly match at the Natabua High School ground on Saturday.

The visitors won the fixture 38-24.

Lautoka zone chairman Mesake Navugona said Saint Mary’s also gave new sets of uniforms to the Yasawa Saints Club and $1000.

Navugona said they would be creating competitions for the U10 and U12 grades next year.

“We are taking our development programs seriously,” the former Fiji Bati said.

“We are grateful to the Saint Mary’s Club for supporting us. At the moment our junior competition has grades from the U14 level going up.

“But from next year, the U12 and U10 grades will be introduced to get the younger players involved.”Fijitimes

53) Williams US Open semi-final defeat a ‘monumental shock’

Monday, October 05, 2015

Serena Williams fell victim to one of the biggest shocks in tennis history at the US Open, said two-time champion Tracy Austin.

Williams, 33, was two wins from completing the calendar Grand Slam but lost 2-6 6-4 6-4 to unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci in the semi-finals.

“This is monumental. It’s a shocker,” Austin told BBC Sport.

“This is one of the biggest upsets in the history of tennis, because of what was on the line.”

Williams went into Friday’s semi-final on a 33-match winning streak in Grand Slams stretching back to Wimbledon 2014.

She had hoped to match Steffi Graf’s 1988 sweep off all four majors in the same year, and was up against a player she had beaten four times without dropping a set.

Vinci, 32, is ranked 43 in the world and was playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final.

“Roberta Vinci had a losing record coming into the US Open and somehow got hot,” added Austin.

“Things went her way, the draw opened up, Genie Bouchard hit her head and couldn’t play that match . It’s just the way things happen sometimes.

“That’s why they put the net up every day. You’ve got to go out and handle the nerves.

“I always said Serena’s biggest opponent coming into this year’s US Open was going to be her own nerves.”


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