Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1056 ( Tuesday 8 March 2016 )
International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
International Women’s Day events are held worldwide on March 8. Various women, including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at various events on the day. Such events may include seminars, conferences, luncheons, dinners or breakfasts. The messages given at these events often focus on various themes such as innovation, the portrayal of women in the media, or the importance of education and career opportunities.
Many students in schools and other educational settings participate in special lessons, debates or presentations about the importance of women in society, their influence, and issues that affect them. In some countries school children bring gifts to their female teachers and women receive small presents from friends or family members. Many workplaces make a special mention about International Women’s Day through internal newsletters or notices, or by handing out promotional material focusing on the day.
A public exhibition of photos and stories of the hardships experienced by women across the country both in the wake of Cyclone Pam and as victims and survivors of domestic violence was launched in the capital Port Vila.
President of the Silae Vanua Market Vendors association Eslin Solomon said she believed economic empowerment for women was crucial to addressing many of the issues faced by women in Vanuatu.
“There are a lot of women and girls that are left behind when they don’t complete their education they are left behind and have nothing to do. So they exposed to crimes and violence in their homes so this is where we really need help to go back and help these women who have been left behind. Who are unable to generate their own income or start their own businesses to improve their lives,” said Eslin Solomon.RNZI
2b) Women celebrate International Day
The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016
TODAY is International Women’s Day.
It is a day that is celebrated by the United Nations since 1975.
The day serves as a day to celebrate, acknowledge and recognise the work of women in their countries and communities.
In 2015, world leaders adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, by 2030. While goal four specifically targeted “gender equality” all other goals also necessitated gender equality and engagement of women.
With a message by the secretary-general, the United Nations strongly recognises women as key agents of change in achieving the SDGs. The SG states: “Let us devote solid funding, courageous advocacy and unbending political will to achieving gender equality around the world. There is no greater investment in our common future.”
Papua New Guinea is ranked 158 out of 188 countries in the global Gender Equality Index, with only 2.7 per cent women representation in Parliament.
It is important for the country to accelerate efforts to achieve gender equality and achieve SDGs and that is by allowing women to participate fully in the development of the country.
4) Mamose to join Jayapura event
The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016
By DOROTHY MARK
THE Mamose regional secretariat and the Indonesian Embassy are planning to arrange a large delegation to participate in the PNG-Indonesia Trade Fair in Jayapura in August.
Coordinator for the secretariat Andrew Ada said Indonesian Ambassador to PNG Rudolf JP Manik and his office were working closely to arrange travel for local PNG industry representatives to participate in the trade fair and advertise and market their products.
“The Mamose secretariat would be arranging travels for industries in the regional only,” Ada said.
He said mv Papua Baru from Jayapura would be engaged to pick up participants from Lae, Madang and Wewak to attend the fair from Aug 15-20.
“The trade fair would be in time with the Indonesia independence and the whole programme would be a great turn out,” Ada said.
He said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill would lead the PNG team.
Ada said a dialogue between Manik and the Madang provincial government to have Madang students study in Indonesia went well and already 20 Grade 12 school leavers and some from the vocational schools were selected to attend the programme.
He said the Indonesian Embassy would assess the recommended students before sending them to Indonesia.
Ada said another programme the secretariat was arranging with schools in Madang was to study Bahasa and so far the Tusbab Provincial Secondary and Holy Spirit High Schools in Bogia were chosen to teach the language.
He said the Indonesian Government would cater for the teachers and schools would only worry about providing accommodations for them.
Ada said the PNG Government passed the “look north” policy and if Papua New Guineans wished to look north, then they should know Bahasa.
He said PNG and Indonesia shared land borders and that Papua New Guineans should learn the Indonesian language.
Ada said public servants in Madang were learning the language.
5) Military to monitor border crimes
The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016
PNG and Indonesian border military commanders have agreed to prevent West Papuan rebel activities and transnational crimes along the PNG-Indonesian border, Vanimo-based Indonesia vice-consul Allen Simarmata said yesterday.
“Vanimo Forward Base PNG Defence Force Operation Commander Major Yasang Steve and Indonesian army Task Force Commander Lt Col Nandang Dimyati also agreed for a possible joint coordination and security information sharing to ensure that the border is well-secured,” Simarmata said.
Border security forces for both countries can work together to prevent illegal activities that could disturb security and peace in the border.” Simarmata said that Steve paid a friendly visit last week to Dimyati at the Indonesian army border post at Skouw.
“The purpose of the visit was to know each other since the two countries’ Security Task Force have the same basic tasks at the border, namely to prevent illegal activities and armed separatist group out across the border.”
Allen said that Steve also visited Batas Market to look at activities of the Indonesian army such as farming and social activity.
“Steve and Dimyati both also agreed to arrange social, sport activities and exchange visits by army border personnel.
6) Netherlands notes progress on police training in Papua
7 FEB 2016
The Netherlands government says it’s received positive feedback about the Indonesian community policing training programme it supports in West Papua.
The deputy head of political affairs at the Netherlands Embassy in Indonesia, Maarten van den Bosch, has just visited the Papua region where he checked on the progress of the programme.
Jointly operated by the International Organisation for Migration with Dutch funding, it is training over five thousand personnel in community policing across three provinces: Papua, West Papua and Maluku.
Mr van der Bosch said the programme had been establishing community policing forums at provincial, district and sub-district levels where police and communities meet each other in informal settings to discuss a range of issues affecting them.
He said within these forums, relationships between community and the police are growing because communication is improving.
Mr van der Bosch said that national and provincial government see the programme as a tool to have a better understanding on what is happening in Papua’s communities.
“Communities also see that this programme helps them also with engaging with the police. The police acknowledge that it requires a change of mindset, since this is all about prevention, and not about enforcement. I think about the results so far, that the Indonesian police are very satisfied with it, and they see the benefits of community policing.”
Maarten van den Bosch
Maarten van den Bosch said the programme, which began in 2013 and is due to conclude later this year, could hopefully be replicated in other parts of Indonesia.
New Zealand previously ran a community policing training programme in West Papua, which involved a small contingent of New Zealand personnel on the ground.
The programme had early installations around 2009 and 2010 however later plans to roll out a more extensive version of the programme were axed by Indonesia in 2014.
A senior official in the Indonesian police at the time cited concerns that the programme might have had a hidden motive as being the reason for its cancellation.RNZI
Protest over interrogation of West Papuan priest
7 Feb 2016 Scores of Catholics in the capital of Indonesia’s Papua province have been protesting against police interrogations of an activist priest.
Father John Djonga was taken in for police questioning last month after being involved in a formal event to open an office of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua in Wamena in Papua’s Highlands region.
Father Djonga, who led a prayer service at the event, was subjected by police to an intensive grilling in Jayapura.
The Union for Catholic Asian News quoted a police spokesman as saying Father Djonga was considered a witness to a violation of Indonesia’s criminal code pertaining to treason.
Protesters from the Catholic Youth and the Union of Catholic University Students of Indonesia organisations marched several kilometres to the police headquarters to hold their protest.
They called on police to stop harassing Father Djonga.
The priest said he was told police may call him in for further questioning, but insisted he was unfazed by police scrutiny.RNZI
7) Bougainville youth in mock parliament
7 FEB 2016 Aid agencies are running a youth parliament this week to raise awareness about the issues facing Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville.
It involves about 40 people aged between 18 and 35 and is being held in the parliament house of the autonomous Bougainville parliament.
PNG’s country representative of the United Nations Population Fund, Walter Mendonca-Filho, says they are trying to develop leadership skills among the youth of Bougainville.
“So we see this as capacity building, as leadership grooming, also particularly in the case of Bougainville they have a lot of young people, so we need to work closely with young people as they lead up to their referendum.”
Bougainville is to hold a referendum on possible independence from PNG by 2020.RNZI
8) Solomons police confiscate suspected treasure haul
7 Feb 2016
Police in Solomon Islands have confiscated an undisclosed amount of what is believed to be gold bullion found on a sunken ship in the Ontong Java atoll.
The Solomons Business Magazine reports the suspected gold bars estimated to be worth millions of dollars have been transported to the Central Bank of Solomon Islands for safekeeping.
The shipment is understood to have arrived into the capital Honiara from Ontong Java on Friday where it was confiscated by police acting on a tip-off.
The Solomon Business Magazine said a police source involved in the operation told them there were at least 100 of the suspected gold bars as well as other metals believed to be silver.
The CBSI has confirmed receipt of the cargo but declined to comment on the nature of its contents or quantity.
In 2013, the Solomon Islands government was reported to be set on recovering more than 1.5 billion US dollars worth of gold bars thought to be on the ocean floor between Guadalcanal and Malaita.
A former MP and freelance journalist, Alfred Sasako, at the time said he understood the gold was believed to be in the wreck of a Japanese ship sunk during the Second World War.
Mr Sasako said a man from Isabel province had told his son the location of the sunken ship. Mr Sasako told RNZ International that the government of the day had been harassing the man to disclose the wreck’s location.
The Solomon Islands campaign in the Second World War cost the Allies about 7,100 men, 29 ships and 615 aircraft. The Japanese lost 31,000 men, 38 ships and 683 aircraft./Solomon Star.
9) Notorious Solomons AG Resurfaces To Sue PNG
Moti claims PNG government had roll in destroying career
By Gorethy Kenneth
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 7, 2016) – If you thought that the once famous Moti Affair has vanished to thin air in Papua New Guinea, please think again!
Julian Moti has regained his integrity and is now making a comeback to Papua New Guinea, almost 10 years after going through a bizarre ordeal with sex charges that originated in Vanuatu that had Australia involved and PNG who assisted the Solomon Islands. It eventually became an international and diplomatic blunder.
Moti is suing the State for what he says had a serious and negative impact on his life, economic health, family and career. The quantum of his case is yet to be decided although he has a figure in hand.
His case was registered a few years ago by Peter Pena Lawyers but until recently he has changed law firms and has now engaged Greg Sheppard as his lawyer.
Moti, who is now a Queen’s Counsel in Fiji, an adjunct Professor at the University of Fiji and the former Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands, said the quantum is yet to be decided.
A spokesperson spoke of the “come back of Moti” through his court case.
He said that while Moti was victorious in his legal battle, it has left him broke “with legal debts that look like telephone numbers”.
“Moti was the victim and he was treated outrageously bad – but it’s not only an economic consideration, it is a moral one. PNG needs to own its responsibility and culpability in this matter,” Moti’s spokesperson told Post-Courier last Friday. Speaking through the spokesman, Moti confirmed that his court case was registered in the National Court in Port Moresby.
“As a constitutional lawyer, I find the significant delays on settling my claim to be constitutionally immoral. In fact, I have no idea where my claim is and I don’t believe my lawyer does either. It would be good if we were all let in on it,” he said.
Moti is media-shy and could only manage a few responses when asked as he now has a PNG lawyer representing him and could speak for him.
Post-Courier contacted the current lawyer representing Moti but was advised they were busy with other matters and would speak later.
Australia’s pursuit of Moti came to an end in the High Court after eight years of his deportation from the Solomon Islands and going through a child sex charges saga.
10c) Samoa has new AG and prosecutor
7 FEB 2016 Samoa has a new Attorney General and a Director of Public Prosecution office after a cabinet decision was finalised before the country went to the polls last Friday.
The former head of the Attorney General’s criminal division and senior lawyer, Precious Chang is the first Director of Public Prosecution to be appointed after Parliament last year separated the criminal prosecution division from the Attorney General’s office.
The police prosecution is now under the Public Prosecution office.
Meanwhile, a New Zealand-based Samoan senior lawyer, Herman Reztlaff, who is the son of the former Attorney General and former senior politician, Misa Telefoni Retzlaff, has been appointed as the new Attorney General.
He is replacing the former AG, Aumua Ming Leung Wai, who did not seek re-appointment under a three-year contract.RNZI
11) Marshall Islands judiciary honoured
7 FEB 2016
The Marshall Islands judiciary has been honoured with an appointment to the executive committee of the International Consortium for Court Excellence.
High Court Chief Carl Ingram said the international organisation was looking to expand its executive from the original founding members in Australia, Singapore and the US.
Mr Ingram said the Marshall Islands judiciary was recognised with executive membership for being active in improving their operations in line with international standards.
The global organisation promotes excellence in court operations globally and now has 25 members including the Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam and Papua New Guinea.RNZI
12) Connectivity continues to rise in CNMI
7 FEB 2016
Close to 90 percent of homes in the Northern Marianas have internet connectivity, according to a new survey.
The Department of Commerce survey shows the percentage of people with internet at home jumped from about 68 percent in 2011 to about 87 percent in 2014.
The survey involved over 1,540 households.
It’s the third straight year that Internet connectivity in the Commonwealth has increased.
Last July, Saipan e-commerce and electronic and digital communication came to a standstill when the undersea cable of IT&E was severed, effectively isolating Saipan from the rest of the world.RNZI
13) Nauru further tightens visa restrictions
7 FEB 2016
Australians and New Zealanders will now need sponsorship from a Nauru citizen if they want to visit the Pacific nation.
The ABC has reported that under the law change, a Nauru citizen will be responsible for the visitor when they are in the country , including any breaches of the visa restrictions.
Punishment includes a hefty fine and imprisonment for up to a year.
Last month the Nauru government pulled a number of people preparing to fly from Brisbane to Nauru off the flight, claiming journalists had been entering the country illegally.
While the Nauru government promotes the island as a haven of peace and harmony journalists have effectively been banned for more than two years after a non-refundable US5000 dollar visa application fee was imposed on them.RNZI
14) Solomon Islands an Israel i mekem strong moa fren blong tufala
Updated 7 March 2016, 14:36 AEDT
Praim Minista Manasseh Sogavare blong Solomon Islands i hem se gavman blong hem bae teken rileisen blong kantri wetem Israel igo long narafala levol moa.
Praim Minista Manasseh Sogavare blong Solomon Islands i hem se gavman blong hem bae teken rileisen blong kantri wetem Israel igo long narafala levol moa.
Long olketa taem bifoa kam, Solomon Islands hemi no save sapotim tumas Israel long olketa vout long United Nations.
Bat Honorary Consul blong Israel long Solomon Islands Leliana Firisua hemi se Praim Minista Sogavare hemi laek for diswan hemi chenge.
Mr Firisua hem se Mr Sogavare hemi mekem disfala promis long niufala Special Envoy blong Israel long Pacific Islands wetem Solomon Islands, Simona Halperin long Honiara las wik.
Hem se Mr Sogavare hem talem diplomat ia olsem distaem bae Solomon Islands hemi sapotim moa Israel long United Nations.ABC
Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 7 mars 2016
1) En Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, le dernier Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel est décédé.
– See more at: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2016-03-07/br%C3%A8ves-du-pacifique-lundi-7-mars-2016/1556080#sthash.8GJrHCr6.dpuf
16) Malcolm Turnbull leaves door open to bring budget forward to early May
Updated 8 March 2016, 11:05 AEDT
By political reporter Dan Conifer
The Federal Government is indicating it could release the budget early, as speculation continues about an early election.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is considering a double dissolution and calling an election for early July.
The budget is due to be handed down on Tuesday, May 10, which would leave Mr Turnbull just one day to dissolve both houses of Parliament, if the Government wanted a July election.
“The budget will be in May,” he said, after he was asked whether he was open to bringing it forward from May 10.
Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer has also indicated it could be brought forward.
“These are all matters to be considered,” Ms O’Dwyer said.
“But we are looking at the ordinary timetable in relation to the budget.
“The timetable in relation to election timing is obviously a matter for the Prime Minister, that’s a question you’ll have to put to him.
“We’re working to the timetable that everyone would expect in relation to the budget and honestly, all of the speculation is just that: speculation.”
Ms O’Dwyer is part of the Turnbull Government’s economic team preparing the budget.
“In circumstances where there is a different election timetable obviously there are consequences that flow from that,” she said.
“I’m not aware that there is any different election timetable. We’ll definitely be bringing forward a budget.”ABC
17) Australia to open consulate in PNG’s Lae
7 FEB 2016
Papua New Guinea has accepted a request from Australia’s government to open a consulate in PNG’s second biggest city of Lae.
This was one of the outcomes of last week’s meeting between Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his PNG counterpart Peter O’Neill in Canberra.
Mr O’Neill said Lae is the manufacturing hub of his nation, and is the road gateway to the highlands and other areas in the north.
As such, he said, there is great potential for increased investment from Australian businesses, and to increase the export of PNG agricultural products produced in the area.
The opening of a Lae consulate would help facilitate this.
Furthermore, instead of having to arrange visas in Port Moresby, Lae and Highlands-based businesses seeking to increase their engagement in Australia can go to the new consulate.
Among the range of issues that the two prime ministers discussed was the controversial Manus Island Regional Processing Centre.
The two leaders discussed progress in processing asylum seeker claims and the refugee resettlement programme, which has been slow and problematic.
Mr O’Neill last week admitted that the Manus centre had been damaging for PNG’s reputation, indicating that its long-term future was untenable.
He told the joint ministerial forum that his government couldn’t afford to resettle all those found to be refugees.
Mr O’Neill claims the centre has served its purpose, to stop people-smuggling and the loss of life at sea.
He told Australian media that some of those asylum seekers not found to be geniune refugees were unwilling to return to their homeland.RNZI
20) UN invites govt officials to attend AIDS meeting
The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his Government officials have been invited by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to attend the UN General Assembly meeting on AIDS in the next two months.
The 2016 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on “Ending AIDS” will take place in New York from June 8-10.
The focus will be on the importance of quickening the response to HIV over the next five years to set the world on course to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The meeting will be organised by the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft and co-facilitated by Jürg Lauber, permanent representative of Switzerland to the United Nations, and Patricia Mwaba Kasese-Bota, permanent representative of Zambia to the United Nations.
“We are at a critical moment in the response to the AIDS epidemic,” said Lykketoft. “All member states must work together on a strong political declaration that will create the conditions needed to fast-track action and end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.”
The UNAIDS fast-track approach has a set of time-bound targets, including reducing the number of people newly infected globally with HIV from two million in 2014 to fewer than 500,000 in 2020, reducing the number of people dying from AIDS-related causes from 1.2 million in 2014 to fewer than 500 ,000 in 2020 and eliminating HIV-related discrimination.
In PNG, which had over 2500 new infections in 2015, this would mean reducing annual new infections by 90 per cent just over 250 annually in the next 14 years.
“Over the next five years, we have a fragile window of opportunity to shift gear and put the global HIV response firmly on the fast-track to end the AIDS epidemic,” UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé said. “This meeting will be critical to harnessing the momentum we have built and securing global commitment to break the epidemic for good.”
The world urgently needs to increase HIV investments now or risk reversing the major successes achieved in the first 15 years of the millennium.
In 2015, an estimated US$21.7 billion (K65b) was invested in the AIDS response in low-and-middle-income countries.
21) Sexual health training for officials
The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016
PATIENTS with sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, in Eastern Highlands can now access some of the best treatments following a completion of a week-long training of health service providers in Goroka.
The 20 health services providers from the Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority (EHPHA) and its partner health service providers received a week-long sexual health training.
Funding came from the PNG Sexual Health Society.
The health workers were introduced to the pros and cons of sexual health and to identify and improve it in their respective health facilities.
Training topics included defining sexual health and how it is contracted, gender issues, common Sexually Transmitted Infections, infection control measures, clinical examination process, treatment protocols essentials of an effective STI service, sexual health issues in PNG, stigma and discrimination and more.
22) Dengue Fever cases post TC Winston – There are now five confirmed cases of Dengue Fever in areas hit by TC Winston. Health Minister Jone Usamate says while this figure is low, their priority is to ensure there is no increase and that public health is maintained. “Actually we have about 5 laboratory confirmed cases of dengue, after, after Winston, there are two from the West and two from the Central division, but we’ve had quite a lot of dengue even from before cyclone Winston. From January this year, we’ve had 166 laboratory confirmed cases.”
23 ) More than 5000 pregnant women affected by Cyclone Winston: UNFPA – Retired midwives will be hired to work at health centres and nursing stations in Fiji, to help reduce the number of pregnancy-related deaths in the wake of Cyclone Winston. Those deaths tend to increase during natural disaster situations, along with sexual violence. The United Nations Population Fund has been assessing both those issues alongside Fiji’s Ministry of Health, and the UNFPA’s Pacific director and representative, Dr Laurent Zessler, says there are more than five thousand pregnant women living in cyclone devastated areas.
24) Some northern schools yet to resume classes – Some schools in the Northern Division have yet to resume classes. Only seven of the 15 schools categorised as severely damaged after TC Winston opened its doors to students today. The seven are Nasavusavu Secondary School, Naweni Primary School, Buca Public School, Salialevu Primary School, Vuna District School, Taveuni South Primary School and Taveuni South Secondary School.
25) Solomons PM outlines development challenges
7 FEB 2016 The Solomon Islands Prime Minister says he has identified a lack of clear process and role definition in agencies managing aid.
Manasseh Sogavare said government formed a policy for management of aid co-ordination, which he hoped to make more efficient and transparent
Management of the range of aid development would have to be of a multi-stakeholder nature, with civil society playing a lead part, he said.
Mr Sogavare lamented that until now there was no mechanisms for monitoring development projects funded with donor assistance.
According to him, there should now be greater efforts towards transparency and accountability in the aid co-ordination.
He described Solomon Islands as one of the most aid-dependent countries, saying aid would likely remain an enduring feature of its economy.RNZI
27) Islanders welcome road works
The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016
Manus islanders have welcomed the significant improvements resulting from the Australian government funded sealing of 26 kilometres of road from Momote airport to Lorengau town.
Lorengau PMV driver, William John remarked on the visible improvements: “The new sealed roads by the market have improved traffic flow and made for a more comfortable ride for me and my passengers.
“I have seen much improvement in the road from Momote to Lorengau since the project began, and I can’t wait to see the road when it’s complete.”
“Manus people rely on PMVs to get around the province and the recent improvements in the road condition will improve the ride and will reduce wear and tear on vehicles.
“The new road surface will also make a difference to local businesses, roads damaged by the rains can really increase travel times and drive up the maintenance costs on vehicles.”
Deputy Australian high commissioner, Bronte Moules, noted the vital role that the roads play for local people and businesses.
“This road provides access to essential services like health and education for many. The road is a crucial transport link.”
28) Lawyers under fire
The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016
By HENRY PAMBUAI
Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika has blasted defence and state lawyers involved in Western Governor Ati Wobiro’s fraud-related case for the delay in having the matter put to trial.
In setting the trial to April 4, he told Justin Wohuinangu, who represented Wobiro, Western provincial administrator Dr Modowa Gumoi and Fly Care Foundation Inc chief Normal Carl May, and the state lawyer Anthony Kupmain that it was in the best interest of the court to have the trial as early as possible.
Sir Gibbs set the trial yesterday after considering submissions from Kupmain and Wohuinangu who said they would be ready for the trial in April and May respectively.
“I don’t know what the delay is, it’s a simple case,” he said.
“I will impose it upon (defence and state) counsels to get ready.”
Sir Gibbs was disappointed with the reason behind the request by Wohuinangu who said they would need time to locate and transport witnesses to where the trial would be held.
He instructed the defence lawyer and state prosecution to have the case ready for trial without further delay as it was the lawyers and their clients’ responsibility to have witnesses ready.
Sir Gibbs said any further delay would disrupt the judicial calendar, resulting in the delay of other cases waiting to be heard.
The three defendants allegedly conspired to establish the Fly Care Foundation Inc using K7,900,060 belonging to the Fly River Government between Nov 10 and Dec 15, 2013.
29) He fought for the British Army in Helmand and Basra … so why has this Fijian soldier been left destitute? – A FIJIAN soldier, who served in the British Army for nine years and fought in Iraq and Afghanistan has been left destitute in Edinburgh without legal leave to remain. Semesa Maiyale – known to his friends as Sam – was recruited by the British Army from Fiji, part of the Commonwealth, in 2003 and was told that he if he served four years, he would have the right to stay in the UK. But when he was discharged in 2012, his paperwork was not properly completed and his own application, made later under Human Rights grounds, was rejected by the Home Office. He now falls out with the eligibility for settlement as a discharged member of the Armed Forces as he left more than two years ago and is living in legal limbo despite rules allowing all Commonwealth citizens, who have served four years in the army, indefinite leave to remain. He has no right to work, cannot claim benefits or housing and is supported by his partner, a nursery nurse who is now in debt due to the pressure of providing for both of them.
30) Fiji opposition decries “jobs for the boys”
7 Feb 2016
The leader of the opposition in Fiji says three key state appointments announced last week are just “jobs for the boys” and further consolidate the military’s grip on the country.
The authorities announced on Friday afternoon that Sitiveni Qiliho, a former land force commander, had been confirmed as police commissioner, Viliame Naupoto was confirmed as the new military commander and a former navy commander Francis Kean was appointed as prisons commissioner.
The opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said the trio are known abusers of human rights and they should be disqualified from taking on the crucial posts.
She said democracy in Fiji is being replaced by a new form of dictatorship with the appointments.
Ro Teimumu Kepa said the Constitutional Offices Commission which made the appointments is operating in a farcical and unconstitutional manner without the required input from the opposition leader or her appointee who resigned last year.RNZI
31) Climate change could region cost US$72b – PNG
7 FEB 2016 Climate Change would cost the Pacific nearly 72 billion US dollars if issues are not addressed appropriately, according to Papua New Guinea’s Climate Change and Development Authority acting director.
Joe Pokana says PNG is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as is most of the Pacific.
He says low-lying islands include almost 2000 coastal villages with populations totaling well over 500,000 which make them vulnerable to sea level rise and other weather-related manifestations of climate change.
Mr Pokana says the region is at risk of having social and economic development overturned but PNG can be a global leader in pushing a strategic framework of economic development, mitigation and adaptation action.
The Post Courier reports PNG is aiming to achieve GDP per capita of $3,000 by 2030, as part of this strategy.
Mr Pokana says the government also wants to reduce emissions of green-house gases, by at least 50 percent by the same time and become carbon neutral by 2050.RNZI
32) International cooperation and personal relations key to stopping illegal fishing
10:42 pm GMT+12, 06/03/2016, New ZealandBy Lealaiauloto A.F. Tauafiafi
At the official opening of the 5th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (GFETW) there was general agreement that the key to stopping illegal fishing globally, is through international cooperation and sharing of information by Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) practitioners around the globe.
“No nation is immune to illegal fishing activities. We must all work together whether that be at bilateral, regional or international frameworks to target and eliminate what is internationally recognized as environmental crime,” according to Martyn Dunne, Director General for host New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).
He singled out the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Network as the collective platform that can deliver the “intent” of unity of purpose to “deter and eradicate the IUU threats to our oceans.”
He believes that to stamp out illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishers the GFETW needs to look at adopting the following five principles.
1. Acknowledge its existence
2. Create and maintain unity of purpose in targeting offenders
3. Share information, intelligence and resources
4. Have the ongoing resolve to collectively bring in perpetrators to account before the courts, and
5. Effective control of nationals
Through the five principles, Dunne believes the MCS international network has the influence to harness the power of intelligence and frameworks necessary to share critical information that would lead to the eradication of IUU fishing.
He points to a number of case studies that will be discussed during the week-long workshop showcasing the effectiveness of such a collective approach.
“The case study regarding international efforts targeting IUU vessels operating in the Southern Oceans is testament to these coalitions willing to fulfil international obligations and working collectively for a common outcome,” he said.
His final point was to re-affirm his belief in the power of the MCS Network (celebrating its 50th year of existence this year).
“Don’t underestimate the power of the network. It is a collective body of individuals linked through a common purpose. The relationship you forge here is critical to achieving success and the ability personally to contact counterparts whose trust and confidence has been established through such conferences is often more effective than prolonged and formal channels that can limit timely action.”
Chair for the MCS Network, Cephas Ralph agreed.
“As a global entity the network through its promotion of international cooperation plays a significant part ensuring that national jurisdiction and borders are less of a barrier to the enforcement of surveillance activities for member countries.”
He highlighted the key strength of the network which has grown to more than 70 member countries covering every inhabited continent on the globe.
New members South Korea and Cambodia were acknowledged today.
“One of the great strengths of the network is its ‘informal’ structure. Indeed, the network does not wish to interfere with the policy issues of any country or region.”
In fact, the global organization is not bound by a treaty or convention. Rather, its membership of MCS practitioners across the world designed the network to promote cooperation and exchange of information; help with MCS capacity building; and gives it wiggle room to develop it in line with the needs of MCS practitioners.
The powerful reach of the network is expanded by working with organisations such as FAO, Interpol, by promoting exchanges of information, coordinating training activities, brokering exchanges of MCS equipment, promoting exchanges of expertise between countries, and organize workshops such as the GFETW.
“In my view the network remains increasingly relevant and should be developed by members as they wish it to be. We have to continue to search for new ways to capitalize better on our key asset which is the expertise and knowledge of the MCS practitioners,” said Ralph.
“It is indisputable that the network is bringing together, at the global level, the best knowledge and expertise in the world of fisheries enforcement. At this workshop, we hope to develop a process to capture and archive the high level risks inherent in IUU activities.”
During the week, participants will be shown all the charges that are outstanding. As well as recent successes in combating IUU.
One of the reasons for people like Ralph to be more optimistic today than say decades ago is that “the main drivers for change in the fisheries sector are: the work of the international community in particular through the FAO-COFI in establishing ever more clear and comprehensive international rules.
“International cooperation remains the key to finding solutions to IUU issues. No single state can resolve the problem by themselves and no country is without sins in this field, said Ralph.
33) Fiji’s Agriculture Ministry concerned over food security
10:49 pm GMT+12, 06/03/2016, Fiji
Fiji’s Agriculture Ministry has begun distribution of seedlings to areas that have been affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston including the Lomaiviti Group, Viti Levu, Wainibuka, interior of Ra and in Vanuabalavu.
Agriculture Minister Inia Seruiratu says this is being done mainly because of food security for the people especially in the islands who have lost their livelihood.
“We are also looking at mid-term recovery and we still have our programs for 2016 and our focus still remains. This is a good opportunity for us to organise the farmers better and continue with the programs in 2016.”
The cost of damage after Tropical Cyclone Winston so far is estimated at $120million (US$60 million) however the Minister says this is subject to further assessments by teams on the ground.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) are delivering sacks of seeds, seedlings and plant cuttings to outlying islands as they continue to assist Fijian communities with the process of rebuilding post Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Delivered on board the NZDF NH90 helicopters, seeds will help villagers in the affected islands in the process of beginning anew.
The NZDF stepped in to assist after they were requested by Fiji’s NDMO to deliver dozens of sacks packed with seeds and cuttings of eggplants, cabbage, long beans and kumala.
“This will be a big help to our village as many farms were destroyed by the cyclone,” Apakuki Koroi, headman of Vadravadra village, on Gau said.
“We lost our crops and our source of income.
“These seeds are very precious. They are seeds of new life. We are starting from scratch and it will take a while before things go back to normal but these seeds will help us rebuild our lives.”
Since arriving in Suva on March 3, NZDF helicopters have delivered aid supplies and transported civilian medical volunteers from New Zealand as well as staff from Fiji Government agencies to remote cyclone-ravaged communities.
“I heard on the radio that the New Zealand military are here to help the people of Fiji. Tell them we are thankful,” Koroi said.
NH90 Capt. Sqn Ldr Phil Wilson said while they were saddened by the immense loss suffered by the Fijian people, they were glad at being able to use their helicopters and other assets to help.
“Our NH90s are versatile and can perform a wide range of tasks even in austere environments. They are well-suited for humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations such as this.”
Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90s are operating out of Nausori Airport and may also potentially operate out of some of the remote outlying islands.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/ FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
34) Minister tells landowner logging firms to invest
The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016
Landowner logging companies have been encouraged told to put their royalty money to long term investment, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa says.
Tomuriesa said 96 per cent of logging licences were held by landowners. He said he encouraged two landowner companies to invest their royalty money.
“We have been talking to operators to start preparing for downstream processing.
“We are calling the landowners in and educating them because they have not considered long-term investment and savings,” Tomuriesa said.
“I’ve been encouraging them to utilise their money to participate in a more meaningful way. So far we have got two landowner companies and getting them involved.
“By 2020 and beyond, we have to stop the round log operations in the country and focus on downstream processing because that’s the way forward for PNG.
“When we get into downstream processing in the country we will have more employment for our people and more resources and the timber will become much cheaper.
“We have more outlets where they will be selling a lot of timber, so the prices will come down.
“At the same time, you can monitor areas because instead of giving 100 of hectares to cut a year, you can manage it now.”
35/ 36) Stadium to host NCD, Central youth rally
The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016
Sir John Guise Stadium will come alive on Friday when youths from all over National Capital District and Central converge in an inter-denominational youth wave rally.
The three-day rally is the fourth to be held in the capital city and is being facilitated by the youths of Debeini’s Living Water Church in Gerehu.
Events coordinator for the rally Robert Rory Yagas, said preparations were well underway with hosts DLW youths taking the lead.
“Our youths have been giving their 110 per cent in these preparations, they gather at the church on Mondays and Wednesdays while musicians rehearse on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Yagas said.
“We have aigir (food cooked traditionally) sales every Wednesdays and Friday and mumus (food also cooked traditionally) every Sunday and we can’t wait to see the products of our hard work.
“Thank God for His grace and mercy and His abundance of blessing on us.
“The opening event is on Friday, then we have Saturday and then we will end it on Sunday.”
The previous youth rally was attended by only NCD youths from all inter-denominations, including Salvation Army, Assemblies of God, Christian Revival Church and some of the mainline churches.
“We have indications that there are some youths from Bereina and even those from along the Magi Highway will be coming for this event so we are expecting a big number this time,” he said.
“We just want to focus more on preparations and getting things finalised.
“Our senior pastor has released some funds from the church to help us in this event, so thank God for that.”
Yagas said it was the first time that executives of the inter-denominational youth wave had given DLW youths the opportunity to host the rally.
He said the last one was held by the Tabernacle of Praise Church at 6-Mile.
“We’d like to invite all the other churches to come along and support us and do this for the glory of God,” Yagas said.
He said there is no limit and the organisers were inviting youths from any church to attend.
“But most importantly, we are looking forward for the churches to support us in this event through prayers for a better result,” he said.
37) PNG Hunters make winning start
7 FEB 2016
The Papua New Guinea Hunters made a winning start to the new Queensland Cup rugby league season, beating Souths Logan Magpies 36-18 at Davies Park.
The Hunters had never lost to their opponents and kept that record in tact, running in seven tries to four.
Wartovo Puara scored the opening try four minutes into his 50th Hunters appearance, while debutants Justin Olam and Benjamin Hetra, Adex Wera, Ase Boas, Henry Noki and Oti Tony also crossed in comprehensive performance.
The match also marked the first as captain for centre Noel Zeming, who passed a late fitness test on a troublesome knee.
The Hunters are away again this weekend at the Wynnum Manly Seagulls before their first home match at the new National Football Stadium in Port Moresby in week three.RNZI
38) Fiji strike gold in Las Vegas
06/03/2016, United States
Fiji came from 15-0 behind at half-time to successfully defend their HSBC USA Sevens Cup title in sensational fashion, beating Australia 21-15 in round five of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Having not won since the opening tournament in Dubai, two tries from Kitione Taliga and one from Savenaca Rawaca plus three crucial conversions from Vatemo Ravouvou proved the difference in front of 25,981 on a windy day in Las Vegas with the players dedicating the win to those back home.
“One week after Cyclone Winston struck we went back into camp and all the players said we were going to play here in Vegas,” said captain Osea Kolinisau.
“I reminded the boys this week that we needed to remember the people back home who were victims of Cyclone Winston and that we needed to give them something to be happy about after all the devastation. To come up against Australia like that was tough, but we said 10 minutes is a long time and all we needed to do was to get back the ball to have a chance to win.”
In a pulsating final Sam Myers begun proceedings before captain Ed Jenkins and Cameron Clark took their lead to 15-0 at half-time, but three missed conversions proved costly for the Australians who finished runners-up for a second successive tournament.
Fiji’s win gives them a five point lead at the top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings ahead of South Africa (86) and New Zealand (82) at the halfway stage of the 2015-16 series with Australia in fourth.
Hosts USA finished fourth in Las Vegas after losing to South Africa in the third place play-off and sit fifth in the overall standings.
39) Pools drawn for HSBC Canada Sevens
8:08 pm GMT+12, 06/03/2016, United States
World Rugby has announced the pools for the sixth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver, Canada, to be played on 12-13 March 2016.
The pools for the HSBC Canada Sevens were drawn ahead of the Cup final at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, with Cup winners Fiji heading Pool A in Vancouver thanks to a 21-15 win over Australia.
Ben Ryan’s series leading FIji will face Kenya, Samoa and Portugal in Pool A while Australia, runners-up for a second successive tournament, meet Wales, Russia and hosts Canada in Pool B.
“It’s a great city, a great stadium,” said Canada coach Liam Middleton. “There’s really passionate supporters, they really get behind the game, yes Canada but rugby as well and I think it will be a really special tournament.
“We want to embrace the moment as hosts, but it’s what we do on the field that is most important. We feel privileged as a team, as a rugby community, and I believe we will deliver an outstanding tournament.”
South Africa, Argentina, Scotland and the invited team Brazil will compete in Pool C, while this week’s hosts USA await New Zealand, France and England in what looks to be the toughest of the four pools.
SOURCE: WORLD RUGBY/PACNEWS
ALL BLACKS FINISH FIFTH
Fresh from two Cup wins on the trot, New Zealand had to settle for the Plate this time round after beating Japan 27-7. All Blacks Sevens stalwart DJ Forbes got Sir Gordon Tietjens’ side off to a flyer with an early try, which was further added to by Kurt Baker who weaved his way through the Japanese defence to dot down. Lewis Ormond added a third try for New Zealand to make it 15-0 at half time, and his side were soon 22-0 up after Forbes bagged his second try of the game. Kameli Soejima scored Japan’s only try of the half, but after New Zealand’s Beaudein Waaka powered over in the left hand corner it was game over for Japan.
SILVERWARE FOR WALES IN BOWL
Wales proved too strong for France in the Bowl final as they ran in four tries to win 28-14 in Nevada. Captain Luke Trehane sped away from the French defence to get the first points on the board for Wales and then set up the second score for Tom Isaacs to make it 0-14. France came back into the game immediately through Sofiane Guitone, to make it 7-14, but it was a short lived comeback as Ethan Davies scooted off the back of a scrum to increase the Welsh lead. Davies then turned provider for Luke Morgan, and with just over a minute left there was suddenly a 21 point gap putting the game out of reach. A late consolation try from Guitoune made it 14-28 at the final whistle.
SAMOA SHIELD IN VEGAS
Samoa walked away with the Shield after beating Canada 24-12. Despite going behind early on thanks to a quick try from Canada’s Mike Fuailefau’s, Samoa found their rhythm with an immediate response from superstar Samoa Toloa. It was all square at the break, 12-12, and the match was in the balance before Toloa again stepped on the gas to grab Samoa a seven point advantage. Alefosio Tapili finished off the game with a late try to gift the Pacific islanders some silverware at the HSBC Las Vegas Sevens..
40) Hopes Rugby can help heal Fiji as Pacific Challenge kicks off – Rugby action resumes in Fiji today with the opening two matches in the Pacific Challenge, with Tonga A going up against Junior Japan, before Samoa A take on the Fiji Warriors. Those matches are taking place in Suva, which came through Cyclone Winston relatively unscathed, but elsewhere in the country, getting rugby back on its feet will take time. World Rugby’s Bruce Cook, the service manager for Oceania has just returned from Fiji where he went to see the damage for himself, and based on the reaction to the 7s side’s win in Las Vegas, he says rugby can help heal.
41a ) Efforts to grow rugby among Pacific women and girls – The Pacific Challenge kicking off in Suva later today is very much a pathway to bring through the next generation of international players, but that pathway is much harder to find for women rugby players in the Pacific. To mark International Women’s Day today, the Samoa Rugby Union is holding a conference to examine ways of growing the game among women and girls. The Women’s Development Officer for the SRU is Toluiva Keneti, and she says their first task is to make rugby more widely available in schools.
42) Kiribati wants proper athletics track
7 FEB 2016 Kiribati is aiming to raise funds for a proper Olympic running track.
The Micronesian nation’s best athletes currently train and compete on grass, while the brightest prospects are sometimes sent to train with the Oceania Athletics Association in Australia.
The General Secretary of the Kiribati Athletics Association, Tekabara Raurenti, was recently recognised for his service to athletics in Oceania.
He said a local jumper recently broke the national record after training in Queensland and they hope to send more athletes to Brisbane and the Gold Coast in future.
Tekabara Raurenti said the Kiribati National Olympic Committee has applied to the International Association of Athletics Federations for funding to build the track.
He said they expect the Kiribati government would also be willing to make contribute to the estimated cost of $AU100,000.
“Most of our athletes they could compete well but we don’t have a synthetic track – the athletes run on the ground with bare feet as most of them don’t have (spiked running) shoes. If we do have a better track i think our athletes can do much better.”
Tekabara Raurenti says Kiribati is hoping to send two athletes to the Rio Olympics later this year.RNZI