Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1057 ( Thursday 10 March 2016 )
1) MSG land difens miting long Solomon Islands ( Solomon Pijin )
Updated 9 March 2016, 14:39 AEDT
Miting ia i toktok strong olsem olketa tradisinol landona long rijin imas no lusim graon blong olketa long olketa forena o divelopa.
Wanfala Sub-regional bodi olketa kolem Melanesian Indigenous Land Defence Alliance hemi gohet long disfala wik long Isabel Province long Solomon Islands fo toktok abaot isiu bong land.
Disfala MSG Alliance hemi gohet fo toktok strong olsem olketa tradisinol landona long rijin imas no lusin graon blong olketa long olketa forena o divelopa.
Olketa wea stap long disfala miting hem olketa blong Papua New Guinea, Autonomous Regional blong Bougainville, Vanuatu and Fiji.
Joel Simo blong Land Desk long Vanuatu Cultural Centre hemi stap tu long miting ia an hem toktok strong olsem graon hemi laef blong pipol long Melanesia.
Hem se miting ia hemi herem wari long plande pelesi wea olketa tradisinol landona i lusim finis evri graon blong olketa – an talem se diswan hemi mas no hapen long Melanesia.ABC
2) PM: Greatest challenge to our culture is external culture
By Godwin Ligo
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016 12:00 am/ Vanuatu Daily Post
In his speech to the nation on Chiefs Day, the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai, said the greatest challenge to Vanuatu culture, its preservation and practices is the external culture which he later described as foreign cultural influences.
“While we can note the progress and development in cultural field throughout Vanuatu, our challenge today is to maintain the status and authority of the chiefs around Vanuatu at the time now that external culture is increasing in our society.
“These external cultures can change and destroy traditional governance system we have in place that could result in loss of integrity to our cultural institutions and positions,” Prime Minister Salwai warns.
He went on to state that: “While we can regulate the functions and pass laws to recognize the chiefs and their roles, we must at the same time be careful not to lose the fundamental custom duties and values which connect with a chief to exercise his role and authority in customary responsibilities,” said the PM.
The Prime Minister also raised a point about too many people nowadays claiming chiefly titles: “Today, there are too many men claiming chiefly titles and I believe that full process of custom practices in our respective islands must be fully applied so as to determine a right chief in line with customary belief that we in Malvatumauri are aware of these challenges.
“In some of our islands a chiefly title is inherited through bloodline and in other places, the chiefly title is inherited through ceremonial pig killing and number of pigs and their values were ceremonially offered to grant a chief higher rank(s).
“It is a complex cultural system of obtaining chiefly titles and I believe that the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs is addressing these issues to ensure that every island must identify the right chiefs who were or are ordained but not those whom we nominate without the due process of a customary system,” the PM cautioned.
Mr Salwai also raised in his speech concern that today many chiefs are involved in politics or influenced in politics which could affect the integrity and neutrality of the work of the chiefly institution thus a negative impact in the communities, if leaders are not careful.
He appeals on the citizens of Vanuatu to continue support and respect the work of the chiefs in all communities up and down the country.
“Work closely with chiefs to promote peace and unity and equally maintain traditional and cultural values we have which are unique for our future generations, because only then you would know who you are and where you belong to and your roots,” Salwai urged.
He assured the Malvatumauri that his government is looking forward to work closely in partnership with the customary institution in promoting the work of the chiefs towards such issues as resolving land ownership issues and other issues for the benefit of the country and the people of Vanuatu.
“I wish the chiefs and the people of Vanuatu a happy 35th chiefs day anniversary and it is my prayer that God will bless every citizens and people living in Vanuatu on this very special occasion.”
The PM also assured the President of the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs that his Government will look into assisting Malvatumauri in rebuilding the Chiefs National Nakamal destroyed by cyclone Pam.
Salwai even said his government will liaise closely with the Malvatumauri to ensure the boundaries of the national nasara of Malvatumauri and chiefs of Vanuatu is properly protected so that everyone entering the chiefly compound will accord it a proper customary respect and not just for such activities as daily kava drinking or other similar occasions.
On arrival at the Malvatumauri Nasara on Saturday morning, the Chiefs Day, both the Prime Minister Salwai , and Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman, state ministers, members of the diplomatic corps and members of the public were welcomed by traditional dancers from Torba, Tafea and Pentecost.
Before delivering his speech, the Prime Minister performed a custom ceremony to the President of Malvatumauri, Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe, as a customary sign of respect of visiting the chief and Vanuatu chiefs nasara. He performed a Pentecost highly valued traditional mat, a pig and food and kava ceremony to Chief Tirsupe, accompanied by the President of the Port Vila Council of Chiefs, Chief Worwor who accepted the gifts from the Prime Minister on behalf of all custom chiefs throughout Vanuatu.
4) Tahiti’s Fritch in court over radio subsidy
The French Polynesian president, Edouard Fritch, has appeared in the criminal court in Tahiti on charges of exerting undue influence.
The prosecution wants him to be fined 27,000 US dollars for having given Radio Ma’ohi 140,000 US dollars in 2007 to advance the position of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.
Mr Fritch was the party’s deputy leader at the time and also the mayor of Pirae whose finances were used for the deal.
The French Polynesian president, Eduard Fritch. Photo: supplied
The prosecution wants a journalist, Gustave Heitaa, to be fined 46,000 US dollars for accepting a journalist’s contract at Radio Ma’ohi while being an employee of the territorial assembly.
Mr Fritch said the funds were approved by the municipal council and the French administrators.
Charges were first laid three years ago after an audit queried the subsidy to what was being described as a partisan station.10/3/16 RNZI
5) Cooks gets initial grant from Green Climate Fund
The Pacific Islands Forum has congratulated the Cook Islands for becoming the first Forum country to get a readiness support grant from the Green Climate Fund.
The Forum’s secretary general, Dame Meg Taylor, says the money will help strengthen the Cooks’ capacity to effectively engage with the Fund.
She says other Forum countries need to draw on the Cooks experience in pursuing efforts to access GCF resources.
The Green Climate Fund’s Readiness Support Programme is designed to build the capacity of vulnerable developing countries to access climate change financing.
The initial GCF grant to the Cooks is US$75,000 dollars.
The Forum says it will continue to help members strengthen their national systems to improve their access to climate change finance.9/3/16 RNZI
6) Marshalls brace for king tide
People in the Marshall Islands are preparing for what’s anticipated to be the highest tide of the year this afternoon, with warnings of flooding due to a combined storm brewing.
The National Weather Service on Guam has issued a warning of possible inundation until Friday, with high tide expected at 4:39 this afternoon local time.
Our correspondent, Giff Johnson, said the important thing is that people are aware of the flooding risk.
“That allows people at least to prepare, particularly for people who live in zones that have flooded in the past, they kind of know the drill. You get things out of the way, you move things, you don’t leave your vehicle in a particular location, things like that. You just try to do your best to mitigate it.”
Giff Johnson said there’s not much more people can do, as there hasn’t been much done in the way of mitigation projects to improve shoreline protection.9/3/16 RNZI
7) Dialysis centre on CNMI island upended by lack of funding
Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation.
A dialysis centre built on the southernmost island of the Northern Marianas seven years ago still has not opened its doors because of a lack of funds says the
Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation.
The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation said it’s not able to open the centre on Rota because it can not afford to run it.
The dialysis centre needs major renovations, repairs, and qualified personnel according to the Corporation’s Chief executive Esther Muna
She was responding to a call by Senator Paul Manglona, that the long-delayed centre opening was because people on Rota were burdened by the cost of traveling to Saipan for treatment.
The health chief said the cost of making the centre operational would run into the millions of dollars.
The $US1.5 million dialysis centre was built through federal capital improvement project money and was finally completed in 2009.10/3/16 RNZI
8) Nauru’s latest visa restriction called crazy
The latest visa restrictions placed on Australians and New Zealanders show the government wants to hide the lack of rule of law on the land according to a former President of Nauru.
Sprent Dabwido is one of five MPs suspended from parliament for nearly two years.
All five are facing legal action but are frequently stymied by the Justice Minister stopping their lawyers entering the country.
Earlier this month it was revealed Australians and New Zealanders will need sponsorship from a Nauru citizen if they want to visit the island.
This local guarantor could face jail if the visa is breached.
Mr Dabwido said it is crazy when Nauru has closer links with Australia and many Nauruans seek medical treatment and education there.
“But what we are doing is we are going the opposite way. We are becoming more restrictive. Mainly I think because the government is trying to hide its lack of the rule of law here, and trying to hide from the Australian and New Zealand media. They have just gone crazy, that’s all I can say. No normal people would do things like this.”10/3/16 RNZI
9) PNG imas kamapim Ministri blong ol Meri iet (PNG Tok Pisin)
Updated 9 March 2016, 15:02 AEDT
Dorothy Tekwie, wanpla lida meri i mekim despla askim long makim International Women’s Day aste
Wanpla lida meri blong Papua New Guinea i mekim strongpla askim igo long gavman long kamapim wanpla Ministri yet blong ol meri na noken putim wantem ol narapla wok.
Dorothy Tekwie i mekim despla askim aste taem ol kantri long World ibin makim International Women’s Day.
Emi tok PNG igat moa long 50 percent ol meri long population na stat yet long indipendans long 1975 ol meri ino gat wanpla Ministri blong ol yet.
Ms Tekwie itok tu olsem ol gavman blong bifo ikam inap nau ino save care tumas long ol meri na ol rights blong ol.ABC
10) PNG imas kamapim nau Sex wokas Loa
Updated 8 March 2016, 14:35 AEDT
Laen emi save sanap makim ol sex wokas blong Papua New Guinea em oli kolim “Friends Frangipani i askim ken gavman long kamapim loa blong larim ol Sex wokas long wok aninit long loa we oli no nap bungim planti violens tumas long laif blong ol.
Oli mekim despla askim tede taem olgeta kantri long Wold i makim International Women’s Day.
Friends Frangipani i wanpla NGO grup we emi save sanap makim ol sex wokas long tupla bikpla taon long kantri, long Port Moresby na Lae long Morobe Provins.
Planti meri sex wokas, ol man sex wokas na ol man husat isave slip wantem ol narapla man na ol meri em oli save laikim ol meri i memba blong despla grup.
Oli wok wantem planti ol narapla NGO grup long kantri na tu wantem Scarlet Alliance blong Australia.
Cathy Ketepa igo pas long Friends Frangipani itok emi laik iusim despla dei tede long askim ken gavman long kamapim loa long lukautim ol sex wokas long kantri.
Cathy Ketepa itok tu olsem planti taem ol pipal husat isave iusim ol sex wokas isave paitim na bagarapim ol meri na ol man sex wokas, na emi laikim olsem sopos loa istap long lukautim ol sex wokas emi ting despla kaen ol violens bai go daon.
Ol narapla laen meri husat i makim despla bikpla dei blong ol meri em PNG wiman in agrikalsa, na tede bosmeri blong ol Maria Linibi ibin toktok wantem sampla Australian gavman ofisa long Port Moresby long lukluk sopos ol meri memba blong agrikalsa bai save wok tu long Australia long Seasonal wokers scheme.ABC
11) Vanuatu Gavman na Adultery Loa ( Solomon Islands Pijin )
Updated 9 March 2016, 14:45 AEDT
Wanfala samting we disfala Women Against Crime and Corruption bodi long Vanuatu hemi askem strong gavman fo karem aot, hemi loa long saet long adultery.
Chairwoman blong Women Against Crime and Corruption, Jenny Ligo hem se disfala lo hemi stap long Vanuatu bat olketa no save karem aot.
Hem se adultery or kaen we olketa husband or waef i save go sislip olobaot wetem nara man o woman, hemi save brekem ap olketa famili long Vanuatu.
Mi mas se hemi sem samting tu long Solomon Islands an Papua New Guinea.
Ms Ligo hem se nara isiu we olketa putum go long gavman long mas dil wetem nao hemi long kaen we nomoa emi woman hemi stap long palamen, na helt blong olketa woman tu.
Disfala Vanuatu Women Against Crime and Corruption hemi putim go plande samting yestede long Praim Minista an Justice Minista fo lukluk long hem.ABC
13) Brèves du Pacifique – mercredi 9 mars 2016
a) Aux Îles Cook, le gouvernement est déterminé à signer un accord de pêche de quatre ans avec l’Union européenne, malgré l’opposition d’une grande partie de la population.
18) Pacific Community Encourages More Action On Gender Disparity
Director-General delivers International Women’s Day remarks
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 9, 2016) – Leadership, wage gaps, safety, health and care work are five areas of gender disparity in the region that require action, according to the Pacific Community.
The SPC’s message comes as the region marks International Women’s Day.
In line with the international theme for the day “Pledge for Parity”, the SPC is calling for greater debate on ways of closing gender gaps in the Pacific.
A recent SPC report said despite advances, Pacific women are still faced with cultural, social, economic and institutional barriers to developing their full potential.
The Director-General Colin Tukuitonga said the Pacific Community is committed to ensuring that Pacific people benefit from sustainable economic development, are empowered and live long and healthy lives, regardless of gender.
He said parity should be promoted at all levels, from public governance to changing nappies.
Dr Tukuitonga pointed to the recent election of Hilda Heine as Marshall Islands President and the likelihood of Fiame Naomi Mata’afa becoming Samoa’s first female deputy prime minister as extremely encouraging.
Radio New Zealand International
19) Four New Zealand police shot in drug siege on rural North Island property
Updated 9 March 2016, 19:20 AEDT
Four New Zealand police officers have been shot during a siege at a rural property near the remote North Island town of Kawerau.
Police said the shooting began when an offender started taking pot-shots at an aircraft being used in an anti-drug operation.
The Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) was deployed and four of its officers were shot in a stand-off at the rural property.
Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said one officer was in a serious but stable condition, and the other three officers’ injuries were not life threatening.
“It is always distressing for us all when officers are injured doing their duty,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Clement said no one was injured aboard the plane that came under fire, adding that indications pointed to a lone offender, but he could not go into more detail.
“I simply can’t, it’s an investigation that’s ongoing,” he said.
“He might indeed be watching us now on his own television.”
Regular police in New Zealand do not carry firearms, relying on the specialist AOS.
The country tightened its gun laws to restrict access to semi-automatic rifles in 1992, two years after a mentally disturbed man shot dead 13 people in the South Island town of Aramoana.
However, anyone over the age of 16 can apply for a standard firearms licence after doing a safety course, which allows them to purchase and use a shotgun unsupervised.ABC
20) Russia, Philippines have most women business leaders
Thursday, March 10, 2016
LONDON – With 45 per cent of senior management positions held by women, Russia has once again topped a ranking of countries with the highest percentage of women in senior business roles, followed by the Philippines and Lithuania, a report published on Tuesday said.
Japan, where only 7 per cent of senior leadership roles are held by women, remained at the bottom of the list. Germany and India ranked slightly higher, with 15 per cent and 16 per cent of women in senior management, respectively.
Globally, only a quarter of senior management positions are held by women, up from 22 per cent a year before, according to Women in Business published by the US-based audit and tax firm Grant Thornton.
The number of businesses with no women in senior management has increased to 33 per cent from 32 per cent in 2015, the report, which surveyed 5520 businesses in 36 countries, said.
“Companies across developed nations have talked the talk on diversity in leadership for long enough,” Francesca Lagerberg, global leader for tax services at Grant Thornton International said in a statement.
“It’s time to put their promises into practice and deliver results.”
With more than a third of senior roles in the region held by women, eastern European countries, among them Estonia, Latvia and Poland, topped the diversity rankings.
Meanwhile, 39 per cent of businesses in G7 countries (Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Britain and the United States) had no women in senior management positions.
“Despite considerable efforts by governments and campaigners across the world’s best-developed economies to ensure best practice they continue to lag behind emerging markets in (the diversity) area,” Ms Lagerberg said.
“This poor performance seems to be at least partly a result of entrenched societal norms. In the UK and US in particular, there are still plentiful examples of a ‘command and control’ approach to leadership which is not necessarily attractive to women.”
21) Netanyahu rejects Obama offer
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
WASHINGTON – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined an offer to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House later this month and cancelled his trip to Washington, the White House said yesterday.
Mr Netanyahu’s decision to nix his US visit marked the latest episode in a fraught relationship with Mr Obama that has yet to recover from their deep differences over last year’s US-led international nuclear deal with Iran, Israel’s arch foe. The White House said the Israeli Government had requested a Netanyahu meeting with Mr Obama on either March 18 or 19 and that two weeks ago he was offered a March 18 encounter.
“We were looking forward to hosting the bilateral meeting, and we were surprised to first learn via media reports that the prime minister, rather than accept our invitation, opted to cancel his visit,” White House spokesman Ned Price said in an emailed statement.
“Reports that we were not able to accommodate the prime minister’s schedule are false,” he said.
The White House has announced Mr Obama’s plans to be in Havana on March 21 and 22 for a historic visit aimed at moving closer toward normalised relations with Washington’s former Cold War adversary.
There was no immediate word from Mr Netanyahu’s office about the cancellation, which also comes as the two close allies are struggling to negotiate a new 10-year, multibillion-dollar defence aid agreement for Israel.Fiji Times
22) Samsung to launch phone upgrade scheme
Thursday, March 10, 2016
TECH giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday said it would launch a phone upgrade program in South Korea this week that will allow subscribers to switch to a new premium handset every 12 months.
Customers seeking to buy one of two Galaxy S7 models that go on sale starting Friday could sign up for the program on a 24-month installment plan offered through Samsung Card Co Ltd, Samsung Electronics said in a statement.
Subscribers would pay a monthly fee of 7,700 won ($F13) in addition to the cost of the device. They can upgrade to a new Galaxy S or Galaxy Note smartphone after 12 months under the plan in exchange for the original device they purchased.
Some analysts have said such schemes would be necessary for Samsung and other phone makers to counter slowing global market growth by coaxing consumers to replace their handsets more quickly. Rival Apple Inc launched a similar program in the United States last year.
The Galaxy S7s offer incremental upgrades, leading some analysts to predict sales in the first year will be weaker than last year’s Galaxy S6s.
Samsung has launched an upgrade program in the United Kingdom but did not immediately comment on whether any would be offered in other markets.
25) Fiji records first Zika infection
Fiji authorities have reported a first case of Zika in the country.
The health minister, Jone Usamate, has told the Fiji Sun that a woman in the Western Division has been treated.
He says an awareness campaign is underway and people are advised to destroy breeding places for mosquitoes.
In Wallis and Futuna, authorities have warned that the mosquito that can carry the Zika virus is present but no case has been recorded.
Last week, New Caledonia registered a first case of Zika in the latest outbreak of the disease.
Zika had earlier been reported in Samoa, Tonga and the Marshall Islands.9/3/16 RNZI
26) Kids in Fiji getting school bags so they can return to class
Aid organisations in Fiji are focusing on providing some of the most basic materials to children in the country as they try to get back to their normal lives.
The Sangam Fiji organisation has been providing hot meals at schools and sending out stationery kits to students.
Save the Children say many do not have school bags and this can prevent children from having the confidence to head back to class.
Melanie Patterson from Save the Children said they have provided art and craft supplies, toys and school bags to children.
“There are children who are not returning to school because they do not have school bags, and that has been one of our focuses in the last week, is getting school bags out to children. It seems like such a simple thing to us but when everything has been blown away and you come from a small village, it’s so difficult to access a school bag, and exercise books and pens and pencils.”10/3/16 RNZI
27) Career diplomat dies
Published: 09 March 2016
THE country has lost one of its long-serving diplomats and public servants on Monday this week.
Beraki Jino, who hailed from Marovo in Western Province, died at the National Referral Hospital after a long illness.
As a career diplomat who had worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for many years, Mr Jino had served in New York, United States of America; Brussels, Europe; Taipei, Taiwan; and Canberra, Australia.
He spent the last days of his working life as Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Affairs ministry.
Many of his colleagues and school mates paid tribute to Mr Jino on social media.
The country’s ambassador to New York, Collin Beck said Mr Jino was an accomplished diplomat who served his nation with pride.
Dr Transform Aqorau, who currently heads the Marshall Islands-based Parties to the Nauru Agreement, was a former work colleague of Mr Jino.
“We started our working careers together in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and had so many good and happy times,” Dr Aqorau said on facebook.
“Like our colleague the late Senda Fifi, I never once saw him lose his cool,” he continued.
“He was always a happy person, smiling, and full of humour.”
Dr Aqorau said Mr Jino dedicated his entire working life to the service of our country, the protection of our interests, to the preservation of our values at the United Nations, to the European Community, to Tawain and Australia and to the wider Pacific community.
Arrangements are being made for his funeral service.Solomon Star.
28) Councilor Malefo sworn in
Published: 09 March 2016
Newly elected Councilor for Vuhokesa ward in Honiara Greg Malefo has given his affirmation of allegiance on Tuesday.
After been declared the winner, Malefo now has officially taken up the full responsibility to perform and participate as an elected Councilor in the Honiara City Council and his ward.
City Clerk Charles Kelly said this now completes the process and Malefo can now be officially be referred to as a Councilor under the Honiara City Act.
Kelly further said the Mayor will decide on the responsibility and appointment of Malefo in the executive or chairman of a standing Committee later.
After taking his oath, Councilor Malefo pledged his support to work closely with the Executive and Management for the betterment of Honiara City.
He added that the responsibilities and tasks ahead will not be easy but he will perform to the best of his abilities to achieve what is expected of him.
Councilor Malefo took his affirmation of allegiance before the Mayor, City Clerk and the Legal team.Solomon Star
30) Salong is new chairman of the National Housing Corporation
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016 12:00 am
The National Housing Corporation (NHC) has a new chairman in Mr. John Salong.
In exercise of the powers conferred by subsections 2 (3) and 5 of the National Housing Corporation Act [CAP 29], Minister of Lands, Environment, Mines and Water Resources, Ralph Regenvanu, appointed the following: Mr. Salong (Chairman), Hilaire Lesines (Deputy Chairman) and members: Micheline Markoth, Johnson Joel, Josiane Tom and Britten Yosef.
Mr. Salong is the First Political Adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and was recently appointed the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Northern Islands Stevedoring Company Limited (NISCOL), pending the appointment of a CEO.
The appointment has been published in the Official Gazette and is effective as of March 7, 2016.
31) PNG TV Station To Deliver More Local Content
Telikom purchased EMTV to present 60% PNG programming
By Kevin Teme
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 8, 2016) – Telikom PNG bought TV Station, EMTV will go local and it is their vision to be able to deliver television and video content to customers throughout the country.
Telikom Group of Company’s Chairman Mahesh Patel revealed this today during a press conference held at the Telekom Rumana Building in Port Moresby.
Patel said over 60 percent of the content aired on EMTV will be locally produced here in PNG, something they are proud of as this is un-paralleled compared to stations here and overseas and all of this is done by local Papua New Guineans.
“I will be pushing Neville Choi and his team for more local content and to cover wider community based programs,” Patel said.
Patel said EMTV shares valued cultures and operating philosophies with a strong commitment to serving the people of PNG with local news and local programming excellence.
“The transaction is compelling from both an operational and financial perspective. Our purchase of EMTV is consistent with our growth strategy, and will strengthen our position in growing our markets, giving us the opportunity to reach more households,” Patel said.
Patel said there is more to it as EMTV since 1987 has set the foundation and pave the path forward building multimedia capabilities and portfolio to become the country’s leading content creator, board casting 22 local programs today on air.
“PNG can now view EMTV in all centers that receive the frequency of FM 100 and with the modern world into Digital, it gives us a better outlook on the programs we intend go tap into giving more local content to our viewers including business, politics, sports and others,” Patel said.
Meanwhile Patel also confirmed EMTV has secured the rights to exclusively broadcast all the actions of the Rio Olympics in June this year and will be taking the role of official broadcaster of PNG for the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup in the first week of November this year.
32) Digicel Receives License To Deliver Pay TV Services In Fiji
12-year license comes after company acquires Sky Pacific
By Nasik Swami
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 9, 2016) – Government has granted Digicel Fiji a 12-year licence to fully operate its pay television — Sky Pacific — six months after formally acquiring the country’s only pay TV station from previous owners Fiji Television Ltd for $5.75million [US$2.72 million].
In an announcement yesterday, Communications Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the three licences, broadcast licence under the Television Decree, spectrum licence under the regulations of the National Spectrum Decree and a special licence under the Media Industry Development Decree was given to the company on Monday. “Digicel has been issued its licence. As you know, it had purchased Sky Pacific and its licence came into effect from yesterday (Monday),” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
He said Sky Pacific could not show any local content on its pay channels unless they were messages of national importance that needed to be disseminated.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Digicel could not show any advertisement unless an agreement with the three existing free-to-air channels (FBC TV, Fiji One, Mai TV) was made.
“They (Digicel) cannot advertise on Sky Pacific. Advertisements cannot take place unless all the three free-to-air providers agree to it. So all three of them have veto powers.”
He said strict monitoring would be done by the Communications Ministry on advertisements aired by Sky Pacific.
“If the Sky channel goes off air, they have to pay a rebate to the subscribers so if they are off air from four to eight hours, there is a 1 per cent rebate, eight to sixteen hours, there is a 2 per cent rebate, 16 to 24 hours there is a 3 per cent rebate and plus there is an additional 3 per cent for every 24 hours that the particular service is off air.”
The pay television would show 24 channels, the existing ones and will introduce a new channel called TVWAN soon.
Company CEO Darren McLean said he was happy to get the licences from the Fijian Government after an announcement was made in September last year about the purchase of Sky Pacific.
“I want to thank the Fiji Government and the Minister for Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for his commitment in helping to turn this opportunity into a reality.
“I would also like to thank our new partner Fiji Television Ltd, who has been co-operating well with us and the Government in this process. There is a lot more work to do to plan the transition from Fiji TV to Digicel ownership until such time there is no change to Sky Pacific operations and channel line-up.
Fiji Television Ltd CEO Geoffery Smith said since Fiji TV was a listed company under the South Pacific Stock Exchange, he would not be able to release any market sensitive information at this stage.
“We are, however, in the process of collating all the relevant information which we will then release first to the SPSE accordingly in due course for the benefit of our shareholders and key stakeholders,” Mr Smith said.
Fiji Times Online.
33) 4.8pc increase
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
BANK South Pacific Ltd group chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou is confident of the bank’s ability to continue to adapt to challenging market conditions and deliver sound underlying performances this year and beyond.
The bank released its financial results for the full year to December 31, 2015 on Monday and noted that despite a slowdown in the PNG economy last year, the BSP Group managed to achieve solid results.
Sir Constantinou said the group recorded a 4.8 per cent increase in its consolidated operating profit after tax.
Its profit after tax for 2015 is K531.9 million ($F365m) compared with K507.3m ($F348m) operating profit after tax in 2014.
He said the group’s total assets increased by approximately K2.4billion ($F1.7b) to K18.196b ($F12b), partially because of the acquisition of Westpac’s Pacific branches in Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and the Solomon Islands.
According to Sir Constantinou, the bank’s growth was positive with after tax profits reducing slightly to K505.7m ($F347m) from K512.9m ($F352m) in 2014.
Total assets of the bank at the end of 2015 stood at K17.122b ($F11b).
The bank’s results showed that loans and advances to customers; portfolio saw a net growth of K1.493b ($F1b) to K8.181b ($F5b)
It said the bank’s customer deposits continued to grow steadily (up 11.3 per cent to K14.2b ($F9b)), mainly in the retail and government segments in PNG, and in the corporate segment in Fiji.
Sir Constantinou said the group’s revenues increased 3.2 per cent during the year.
He said revenue growth came from interest income streams, in particular from loans and advances, with BSP growing its loan book by 27.6 per cent as well as the additional income from the new asset finance operations in PNG and Fiji and the acquisition of Westpac’s Pacific branches in Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and the Solomon Islands.Fijitimes
34) Airline offers rare discount
Thursday, March 10, 2016
PEOPLE planning to travel to Viti Levu from the North have been offered a rare $65 one way fare by Fiji Airways domestic subsidiary Fiji Link.
A statement from Fiji Airways said the $65 fares were for direct point to point travel, however, for those wanting to fly from the North to Suva via Nadi, a special $99 one way fare was also available.
Fiji Link general manager Thomas Robinson said as the domestic subsidiary of the national airline, they understood the need of the people, especially from the North, to travel to centres such as Nadi and Suva to attend to practical and family needs during these times.
‘We know the importance of reconnecting with family and friends right now,” he said.
35) Trader charged
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
POLICE have charged a 34-year-old Lautoka businessman for allegedly assaulting a 30-year-old Fiji Commerce Commission (FCC) worker on Monday.
Police spokeswoman Naina Ragigia said the businessman was charged with one count of common assault after he allegedly assaulted the officer.
The officer had issued a spot fine of $3000 to the businessman for failing to properly display prices of goods.
The prices of goods included tinned fish, tea leaves, flour, noodles and breakfast crackers.
Following the assault, Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum issued a stern warning to all businesses not to interfere with the commission’s work of protecting consumers and preventing unethical trading practices.
He said the trader was first visited by FCC officers on March 4 after consumer complaints.
FCC officials found the businessman had violated the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 by engaging in price gouging, failing to mark or display prices and failing to issue receipts which all warranted a spot fine of $2000.
On Monday, the officers returned to the shop only to find more violations of the decree prompting another $1000 spot fine.
According to Government, the company director allegedly followed the FCC officials back to their headquarters where he allegedly assaulted one of the officers.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this alleged behaviour was shameful and would not be tolerated.
“Any person who seeks to hinder, obstruct or otherwise interfere with the FCC’s critical work of protecting Fijian customers will be punished to the full extent of the law,” he said in a statement.
“The FCC will continue responding to reports of unethical practices and rooting out traders who seek to exploit our consumers.
“We urge all Fijians to continue reporting any abuses they encounter.”
The businessman will appear at the Lautoka Magistrates Court on March 21.Fiji Times
36) Solomons could earn millions from Australian labour market
The Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka, says the country could earn millions from the Australian labour market.
The two countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that paves the way for greater cooperation on seasonal labour.
Australia expanded the scheme last month to include work in cattle, sheep and grain enterprises as well as horticulture.
The minister said if the Solomon Islands could send up to a thousand people to work in Australia, their yearly remittances could be in the millions.
Mr Tozaka said this might mean being less dependent on Australian development aid.
He said Solomon Islanders involved in the New Zealand Seasonal Workers’ Scheme sent back US$800,000 last year.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade will now take over the coordination of people going to Australia to work under the mobility scheme.9/3/16 RNZI
39a ) Gradual change seen in PNG police attitude to sexual violence
Papua New Guinea police deputy commissioner, Raphael Huafolo, says there is a gradual change in mindset in police attitudes to domestic violence.
Mr Haufolo launched an evaluation report of the police’s Family and Sexual Violence Units on Tuesday to coincide with International Women’s Day.
The units are a designated space where trained officers can respond to family and sexual violence cases and there are now 17 around the country.
Mr Huafolo said prior to the introduction of the units, many victims of sexual violence were not served at police station counters because this was considered a domestic problem.
But he said there is an increasing awareness of family sexual violence, a gradual change in the mindset of police and this has led to an increase in the reporting of incidents by victims.
Mr Huafalo said the review analyses the policing services providing to survivors of family and sexual violence.
He said it will map the way forward to better legal protection for people who use the units.9/3/16 RNZI
39b) Fiji Signs UN Convention Against Torture
Parliament must yet ratify treaty
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 8, 2016) – Fiji has signed a key international anti-torture treaty, a move which has been welcomed by the European Union.
Fiji signed the UN Convention Against Torture on 1st March, according to the website of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Human rights defenders and members of the opposition have been calling for the Fiji government to sign and ratify the treaty since it pledged it would do so a year ago.
Fiji has yet to formally ratify, a move which would bring the convention into force in the country.
A parliamentary committee last year agreed it should be ratified with some reservations.
The European Union Delegation for the Pacific said the signing was an important step for Fiji and it looked forward to Fiji’s ratification of the treaty.
The EU said it encouraged Fiji to accept the full set of procedures provided for under the UNCAT.
Radio New Zealand International
40) Simpler Weather Reports for Communities
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016 12:00 am
By Mavuku Tokona |
The Vanuatu Meteorological Services (VMS) and representatives of every media organization in the country assembled at the Department of Climate Change and Meteorology Services for a meteorology workshop yesterday.
The spontaneous reunion was regarding the dissemination of weather reports towards the public and to strengthen the relationship between VMS and the media.
Meteorology and Climate Officer of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) Salesa Nihmei explained: “I see this workshop as quite important because a lot of the natural disasters happen in Vanuatu are all related to the work that the Met Service does especially events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.
“They all threaten the lives of the people of Vanuatu and the warning that is provided for these events are provided by the Met Service so that’s why it is really important for the Met Service to work together with the media as a medium of getting this information to the public to either educate them or warn them in advance of these hazards that happen.”
Mr Nihmei who also facilitated the workshop added that the relationship building workshop which began on Monday also provides an open flow of communication by VMS officers and the media in order to convey warnings more efficient.
“We had sessions this morning on some of the challenges the media face while working with the Met Services and the Met Service with the media and then putting some ‘Way Forwards’, one of the outcomes is to develop a media plan on how they will address some of the issues that were highlighted by the media,” he said.
According to Mr Nihmei the media plan will focus on the VMS officers to improve their communication with the media and produce other alternatives of better conveying their warnings.
Mr Nihmei also explained that the meteorological terms can be overwhelming as well and they are looking at simplifying most of them, “We have found out that some of the terms that the Met Service uses are too technical and the media plays their role in getting that information out to the community and sometimes they don’t understand, for example for rain alone there are around 15 different terms for it and if the media doesn’t understand and how can the public understand.
“We hope to work with the media to develop these terms and simplifying them into very simple English and Bishlama if possible and there has also been a request for French as well, hopefully the media would be able to assist the Met Services,” Mr Nihmei stated.
The meteorology workshop continues today and finishes this Friday.
41) Winston destruction bill exceeds $400 million
3:48 pm GMT+12, 08/03/2016, Fiji
The estimated cost of damage caused by Cyclone Winston in Fiji now stands at $476.3 million (US$226 million).
The Fiji Roads Authority top the list with a current estimated damage cost of $135 million (US$64 million).
The agriculture sector excluding the sugar industry is second with a $120.2 million (US$60 million) tag.
The sugar and education sectors have estimated damage pegged at $80 million (US$40 million) and $50.2 million (US$25 million) respectively.
18,154 homes and buildings were damaged by Cyclone Winston.
The National Disaster Management Office says the priority now is to rebuild schools.
“The buildings that are being repaired are mostly schools and hospital facilities. But the focus now is to get all the schools up and running so that we have the children back in the schools. When it comes to rehab after 30 days then we can discuss further about what other buildings and structures are being repaired,” said NDMO Director, Akapusi Tuifagalele.
Due to extensive infrastructural damage, 25 schools remain closed.
An additional 21 schools have not commenced classes as well as they are being used as evacuation centres.
Around 243 schools have been damaged by Cyclone Winston.
“We have the number of schools that are being used as evacuation centres as of now is 21. 10 in the Eastern Division, 11 in the Western Division and both the North and Central Divisions they have all being vacated. The schools that remain closed stands at 25. Eastern Division has 10, Western is 11, Northern and Central Divisions one and three respectively,” revealed Tuifagalele.
Government has already started to work on its plan to repair and reconstruct schools damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Damage to schools only is pegged at around $50 million(US$25million).
Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said the Finance Ministry is working with the Ministry of Works to finalize the details of schools that need to be reconstructed or repaired.
“Minister for finance Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum has presented a proposal to the Prime Minister to get engineers to survey the schools. This time around, we won’t be getting people just to come up and start nailing roofing irons. It needs to be resistant to category 5 cyclone.” said Dr Reddy.
SOURCE: FIJI TV/PACNEWS
42) More than 4,000 family homes in Fiji’s Western division affected by Cyclone Winston
10:15 pm GMT+12, 08/03/2016, Fiji
So far a total of over 4,000 houses in Fiji’s Western Division have been either partially or completely destroyed between Ba and Ra province.
Shelter is among the priority needs for those in the Western Division.
This follows a recent field assessment conducted by the United Nations.
“Shelter is really a big problem. In many cases 80% of the houses if not more are just not standing. We need to be thinking very quickly about shelter solutions. It also raises the issues about the water and sanitation. I have to say also the vast destruction of the crops and the need for us to think about food security,” said Osnat Lubrani the Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations in Fiji.
Lubrani said at least a total of 1,900 houses in Ba and 2,600 in Ra have been either damaged or destroyed.
On-going damage assessment reports are revealing that shelter remains an immediate humanitarian priority.
The latest Cyclone Winston situation report from the Office of the Humanitarian Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as of the 07 March revealed the extent of housing damage. Ra province is reporting the highest so far with 2,600 houses destroyed. Ba is next with at least 1,900 houses destroyed.
The third highest is recorded for Cakaudrove province, with a total of 1,300 destroyed.
Lomaiviti group has 830 houses destroyed, Bua Province has 300, Lau Group 190 and Tailevu Province 170.
Shelter Cluster partners continue to provide immediate emergency shelter materials and on the ground technical support for safer construction techniques.
The report also highlights that the current level of houses damaged or destroyed is likely to increase, as more detailed assessments are being conducted.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) received 75 tonnes of relief items valued at FJD$1.2 million (US$517,916) from its counterparts in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The relief items included 1,215 tarpaulins, 1,350 shelter tool kits, 2,406 kitchen sets, family tents and jerry cans.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Asia-Pacific zone office in Kuala Lumpur sent the additional relief items to assist FRCS with its relief work to those who were affected by Cyclone Winston.
FRCS Director General, Filipe Nainoca said his office will focus on meeting the immediate needs of those identified as most vulnerable.
He said initial assessments had given the society a good idea of what the needs are on the ground.
“We will continue to distribute relief out to the communities affected by Cyclone Winston. So far, FRCS has reached a total number of 5,665 households with relief distribution,” he said.
SOURCE: FIJI TV/NEWSWIRE/PACNEWS
43) New Caledonia gets new nickel plan
The New Caledonian government has tabled a plan to support the nickel industry which is facing a sharp decline because of the drop in the price of nickel.
The president Philippe Germain has described the plan as a complete response to the current situation and being in line with the undertaking made in France last month when New Caledonian leaders met the prime minister, Manuel Valls.
Mr Germain says the context has changed and the government will now re-examine demands to export low-grade ore to China.
He says up to two millions tonnes a year could be considered for export.
In October, his government approved one application to ship 300,000 tonnes to China over 18 months.
The plan also provides for the shipment of 550,000 tonnes of nickel ore to a South Korean plant set up in partnership with New Caledonia’s northern province.
The territory’s three plants incurred huge losses last year, triggering concern about their viability.
Last month, Mr Valls said the state would guarantee that the SLN plant in Noumea could continue to operate.9/3/16 RNZI
44) Women celebrate international day
Published: 09 March 2016
MORE women from the government ministries, non-government organizations and stakeholders in Honiara have celebrated international women’s day yesterday in Honiara.
Despite the mid-morning heat the women kicked off their celebration with a a paraded from Honiara City Council which ended up at the SMI compound.
“Today, international women’s day had drawn women from all corners of Honiara, stakeholders and development partners to unite for a common goal.
“And that is to hear what the government has planned for women’s development and gender equality and the implementation of the plans to follow,” Director for Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs Pauline Soaki said.
“It is important that the theme: Promise for Fairness, Zero Discrimination is highlighted for us to make the commitment,” she added.
Mrs Soaki highlighted that nearly half of the country’s population are women (49.23%) according to the World Bank report 2014, yet women do not share half of the wealth, resources and voice.
She said that it is good that women and men can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly, whether to help women and girls their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias.
“Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic to accelerate gender party.
“Let us promise fairness for this country,” she said.
The program is very enjoyable for women who attended yesterday.
It was attended by government officials, women organizations and other stakeholders in the country.
The programme will close tomorrow.
By LESLEY SANGA/ Solomon Star.
45 ) Calls for gender parity
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
OPPOSITION Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa is calling on all the people of Fiji to take a concrete step to accelerate the achievements of gender parity.
In her statement as the nation marked International Women’s Day, Ro Teimumu raised questions on what individuals, families and communities and the private and public sector could do to achieve 50-50 by 2030.
She stated the need for Fiji as a nation to have a gender-balanced leadership, respect and for more inclusive cultures to be developed and the importance of rooting out workplace bias.
“Together we can change the narrative and make gender parity a reality for Fiji,” Ro Teimumu said.
“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress made.”
She also dedicated this year’s International Women’s Day to women and families who suffered in the event of Severe TC Winston.
“I salute the women of Fiji, particularly in the cyclone-affected areas who are quietly and tirelessly working to rebuild whatever is left of their homes.
“As nurturers, caregivers and community mobilises celebrate the determination of ordinary women who continue to play an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.”Fiji Times
46) Children urged to speak out
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
SAVE the Children Fiji would like to remind the children of Fiji that it is not wrong to speak out if someone is hurting them as there is always help available.
Organisation CEO Iris Low-McKenzie made this comment after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) released rape and sexual offences statistics for February this year.
She said the statistics indicated an increase in sexual abuse cases against children, including the 12 cases of serious sexual offences involving children under the age of 18.
“We encourage children to seek assistance when they need it by calling the Child Helpline — 1325, a free telephone helpline specifically set up so children can call and talk to someone when they are in need,” Ms Low-McKenzie said.
She said they were very saddened by the statistics.
“While we urge the authorities to take these instances seriously, to investigate thoroughly and ensure that the perpetrators are put behind bars, these abhorrent abuses must be stopped. Children must be protected.
“Society needs to change the way children are seen, not as vulnerable individuals who can be subject to ill-abuse of power resulting in physical, emotional or sexual abuse, but as rights-holders who deserve to be protected from all forms of violence.”
Save the Children Fiji has commended those who have stood up for the rights of children and identified abuse or child protection issues.
“It is most often not an easy task, particularly if the perpetrator is a close family relative as seen in recently reported cases.
“However, we must remind ourselves that it is the right thing to do, and that as individuals, communities, and as a nation, we have a responsibility to protect our children. Any abuse of children is not acceptable, and society should not condone it.”Fiji Times
47) Leading youth training and employment programme in PNG set for major boost
10:19 pm GMT+12, 08/03/2016, Papua New Guinea
A World Bank-supported programme providing thousands of young Papua New Guineans with life skills and employment training has been extended to 2018 with additional funding support of US$10.8 million (over PGK 31 million) from the Australian Government.
Australia’s support will enable the Urban Youth Employment Project (UYEP) to impact on the lives of up to 15,000 more unemployed young people by 2018 to help them find positive long-term employment. Over 8,000 Papua New Guineans have already participated in the project since it began in 2011.
Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Bruce Davis said: “This is an important program which helps young people help themselves and improve their lives. Australia is pleased to be able to support such a program, which empowers young Papua New Guineans to contribute to the development of their country.”
Stefanie Stallmeister, World Bank’s Country Manager for Papua New Guinea, said: “Young Papua New Guineans remain disadvantaged in access to employment opportunities. There are more than 40,000 unemployed young people in Port Moresby, many have missed out on completing their education due to their life circumstance.”
“UYEP is filling a critical gap by addressing youth marginalization. This program gives young Papua New Guineans life-changing opportunities, and it’s wonderful that the Australian Government’s support will help this project continue.”
While expanding existing project activities to reach more young people, the additional funding will enable the project to increase the number of literacy and numeracy trainings and improve outreach to women.
Kadive Yamba, a single mother-of-five from Port Moresby, is one of the 8,000 Papua New Guineans who have participated in UYEP since it began. She is a full-time employee at the Papua Niugini Freezers Ltd as an Inventory Assistant after completing her training with UYEP.
“This program gave me my life back,” said Yamba. “My husband left me, remarried and took our five children with him. I was treated like an outcast. With only a Grade 10 Certificate, and could not get a decent job to support myself.
“[Yet] once I was in UYEP, I gave [it] my all, and it has not let me down one bit. That is why when I see the UYEP logo, I am always reminded that my life was saved through this wonderful programme.”
Internal surveys of UYEP participants conducted by the World Bank indicate that the vast majority (80 percent) of participating young people believe the project has empowered them to become better persons in their communities, by boosting their self-confidence, and enhancing their employability.
More than half (60 percent) of community leaders also report a perception of less crime in their communities as a result of the project. Over 30 percent of UYEP-trained graduates say they received offers of full-time employment after completing their five-month on-the-job training as part of the project.
“Economic growth has led to a new range of employment opportunities, but these require skills and knowledge that many of our youth, because they have missed out on education opportunities, don’t yet have,” said Hon. Powes Parkop MP, Governor of the National Capital District Commission.
“UYEP is helping to ensure that the youth of our nation can make the most of these new opportunities – in-line with the government’s Vision 2050 plans, and the National Youth Strategy,” he said.
The additional US$ 10.8 million (over PGK 31 million) grant from the Australian Government represents a 60 percent increase in UYEP project funding. UYEP is currently supported by a credit of US$14.1 million (over PGK 43 million) from the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA); US$530,000 (over PGK 1.5 million)from the Korean Trust Fund and; and US$1,580,000 (over PGK 4.5 million) from the Government of PNG and National Capital District Commission..
SOURCE” WORLD BANK/PACNEWS
48) Winning start for Fiji Warrior in World Rugby Pacific Challenge beating Samoa 34- 6
10:24 pm GMT+12, 08/03/2016, FijiThe Telecom Fiji Warriors were impressive on attack in their match against Samoa A to win their first game in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge 34-6 at the ANZ Stadium Tuesday.While the introduction of new laws in the scrums and line-outs slowed the momentum of the game, Warriors captain Peni Ravai said they had to adapt quickly to ensure a win.”I think we need to work our set plays. Even though the first half was not very good as the second half turned out,” he said.Fiji had a narrow 12-6 lead in the first half with the Samoa A’s Ki Anufe slotting three penalties to the Warriors’ converted try and two penalties to half back Serupepeli Vularika with the new trialled points system valuing a try at six points and a conversion, penalty and drop goal at two.
Henry Seniloli created an impact upon substitution in the second spell scoring a try and setting the pace for two more, one from Vasikali Mudu and the other a penalty try.
The team’s fierce defence saw the opposition sitting on six points for the remainder of the match.
Samoa captain Greg Foe said while he thought they would be in contention they were dealt a different hand.
“That was a tough physical game as expected. We thought we were going to come out here and dominate the game but Fiji really gave it to us and the ball didn’t really bounce our way but that’s all part of the game you’ve just go to move on and do our homework for the next game,” he said.
Ravai said they had hoped to finish on a high and add to the success of the 7s team and continue to put a smile on the people’s faces.
“I would like to thank the boys for the courage and the hard work they did today. Although we prepared just for two weeks, the coach believed in us.
“We played today like we were training for more than two weeks and I would like to thank the boys for the great effort.
“We played today to put the smile back on those who suffered and play hard on the next couple of games and maybe we can win the final,” he said.
Meanwhile, a fair turnout at first round of the World Rugby Pacific Challenge at the ANZ Stadium in Suva has Fiji Rugby Union CEO John O’Connor pleased.
O’Connor had on Monday revealed that all entry fees would be waived as members of the public work on gaining a sense of stability in the wake of Savere Tropical Cyclone Winston.
The union, World Rubgy and the Fiji Sports Council had reached a decision on Monday resulting in the free access of all matches held at the Stadium until the fourth round on March 21.
“I am quite pleased with the support from World Rugby, supporting the initiative of Fiji Rugby Uniono to allow free access and based on the crowd it was a success getting people to come down and join this afternoon,” he said.
While pleased with the win yesterday, O’Connor believes there is still more work to be done.
“From Fiji Rugby Union’s point of view we will take the win but this is just a start. We need to win all our games and then play in the final so it is a work in progress. Hopefully we can learn from here and qualify from here and go into the final and move on from there,” he said.
The second round of matches on Saturday sees Samoa A take on Tonga A at 3.30pm while Tuesday victors Junior Japan take on the Telecom Fiji Warriors.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
49) Junior Japan starts Pacific Challenge on a high note
10:22 pm GMT+12, 08/03/2016, Fiji
The Junior Japan team have won their first match of the World Rugby Pacific Challenge defeating Tonga 26-8.
Team captain Syokei Kin said while the win was welcome they were not satisfied yet.
“We didn’t spend much time on preparation however we try to play better individually that’s why we won today. We are not satisfied yet, however we got the little win we wanted,” he said.
Ruthless in attack Japan made amends in the first half after Tonga drew first blood with a try to Tu’ihakavalu Ika to lead 6-0. Takuya Yasuda of Japan scored a try converted successfully by Ryoto Nakamura to put the lid on the team from the Rising Sun in the lead 8-6.
Gaining momentum from their 10-8 lead at half time, Japan secured a further two tries to tally their final points their perfect defending shutting Tonga out from any attempts on the tryline.
Tonga captain Sione Lolohea said they had committed a lot of errors that contributed to their loss.
“Today’s game we made a lot of errors we need to fix for the next game plus the ball handling, we had a lot of knock on and we didn’t use our ball nicely. We want to improve on our ruck and ball handling, I think we need a lot of improvement in all of the areas as we have to prepare for the next game,” he said.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
50a) Kenya drawn against Fiji, Samoa and Portugal at Vancouver 7s
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Kenya have been drawn in a tricky Pool ‘A’ for the Vancouver Sevens alongside series leaders Fiji, Samoa and Portugal this weekend.
Kenya’s campaign ended on a whimper in Las Vegas on Sunday, losing 19-14 to Japan in the Plate semi-final to earn 10 points. Kenya lie eighth on the standings with 52 points from five tournaments played so far.
In a topsy turvy match against the Japanese, Kenya opened the scoring through Willy Ambaka while Biko Adema converted for a 7-0 lead. Shujaa then were reduced to six men when Dennis Ombachi was sent to the sin-bin by South African referee Ben Cruse for persistent infringement at the ruck.
The Japanese, who caused an upset by qualifying for the main cup quarters at the expense of heavyweights England and Scotland took advantage by scoring through Lomano Lemeki. Kazuhiro Goya slotted home the conversion to tie the match at 7-7 at half time.
On resumption, the Japanese came out firing on all cylinders, capitalising on Kenya’s handling errors. They took the lead when Ryuta Yasui touched down for an unconverted try for a 12-7 lead. Head coach Benjamin Ayimba brought in former skipper Humphrey Kayange from the bench to steady the ship and the Mwamba star player had an immediate impact, initiating and completing the move with a try to tie the scores at 12-12.
He chipped over the advancing Japan backs and Ambaka collected to gain ground before releasing Kayange again, who touched down by dragging two Japanese players to the try line. Adema kicked over the conversion for a 14-12 lead. The Japanese grew in confidence and they were awarded two penalties, which Shohei Toyosima touched down to score.
Toyosima kicked over the conversion to complete the scoring. Japan, however, lost the Plate final to New Zealand, going down 27-7.
50b) Giroud, Walcott help Arsenal
Thursday, March 10, 2016
HULL, England – Holders Arsenal kept up their bid for a hat-trick of FA Cup trophies, marching into the quarter-finals as Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott netted twice in a 4-0 replay win at second-tier Hull City yesterday.
France striker Giroud had not scored in his 11 previous games but made the most of a terrible back pass after 40 minutes and then doubled the lead with 20 minutes remaining following a sharp volley from close range.
Walcott sidefooted the ball home to make it 3-0 before his low drive capped Arsenal’s first win in six games.
Victory though came at a cost for Arsenal, who face Watford in the last eight, as defenders Per Mertesacker and Gabriel and midfielder Aaron Ramsey were forced off through injury.
“I’m a bit shocked, we lost our two centre backs in the game and we lost Aaron Ramsey,” manager Arsene Wenger told BT Sport following his team’s sixth match in a hectic 18-day spell.
“Mertesacker has a cut on his eye and a bit of concussion but he should be fine and Gabriel looks alright. Ramsey, I’m a bit more concerned about because it’s a muscular thigh injury.”
The competition has taken on extra importance for Arsenal with their Premier League title challenge faltering in recent weeks and their Champions League hopes in tatters after Barcelona left the Emirates Stadium with a 2-0 win two weeks ago.
The pressure has mounted on Wenger with the FA Cup now seemingly the club’s best hope of silverware.
Wenger changed six players following their 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby on Saturday and his side dominated possession in the first half.
They took the lead when Hull’s David Meyler failed to look up before playing a blind back pass across his own goal, Giroud intercepting and finishing calmly beneath keeper Eldin Jakupovic.
It was almost 2-0 moments later when Kieran Gibbs rattled the bar from distance while Mohamed Elneny forced a superb save from Jakupovic at the start of the second half with the keeper athletically tipping the ball over the bar.
Giroud then expertly volleyed home a cross from Walcott before the latter opened his account when he found the far corner following a brilliant pass by Joel Campbell.
Walcott, who was captain for the night, made it 4-0 when his effort was deflected into the net off Hull defender Alex Bruce.
50c ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2016-03-10/australia-beats-south-africa-in-third-t20-international-in-cape-town-to-complete-21-series-win/1557134