Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1061 ( Tuesday 22 March 2016 )


1) Papua government to conduct review of autonomy funds

The Governor of Indonesia’s Papua province says there will be a review of Special Autonomy funds by a committee made up of regents and mayors throughout Papua region.

The region, also known as West Papua, was granted Special Autonomy status by Jakarta about fifteen years ago.

However the implementation of the significant funds made available through the autonomy provisions has been plagued by inefficiencies.

Tabloid Jubi reports that hundreds of Papuan civil servants have presented a petition to the governor, Lucas Enembe, asking him “to return the Special Autonomy to the Central Government”.

Mr Enembe said he would take their concerns on board, at next week’s meeting of regents and mayors, where they will assess whether allocated Special Autonomy funds were being appropriately used to help the people of Papua.

The Governor, who has been pushing for Papua’s Special Autonomy package to be revised, said that the package was unfair to Papua in various ways.21/3/16 RNZI

2) Rex Horoi to be Solomon Islands envoy on West Papua

02:45 am GMT+12, 21/03/2016, Solomon Islands

Former Solomon Islands diplomat Rex Horoi is expected to be appointed his country’s special envoy on West Papua at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Solomons Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogovare, has intimated that Horoi – outgoing Director of the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific – will take up the pots shortly.

Horoi will be responsible for ensuring MSG support for West Papua’s inclusion in the United Nations Decolonisation list commonly known as the C24.

Under a Solomon Islands plan designed last year, the country was to have appointed a special envoy to lobby Pacific island governments to support West Papua’s inclusion on the list.

The Solomon Islands was also expected to appoint Fe’iloakitau Tevi – former General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches – as adviser to the special representative.

Most MSG countries support decolonisation of West Papua which was invaded by Indonesia in 1961 after the UN, Indonesia and the United States manipulated a referendum in the former Dutch territory.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is likely to charge to West Papuan activists with treason for opening an office in Wamena.

Edison Waromi and Markus Haluk have been summoned by Indonesian police to be questioned over the opening of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua Office in Wamena.

Lawyers for Waromi and Haluk have adopted the name ‘West Papua Human Rights Defenders Team’ (Tim
Pembela Hak Asasi Manusia di Papua) and anticipate the men will be charged with treason.

Indonesia is in the process of opening an embassy in Ramallah on Israel’s West Bank.

Indonesia is an advocate for self-determination in Palestine


3) PNG PM bifo i laikim Greater Autonomy

Updated 21 March 2016, 12:40 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Sir Julius Chan, Governor blong New Ireland Provins i sapotim despla tingting.

Wanpla dei ol provins blong New Guinea Islands  long Papua New Guinea  imas kisim greater autonomy olsem Bougainville long wonem oli laik lukautim olgeta wok blong ol iet.

Papa na Praim Minista bifo Sir Julius Chan i mekim despla toktok aste taem emi bin lonchim nupla buk blong en long Canberra.

Sir Julius Chan, Governor blong New Ireland provins ibin raitim despla buk we i lukluk long laif na stori blong en iet taem emi yangpla, na tu wonem samting ibin kirapim laik blong en long go insaet long ol wok politik.

Despla emi no nupla taem we wanpla lida blong New Guinea Islands i autim sapot blong kisim Greater Autonomy, ol narapla provins olsem East New Britain na West New Britain igat wankaen laik na tingting.ABC

4a) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

2016 Budget tabled in Parliament; International Day of Forests; severe weather ahead

by bobmakin

 Finance Minister Gaetan Pikioune this morning tabled the Vt 19 billion 2016 appropriation bill in Parliament as the eleventh House sat for the first time to debate legislation. The Opposition objected to what it saw as the Government bulldozing though — because of numbers – an expenditure budget increased upon what it had prepared, presumably when in power. They were unable to see any valid reason for the increase.

Yesterday was International Day of Happiness; today is International Day of Forests, as Jude Tabi from the Dept of Forests tells us in the video below. The theme of this year’s event is forests and water, highlighting how protecting forests protects our water supply – a message that resonates with many in Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam.

Vanuatu has severe weather warning from near midday today. Low pressure to the near west of Vanuatu extends a trough to New Caledonia and the system is moving in a ESE direction. It is likely to bring heavy rain and thunder to most parts of Vanuatu and there may be flash flooding in certain areas. Winds inland (40-50 km/hr) may affect central and southern parts of the country as the system approaches. The potential for this system to develop into a tropical cyclone within the next 5 days is very low (<10%).

Politicians and media alike, we must all get our facts right. There have been various observations concerning the now vacant PM’s office once being the French Resident Commissioner’s residence. It never was. It was always his office and his house is what became State House at Independence, slightly higher on the hill and a wreck since Cyclone Uma. The question arises with the statements being made at the time of the PMO transfer ceremony to its new interim location, what was Sky Garden hotel.

And another media mistake. The 11 in prison for bribery did not plead guilty to conspiracy charges as this news site stated, reporting from other news media, Saturday. Their pleas are all “not guilty” and the conspiracy relates to their meeting at a hotel to arrange their “pardon” by Marcellino Pipite.

Daily Post today has an excellent piece on the Lapetasi wharf development for the capital.

bobmakin | March 21, 2016 



5) Tuvalu’s ‘Borrow Pits’ Finally Filled In
Gained 8% of usable land through project

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 19, 2016) – Tuvalu’s main island, Funafuti, has gained an extra eight percent of usable land after the completion of a project to fill in so-called ‘borrow pits’ left behind after the Second World War.

The pits, which scarred much of Funafuti and later became full of rubbish and stagnant water, were created by the United States military which used the coral to build an airfield on the atoll in the 1940s.

The newly-appointed New Zealand High Commissioner to Tuvalu, Linda Te Puni, said the New Zealand- and European Union-funded project involved pumping sand from the lagoon onto a barge to fill the pits.

“It was a significant amount of a very small land area. The actual area that’s now been remediated from all of these ‘borrow pits’ represents eight percent of that land, so it’s a significant investment in rehabilitation really of land for Tuvalu.

Linda Te Puni said the pits have been filled to a slightly higher level to take into account king tides and rising sea levels.

Radio New Zealand International

6) Samoa PM sworn in again as 16th parliament opens

Samoa’s recently-re-elected Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi says all 47 of the MPs in his ruling party will take responsibility and lead by example.

Speaking at the first sitting of the 16th Parliament on Friday after his party’s landslide victory on March general election the prime minister said the country has evolved politically.

He said the election result – effectively creating a one party state – has come from the voice of the people.

“The mandate to govern through a one-party state has come through the voices of our people. And that this will not be and will never be lost on the Government of the day.”

Samoa’s Prime Minister elect, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

The HRPP has won 94 percent of the 50 seat Parliament, with the Tautua Party winning only three seats.21/3/16 RNZI

7) School in Samoa reopens after brawls

A school in Samoa has reopened today after the government ordered it closed temporarily last week following a student brawl.

Students from two other colleges were also involved in the violence and several students arrested.

It is understood the principals from the schools involved are today meeting with the education ministry and the police to find a way forward.

The brawl involved students from Avele, Saint Joseph, and Faleata colleges.

Avele college was closed down last week by the Education Ministry for the protection and security of its students.

Last Wednesday, police arrested three students but more arrests were made after further brawls at the bus terminal behind the burnt flea market at Savalalo in the capital Apia.21/3/16RNZI

8) Cook Islands Bill Hoped To Protect Sexual Abuse Victims

Aims to replace outdated language, create harsher penalties

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 19, 2016) – A Cook Islands MP says a new bill currently before parliament will provide more protection to the survivors of sexual assaults.

Selina Napa says the Family Law Bill will also aim to replace some of the outdated clauses in the 1969 Crimes Act, and provide clear definitions of sexual offences.

Ms Napa told the Cook Islands News she also hopes to see harsher penalties introduces for those convicted of sexual assaults.

She says the Cook Islands has some of the world’s worst statistics for abuse, with one-in-three women experiencing some kind of physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime.

Radio New Zealand International



11) Micronesia drought to get worse

Forecasters say a severe drought that has hit Micronesia is expected to worsen over the next few weeks.

Much of the region has been affected by drought, triggered by a strong, elongated El Nino system.

The Northern Marianas, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands have been severely affected with the latter two declaring states of emergency.

The latest drought report was released last week.

The lead forecaster at the Guam Weather Service, Clint Simpson, said it shows no improvement on the horizon.

“I can’t quite say that I’m expecting an improvement until into the (northern) summer months and it’s going to get worse and worse during the next few weeks. We are hoping that as the atmosphere changes patterns a little bit that there will be a few more showers starting to move up into the Micronesia area.”

The lead Forecaster at the Guam Weather Service, Clint Simpson.21/3/16RNZI

12) Marshalls storm surge erodes graves

Wild weather in the Marshall Islands has eroded graves and partly washed some away.

A king tide pushed by storm surges on March 9th washed debris onto roads, and flooded homes in the capital, Majuro, as well as flooding the homes of several hundred residents on Kili Island.

A manager at the ministry of public works, Melvin Dacillo, says the capital’s cemeteries were among the areas flooded.

“When we did a rapid assessment, there are already some coffins, and skulls and bones that were exposed. This alerted MOH, the Ministry of Health, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and the government to closely monitor that and be able to coordinate with the land owners and the families affected.”

Melvin Dacillo says options of how to stop the erosion include the construction of a seawall.21/3/16 RNZI

13) Taiwan to fund home solar units in Marshalls’ urban areas
02:55 am GMT+12, 21/03/2016, Marshall Islands

With solar power now reaching nearly 100 percent of remote outer islanders, the Marshall Islands and Taiwan are turning their attention to urban areas to provide home solar units.

The aim is to reduce urban residents’ power costs, while also reducing the government utility company’s costs for providing diesel-powered electricity, said David Paul, the former general manager of the Marshalls Energy Company who was recently elected as a senator in the nation’s parliament.

Marshall Islands officials are expected to sign off soon on an agreement with Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund or ICDF for US$4 million to start a revolving loan fund for purchasing home solar units for residents of Majuro and Ebeye, the two urban areas in the country.

The loan fund is to be managed by the Marshall Islands Development Bank. The scheme was initiated by the Marshalls Energy Company during Paul’s tenure as general manager. After two years of discussions between the utility company and ICDF and Taiwan government officials, the plan received approval from ICDF late last year.

The revolving loan fund will assist urban residents to improve household energy efficiency and reduce power costs by increasing reliance on solar power, which in turn is expected to reduce MEC’s costs for diesel to generate electricity as the share of solar-generated power increases.

Public Works Minister Tony Muller said the agreement will be signed in the near future once mutually agreeable dates for the ceremony can be agreed on.

“Everyone wins with this agreement,” he said.

Taiwan has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid for home and community facility solar equipment in remote islands, and more recently for solar-powered streetlights on Majuro and Ebeye.


14) CNMI inter-island ferry finally arrives

The Northern Marianas on Saturday finally welcomed the arrival of the MV Luta with the 45 metre craft docking in Rota.

The ship can carry a mixed load of cargo and passengers to a total weight of 500 tonnes.

The governor Ralph Torres flew to the southernmost island to welcome the boat.

The Luta, which cost US$1.6 million, is expected to carry passengers, agricultural goods, and other consumer items between the CNMI islands and Guam.21/3/16RNZI

TOK PISIN ( Papua New Guinea ,Autonomous Bougainvile,Solomon Islands,Vanuatu )

15) Vanuatu Palaman i lukluk long Budget

Updated 21 March 2016, 14:03 AEDT
Sam Seke

Nasinol palamen blong Vanuatu hem statim wanfala Extra-Odinari sesin tude fo toktok long 49 billion 2016 bajet blong kantri wea hemi bin dilei long samfala manis.

Dilei ia hemi from olketa politikol instabiliti wea hem mekem olketa holem snap ileksen long January.

Ileksen ia hemi lukim koalisin gavman blong Praim Minista Charlot Salwai hemi kam long paoa bihaen olketa votim hem long naba 11 long February.

Public Relations Officer blong Office blong Praim Minista, Hilaire Bule hem se sait long expenditure long bajet hemi inkris from 16 billion go long 19 billion Vatu.

Hem se palamen bae dibetim tu 30 billion Vatu development estimates blong gavman.ABC

16) Australia Incentive Fund i helpim ol PNG meri
Updated 21 March 2016, 12:58 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Australia igat rekod long sapotim ol meri na yangpla meri long PNG long bihaenim wonem kaen rot oli laikim blong kamap olsem ol gutpla citizen.

Wanpla lida meri blong Papua New Guinea itok tenk yu long gavman blong Australia long givim ol bikpla sapot long ol meri na yangpla meri long strongim sidaon blong ol na ol femili blong ol.

Despla halvim i stap aninit long  Incentive Fund program em Australia ibin statim wantem halvim blong Australian High Commission long Port Moresby long helpim ol women’s grup long ronim ol liklik bisnis na tu ol narapla sevis olsem.

Susil Nelson, board memba blong Incentive Fund na tu  President blong Business & Professional Women’s Association blong PNG i mekim despla toktok taem, oli go hed wantem namba four hap blong despla progrem.

Australia igat rekod long sapotim ol meri na yangpla meri long PNG long bihaenim wonem kaen rot oli laikim blong kamap olsem ol gutpla citizen na halvim divelopman long kantri.

Susil Nelson isave wok tu  long daonim violens agensim ol meri long PNG, itokim Radio Australia olsem Australia igat bikpla laik long helpim ol meri blong PNG long laukautim ol iet gut na ol femili blong ol long saed blong mekim ol liklik bisnis long painim moni.ABC

BAHASA ( West Papua,Timor,Sumba,Maluku,Flores )

17) Papua Nugini Mukimkan Ratusan Pencari Suaka Asal Papua Barat

Diperbaharui 18 March 2016, 21:55 AEDT
Eric Tlozek

Papua Nugini tengah memukimkan kembali ratusan pencari suaka dari Papua Barat sebagai bagian dari kesepakatan, untuk menjadi tuan rumah pusat penahanan Pulau Manus, dengan Australia.

Sebagai bagian dari perjanjian itu, Pemerintah Papua Nugini diminta untuk menyelesaikan nasib para pencari suaka Papua Barat -mereka yang melarikan diri dari konflik berkepanjangan di perbatasan Indonesia.

Kini, orang-orang -yang telah menunggu hingga 30 tahun untuk sebuah pengakuan -itu mengatakan, mereka mendapat kesepakatan mentah dibandingkan dengan para pencari suaka dari Timur Tengah.

Simon Auri dari Papua Barat telah menghabiskan 20 tahun terakhir untuk tidur di dalam mobilnya yang ada di Papua Nugini.

“Saya seorang manusia, bukan binatang, tapi saya harus hidup di dalam mobil,” tuturnya.

Martha Horota, warga Papua Barat lainnya, tinggal di sebuah rumah di Port Moresby dengan sekitar 50 orang lainnya.

“Kondisinya kotor di sekitar sini, tak sehat bagi 50 orang tinggal di tempat seperti ini,” katanya.

Dua dari orang yang tinggal di rumah itu memiliki pekerjaan, sementara yang lain mendukung keluarga mereka dengan menjual sayuran dan ikan di pasar jalanan.

Warga Papua Barat Minta Bantuan Kebutuhan Dasar

Pemerintah Papua Nugini memperkirakan, sekitar 10.000 orang warga Papua Barat hidup di negaranya.

Lebih dari 1.000 orang telah mengajukan kewarganegaraan Papua Nugini. Sebagian besar dari mereka tinggal di kamp-kamp di perbatasan Papua Nugini-Indonesia, namun ada juga yang tinggal di ibukota Port Moresby.

Pemerintah Papua Nugini mengatakan, pihaknya akan mengeluarkan orang-orang yang telah mengajukan sertifikat kewarganegaraan pada pertengahan tahun mendatang.

Warga Papua Barat yang telah mengajukan permohonan kewarganegaraan diminta untuk tak berharap kehidupan mereka berubah secara signifikan, tetapi mereka berpikir, Pemerintah Australia bisa membantu dengan beberapa layanan dasar.

Salah satu pencari suaka, Matthew Akari, mengatakan, warga Papua Barat di Papua Nugini tak mendapatkan perlakuan yang sama seperti orang-orang di pusat penahanan Pulau Manus.

“Mereka memperlakukan para pencari suaka di Manus lebih baik dari pencari suaka asal Papua Barat,” sebutnya, seraya menambahkan bahwa warga Papua Barat membutuhkan bantuan akan kebutuhan dasar: “Tanah, perumahan, air, cahaya, pendidikan, kesehatan.”ABC


FRENCH ( New Caledonia,Vanuatu )

19) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 21 mars 2016

Mis à jour 21 March 2016, 19:02 AEDT

Élodie Largenton

a) En Australie, les élections pourraient avoir lieu plus tôt que prévu, le 2 juillet.

Le Premier ministre, Malcolm Turnbull, convoque les parlementaires des deux chambres le mois prochain, le 18 avril, pour une séance extraordinaire pour débattre des projets de réforme du marché du travail. Si ces réformes ne sont pas adoptées, les deux chambres seront dissoutes et des élections anticipées seront donc organisées le 2 juillet.
 b) Le gouvernement australien pourrait économiser près de 3 milliards de dollars en fermant ses centres de rétention à l’étranger et en imposant une limite à la durée pendant laquelle les demandeurs d’asile peuvent être détenus. Ce chiffre de 3 milliards est une estimation du Bureau du directeur parlementaire du budget. Depuis plusieurs années, les Verts militent pour que les demandeurs d’asile puissent attendre le traitement de leur dossier en vivant parmi les Australiens, tout en étant suivis.
 c) Amnesty International appelle Nauru à s’ouvrir aux étrangers. Depuis 2014, le gouvernement de cette petite île, qui héberge un centre de rétention pour le compte de l’Australie, refuse la venue d’observateurs internationaux, d’ONG et de journalistes indépendants, dénonce Amnesty. « S’il n’y a rien à cacher, si la situation est aussi idéale que ce qu’ils essaient de nous faire croire, alors qu’ils nous laissent venir voir ça de nous-mêmes », demande Graham Thom, de l’ONG de défense des droits de l’homme.
 d) Une depression tropicale s’est formée à l’ouest du Vanuatu. Selon le service météo fidjien, elle pourrait se renforcer et se transformer en cyclone ces prochaines heures, au sud-ouest des Îles Fidji. Signalons par ailleurs que le gouvernement fidjien a prolongé l’état de catastrophe naturelle de 30 jours, jusqu’au 19 avril, après le passage du cyclone Winston.
 e) Les Îles Cook craignent une invasion d’escargots géants africains. 77 conteneurs doivent arriver cette semaine des Samoa, où l’animal prolifère, notamment dans le port d’Apia. L’escargot géant africain est une espèce envahissante qui peut nuire aux cultures, aux écosystèmes naturels, mais aussi à la santé humaine et une fois introduit, il est très difficile à éradiquer. Les conteneurs samoans vont donc subir des contrôles particulièrement poussés ces prochains jours, dans le port d’Avatiu.
 f) Toujours aux Îles Cook, le chef de file de l’opposition, William Heather, dénonce l’accord de pêche que le gouvernement s’apprête à signer avec l’Union européenne. Il accuse l’équipe d’Henry Puna de « compromettre les moyens de subsistance des générations futures ». La semaine dernière, le gouvernement a approuvé le projet de son Premier ministre. L’accord de pêche doit rapporter 8,5 millions de dollars aux Îles Cook. En échange, quatre bateaux européens pourront pêcher jusqu’à 7 000 tonnes de thon par an.
g) La sécheresse s’intensifie en Micronésie. Le phénomène El Nino fait des ravages aux Mariannes du nord, aux Palau, dans les États fédérés de Micronésie et aux Îles Marshall. Ces deux derniers pays ont même déclaré l’état d’urgence. Les gouvernements craignent la perte de cultures et la multiplication de petits incendies. La situation devrait rester critique encore plusieurs semaines.ABC





25) Resorts up for sale

The National,Thursday March 17th, 2016

If you have a spare $20 million you can buy your own Great Barrier Reef island resort.
For sale signs are going up on Long Island Resort, seven kilometres off Queensland’s coast, which has been closed for the past year for proposed renovations.
Club Crocodile Airlie Beach Resort on the state’s mainland is also up for sale.
Long-time owner Ocean Hotels says it is selling the resorts after about two decades of ownership to focus on its Cairns cruise business.
This is not the first time Ocean Hotels has tried to sell Club Crocodile.
It was on the market about five years ago when the region’s tourism industry was hit hard by a high Australian dollar and the fallout from the global financial crisis.
Long Island Resort carries a price tag of up to $20 million, while Club Crocodile is expected to attract up to $9 million. – AAP


26) NZ foreign service training highly valued by PNG recruit

A Papua New Guinean who is in New Zealand for foreign service training says that for young graduates like her, engaging with neighbouring countries is most beneficial.

Maria Dolores Biaun is one of ten recruits chosen from a pool of around 600 applicants for the 9-month Foreign Service Training Programme.

For the programme, PNG’s Department of Foreign Affairs works in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand to prepare the recruits, as well as serving officers from other departments, with the skills and knowledge of diplomacy.

Ms Biaun says being in New Zealand has been inspiring and enriching.

“Especially when we are engaged with people who have experiences from different countries and different levels, so for us new intakes, it was an eye-opener for us and also a privilege and opportunity to come and sit with people from different backgrounds, and to learn. I feel very privileged to be one of those. And I find this programme very useful too.”

Ms Biaun said interest in foreign service among university graduates is high.

She said not a lot of PNG’s government departments have graduate development programmes.

“University students, they come out, they look for jobs. The department is not only focussed on students who are under the social science discipline, but it is recruiting students with science background, so we have alot of applicants. So the interest is very high.”21/3/16RNZI


27) Pacific forests important to climate resilience: SPC

The Pacific Community (SPC) wants better forest management to develop a region more resilient to climate change.

Speaking on the theme “Forests and Water” for this year’s international day of forests SPC’s director general says forests act as natural water filters by helping to prevent soil erosion and lessen sedimentation in water bodies.

Colin Tukuitonga says when trees are cut down, land areas are vulnerable to erosion, increasing the effects of flooding during the rainy season and drought in the dry season.

He says the SPC is urging countries around the region to better manage their forest resources.

Our scientists are working with many partners to demonstrate successful water and sanitation solutions and sustainable forest management measures. Demonstrated wins need to be replicated while development partnerships are expanded.

Colin Tukuitinga says forests help countries better adapt to climate change by protecting coastal areas, farm land and water catchments, and by providing wood for shelter and housing and a source of medicine and food.21/3/16RNZI

28) Pacific Workers Head To NZ For Trades Training Program
An extension of seasonal employment program with certification

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 21, 2016) – Twenty-eight workers from three Pacific countries will arrive in New Zealand in coming months for a new trades training pilot programme.

The programme, which will initially run for a year, will see the tradespeople from Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa travel to Christchurch, which was devastated by earthquake 5 years ago, to participate in the city’s rebuild.

Effectively an extension of the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme for horticulture, it will see tradespeople return to their country with a New Zealand trades qualification from Christchurch Polytechnic.

The chief executive of Pacific Trust Canterbury, Tony Fakahau, said the workers will be looked after by the city’s Pacific community in what he describes as a win-win situation.

“At the end of the 12 months they should be able to have a NCEA [National Certificate of Educational Achievement] qualification with them and they’ll be returning back home to apply those skills to their work in their own different island nations.”

Tony Fakahau said the programme has the potential to extend to other regions and countries.

Radio New Zealand International


29) Indonesia’s FM Challenges Aus To Settle More Refugees
Aus defends its refugee commitment

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 20, 2016) – Indonesia’s foreign minister has challenged Australia and other countries to pull more weight in dealing with refugees.

As Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, arrives in Indonesia today ahead of a people-smuggling, trafficking and transnational crime summit in Bali, Retno Marsudi told Fairfax’s Indonesia correspondent that Australia should do more.

Ms Marsudi said Indonesia hosted more than 13,000 thousand refugees and asylum seekers that are waiting to be resettled and took on 2,000 more from Bangladesh and Myanmar.

She said she hopes Australia will be more receptive to these migrants.

Australia defends its efforts

Last September Australia announced it would take an extra 12,000 refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, in addition to its commitment of 13,750 refugee places for 2015-2016.

Ms Bishop said at the time that the intake was the biggest effort from Australia since 1951, when it responded to the post-Second World War emigration from Europe.

Australia also currently houses over 1,500 asylum seekers and refugees in offshore processing centres in places such as Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

Those people had attempted to reach the Australian mainland by boat but were picked up by the Australian authorities and sent to the controversial detention centres, at which riots, protests, hunger strikes and two deaths have occurred.

Third diplomatic post to open in Makassar

Julie Bishop’s tour of Indonesia this week includes trade talks and the opening of Australia’s third diplomatic post in the country. She says she will formally open the new emabssy in Jakarta and also visit the Eastern city of Makassar to open a consulate-general there.

She says Makassar, on Sulawesi Island, is a key commercial hub for Australians doing business in the east of Indonesia.

Ms Bishop will co-chair the meeting on people-smuggling, trafficking and transnational crime in Bali.
Radio New Zealand International


30) Fourth person dies of Ebola in latest flare up

Monday, March 21, 2016

CONAKRY – A fourth person has died of Ebola in Guinea in the latest flare up of an epidemic that has killed more than 11,300 people in that country, Sierra Leone and Liberia since 2013 but now claims few victims.

“The young girl who was hospitalised at the Ebola treatment center in Nzerekore is dead,” said Fode Tass Sylla, spokesman for the center that co-ordinates Guinea’s fight against the virus.

Three others have died of the virus since February 29. Health workers on Saturday also stepped up efforts to trace anyone who could have come into contact with the family.

The world’s worst recorded Ebola epidemic is believed to have started in Guinea and killed about 2500 people there by December last year, at which point the UN World Health Organization said it was no longer actively transmitted.

WHO warned, however, that Ebola could resurface at any time, since it could linger in the eyes, central nervous system and bodily fluids of some survivors.

It was not immediately clear how the villagers from Korokpara, about 100 km (60 miles) from Nzerekore, had contracted the disease but the area had previously resisted efforts to fight the illness in the initial epidemic.

31a ) Anti-Trump protesters block road

Monday, March 21, 2016

REUTERS – Demonstrators briefly shut down an Arizona highway leading to a campaign rally for Donald Trump on Saturday while protesters rallied outside of Trump Tower in Manhattan to voice their opposition to the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

Television news footage of the demonstration outside Phoenix showed dozens of protesters blocking traffic while holding signs that read “Dump Trump” and “Shut Down Trump”.

The demonstrators eventually started marching down the highway. Later, some were seen nearing the rally at Fountain Hills, Arizona, before Mr Trump arrived. Three people were arrested, according to police in Maricopa County, where Joe Arpaio, a well-known critic of US immigration policy and an ardent Trump supporter, serves as sheriff.

Video posted on news website Arizona Central’s Facebook page showed a truck driving through a large group of protesters. Officers from the county police department worked to clear demonstrators from the motorist’s path.

A woman is seen crying and shouting for officers to take responsibility to stop the vehicle, while a deputy sheriff shrugs at the suggestion.

31b )


32) Malaita premier challenges Malaita leaders

Published: 20 March 2016

MALAITA premier Peter Ramohia has opened the provincial assembly’s meeting on Friday last week.

During his speech to open the one-week meeting which resumes tomorrow, Mr Ramohia reminded provincial members of their duties and highlighted the focus of his government.

“We must continue to work together to realize the vision of the current government. It is not an easy task, but our collective efforts will help move the province to achieve its aims and goals,” he said.

The premier said the vision his government have for Malaita is “…a Malaita with healthy and wealthy people; and a Malaita with no poor people”.

“We will need the support of every Malaitans to achieve what we want for Malaita. It starts with our 33 provincial members, then our 14 national leaders (MPs) and the elite Malaitans.

“It is time all elite Malaitans think alike and put concerted efforts to develop our province.”

He said he was put at the helm by members at a time when the political leadership and administration of the province was at its lowest.

“See how far we have come. I thank the national government for the PCDF grant. Malaita for the first time again after three years qualified for it, which was one of the achievements of my government.”

The premier said the funding qualification entitles the provincial government a total grant of about SBD $10.2 million.

“A total of 23 infrastructure related projects worth some SBD $ 8m are also being implemented in different regions of the province.

“We also face challenges especially with national projects such as Bina harbour, Suafa and Kiluufi hospital.”

Premier Ramohia urged all members, administrative staff and Malaita to work together to achieve goals.Solomon Star


33) EMTV prepares to go digital from analogue

The National,Wednesday March 16th, 2016

EMTV is preparing to go digital, with a new dish farm consisting of eight high-capacity satellite antennas erected at Telikom PNG’s compound in Boroko, Port Moresby.
EMTV chief executive officer Bhanu Sud said the new dish farm marked the start of a number of projects for the station.  “Transitioning from analogue to digital is a top priority for us, no doubt,” he said.
“However, the new dish farm gives us the opportunity to not only continue to provide fantastic local content, but enhance our ability to share further international content to ensure we provide the best free-to-air viewing option to the people.
“We have the 2016 Rio Olympics this August, the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in November and agreements in place with international networks to share new and exciting international content.”
The new infrastructure has the capability to downlink C-band as well as Ku-band services and to receive transmission of 400+ TV and radio services from around the globe.
EMTV has two dedicated links from the dish farm to its Boroko studio, ensuring that content is always available throughout this year.
The same infrastructure is being used to bring programming from Australia’s Seven Network, with the first shows being the successful breakfast show ‘Sunrise’ now airing from 5.30am each morning on EMTV.


34) ‘SIPA saga tricky for PM’

Published: 20 March 2016


PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare is reportedly under pressure as the planned intervention into Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) saga faces political contrast.

Major companies, Soltuna and GPPOL including Solrice and other big businesses have called for immediate government intervention on the SIPA ongoing reforms which is irking businesses and people.

Insiders revealed the private business sector is calling on Mr Sogavare to act swiftly and remove the controversial SIPA CEO, Colin Yow or face threats of major investors like closing down.

The insiders said Mr Yow was supposed to make an overview presentation on the reforms to the government caucus last week.

Press Secretary to Prime Minister, Deli Oso when contacted said the SIPA saga certainly requires government intervention.

“PM Sogavare has promised to step in, to have Mr Yow to explain what is going on,” Mrs Oso said.

But she dismissed claims the PM will terminate SIPA CEO Mr Yow.

Sources claimed the Prime Minister is well aware any decision to take against Mr Yow will not be that easy as it might jolt the government.

“Mr. Yow has the support of a good number of Government MPs and the Prime Minister knows that any action taken against him will have an impact on his led government.

“But this will be the ultimate test whether the Prime Minister will take action for the sake of the people of the country or do nothing because of fear of political instability within DCC Government,” said the sources.

The sources added many right minded MPs in the Government are also urging the Prime Minister to take drastic measures to fix the hiccup.

The opposition group has recently urged the Prime Minister to take appropriate action and deal with the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) saga immediately.

“The Opposition Group shares the same view as citizens of this country that the current SIPA reform is nothing but a major ‘flaw’ which is costing the Solomon Islands economy dearly.”

“Any reforms at SIPA should target the core business activity of SIPA – which is wharves and ports services, and not importation of rice and venturing into airline business.

As such, the Opposition Group condemned the reforms and called on the Prime Minister and the responsible minister to act now.

By Bradford Theonomi/Solomon Star

35) Airline records profit of K4.21m in 2015

The National,Friday March 18th, 2016

Papua New Guinea Air recorded a “significant turnaround” in 2015 with a profit of K4.21 million, according to its report to the Port Moresby Stock Exchange.
In the report, the airline said the significant turnaround had been made possible through greater passenger revenue despite a decrease in charter revenue.
The airline directors said 2015 was a momentous year for the airline, with its first two new ATR 72-600 aircraft joining the fleet, and the airline re-branded as Papua New Guinea Air.
The company said five more ATR 72-600 aircraft would be introduced by the end of 2017, with three by the end of 2016.
The company reported that its revenue from regular passenger transport operations increased by around 29 per cent compared to the previous year.
It said as the new ATR aircraft began service late in the year, only a small portion of this increase was attributed to the aircraft.
“Despite charter revenues decreasing because of the contraction of the resources industry, the greater passenger revenue and freight revenue, savings in both direct and indirect costs resulting from an efficiency drive over the past several years has seen the airline generate an operating profit before abnormals and tax of  K4.21 million for the year,” the company said.


36) Solomon Islands Government secures $277 million funding commitment for main stadium
03:02 am GMT+12, 21/03/2016, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has announced the Democratic Coalition for Change Government has secured a SBD$277-million (US$35.1 million) funding commitment from overseas for the construction of a new stadium in Honiara in support of the bid by the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI) to host the 2023 Pacific Games.

The Prime Minister made the announcement last week at a function hosted at the Cowboys’ Grill for the visiting Pacific Games Council President, Vidhya Lakhan and Executive Director, Andrew Minogue.

He said ‘I am pleased to announce to you tonight that we (DCC Government) have secured funding of SBD$277 Million for the main stadium’ for the 2023 Pacific Games if NOCSI’s bid is successful. The stadium is part of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government’s Comprehensive Sports Infrastructure Development Programme.

The Prime Minister further stated that, “I stand here on behalf of the people of this country as their Prime Minister to declare to you that the Solomon Islands Government under the leadership of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government is fully, fully committed to support the bid by NOCSI to host the 17th Pacific Games both in words and deeds.”

Prime Minister Sogavare said never before in the history of Solomon Islands that all Solomon Islanders have been united for common objective as the bid for Solomon Islands to host the 2023 Pacific Games and this positive vibe is thrilling.

The Prime Minister said what is left for him now is to travel overseas to seal this funding arrangement.

The funding source will be announced after the arrangements on the funding are finalised.

The Prime Minister also announced that as of next year, the Democratic Coalition for Change Government will make an annual budgetary allocation towards its Comprehensive Sports Infrastructure Development Programme so that by 2023, Solomon Islands has in place proper sporting facilities.

The Prime Minister presented traditional Malaitan shell-money to akhan and Minogue to symbolise the high regard that the DCC Government and the country at large hold for their visit.

Cabinet Ministers present at the function included the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs including Sports, Manasseh Maelanga, Minister for Communication and Aviation,Peter Shanel, Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, John Maneniaru, Minister for Culture and Tourism, Bart Parapolo, Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, David Tome and Minister for National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, Sam Maneka.

Lakhan and Minogue arrived in Honiara on Tuesday 15th March to evaluate the country’s current sporting facilities and proposed sites for new sports facilities as well as gauge the level of support by the government and stakeholders for the bid by NOCSI.



37) Tupela Australia na PNG Defence Force komamda i toktok long sekiuriti

Updated 18 March 2016, 13:42 AEDT

Sam Seke

Chief blong Australian Defence Force i tok South Pacific i nidim trast na wokbung namel olgeta kantri sapos em i laik stap sekiua na kamap gut long sait long ikonomi.

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin i tok wanwan kantri bai nonap kamapim sekuiriti blongen wan yet.

Chief blong Australian Defence Force ia hemi mekem disfala toktok long opening blong Future Leaders Summit on Security in the South Pacific long Port Moresby City long yestede.

Hem an  Commander blong Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo nao i toktok long 30 fala young leaders, long disfala fest Future Leaders Summit long saet long Security long South Pacific.

Disfala Future Leaders Summit hemi wanfala aedia wea olketa kamap wetem long 2015 South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting, wea olketa bin holem long Port Moresby.

Olketa wea tek pat long program yestede nao hemi olketa from militari an gavman sekiuriti agensi blong PNG, Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga, France, Chile, United States an Australia, an Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency tu.

Long toktok blong hem, Air Chief Marshal Binskin hemi haelaetim olketa samting we olketa kantri long rijin – i nid fo duim fo meksua olketa kantri long South Pacific i kamap gut.

Summit miting blong olketa future leaders ia, olketa blong PNG Defence Force an Australian Civil-Military Centre nao tufala ranem.

An hemi haelaetim olketa impotan samting long olketa didiferen agency imas waka gut tugeda, and mekem olketa gavman i waka tugeda moa.

Long toktok blong hem, Brigadier-General Toropo hem toktok long impotant samting fo olketa future lida blong rijin – fo tok abaot hao olketa bae waka tugeda fo solvem olketa isiu long saet long defence an security.

PNGDF Commander ia hem se rijin blong yumi hemi fesim plande threat oa olketa samting wea i nidim olketa gavman agency long evri kantri fo waka tugeda long hem.

Hem se diswan hemi inkludim samting olsem saet long natural disaster, saet long regional peacekeeping mission, fait agensim transnational crime an terrorism or patrolom olketa solwata boda.

Brigadier-General Toropo hem se, onli taem olketa didiferen han blong olketa gavman i waka tugeda nao bae olketa save dil gut wetem olketa samting we i had.

Future Leaders Summit ia hemi toktok tu long impotan lidaship waka olketa mere ibin duim long saet peace and security.

Plande long olketa participant long summit ia hemi olketa mere – an olketa toktok i lukluk tu long hao olketa mere save getem bigfala waka moa long olketa security forces.

Air Chief Marshal Binksinhem se Australia hemi biliv long impotan samting fo inkludim olketa woman long solvim konflik, an biuldim peace an securiti.

Hem se iumi no duim iumi seleva eni gut samting taem yumi livim aot olketa mere long olketa waka long saet long getem peace an sekiuriti.

Summit ia hemi posibol wetem sapot blong Australia andanit long Defence Cooperation Program – an disfala nius hemi kamaot from Australian High Commission long Port Moresby.ABC

38) Jailed Vanuatu MPs plead not guilty on pardon charges

Reports from Vanuatu say eleven jailed politicians have all pleaded not guilty to charges of defeating the course of justice.

The Daily Post says the pleas were made in the Supreme Court on Friday before Justice David Chetwynd.

The 11 MPs, who are among 14 MPs serving prison terms for bribery and corruption, are facing an additional four charges after the then acting head of state, Marcellino Pipite, issued himself and ten other MPs’ pardons.

The pardons were later revoked by the head of state, President Baldwin Lonsdale.21/3/16 RNZI

39) Father of murder accused relieved at Vanuatu acquittal

The father of the New Zealand teenager accused of murder in Vanuatu says his family is relieved to put the matter behind them now the Supreme Court has dismissed the case.

Ned Lowe was charged last July with stabbing Roger Kamisak to death in what police alleged was an alcohol fueled brawl.

The death was reported to have sparked retaliation against the Lowe family when their resort on Tanna island was attacked by arsonists in August, but police say it could have been related to other disputes.

Last week, Vanuatu’s Supreme Court ruled police had insufficient evidence to charge the 18-year old.

His father Hugh Lowe says their resort is now fully repaired and ready for an influx of tourists later in the year.

He says tourism is at an all-time low in Vanuatu due to Cyclone Pam and the Port Vila airport upgrade.21/3/16RNZI


40) Landslide buries village and cuts off highway in PNG’s Enga

A main road in Enga province in the Papua New Guinea’s Highlands region has been cut off by a large landslide.

The newspaper, The National, has reported that the Laiagam-Porgera section of the Enga Highway has been closed by the landslide which also buried 40 homes at Lukuluma village.

It’s not yet known if there were any human casualties.

The police’s acting superintendent George Kakas estimated that it would take at least four weeks to repair the road to Porgera gold mine.21/3/16 RNZI

41) State of disaster in Fiji extended for another month

02:40 am GMT+12, 21/03/2016, Fiji

The State of Natural Disaster in Fiji has been extended for another 30 days effective from today until April 19 to allow relief and rehabilitation works to continue in areas where basic services and facilities are limited.

Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Natural Disaster Management permanent secretary Meleti Bainimarama said the extension was recommended by the National Emergency Committee.

“This decision will allow officials to continue to provide relief and rehabilitation support in affected areas. This includes areas where basic services and facilities are limited including water, housing and electricity,” Bainimarama said.

He said the extension would allow the continuous deployment of state resources and personnel for relief operations.

“In light of this, all Government or State personnel deployed during this period should have adequate rest. Divisional commissioners will ensure that this will not affect operations and disrupt services.

“The extension period will also allow health authorities to make provisions against any possible disease outbreak especially in severely affected areas.

“It will also allow disaster officials to fully utilise available foreign services and expertise in relief and recovery support.”

Bainimarama said it would also allow disaster officials to co-ordinate closely with the disciplined forces to ensure the peace and security of all Fijians.



42) Cocoa quarantine, lab open

The National,Monday March 21st, 2016

THE Cocoa Coconut Institute of PNG (CCIPNG) in Gazelle district, East New Britain, opened a cocoa quarantine facility and a cocoa pod borer laboratory last Friday.
The facilities funded by the Government will enhance research work to improve cocoa farming in the country.
The facilities were officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion on behalf of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who was unable to attend the occasion due to prior commitments.
Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Tommy Tomscoll, Minister for Higher Education Research Science and Technology Malakai Tabar and ENB Governor Ereman ToBaining Jr were among the guests at the opening.
A cocoa farming curriculum and the CCIPNG website were also launched during the occasion.
The curriculum will be taught in schools in the country to generate interest among youths to farm cocoa.
Dion said the opening of the facilities reflected service delivery.
He said cocoa farmers in the country, especially ENB, needed more assistance to revive their cocoa plantations.
Dion said it was a challenge for the people of ENB who were once the leader of the cocoa industry in PNG, producing 20,000 tonnes annually 10 years ago.
He thanked CCIPNG for prioritising the projects and ensuring that the facilities met requirements.
He said the government was committed to move development in the country forward to become a progressive, dynamic and vibrant economy therefore we are putting money into the areas of expenditure that make the best, maximum and positive impacts in the development of our country and our people.

43) Sumitomo wins appeal in Solomons’ nickel case

SMM Solomon Ltd has won most of its appeal against Australia’s Axiom Mining over the rights to mine nickel deposits in Isabel Province in Solomon Islands.

The Solomons government said it welcomes the resolution of one of the longest and most costly legal battles in the country’s history.

SMM Solomon Ltd is a subsidiary of Japan’s giant Sumitomo Metal Mining.

The government said the Court of Appeal decision effectively dashes any hopes of Axiom mining the ore on Takata and San Jorge Island in Isabel.

The prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, said the government is looking forward to working with the relevant stakeholders to ensure the development benefits every stakeholder.

He said with the legal battle out of the way the Department of Mines can now start the process of ensuring a reputable mining company develops the nickel source.21/3/16 RNZI

44)  Oversight liabilities on deepsea mining–

Tourism Boosts New Caledonia Economy
6% boost amid falling nickel prices

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 19, 2016) – Tourist numbers to New Caledonia increased by 6 percent last year, providing a glimmer of hope in an economy struggling with the falling price of nickel.

The vice president of the southern province, Martine Lagneau, says the island had 114,000 visitors in 2015, the highest on record and an increase of 7,000 visitors since 2014.

Most vistors came from nearby Australia and New Zealand, which recorded increases of 15.8 percent and 25.8 percent respectively.

Ms Lagneau says the number of cruise ship passengers, as well as vistors from Japan and mainland France, was also steadily increasing.

In 2015, the tourism industry injected US$219 million into the territory’s economy, which has been struggling with a sharp drop in the price and demand for nickel, its key export.

Radio New Zealand International

45) IFC-funded Survey Helps Vanuatu Enhance Tourism Development
02:57 am GMT+12, 21/03/2016, Vanuatu

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, funded a survey of international visitors to Vanuatu to help the Pacific island nation improve its tourism services and identify tourist-related infrastructure needs.

Tourists arriving by air injected US$150 million or VUV 17 billion into the Vanuatu economy in 2015 according to an International Visitor Survey (IVS) undertaken by the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI) of Auckland University. The survey measured the travel patterns, behaviors, and expenditure of international visitors arriving by air to the country.

“The survey is a critical tool for Vanuatu as it allows the country to now make evidence-based decisions to better plan tourism development,” said IFC Country Officer for Vanuatu Jimmy Andeng. “It also shows how valuable tourism is to the economy of Vanuatu, with the annual direct spend of $150 million or VUV 17 billion, including pre-paid and in-country spend.”

Travelers completed an online survey on exiting Vanuatu. The survey found 44 percent of visitors used travel websites to research their trip and almost half of all visitors booked directly with accommodation providers and tour operators. Tourists spend an average $171 or VUV 18,954 per day with long-haul travelers spending the most, at $187or VUV 20,728 per day. Only 15 percent of travelers visit the islands of Tanna and Santo, and 2 percent or less visit other outer islands. However, 85 percent of visitors would like to visit an outer island on a future visit.

“Our findings show tourism is everybody’s business, with travelers rating meeting friendly Ni-Vanuatu people as the most enjoyable aspect of their trip and four out of five saying they would like to return to Vanuatu,” said Director of NZTRI and report author Professor Simon Milne. “Importantly, visitors also recommended that roads and public services, rubbish collection, and access to internet improvements are needed.”

The ongoing survey is a joint effort between the Vanuatu Tourism Office, Vanuatu National Statistics Office, Department of Tourism and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute at Auckland University, with support from IFC.



46) PNG Hunters i winim Tweed head Seagulls

Updated 21 March 2016, 14:55 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Despla win blong ol long nupla National Football stadium long Port Moresby i min olsem oli winim tripla nambawan Rugby League Games blong ol.

PNG Hunters rugby team long  Queensland Cup season iwok long go hed gut  na nau oli stap nambawan long ladder bihaenim win blong ol long weekend agensim Tweed Head Seagulls.

Despla win blong ol long nupla National Football stadium long Port Moresby i min olsem oli winim tripla nambawan Rugby League Games blong ol nau.

Hunters ibin winim 20 points taem Tweed head Seagulls ibin gat 18.

Coach Michael Marum itok em iet wantem team blong en ibin hamamas tru long lukim planti sapota tru ibin go lukim ol pilai long home ground blong ol long Port Moresby.

Mr Marum itok tu olsem taem oli hamamas long winim tripla nambawan game blong ol pinis, igat longpla rot iet istap pastem long Finals na oli mas go hed na wok strong,ABC

47) PNG to play Brazil in women’s World Cup opener

The National,Monday March 21st, 2016

“WE love a challenge and this is fantastic,” was all Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko could say after he picked Brazil to face Papua New Guinea in the opening match of the FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup on Nov 13 in Port Moresby.
Papua New Guinea faces a series of intriguing challenges against Brazil, Sweden and South Korea in Group A.
Tkatchencko officiated at the official draw for the three-week tournament at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, last Thursday.
During his speech the minister thanked FIFA president Gianni Infantino, FIFA executives and the competition officials for giving PNG the opportunity to host the U20 women’s World Cup.
While highlighting what PNG can offer to the visiting teams, Tkatchenko said: “As you have seen the world over, participation in women’s football continues to grow and the opportunities for women and for football in PNG and the Pacific Islands will gather momentum from these kinds of events in the Oceania region.
“I say this honestly and with conviction that women are influential,” Tkatchenko said.
“In partnership with football, our country has the opportunity now to show the world how women can inspire and empower.
“To the 16 teams competing, you will inspire a generation of young women to believe in themselves and dream beyond their boundaries,” he said.
Group A: Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Sweden, South Korea; Group B: Spain, Canada, Japan, Nigeria; Group C – France, USA, Ghana New Zealand; Group D – Germany, Venezuela, Mexico, Korea Republic.

48) The lure of overseas sports contracts

Pravin Narain
Monday, March 21, 2016

THOUGH Fiji may not be one of the top sporting nations in the world our players are almost on every country’s wish list.

A very good testimonial could be rugby players with a number of Fijians playing for other countries and even our wonderboy Roy Krishna, who is creating a name for himself in soccer overseas and making Fiji proud.

But one might not be aware that everything comes with a price and Fiji also has to pay a heavy price with other countries stealing our talented players.

Fiji Rugby Union had been affected recently when Vodafone Fiji 7s player Emori Waqa was denied the chance to represent Fiji at the international scene because he had already played for Sri Lanka.

There are few agents, managers, clubs and people from overseas who enter Fiji with the motive of helping themselves in the name of development recently.

Hence, Fiji National Rugby League is trying to work one step ahead in trying to protect the players and sustain a stable player base for future representation.

FNRL chief executive officer Timoci Naleba said people of Fiji needed to be aware of such clubs to ensure the talent were not wasted on the name of development.

“I met someone during one of the meetings last year in Australia and this person told me they go to the Pacific Islands countries in the name of development where they set up everything for development. He also said realistically we are not developing the players but they were raping them,” he revealed.

“I think he said it right. I want to make sure FNRL becomes a body that is strong enough to avoid all this and this is why we want to let people know through the media.

“We want to see that no one from outside comes to Fiji and manipulates us.”

Naleba said he was aware certain overseas companies who were operating in Fiji without any proper documentation.

“There are companies in Fiji and I need to clarify with them on their motives and plans,” he added.

“They came and established themselves in Fiji without signing any memorandum of understanding.

“I have told them we are thankful for their initiative but they have disregarded the mandate we have and when they did not got our endorsement they started their company.”

It would be of no use if a player cannot give back to the nation which gave him his identity and nourished him from the early days when he opted to play for his adopted country or club.

As a journalist I had come across a number of youngsters and teenagers during an interview in the various sporting events that they would like to secure an overseas rugby contract in future but do they know what it is really like in foreign countries. The term “overseas contract” is plagued into the minds of our youths as they know very little about the circumstances and what it can eventually lead to in future.

Vodafone Fiji coaches Ben Ryan and John McKee had earlier mentioned about the importance of having legislation in place to stop the move.

“It is a free market where we are living and we can’t have rules and regulations to cover everything. But certainly I would love to see a situation where we can try our best to keep our young players little bit longer,” McKee told Times Sport earlier.

“They can stay a little longer and for some players they can stay behind for a year or two and play in under-20 and Fiji Warriors for development. It is certainly not easy for a 17 or 18-year-old to live in an academy situation where you try to learn rugby. Some clubs do have a very good setup of coaches.

“What concerns me is that our best talented players go overseas and they get lost because they won’t get their development done there. For the 17 and 18-year-olds they need a lot of development to reach their potential.”

Ryan said there were few terrible agents around who could ruin the future of players.

“I think it is a good idea to regulate all these agents that are coming to Fiji,” he said.

“There are some terrible agents around here who have no experience and knowledge.

“I hope we have some good plans to go forward to try to regulate things like that.”

There is a little light to the problem with Naleba confirming they had raised their concerns with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the work has begun on having legislation.

“There is no rule at the moment for these people to stop them. They can come and take the players and in the recent discussion with the Government they are in the process of formulating a law similar to the law to the security guards in overseas,” he said.

“Once we have that then it should be able to help us. We are trying to tell everyone who FNRL would be governed by and the relationship with the other stake holders.

“We value our players because without them we are nothing.”

In the game of rugby league Naleba said Fiji had already small player base with about 500-600 players registered.

“We do not have quality players that we can grow domestically and represent our country. The clubs want to see more local boys playing at the Bati level. It is almost 99 per cent of the players from NRL playing in the Fiji team. We need to be responsible enough and let this people know that they cannot do whatever they want to do.”

We can only pray for the best that the developed countries do spare us and leave the talented players for the services towards Fiji in future.Fijitimes

49) Melbourne Storm remain unbeaten with win over Warriors, St George Illawarra hold off South Sydney: as it happened

Updated 21 March 2016, 15:55 AEDT

Jon Healy

Sunday NRL action in round three kicked off with the Storm sinking the Warriors to go to the top of the ladder as the only unbeaten team in the league after three rounds.

South Sydney could have joined them with victory over the Dragons but, in abysmal weather at the SCG, the Dragons won a war of attrition 8-6.

Both teams suffered injuries, the worst of which was a frightening moment with Sam Burgess, who was taken from the field on a medicab after appearing to injure his neck in a second-half charge.

Look back at how the third Sunday of the NRL season unfolded in our live blog.ABC

50) Swansea wins

Monday, March 21, 2016

SWANSEA hammered another nail into Aston Villa’s Premier League coffin on Saturday with the softest of goals earning the Welsh side a victory that may well secure their safety for another season.

Villa keeper Brad Guzan came off his line in the 53rd minute only to flap hopelessly at a free kick curled in by Gylfi Sigurdsson and tip the ball on to a grateful Federico Fernandez’s shoulder and into the net.

The woeful defending in a game of poor quality seemed to sum up the visitors’ hapless season as they suffered a sixth successive league defeat, leaving them marooned at the bottom of the table, eight points behind second from bottom Newcastle United. Manager Francesco Guidolin was left celebrating in his first game back on the touchline since he was taken to hospital with a chest infection as the Swans, enjoying two successive home victories for the first time since August, moved 11 points clear of the relegation zone in 15th place.




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