Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1075 ( Wednesday 6 July 2016 )


1) Hao olketa Melanesia i kipim graon bat olketa indigenous Australian i lusim graon

Updated 4 April 2016, 16:12 AEST
Sam Seke

Long disfala stori, bae yumi lukluk long hao nao pipol long plande kantri long Melanesia i stil garem graon blong olketa an ino olketa indigenous pipol blong Australia.

Fo lukluk long diswan, iumi garem moa Emeritus Professor Clive Moore blong saet long history long University blong Queensland – hu hemi save gut long histori blong Australia an Melanesia. Hem bin getem Cross of Solomon Islands award long 2005 long olketa waka blong hem long saet long histori blong Solomon Islands.

Professor Moore hem se big diferens nao hem olsem, long olketa peles wea Britaim hem bin lukaotim long Pacific, hem luksave olsem olketa pipol nao i onam graon.

Bat long hia long Australia olketa British ino luksave se olketa Aboriginol an Torres Strait aelan pipol nao i onam graon.

Professor Moore hem se, long hia long Australia an New Zealand tu, olketa British i kam fo setol long hem – bat long olketa aelan, olketa go nomoa fo ranem gavman an samfala plantesen.–0

2) NZ greens urge PM to raise human rights concerns in Papua

The New Zealand Green Party says Prime Minister John Key must address human rights in West Papua when he meets with Indonesia’s Joko Widodo later this month.

Mr Key intended to discuss trade and economic links, but a Greens’ MP Catherine Delahunty said there was no mention of discussions on the political situation in West Papua.

She said the complete absence of human rights from Mr Key’s agenda was particularly damning given a schoolboy was shot by military police in West Papua only last week.

Ms Delahunty said Mr Key should urge Indonesia to stop talking about a more democratic approach and start acting on it.

She said this should start with a commitment to end military and police abuses, political detention and state-sanctioned killings in West Papua.5/7/16 RNZI

3 ) Solomon Islands PM apologises for government failure to avoid ethnic crisi
8:04 pm GMT+12, 04/07/2016, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has apologised to all Solomon Islanders on behalf of all National Government’s that ruled Solomon Islands since Independence for allowing the country to go down the path of ethnic crisis.

The Prime Minister made the national apology at the opening of the National Healing and Apology Programme in Honiara.

The programme is part of the ruling Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government’s policy intention to ensure lasting national peace and stability after the ethnic crisis that prompted the deployment of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

“As the current Prime Minister of our beloved country, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the leadership of the National Governments since July 1978 to say sorry to our people throughout the country for allowing our beautiful Solomon Islands to go down the path of ethnic crisis in year 2000.

“The event of 05 June 2000 will go down in the annals of our history as a striking reminder to all of us and more specifically people in positions of responsibility and leadership in government to accept the truth that no man is an island in our quest for nation-building and that our development policies must take into account our diversity and unique situations.

“We are literally a nation of island states that is so diverse in terms of ethnicity, customary practices and development aspirations but we failed miserably as a nation to appreciate this fact.

“As a matter of fact, we paid dearly for our carelessness. We did not give enough thinking into understanding the interplay between the three pillars of our system of governance, namely Government, Religion and Custom and how they affect each other so that we design our system in a way that is sensitive to the intricacies of our diversity, taking into account the role played by the three pillars,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.

Elaborating on the Pillar of Religion, the Prime Minister said the fact that Solomon Islands collapsed amidst its claim of being a predominantly Christian nation that runs its affairs under the principles of Democracy shows something missing in the equation and he would like to believe that this has to do with its relationship with God.

“Our hearts are not in tune with our profession of religiousness and this programme is about getting the formula right. We must be willing to emulate the character of God in forgiving one another.

On the Pillar of Governance, the Prime Minister said considering the failure of the Government to address the people’s concern, having more governments and structures of government may not be the way forward to addressing this concern and this is what he would want the country to take serious note of in light of its efforts to relook at the structure of its system of government.

On the Pillar of Custom, the Prime Minister said, “As a matter of fact, custom and customary values are totally sidelined in our governance system for years and for the first time, the DCC Government is taking this matter up as a strategic policy to consolidate our peace process. It takes a crisis for us to realize our mistake.”

The Prime Minister said adding salt to wound, the National Government over the years has been caught up in the agenda of polarizing power centrally since the country attained nationhood so much so that it even failed to make the Provincial Government System work.

“Consequently, development has been highly centralised and over time we systematically forget the development needs of our people in the rural area and again it takes a crisis for us to come to our senses. But more needs to be done to realise the high expectations of the people in this matter.

“Provincial Governments which are supposed to be the agents of the National Government to frontline development in the rural area have been deprived of the capacity to do so by the National Government.

“In doing that the leadership of successive National Governments failed miserably to appreciate the truth that it is the wealth created by the utilisation of resources extracted from the jurisdiction of Provincial Governments that keep the country going and yet we have been returning peanuts to the Provinces from revenues generated from their resources. It takes a crisis to see this gross injustice.”

Turning to the land administration legal framework handed down by the administrators of the Protectorate, Prime Minister Sogavare said, “It is the single most insensitive legal framework that existed in this country,” adding that, “it is only biased only towards the needs of the Government in terms of land development, without the slightest appreciation of the need to respect the original landowners.”

He said the present constitution rightfully places the ownership of the country’s land in Solomon Islanders but failed in practice to recognize the customary land tenure system in any meaningful way and the court system further compounds the problem to an already complicated situation.

The Prime Minister said he must admit that the Solomon Islands Government over the years has failed to appreciate the fundamental principles of the country’s traditional land tenure system, which amongst others recognized that:

• Land is communally owned and is inalienable under any circumstances whatsoever. The so-called other ways of inheriting land in custom are in reality concerned with the right of usage. Land in custom remains permanently the property of the tribe;

• The concept of ownership differs from the capitalist sense of ownership. The relationship is one of custodianship under the broad principle of stewardship. Individualisation of title to land in custom is unheard of in most parts of the country; and
• In their dealings in tribal land, Solomon Islanders are cognizant of their obligations to their departed ancestors and the generations yet unborn, thus placing them in a position of stewards. This fact alone establishes the principle of ‘inalienability of customary land’ for very good reasons in custom.

He said he must also admit that successive Solomon Islands Governments have failed to appreciate and take these fundamental principles into account in their land-reform programmes, which again, only concentrated on making land available for development through the process of alienation.

“This is something repugnant in custom and without realizing it, the Government over the years was only fuelling animosity in the people and making them stateless in custom.

“This carelessness created a situation where innocent Solomon Islanders were forced to take up arms against each other and inflicted atrocities at the level unimaginable against our own people. Our people were placed in a situation created for them by the carelessness of the National and Provincial Government because no rational human being would do what they did.

“The people’s responses to the unbearable effect of the Draconian Policy which brought the country on its knees in the year 2000 is perfectly understood and the National Government would be irresponsible to respond to this concern in any other way than to design a policy response that tackles the concern head-on.

The Prime Minister expressed admiration for those who served their time in jail for the crimes they committed during the ethnic tension, adding that he is pleased to know that most of them are now actively involved in peace-building work and church activities.

He acknowledged the untold psychological and physical suffering that the innocent victims of the crisis had to go through, adding that many of them are still struggling to come to terms with normal life.

“Your stories are taken up in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and have been brought to the attention of the Government and I would also like to take this opportunity to say sorry to you,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said, as a strategy to address the outstanding issues of the ethnic tension the Government will adopt a holistic approach.

“The Government is finalizing the recommendations of the TRC Report which suggests ways of attending to the issues and concerns of both the perpetrators and the victims of the tension and they will be taken up in the proposed Reparation Bill to be tabled in Parliament when it is ready.”

The Prime Minister also apologised to the victims of the Bougainville Crisis, especially those in the Batava Wars in Choiseul Province and others along the Western borders with Bougainville who are still waiting to have their issues addressed by the National Government.

“It is now more than 20 years. I acknowledge your patience and I’m truly sorry for the injustice and inconvenience caused.”

The opening ceremony was attended by the Cabinet Minister’s, Provincial Premiers, Heads of Foreign Diplomatic Missions in Honiara, Head of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, Commissioner of Police and Police officials, Government officials, Members of the Solomon Islands Post Conflict Rehabilitation and Restoration Association and members of the public.


4) High cost of living

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

OPPOSITION Member of Parliament Mosese Bulitavu has labelled the 2016-2017 National Budget as “unbalanced”.

Debating the budget in Parliament yesterday, Mr Bulitavu said Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority should publish in the media the different tariff lines tailored so that consumers and traders could understand the different types of duty attached to any product they buy and sell.

“Consumers were hoping that the 9 per cent VAT on basic food items will be removed because most rural dwellers affected by Severe TC Winston rely on these items,” he said.

Mr Bulitavu said consumers were more concerned about the high cost of living, increase in goods and services and cost of doing business, given a host of direct and indirect taxes introduced by Government.

He said the slow implementation of the previous budgets questions the ability to deliver the promises in this budget.

“I am of the view that many Fijians will be left behind.”

Mr Bulitavu said it would be useless to build new hospitals, upgrade health centres or expand services when Fiji could not buy spare parts or maintain machines.

“People are dying because machines are out of order. Government is breaching the right to health in the Constitution.”

He also questioned the hefty allocations to the military and police.

“The RFMF needs to reduce the unnecessary expenses through some internal cost cutting policies. The basic recruit course is given $460,000, means more people will be employed and the budget expenditure will increase.”

He also claimed that Fiji was vulnerable not only as a target for international terrorism, but also as a transit point for terrorists organising an attack elsewhere in the region.

“Fiji is a target and our troops being taken hostage in Golan Heights in 2014 proves this. I recommend that Government make this a priority and allocate $3million for the full set up of the National Security Council.”Fijitimes

5) GJP i winim Malo-Aore By-Eleksen

Olgeta –

Ofisel risal blong Malo-aore By-Eleksen we i bin tek ples long 29 Jun 2016 (Wenisde las wik) i jas kamaot long Gavman Gazette blong yestede.

Risal i soem se GJP Kandidet Uri Warwara i winim eleksen ia.

Ofisel risal i olsem:
– Namba blong ol rejista vota: 3620
– Namba blong ol vot we oli putum long ballot box (votes cast): 2292
– Namba blong ol vot we oli stret (valid votes): 2229
– Percentage: 61%

– Uri Warawara (GJP): 659
– Bani Livo (Ind): 476
– Moli Juri Havo (Ind): 322
– George Andre Wells (Ind): 291
– Makali Baniuri (NAG): 242
– Toko Moliavea (PPP): 183
– Harold Worahese (Ind): 56

Hemi bin interesting blong luk se nomata oli nogat ofisel kandidet, ol MP mo politikol advaesa blong VP mo Leaders Party oli kampen blong ol Indipenden kandidet long by-eleksen ia!

Risal i soem se sapot we i stap wetem tufala kaonsela blong GJP long Malo we oli bin elekted long Disemba 2015 i stap strong yet, mo sapot blong GJP long Malo-Aore konstituensi i stap kam antap.

Ta, MP Ralph Regenvanu and Vanuatu Minister For

6) Prime Minister Salwai terminates General Manager and Board of national broadcaster VBTC
Posted: July 5, 2016 Author:  | Filed under: The Daily Digest 

The major headline today is the Prime Minister calling for resignations of the Board and Management of the national broadcaster and regulator, Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation. And herein lies the majority of their difficulties. The national broadcaster has suffered since its inception from schizophrenia. Its split personality exists because of on the one hand it is required to regulate and license all broadcasters, whilst being the national broadcaster and bearing the identity of the government of the day as well as having the exalted responsibility required of the voice of the nation.

On page 1 of Daily Post today Glenda Willie reports the termination decisions of Prime Minister Charlot Salwai not being reported until over the weekend when the news came out on FM 107, itself in the sights of the regulator for further action.

The action is allegedly due to the appalling state of VBTC finances and the screening of what is said to be explicit sexual material in a broadcast of a Euro Cup transmission on TBV. Public Relations Officer of the government, Hilaire Bule, relayed the termination decisions of the Government last Thursday and resignations were said to be effective Friday.

GM Fred Vurobaravu reportedly told Daily Post that VBTC had met the 100 Day Plan of the Salwai Government in ensuring Radio Vanuatu reached all islands of the Republic, but the Government “failed to answer the development needs of VBTC as an essential service which includes providing funding of the redundancy and restructuring plan as well as secure funding towards the FM network which will reduce the utility costs of the company.” This statement also essentially ties the national broadcaster into a Public/Private Enterprise in a manner which firstly came to our attention with the Rentabau airport scheme. The planning needs to be a lot better and subject to public scrutiny. The public needs to be involved in any such decision. Since the birth of VBTC it seems governments have expected national radio and television to be self-funding. Even though Radio New Hebrides and Radio Vanuatu broadcast radio to the whole country during those developmental decades, and did it with government assistance, we still have a lot to learn to become respected as the voice of the nation. And the national broadcaster’s 50th anniversary is only a month away.


7 ) Cook Islands signs up Paris agreement
10:48 pm GMT+12, 04/07/2016, Cook Islands

Cook Islands Finance minister Mark Brown has signed the Paris Agreement in New York making the Cook Islands the 176th country to sign up.

The Paris Agreement aims to slow the rise of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide which are blamed for putting Earth on a dangerous warming path. The effects of the gas have negative impacts in particular for low lying islands.

The agreement was approved in Paris last December after years of United Nation Climate Change negotiations.

The deal sets a target for limiting global warming by the year 2100 to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F), with the aspirational goal of limiting it to 1.5 degrees, as compared to pre-industrial levels.

To accomplish that, each nation has its own target for reducing emissions and is required to regularly report back to the Conference of Parties on its progress.

For many years, the Cook Islands has played an active role in the fight against the detrimental effects of climate change and the adverse impacts it has on the lives of Pacific people. The Cook Islands is pleased with the commitments that were secured in Paris late last year at the 21st Conference of the Parties, where the voices of the most vulnerable nations in the world were heard loud and clear.

The Cook Islands, together with other fellow Small Islands Developing States, was a strong advocate for greater commitments to be made from developed countries, and this was ultimately reflected in the agreement, now signed by Brown on behalf of the Government.


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10) Nauru govt accused of silencing opposition campaign
10:43 pm GMT+12, 04/07/2016, Nauru

The Nauru MP and former president, Sprent Dabwido, says he suspects the government has intervened to stop local media from running the opposition’s campaign advertising.

Nauru’s general election is on Saturday, and Dabwido also accused the government of manipulating the police commissioner to prevent the opposition from holding a rally.

He said local media had been running the government’s election advertising for weeks, but had yet to broadcast the Opposition’s commercial.

“One is ready to go right now, one is almost ready,” he said.

“We’re willing to pay for that and they said we’ll get back to you, we have to talk to higher authorities. There’s only four or five more days to go to the election so we’re not too hopeful on that now. So there is political interference unfortunately.”

Dabwido said to publicise their campaign, Opposition candidates were circulating brochures in which they’re unable to criticise the government for fear of prosecution.

The Nauru government was unavailable for comment.


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12) Loia i wokim keis long stopim O’Neill long makim ol sumatin inquiry memba

Updated 5 July 2016, 16:14 AEST
Sam Seke

Loia husat i makim ol sumatin long UPNG Port Moresby na long UNITEC long Lae i tok em i wok long redim ol kot pepa long stopim dispela Commission of Inquiry Praim Minista Peter O’Neill i laik kirapim.

Dispela inquiry bai lukluk go insait long ol vailans we ibin kamap long ol university campus – na stopim ol kain pasin long kamap long taim bihain.

Tasol loia blong ol sumatin, Laken Aigilo i tok Mr O’Neill nau i as blong ol dispela heve we ibin kamap long ol university – na em bai no stret long em yet i makim ol memba blong komisin.

Mr Aigilo i tok tu olsem, em i wok long redim kot keis long  ‘class action’ agensim ol polis ofisa, ol komanda, polis minista na igo inap long praim minista.

Dispela em long pasin ol polis ibin sutim ol sumatin long UPNG long naba 16 long June.ABC

13) Timothy Masiu i niu memba blong Sth Bougainville

Updated 5 July 2016, 16:14 AEST
Sam Seke

South Bougainville long Papua New Guinea National Parliament i nau gat wanpela niu memba bihain long by-ileksan.

Em nau foma brodcasta na sinia pablik sevant long East New Britain Province, Timothy Masiu husat Returning Ofisa long Bougainville Electoral Commission ibin diklearim em long aste.

Em i namel long 12 pela kandidet husat ibin kontestim by-ileksan bihain long dai blong memba blong South Bougainville na Minista blong Bougainville Affairs, Steven Pirika Kama, long mun February.

New Dawn FM i ripot olsem Mr Masiu ibin kisim 8,323 vout na runner up, Joseph Suwamaru ibin kisim 6,121 vout.

Mr Masiu i tok igat planti wok i stap long provaidin ol sevis we pipol i nidim, na ol issiu em i nid long dil wantaim.

Long dispela nau em i tok olsem, em i nogat taim long selebret na i stat wok pinis bihain ol i diklearim em long aste.ABC

14) Lukluk long setolmen long Australia long NAIDOC Wik

Postim 5 July 2016, 14:39 AEST
Sam Seke

Theme oa bikpela toktok long dispela Naidoc Wik nau em i “Songlines – The living narrative of our nation”  we i lukluk long impotant samting long singsing na tubuna stori long sindaun blong ol Aboriginal na Torres Strait pipol.

Dispela wik long Auatralia em i Naidoc Wik. Hap tok Naidoc i minim,  National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.

Sampela Aboriginal grup ibin statim dispela Naidoc long 1920s em blong mekim ol arapela i luksave long sindaun blong ol Indigenous Australian na tritment blong ol.

NAIDOC Week we i stat long naba 3 igo inap long naba 10 long July, em blong selebretim tu Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture, ol achievement  – na em i taim blong luksave long kontribusen blong ol Indigenous Australian long kantri na sosaeti.

Long hia, Clive Moore husat i Emeritus Professor long University blong Queensland husat i save gut long Australian na Pacific histori i toktok long sindaun blong ol aspeles pipol na taim ol wait lain i kamap long Australia.ABC


15a) Brèves du Pacifique – mardi 5 juillet 2016

Mis à jour 5 July 2016, 19:17 AEST

Élodie Largenton

  • L’université de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée ferme ses portes, l’année universitaire est terminée, annonce la direction. 
La sécurité ne peut pas être assurée sur le campus, estime le président de l’UPNG, Nicholas Mann, qui parle même de situation de« guerre tribale ».
Cela fait deux mois que les étudiants manifestent pour demander la démission du Premier ministre, Peter O’Neill, accusé de détournement de fonds publics. Des manifestations qui dégénèrent en violences depuis plusieurs semaines. Le 8 juin, la police avait ouvert le feu sur une manifestation à Port-Moresby, faisant une vingtaine de blessés.
La direction de l’université décide de renvoyer les étudiants chez eux – ils doivent partir d’ici samedi. Elle a aussi entrepris des démarches pour suspendre le Conseil représentatif des étudiants.
  • Premier cyclone de la saison dans le Pacifique nord-ouest : Nepartak s’est formé entre Guam et Yap, en Micronésie, et se dirige vers l’Asie du Sud-Est. Il devrait arriver à Taïwan vendredi.
En prévision de la prochaine saison cyclonique dans le Pacifique sud, le service météorologique du Vanuatu révèle une nouvelle version de sa carte de prévision de trajectoire des cyclones. Plus de longitude-latitude, mais des lettres et des numéros et surtout des dessins représentant les dégâts potentiels : au niveau 5, l’arbre et le drapeau ploient sous la force du vent, mais la maison tient, au niveau 10, la maison est emportée avec le reste. Cela doit permettre aux gens de mieux évaluer le danger, et aussi, du coup, d’éviter qu’ils appellent le service météo en plein cyclone.
  • L’épidémie de diarrhée aiguë qui frappe le Vanuatu depuis plusieurs semaines a fait neuf morts. La maladie s’est d’abord propagée dans la capitale, Port-Vila, avant de s’étendre aux provinces de Malampa, Pénama et Sanma, rapporte le Vanuatu Daily Post.Des équipes de veille sanitaire ont été envoyées à travers l’archipel pour détecter toute présence du virus et éviter qu’il ne se propage davantage. Les enfants sont les premières victimes de ces diarrhées aiguës – leurs parents sont invités à ne pas leur donner d’antibiotique, mais à respecter les règles d’hygiène de base.
  • Une biologiste marine fidjienne récompensée pour son travail sur la protection des récifs coralliens. Sangeeta Mangubhai vient d’obtenir l’un des trois prix décernés chaque année par la Société internationale d’étude des récifs. Après avoir travaillé dans le monde entier, elle a décidé de rentrer aux Fidji en 2013 et c’est pour son travail dans l’archipel qu’elle est récompensée. Cette année, les récifs coralliens fidjiens ont évidemment souffert de la présence d’El Nino, mais, surtout, du passage du cyclone Winston, en février.ABC

17) Australia in limbo

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

SYDNEY – Vote counting resumed yesterday in a dramatic Australian federal election but a winner is not expected to be announced for several days, raising the prospect of prolonged political and economic instability.

The exceptionally close vote leaves Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull chasing support from key independent and minor parties – the very groups he called a risky double dissolution election to circumvent – to retain power.

The opposition Labor Party is also schmoozing with a quartet of new power brokers who are yet to declare support for either side, as rumbling grows about Turnbull’s future as leader of the centre-right Liberal Party-led coalition.

The election on Saturday was meant to put a line under a period of political turmoil which has seen four prime ministers in three years. Instead it has left a power vacuum in Canberra and fuelled talk of a challenge to Turnbull’s leadership of the Liberal Party, less than a year after he ousted then prime minister Tony Abbott in a party-room coup.

The Australian dollar dipped in early trade on Monday after no clear winner emerged, pointing to policy paralysis ahead and perhaps threatening the country’s triple A credit rating. The local dollar started around half a US cent lower around $0.7435 but soon edged back up to $0.7469 in light volumes.

Australian shares could also be hindered by the inconclusive result. The local share price index futures was still up 0.6 percent at 5,235, an 11-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark had risen for a third straight session on Friday to end the week 2.6 percent firmer.

Turnbull said on Sunday he remained “quietly confident” of returning his coalition, which retains government in a caretaker mode until a winner is declared, to power for another three-year term. But Andrew Wilkie, one of the four key independents, said the vote showed that Turnbull has no mandate to impose his election agenda, which included cuts to healthcare and a $A50 billion corporate tax break over 10 years.

“Neither the Labor Party or the Liberal Party have a God-given right to rule,” Wilkie told ABC radio, adding he was adamant he would “do no deals.”

A second independent, Cathy McGowan, also said she did not intend to decide which side to support until the votes were counted and parliament resumed.

“There is enormous disappointment with the way the government has been working,” McGowan said.

Vote counting for the Senate resumed on Monday but counting for the House of Representatives does not restart until Tuesday, leaving the precarious position of the lower house in limbo. The delayed counting is a result of new security measures imposed by the Australian Electoral Commission.

Before counting was paused on the weekend, the Labor Party had won 67 seats to the coalition’s 65 with the Greens Party picking up one seat and independents claiming four.

With the result of 13 seats still in doubt and either side needing 76 seats in the House of Representatives to form a majority government, political pundits are predicting one of two main scenarios: the coalition scrapes across the line by picking nine or more of the undecided seats, or it doesn’t reach the 76 mark and has a hung parliament where neither side holds power.

Small parties are also likely to do well in the Senate, with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation on track to win between two and four seats, marking the return of the right-wing anti-immigration activist to parliament after an almost 20-year absence.


18) PIANGO reiterates World Churches call for West Papua solidarity visit

10:44 pm GMT+12, 04/07/2016, Fiji

Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) executive director, Emele Duituturaga has welcomed a call made by the World Council of Churches (WCC) for a solidarity visit to West Papua by an international ecumenical delegation.

Duituturaga said the call made by the WCC for a solidarity visit to be organised as soon as possible, is timely given that the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) will be meeting next week in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

“WCC has called for this visit to demonstrate the ecumenical movement’s accompaniment of the churches in the region, to hear the voices of the victims of violence and human rights violations, and to pursue the pilgrimage of justice and peace,” Duituturaga said.

“WCC joins the many voices from around the world that have been calling for justice and peace in West Papua and it’s a call that should weigh heavily on the hearts and minds of our leaders who will meet in Honiara next week.”

Duituturaga said the Christian churches through WCC is a prophetic voice that must be given due consideration by the region’s leaders.

“WCC has called on its member churches to pray and act in support of the witness of the churches – especially the Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua, and through the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC), and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) – for justice and peace in the region.”

“And rightfully so, the churches can no longer stand by and watch the genocide of indigenous Papuans. They have spoken about the need to protect human dignity,” she said.

“As a regional platform, PIANGO stands with WCC’s representative in the region, the Pacific Conference of Churches as they pray and act in support of Papuans suffering under the brutal rule of Indonesia.”

PIANGO is also collaborating with other regional NGOs to remind the MSG of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s application for full membership.

“ULMWP are Pacific Islanders, they are Melanesians and Indonesia’s continued denial of the genocide happening right at our doorstep of their people, our wantoks, warrants their full membership of the MSG.”

She said that with ULMWP’s full membership, Melanesian leaders can fully deliberate on the multifaceted nature of Indonesia’s brutality and its impact on Pacific people.







21a ) Academic year cancelled at University of PNG

After two months of student protests, the University of Papua New Guinea has cancelled the academic year.

In an announcement on Tuesday afternoon, the University Council said all students would have to vacate the campus by Saturday.

Led by the Student Representative Council, most of the university’s students have been boycotting classes since May in protest at the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill’s, refusal to stand down from office to face corruption charges.

The protests took a violent turn last month, when police opened fire on students who were trying to march on parliament in support of a no-confidence motion against Mr O’Neill.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Rose Amos, said the Student Representative Council has also been dissolved.

“The SRC, they were given the powers to organise students, call forums and all those student gatherings,” she said.

“Now that things have got out of hand with all the recent unrest and all of that, the council has decided to terminate the SRC constitution.”

Rose Amos said the campus remained calm, albeit with a heavy police presence.5/7/16 RNZI



22) iTaukei land development

Ropate Valemei
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

LANDOWNERS will only realise the true potential of their asset base and achieve sustained economic growth for our country through innovative and inclusive initiatives by Government, which are practical, they are tangible, they are real and they are positive says Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs Voreqe Bainimarama.

Mr Bainimarama yesterday said landowners would now not go through the fear, negativity and the absence of practical solutions, as demonstrated by previous governments and by those from the other side (opposition).

“I believe that no nation can truly prosper if it leaves people behind when it grows,” he said.

“That is why we are helping iTaukei landowners to develop their own land. This is unprecedented.”

This year, Government has again allocated $10million to help the iTaukei develop their own land.

And the four projects namely in Yadua — Nadroga; Wairebetia, Saweni and Vuda — all in the Nadi-Lautoka corridor are already in place and the fifth in Tamavua will soon commence.

He said more would follow in the next few months.

“This assistance is targeted in a very direct manner to assist iTaukei landowners to not simply be people who lease out vast tracts of land to others for development, but for they themselves to become developers and them themselves to lease the land with the assistance of Government.

“They will take the cream.”

“As I’ve continuously said, growth cannot be limited to the urban centres.

“We have to look after people in the maritime and deep rural areas by making an extra effort to extend services to them, to develop the infrastructure that links them to other Fijians and to markets, and to give them a boost to develop their own livelihoods.”

He said this focus continued in the budget.Fijitimes


23) Vanuatu Prime Minister Salwai calls on VBTC bosses to resign

10:54 pm GMT+12, 04/07/2016, Vanuatu

The chairman of the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC) Board, Johnety Jerethy and the General Manager of VBTC, Fred Vurobaravu have been called on to voluntarily resign from their positions in the statutory body.

The call came from the Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, who is the Minister for Media, and conveyed to the recipients by the government’s Public relations Officer, Hilaire Bule last Friday.

Bule confirmed he had approached the VBTC bosses and verbally relayed Prime Minister Salwai’s message that they do the honorable thing to resign.

According to Bule, the call stemmed from decisions made at the Council of Ministers (CoM) level over the performance of VBTC, the general manager and the board. It was a CoM decision made at the CoM’s 15th Ordinary Sitting and is recorded as CoM decision No. 21 of 2016

Bule said the notion from the CoM discussion was to launch an investigation on debts owed to VBTC and to determine whether or not Vurobaravu also owed VBTC.

The CoM also issued directives for a full investigation into the VBTC operations, its revenue collections and its standing liabilities.

It also called for full investigation into an accident involving a VBTC vehicle by the general manager.

The Council of Ministers meeting last week, also refused a proposal by the VBTC board to commence its new initiative to collect taxes from all imported radio apparatus, in line with its regulatory provisions. If approved, it will mean all vehicles and mobile phones or any other devices imported into Vanuatu with radio apparatus will pay a minimal tax to VBTC.

In addition, the CoM has directed the prime minister to amend the VBTC Act by removing the regulatory provisions from the Act and allocating it elsewhere, preferably to the Office of the Government’s Chief Information Officer (OGCIO).

VBTC has face numerous challenges and constrains on its finances thus resulting in few power cuts, deteriorating materials and equipment that could not be replaced and controversial disciplinary measures against staff.

VBTC, as a government institution, is the most advantage media organisation to have benefited from annual government subsidy and numerous aid assistance, including the AusAID funded Voice Blong Yumi Program. The corporate plan initiated through the project was not complied with.

Recently, a VT5 million was allegedly hi-jacked by a contracted member and is still to be recovered.

VBTC General Manager, Fred Vurobaravu had earlier told the media they are waiting for the money to be paid back adding that any decision to prosecute the culprit would only result in VBTC totally losing the VT5 m (US$454,000). The money belonged to a Chinese company and was intended for the payment of rights, through the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA), to operate in Vanuatu alongside VBTC to erect transmitters for free-to-air TV. That also affected promises made last year on the realization of the TV project.

In June last year, Vurobaravu said Television Blong Vanuatu (TBV), a component of VBTC, would be televised throughout Vanuatu by June this year 2016. That did not happen yet.

Three weeks ago, the VBTC management and board came under fire from government and social media commentators over pornographic materials aired to soccer fans who were waiting for a Euro-16 football match.

Assurances for VBTC to cover live the Euro-16 matches for the fanatic soccer fans also failed.

It is envisaged that the current impasse could further delay a proposal sent to the government for redundancy package for staff, under VBTC’s restructuring program.

The board led by Jerety and the previous one initiated plans to build on the revenue base of the company through positive collection of debts, hiring of TBV towers to air other TV channels, collecting tax from all imported radio apparatus, reinforcing payments for the use of TV antennas etc and striking a deal for 50 percent of VBTC operations to be powered by solar.  Jerethy has told the media, things cannot happen overnight but will eventually happen.



24) BSP opens in Vila

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

THE Bank of South Pacific has completed its acquisition of the Westpac operation in Port Vila, Vanuatu, according to BSP group chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou.
He said on January 29 last year, BSP entered into a proposed sale agreement to purchase Westpac operations in Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
This was subject to regulatory approval by the Bank of Papua New Guinea and respective regulators in those countries.
“In July 2015, the purchases of the operations of Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga were completed,” he said.
“In October 2015, the Solomon Islands branch of Westpac was purchased.
“Given the impact of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, the proposed sale of Westpac’s Vanuatu operations did not proceed in 2015.”
He said the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu approved the purchase on November 11, 2015, for completion on July 1, 2016.
“This has now occurred at the close of business on July 1, 2016,” he said. BSP Group chief executive officer Robin Fleming said the acquisition was aligned to BSPs’ Pacific based expansion strategy, which have been maintained since 2006.
“Further, as a business domiciled in PNG, the largest South Pacific island economy, BSP has developed a strategic interest to find opportunities, build commercial relationships and grow its presence in the economies of the South Pacific region,” he said. “The acquisition brings respected customers, skilled employees and specialised processes and systems.
“It positions BSP as a leading Pacific financial services business, maximising future opportunities from PNG’s growing long term trade and economic influence in the region.”
Fleming assured customers that there would be minimal disruptions to services in Vanuatu during the transition to BSP.

25) ANZ reaffirms commitment to financial inclusion in Fiji

10:49 pm GMT+12, 04/07/2016, Fiji

ANZ today reaffirmed its commitment to financial inclusion in Fiji through the free delivery of its flagship financial literacy programme, MoneyMinded and MoneyMinded Business Basics for SMEs, to communities and partner organisations across Fiji.

ANZ Fiji Acting CEO, Saud Minam, said this when announcing ANZ’s support as Gold Sponsor of the 2016 Alliance for Financial Inclusion Global Policy Forum being held in Nadi, Fiji from 7-9 September this year under the theme ‘Building the Pillars of Sustainable Inclusion’.

“Building financial literacy remains our priority here in Fiji, and indeed across the Pacific,” said  Minam. “We strongly believe that this is an important means of building economic resilience in the communities in which we operate.”

ANZ has delivered MoneyMinded to over 5000 people in Fiji since it was launched in 2010 and about 355,000 people across Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific since 2003.

MoneyMinded is a comprehensive suite of adult financial education programs that aims to improve financial skills, knowledge and confidence. About 30 ANZ staff are currently accredited to deliver MoneyMinded in Fiji and ANZ continues to invest in growing the programme.

Minam added that the delivery of MoneyMinded and MoneyMinded Business Basics for SMEs, ANZ’s newer financial literacy program designed to upskill micro-entrepreneurs, is complemented by ANZ’s microfinance and financial wellbeing advocacy services that are available to customers across Fiji, including remote rural areas.

“There’s no one solution to building financial literacy in any market and ANZ takes an holistic approach here in Fiji, which we believe is the only way to shift the dial,”  Minam said.

He added: “We also recently announced free access to ANZ Internet Banking on for Vodafone Fiji users, meaning they do not incur any data costs for accessing our online banking platform. Ease of access to banking services is important for financial inclusion and we hope this initiative makes banking easier and more convenient for our customers than ever before.”



26) $31.8m for the rehabilitation of roads, bridges, jetties

Roland Koroi
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

THE Fiji Roads Authority has welcomed Governments commitment to rehabilitation efforts post TC Winston and has also acknowledged the huge task that lay ahead in terms of other infrastructural work earmarked before the cyclone.

A statement from the authority said it welcomed Government’s allocation of $31.8 million for the rehabilitation of roads, bridges and jetties for damage sustained by TC Winston, adding it was committed to continuing recovery efforts.

Before TC Winston hit, there were reports of flooding in a number of areas in the Western Division and the focus was on Irish crossings that became inaccessible whenever it rained.

“There are a large number of crossings that require work and while we can’t fix them all at once we do have processes in place to keep disruption to a minimum for those crossings that cannot be replaced immediately,” said the statement from FRA.

“We now have a very good understanding of which crossings regularly wash out and our maintenance contractors are ready to show up after periods of heavy rain to restore the crossing approaches that were washed away in floodwaters. This is not ideal but it is the approach we will have to take until the structures are replaced or more permanent repairs can be implemented.”

The FRA has also reiterated calls for safety, saying that floodwaters must be respected.

“FRA will do all we can to keep our roads safe but we have to rely on drivers to make sensible decisions around flooded crossings. If water is flowing over a crossing we strongly recommend that users wait for floodwaters to recede and notify us as soon as possible where washouts occur so we can mobilise our maintenance crews to make repairs.”

Including the $31.8 million allocated to the FRA for rehabilitation efforts, the authority received a total of $527.2 million for the 2017 budget.Fijitimes


27) Border officers seek protection

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

PUBLIC servants at the Wutung border post manning the border with Indonesia want police officers there for protection, an official says.
The public servants are from the Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority, Border Development Authority (BDA), Customs and National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority.
Immigration official Peter Solomon said they often faced threats from locals, who they had to stop from crossing into Indonesia because they did not have proper documents.
“We only allow people with passports to cross. But we have problems authorising locals with traditional border crossing permits to go across,” he said.
“They threaten us when we do not allow them to go across. It is wrong to allow them (to cross) because we will be blamed if anything happens to them in Indonesia.”
BDA officers Beatrice Wai and Justine Kubul said they faced a lot of problems with the people and needed police protection.
“Police don’t exist here. We have to go all the way to Vanimo to lodge a complaint if we are threatened,” Wai said.
“When locals are not happy with something, they will abuse us publicly. Just last week, one of the BDA staff was almost hit by a brick thrown by a local.”
Provincial police commander Robert Gesa said there was no space at the border post to accommodate police officers.
“Police officers in uniform hang around the post. How can they work if they don’t have an office?
“This has been a problem since I came here in 2013,” Gesa said.
Gesa said six police officers lived in police quarters at the Wutung station but they had no office to operate from.



29) New Vanuatu cyclone map easier to understand

The Vanuatu Meteorological Service says its new cyclone map will help people understand cyclones better.

The new tracking maps use numbers and the alphabet instead of latitude and longitude, and includes drawings of the potential impact of the cyclones.

The Service’s William Worwor says it will make it a lot easier for those people with poor literacy skills.

One of the reasons why we have the tracking map is to simplify the technical information that we use from our technical point of view. That’s why we have the sketches, images of the land and wind as well.

William Worwor says hopefully the new map will lower the number of people who call the Met Service to check information during the cyclone season.5/7/16 RNZI

30) Islanders responded well to drought: Envoy

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

UNITED Nations special envoy on climate issues, Macharia Kamau came away impressed after visiting communities on Kiriwina Island in Milne Bay.
He was surprised to see how people in the village had responded to the recent drought which caused so much devastation in the country.
“My take-away was that the people of Liluta and Mutaua communities in Kiriwina have an amazing resilience. By the time help came, the worst of the crisis was already over,” he said.
“This is a positive sign that Papua New Guineans have the capabilities and knows how to respond to crisis and emergencies at the community level. The people have responded well.”
But he still thinks the Government and the people can do more to build capability to withstand and to overcome extreme weather conditions without having to rely on emergency responses from external partners.
He points out the need for urgent response by the Government to secure water sources for the people on Kiriwina Island.
Kamau is on a mission to go around the world and make a strong case on El Nino, droughts and various weather conditions.
He will talk with governments and communities, raise awareness, and seek development solutions to help communities and governments respond. The solutions are expected to accelerate the execution of policies to respond to weather events around the world.
The continuous repetition of climate and weather conditions have been a concern for the Government and the international communities.
“The Government and the international communities have to find better ways of working together.
“Improving partnerships between UN and the Government and between the donor community and Government,” he said.


31) Gold prices to hit record high

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

Gold prices may hit all-time highs in the next 18 months amid low to negative global bond yields, a fund manager on Monday said, when joining a chorus of bullish calls on the safe haven commodity.
Despite being a non-interest bearing asset with holding costs, gold was attractive in the current climate where there was little trust in the establishment and its policies as demonstrated by the June 23 referendum in the UK when voters chose to leave the European Union, said Swiss Asia Capital’s Singapore managing director and chief investment officer, Juerg Kiener.
The catering of bond yields has also blunted the advantage fixed income instruments held over their shiny counterpart. – CNBC

32) Rio Tinto’s withdrawal shameful, Momis says

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

AUTONOMOUS Bougainville Government President John Momis says Rio Tinto’s decision to withdraw from its involvement in the Panguna copper and gold mine was “unprincipled, shameful and evil”.
“Bougainville cannot accept this. I am writing to the International Council of Metals and Minerals asking them to end Rio Tinto’s membership for failure to adhere to its principles,” Momis said.
Momis said the ABG was also seeking legal advice on the environment and social impacts of mining conducted by the Bougainville Copper Limited.
“I believe that with the Government’s cooperation, we can find ways to turn Rio’s shameful and evil move in to one that offers positive outcomes for all major stakeholders, including the Panguna mine-affected landowners, Bougainvilleans, the ABG, the Government and BCL,” Momis said.
Momis said the opportunity for a positive outcome would arise if the Government was prepared not to take up the transfer of Rio shares in BCL now on offer. “If it (Government) refuses the shares, then they would be offered for transfer to the ABG in two months,” he said.
“The ABG would then become the 55.8 per cent owner of BCL. The Government could continue to be the main minority shareholder, with its existing 19 per cent shareholding.”

33) Province hopes to develop large-scale cocoa production

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

A PLAN is in place to develop a large scale commercial cocoa production in the Sepik Plain special economic zone, according to Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru.
The department plans to partner the cocoa board, the LR Group of Israel and the people of East Sepik to develop the idea.
There is only village-based small cocoa growers in East Sepik and small cocoa blocks in Gavien in Angoram district.
But there is no plantation or commercial cocoa production in the province.
Negotiations are in progress for the cocoa board, LR Group and the department of trade, commerce and industry to develop two large scale nurseries in the special economic zone to develop two new clones of cocoa for distribution to cocoa farmers and companies developing large-scale cocoa farms in the zone.
Maru met with the cocoa board chief executive officer and LR group chairman last Friday in Port Moresby.
They hope to reach an agreement before Prime Minister Peter O’Neill visits the district in two weeks time.

34) Villagers enter tobacco deal

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

BRITISH American Tobacco has entered into a deal with Epulga villagers in Hagen Central, Western Highlands to buy 25-tonnes of tobacco annually.
Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister William Duma and British American Tobacco’s (BAT) general manager Michael Penrose last Friday launched the tobacco leaf-buying project.
Penrose told tobacco farmers that the company used to import tobacco leaves but now they wanted to buy from local farmers.
He said they wanted to work with tobacco growers to make them commercial tobacco farmers.
Penrose said the company had bought 13 tonnes from Epulga tobacco growers last year.
He urged the growers to grow more tobacco and sell it to the company.
Penrose said BAT officers would visit the village to buy tobacco three times a year.
He said the company would buy between 20 and 30 tonnes from the farmers.
Penrose said the project was in its infant stage and urged growers to maintain the quality.
Duma told the people that he would support them to grow more tobacco and earn more money.
He urged them to maintain the quality at all times and not to sell low quality tobacco leaves which could hurt their commercial relationship with the company.

Duma told the people that BAT was coming directly to their village to buy tobacco which was a big boost for the farmers.  BAT’s financial controller Peter Mell said if they sold 25-tonnes of high quality tobacco leaves, they would get around K560,000.


35) New focus on marine resources urged

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

FISHERIES and Marine Resources Minister Mao Zeming says appropriate attention must be given to the development of fisheries resources for people living along the coasts and islands.
Zeming said the Government’s focus had been on commercial fisheries only, particularly tuna.
He urged the Government to refocus its attention on the sector.
“(But) while tuna or offshore fisheries is vital to PNG for economic reasons, coastal fisheries is vital for PNG because of moral reasons,” he said.
“The coastal fisheries sector provides livelihood for more than 2.5 million people in the coastal and island communities in terms of food, income, cultural and ecological uses.
“The livelihoods and food security benefits of coastal fisheries resources underscore the importance of the coastal fisheries sector for socio-economic development.
“Therefore, balancing offshore and coastal fisheries development is imperative in terms of both development and management.”
Zeming urged the Government to refocus and apply appropriate attention on the sustainable development of coastal fisheries resources.
“It is important that the coastal fisheries programme of the National Fisheries Authority is strengthened with a clear policy direction,” he said.
Zeming attended the opening of the K26 million Madang town market and jetty last Friday.


36) Youth program

Shayal Devi
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

YOUNG school leavers have been encouraged to take up income generating projects to become independent and fend for themselves.

Youth Minister Laisenia Tuitubou said young people should come forward and make use of Government programs.

“You must understand that the ministry is mandated to look after those who have dropped out from formal education,” he said.

“A majority of our education is information — we train them and give them a second chance. Right now, we see the impact of these trainings.”

Mr Tuitubou also said the budget allocation for the 2016-2017 fiscal year would be used to continue the ongoing projects implemented by the ministry.

“A majority of these are the roll-over projects and because of the new financial year, we couldn’t manage to complete all the projects but we rolled it over so it’s part of 2017.

He said youth development programs made up a bulk of their projects.Fijitimes


37) Two teams a big opportunity for Solomons club football

The Solomon Islands Football Federation says having two teams in the expanded Oceania Champions League is exciting but also a big challenge.

A record 16 teams will compete in the next edition of Oceania’s premier club competition.

Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu will each get a second team in the main draw from next season.

Solomon Warriors represented their country in the 2016 tournament, finishing third in Pool A.

Western United, Koloale FC, Marist, Kossa, Rangers Honiara, Makuru FC, Laugu United, Malaita Eagles have also flown the flag for the Melanesian country in previous campaigns.

The Deputy Chief Executive of the Solomon Islands Football Federation, Joseph Boso, said it was a big opportunity for the game locally.

“I think overall it will really boost the local league, give more momentum for the competition, because their are now two spots to fight for so I think it’s great news for us but at the same time it also indicates that we will have to really work hard to make sure that clubs that qualify from Solomon Islands do have the capacity to not only participate but be the top competitive clubs in the competition,” he said.

“That is not the only other factor that needs to be considered here and there is a lot of other work that has been done by SIFF and the Oceania Football Confederation in terms of developing coaches – local coaches, working with the clubs and other programmes so I think we will see a lot of positive things happen, not only for Solomon Islands but also for other countries in the region.”5/7/16 RNZI

38) Soccer must win

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

By Sports Editor PETER PUSAL

THE Papua New Guinea Football Association Congress next month promises to be one of the most anticipated yet.
Incumbent David Chung is facing his stiffest challenge since rising to the post over a decade ago.
John Kapi Natto is the man who has thrown down the gauntlet, taking on Chung, who is now a fully-fledged Fifa heavyweight in the Oceania region.
But this battle for the presidency is not about what goes on outside the country. It is a fight for the trust, respect and hopes of the associations that make up the PNGFA, for it is them who will decide in the end whether Chung stays or goes.
A lot has been achieved in Chung’s tenure as head on PNG soccer, both nationally and internationally.
The 53-year-old is as shrewd as he is wily and has managed to bring the prestigious Women’s Under-20 World Cup to PNG for the first time.
PNG men’s soccer is enjoying a resurgence of late with a finals appearance in the Nations Cup last month as well as steadily improving performances along the way.
Chung’s media releases last week painted a picture of a man who had achieved much at home and abroad for the cause of soccer.
But if he wants to earn the trust of fans, observers and the sporting public at large, then he will have to win the election fairly.
This is something Kapi Natto has called him out on, with several recent moves by Chung angled at tilting the field in his favour.
The first move was last month’s two-year suspension of Lae Football Association’s Roy Kamen, a Kapi Natto supporter, for nothing more than common dissent.
The charge and subsequent ban was blatantly carried out to undermine Kapi Natto’s support base.
The second move was in the opposite direction, with Chung announcing among a raft of initiatives that direct funding would be made available to associations to the tune of K110,000 on application.
The timing of this is particularly worrying as one can easily make the assumption to this being a vote-buying ploy, or at the very least, designed to garner support for the seating president. It could well border on corrupt behaviour but that is for a body other than the PNGFA to decide. Presently, the associations that make up the PNGFA are nervously sitting back to watch how the campaigns of both men take shape.
Kapi Natto’s candidacy is based on his commitment to the country’s flagship soccer competition, the National Soccer League.
No other man has had a profound or continuing influence on the NSL.
He’s earned his stripes in soccer the hard way and has the administrative knowhow and business acumen to accomplish great things as evidence by Hekari United’s qualification to the Club World Cup in 2010.
Whatever the outcome the lead-up to the August elective congress in Kimbe will interesting.
One only hopes that the battle is fought in the true spirit of sportsmanship and fair play.

39) Use power of sports to address socials ills in Fiji: MP Niumataiwalu

8:14 pm GMT+12, 04/07/2016, Fiji

Fiji’s veteran sports journalist and Government MP has told the Fijian Parliament to use the power of sport to address Fiji’s social problems.

Speaking in Parliament last night during the 2016 – 2017 budget debate, Matai Akaoula Niumataiwalu said the Fijian Government is investing more money into sports than any other previous Governments, which is a very positive sign.

He said UN and other International agencies are beginning to realise the power of sport as an instrument of positive change.

“As a result we now see more and more partnerships being forged with International sporting agencies to addresses the many social challenges facing humanity throughout the world.

“There is no reason why we cannot replicate this in Fiji at the national level and use the power of sport to address Fiji’s social problems. School curriculum should be heavily biased towards physical education, focused on teaching sports values and producing a healthier Fiji.

MP Niumataiwalu speech in Parliament focused on sports’ contribution to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and Sports Tourism.

According to the International Olympic Committee and I quote “The enormous potential of sport, its global reach, its universal language, its impact on communities in general, and young people in particular, is a fact and is increasingly recognised around the world.

It says sport is a cost effective-tool for development.

*promote health and the prevention of non-communicable diseases;
*achieve quality education through values-based learning;
*promote gender equality, including the empowerment of girls and women;

Niumataiwalu said Sports Tourism and its impact on a sports crazy nation like Fiji is significant.

“Fiji is the administrative hub for sports in the region because the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) administrative arm is based in Suva and the President of the Pacific Games Council (PGC) is also a Fijian.

“What it means, ONOC and the (PGC) have good access to Government and crop agencies based in Fiji,” he said.

Fiji recently hosted the Oceania volleyball, weightlifting, and swimming championships and last week the Hockey World League Round 1 in which both Fiji men and women’s qualified for Round 2.

“It’s good to take advantage and encourage hosting, the money stays within the country, he said.

“For example the Oceania weightlifting received World-wide live streaming, the event was viewed by an average of 65 countries per day with an average of 41,000 viewers per day for the four and half days of competition. The highest was on Friday 27th May with 87 countries and 78,000 people viewing. A great marketing opportunity to position Fiji as a great Sports Tourism destination.

The Government contributed a total of $336,000 towards the purchase of new equipment and its contribution towards the organisational costs. The Total Economic Benefit from the event is estimated to be in excess of $4.3 million,” he said

He also thanked government for setting aside funds for the preparation of Team Fiji to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“Let me at this juncture thank the Bainimarama Government for the foresight to set aside funds for engagement of sports coaches.

“I don’t think we would be World 7s Series Champions and Number 1 seed for Rio, if it wasn’t for such allocations so that we can contract and maintain Coach Ben Ryan.

“Fiji is now a medium size team in terms of representation, it’s kinda twice or three times bigger than the Phillippino team.

“So Fiji’s presence depending on the number will make and impact on television and according to the Portuguese alphabet we start at the beginning.

“So if you’re in the first 20 to 40 minutes of the opening ceremony you’ll be featured and if you have a big team and if you are the number 1 in the world, there’s a lot more the camera stays on you.

“We can only imagine the viewership for Rio in a months’ time.

And I can promise this Honourable House that Fiji will definitely feature prominently at the Rio Olympics and media attention beaming to 206 nations,” MP Niumataiwalu said.


40) Kiwis pick Rio 7s squads

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Brother and sister Sonny Bill and Niall Williams have been named Sunday in the New Zealand men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams to compete at the Rio de Janiero Olympics.

Sonny Bill Williams’ inclusion in the 12-strong men’s squad gives him a chance to add an Olympic medal to his two Rugby World Cup-winner’s medals and his titles in Super Rugby and Australia’s National Rugby League.

Niall Williams, a mother of two, a twin and one of four Williams siblings, has been named by coach Sean Horan in a 12-strong women’s squad which is seeded second behind Australia in the Olympic tournament.

Rugby was last contested at the Olympics, in its 15-a-side form, 92 years ago when the United States beat France in the gold medal match. The men’s team will be captained by Scott Curry who returns to the side for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in December. The notable omission is of Williams’ former All Blacks teammate Liam Messam who had left 15s to concentrate on Olympics selection.

The team also includes brothers Reiko and Akira Ioane. New Zealand has won the World Sevens Series 12 times since it was created in 1999. But the past season has been one of its most difficult as it finished third behind Fiji and South Africa due to a heavy injury toll and the unavailability of leading players.

The New Zealand women have been drawn Pool B of their tournament with France, Kenya and Spain while the men are in Pool C with Great Britain, Kenya and Japan.


New Zealand men: Scott Curry (captain), Sam Dickson, D.J. Forbes, Akira Ioane, Rieko Ioane, Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson, Augustine Pulu, Teddy Stanaway, Regan Ware, Joe Webber, Sonny Bill Williams.

New Zealand women: Shakira Baker, Kelly Brazier, Gayle Broughton, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Sarah Goss (captain), Kayla McAlister, Huriana Manuel, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Terina Te Tamaki, Ruby Tui, Niall Williams, Portia Woodman.

41) New 72 hole golf event

Zanzeer Singh
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

THE inaugural Golf Fiji Teams Championship will be played over 72 holes later this month.

This event will be run concurrently with the Western Amateur Championship and the Eastern Amateur Championship.

The competition will be a four-player team event where three best scores of gross and nett will be counted.

Golf Fiji tournament co-ordinator Vikrant Chandra said there was an exciting twist to the event.

“The event itself will make players compete on a longer version of the teams championship having to play 72 holes in order to gain bragging rights as the champions,” Chandra said.

“We are requesting the affiliated club members to form teams for this exciting format of the game.

“The entry fee is $100 for per team.”

The competition will be played from July 23-24.



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