Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1076 ( Monday 18 July 2016 )
4:11 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kanak National Socialist Liberation Front (FLNKS) and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) remain resolute in their support of the aspirations for the Self-Determination of the People of West Papua and the full membership of ULMWP to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
The above MSG members are committed to advocating for West Papua and strongly adhere to the principles that are at the core of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, which is the ‘Political aspirations of self- determination of our Melanesian people.’
There is recognition that such a commitment will require bold and ethical leadership and a clear understanding of our Melanesian values.
The above members of MSG continue to condemn human rights abuses of the indigenous people of West Papua and will register our concerns at the United Nations Human Rights Council and other regional and international forums.
In so doing, they will support the Pacific Islands Forum’s Framework for Pacific Regionalism, in particular concerns expressed by the Pacific Islands leaders about reports of violence in West Papua and call on all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of all residents in West Papua.
Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the FLNKS invite other Pacific Island Countries to do this by peaceful means and to raise the issue of human rights abuses in West Papua at the UN General Assembly in September 2016, the UN Human Rights Council meetings in Geneva in September 2016 and again in March 2017..
2) Disagreements on West Papua membership to MSG
4:24 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Solomon Islands
Disagreements remain among leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) on the issues of West Papua’s full membership even though an agreed communiqué stated that the deferral was a secretarial issue.
Since the agreed communiqué from the MSG special leaders’ summit in Honiara was announced publicly, leaders from the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Kanak National Socialist Liberation Front (FLNKS) have publicly disagreed with the outcome, saying the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) deserves full membership to the MSG.
In respective interviews with PACNEWS, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (Solomon Islands), Prime Minister Charlot Salwai (Vanuatu), Victor Tutugoro (FLNKS), said they support the aspirations for the self-determination of the people of West Papua and the full membership of ULMWP to the MSG.
Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, said the issue of membership, in particular the discussions of the membership of Melanesians of West Papua through the ULMWP as a full Member into the Melanesian family is a long time cry by Melanesians around the world including my country.
“Admitting ULMWP or Melanesians into the MSG should be the same basis for admitting the Kanaky through the FLNKS. Vanuatu has always believed that other Melanesians are ready to be admitted into the MSG family,” said Prime Minister Salwai.
He said Vanuatu is adamant that being Melanesians they should not be subject to any form of criteria.
“We want meaningful dialogue and we can only do this when we are together. Vanuatu therefore gravely regrets the deferral of the admission of ULMWP on the matter of criteria, a clear sign that officials and the secretariat fell short in carrying out their duties consistent with the fundamental founding principles of this eminent organisation for Melanesians.”
FLNKS Spokesperson, Victor Tutugoro, shared similar sentiments, saying that all Melanesians deserved similar treatment at the MSG and as leaders there is a responsibility to protect and give voice to Melanesians in West Papua.
Tutugoro said he was not pleased with the deferral, stressing that there is a great need to support ULMWP’s political recognition at the MSG, thus, it would strengthen its political aspirations at the international level such as the UN.
“We Kanaky people were granted membership in a similar struggle to our brothers and sisters in West Papua and we feel that the same should be given to West Papuans as they are rightfully Melanesians and they need our Melanesian leaders support.”
Meanwhile, Fiji’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, while speaking on behalf of the Fiji government said Fiji respects the sovereignty of the people and government of Indonesia.
“We as the MSG must always respect the sovereignty of all member or associated countries of the MSG. To do otherwise would undermine the premise of the MSG. Because only through respect of sovereignty and commitment to dialogue can we reach mutual understanding,” said Ratu Inoke.
3) ULMWP accepts MSG decision and calls for greater support of West Papua
4:21 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Solomon Islands
Despite the decision by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to defer the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s (ULMWP) application for full membership, the political movement remains positive and accepts the decision of the leaders.
ULMWP Spokesperson, Benny Wenda, said this could be seen as a delay tactic but ULMWP acknowledges the technical issues highlighted by the leaders and senior officials of the MSG.
The MSG special leaders summit on the 14th of July in the Solomon Islands had agreed to defer the consideration of the application for full membership by ULMWP until membership criteria and guidelines are further developed.
“We want to thank our Melanesian leaders and the chair and Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands for discussing and facilitating our application for full membership. Though disappointed, we remain optimistic to see our application further discussed in September in Port Vila, Vanuatu,” said Wenda.
He said the issues highlighted by the leaders are technical, and ULMWP looks forward to having its application further discussed in Port Vila in September.
“We call on our West Papuan people, our Melanesian and Pacific families, and global supporters to view the current decision of our leaders not as defeat but as progress to improving processes within the MSG.”
Wenda thanked the people of West Papua and the Pacific for the tremendous support, stressing the need for more support within Melanesia and the Pacific as MSG works towards September’s special leaders’ summit in Vanuatu.
“We the ULMWP would not come this far if it wasn’t for the grassroots and Pacific leadership support and we call for more support as we work towards establishing a political voice for our people of West Papua.”
ULMWP Secretary General, Octovianus Mote added that West Papuans are Melanesians and our issues of human rights abuse and self-determination must be rightfully addressed in the Pacific and not on Indonesia’s terms.
4) No place for the ULMWP in the future of the MSG: Indonesia
4:18 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Indonesia
Indonesia’s culture-based forays into the South Pacific and measured determination to extinguish the simmering heat of Papuan separatism has seemingly paid off.
After years of building rapport, intensive lobbying and projecting itself as the benevolent giant in the region, Jakarta was afforded an opportunity to make its case for the inclusive development of its easternmost provinces and dispel any separatist sentiment.
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), an important subregional grouping of Pacific island countries, has denied full membership to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).
“There is no place for the ULMWP in the future of the MSG,” said Desra Percaya, the Foreign Ministry’s director general of Asia-Pacific and African affairs, at the conclusion of the MSG Extraordinary Summit convened in Honiara, Solomon Islands,last Thursday.
The MSG has agreed to hold further discussions at the extraordinary summit on MSG membership guidelines, which are expected to reach a conclusion in September at the next MSG conference in Port Vila, Vanuatu, he said.
On the other side of the fence, members of the ULMWP are living on a prayer and insisting the MSG board has only deferred their bid for full membership.
Desra insisted that the active participation of the Indonesian delegation, including representatives from five of the country’s Melanesian-rooted provinces (Maluku, North Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, Papua and West Papua), had successfully swayed the opinions of MSG leaders in Honiara to reject the ULMWP’s bid for international recognition and support.
Representation by Melanesians in Indonesia is an important aspect in forging ties with Pacific island countries, especially as the MSG has been used as a platform for Papuan separatist movements for decades.
The MSG comprises Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia. Indonesia obtained associate member status during the last MSG conference, which was held in the Solomon Islands in 2015.
The ULMWP, which campaigns for Papuan independence, currently sits in the MSG as an observer.
Separately, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan also confirmed the MSG’s decision, saying that it was proof that Indonesia was able to convince the forum not to support any bid from separatist groups.
“Now Indonesia’s position in the MSG is extremely favorable,” Luhut told reporters outside his office in Jakarta.
With the ULMWP out of the picture, he said that the door was open for the country to apply for full membership of the MSG very soon, pending the return of the Indonesian delegation from the Solomon Islands.
“I can say this is the result of extraordinary teamwork done holistically,” the former Army general said.
Luhut previously said that as a large country with significant influence in the Asia-Pacific region, Indonesia would reap more benefits if it became a full member of the MSG.
Indonesia’s interests are underpinned by the demographic and geographic reality that 11 million people of Melanesian ancestry live in five of the archipelagic country’s eastern provinces.
As a group aiming to achieve cultural solidarity and become a mouthpiece for the Melanesian people, Indonesia’s inclusion in the MSG is a government priority, as Jakarta looks to strengthen its cultural ties and ensure peace and stability in the region.
“Indonesia is now positively considering a bid to become a full member of the organisation,” Desra said.
Earlier in April, Luhut visited a number of MSG member states to secure their support for Indonesia’s bid to fully join the MSG should the opportunity arise in the future.
So far, Fiji has announced its support, while Papua New Guinea would assess Indonesia’s opportunity at the 21st MSG conference next year, which will be hosted by Port Moresby.
On the other hand, Vanuatu is hostile toward Indonesia’s membership in the MSG and openly supports the separatist ULMWP.
As the delegation leader for Indonesia, Desra underscored Indonesia’s commitment to push the MSG to become a progressive organisation through concrete development cooperation and constructive dialogue.
He also submitted a formal invitation from the government to have MSG member states attend the upcoming Bali Democracy Forum later this year.
SOURCE: THE JAKARTA POST/PACNEWS
5) Fiji to sign revised MSG Trade agreement
10:34 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Fiji
Fiji plans to sign the revised Melanesian Trade Agreement under the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) says Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.
Speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the MSG Leaders Retreat in Honiara, the Minister says this agreement has been broadened to include flows of services, investments and labour.
The agreement is a major milestone in diversifying Fiji’s exports and imports and improving access to and integration into the multilateral trading system.
“In order to be a serious participant in the multilateral trading system we must ensure that intra trade within the MSG in not undermined by political interference and skewered application of domestic laws.”
Kubuabola says taking this unique partnership with the MSG to a new level would complement the steady increase in intra-MSG trade annually.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
6) West Papuans arrested for supporting ULMWP
8:42 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2016, Solomon Islands
Reports of arrests of West Papuans by Indonesian security forces have increased in numbers since Thursday, as many gathered in anticipation of the Melanesian Spearhead Group decision on the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) membership.
Reports from inside West Papua confirmed that 348 arrests since were made.
ULMWP Secretary General, Octovianus Mote, confirmed the 348 arrests, saying West Papuans simply wanted to celebrate the outcome of the MSG Special Leaders Summit’s decision on ULMWP membership application.
“Most of these West Papuans are youth and they just want to express their freedom and right to association…but many were arrested.”
Mote said this is Indonesia’s clamp down on West Papuans who support ULMWP will only impose fear among the people.
He said most arrests were done in Timika, Jayapura, Merauke, Nabire, and Yahukimo. “Just to confirm that these arrests were done while more Melanesians in Fiji, PNG, Kanaky, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands joined in solidarity to support us.”
Pacific solidarity movements for West Papua are calling on Melanesian leaders’ to recognise ULMWP and not to shy away from their responsibility as Melanesian leaders.
The call for West Papua’s political recognition at the MSG through ULMWP has been supported by solidarity movements in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Kanaky (New Caledonia).
With representatives from respective West Papua movements in Melanesia, over 3000 people marched the streets of Honiara in a peaceful demonstration yesterday morning, while the MSG leaders convened the special leaders summit.
Chairman of the PNG Union for Free West Papua, Kenn Mondiai, reminded the PNG delegation present at the summit that it was the advice of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in 2012 that the ULMWP was asked organise itself before seeking membership to MSG.
“In 2014 MSG granted Observer status to ULMWP. So Papua New Guinea must be true to its word and recognize its brothers and sisters from West Papua for they are Melanesian and they are family,” urged Mondiai.
“I call on Prime Minister Pete O’Neill and Minister Rimbink Pato to reserve their economic relations with Indonesia and consider humanity, our Melanesian cultural and connection to our West Papuan family,” said Mondiai
7a) MSG membership for United Liberation Movement for West Papua postponed on legal technicality
Posted: July 15, 2016 | Author: dailyvanuatu | The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders’ meeting, currently being held in Honiara, Solomon Islands, yesterday deferred its decision to welcome the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as a full member of MSG until another meeting planned for Port Vila in September. The MSG says this decision was taken as the wording of MSG’s rules for membership needs to be clarified to give ULMWP, a liberation movement, the same membership status as MSG founding member (and fellow liberation movement), Front de libération nationale kanak et socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia.
MSG associate, Indonesia, the colonial occupier of West Papua, opposes ULMWP joining the MSG, and is currently supported by only two out of the five founding members of MSG, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
The majority of the founding members of MSG – Vanuatu, FLNKS and Solomon Islands – support full membership for the West Papua liberation movement, as do the majority of the population of all MSG countries.
PNG PM Peter O’Neill, who has been a vocal supporter of Indonesia, is currently fighting for his political life as his government faces a vote of no-confidence in PNG’s parliament.
O’Neill has also come under attack from former Prime Minister of PNG, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, for opposing West Papuan independence in defiance of the overwhelming support of PNG’s people for the decolonisation of the other half of the island of New Guinea, where he says “our ancestors roamed freely over our shared land and sea for centuries prior to colonial and Christian interventions”.
Here’s the full text of the MSG’s statement on the decision:
Leaders agreed to defer the consideration of the application for full membership by ULMWP until membership criteria and guidelines are further developed by the Sub-Committee on Legal and Institutional Issues (SCLII), considering fundamental principles, political aspirations, and principles of international law and to be completed end of September 2016.
Leaders did not reach consensus and directed the SCLII to undertake further review on:
(i) the revised application Procedures, Criteria, and Participatory Rights and Obligations of an Observer and an Associate Member to the MSG.
(ii) the new membership guidelines for full membership to the MSG.
Leaders agreed to meet in Port Vila, Vanuatu before the end of September 2016.
7b) Vanuatu to receive new state-of-the-art patrol boat from Australia
Posted: July 17, 2016 | Author: dailyvanuatu |
The Australian Government has announced the gift of a new patrol boat to assist the Vanuatu Mobile Force’s Maritime Wing with search and rescue and securing Vanuatu’s 668,220km2Exclusive Economic Zone against illegal fishing and transnational crime.
The new vessel will be delivered in late 2018 at a cost of A$14.7 million (Vt1.2 billion). The new steel-hulled patrol boat will be larger than RVS Tukoro at 39.5m long, with a beam of 8m and a loaded draft of 2.5m. With a top speed of 20 knots, at its typical cruising speed of 12 knots, the vessel will have a 3,000 nautical mile range. It will accommodate a 23-member crew, and have a 30-year service life.
Australia’s gifting of these larger, more capable replacement vessels builds on the success of the Pacific Patrol Boat Program, which provided the RVS Tukoro. The patrol boat program is part of the Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP), which aims to enhance maritime security co-operation across the South Pacific.
The new patrol boat will be built by defence shipbuilder Austal, who won the bid to build 19 or more new patrol boats for South Pacific nations under the PMSP. The new patrol boats will also be maintained by Austral for the next seven years from Cairns, Queensland.
7c) Legislation governing Vanuatu Police Force needs updating, says Minister for Internal Affairs
Posted: July 17, 2016 | Author: dailyvanuatu |
The Minister for Internal Affairs, Alfred Maoh, says there is need for changes to the law governing the Vanuatu Police Force. “Cap 105 needs a major review,” he says. “There are now many gaps with the introduction of new technologies. There have been reviews to the Act, but more are needed.” He spoke of many changes which have been introduced in the forces such as the allowances introduced by previous governments, which have not been properly governed by Cap 105. “Now is the time for a major review.” (Radio Vanuatu)
Business licences are now being demanded by the Port Vila Municipality of businesses operating in the capital. A by-law dating back to 2000 covers the necessity of such a permit. The Town Hall says the fees required are only a third of what the Department of Customs requires. However, the payment of the fees has never been enforced. Officers are now requiring payment. (Daily Post)
Five men convicted of the offence of kidnapping of two Tanna Lodge employees in August last year are receiving terms of imprisonment of two years each. The Chief Justice has said the actions and conduct of the defendants was intolerable and unacceptable in any society, community, island or village. He declined to offer any sort of suspension of the term. (Daily Post)
China’s claim to the South China Sea has been supported by the Vanuatu Government, as explained by the Prime Minister two months ago. The international Permanent Court of Arbitration has this week declared in favour of the Philippines in the matter. Vanuatu is, however, maintaining its support for China in the South China Sea issue. (Daily Post)
The two huge steel bridges being constructed on Tanna by the company CCECC are nearing completion. Road markets and kava bars are setting up in expectation of greater roadside business through to South Tanna, although the first coat of bitumen is yet to be laid. (Daily Post)
7d) Australia funds aerial fisheries surveillance and new longer-range patrol vessel
Posted: July 18, 2016 | Author: dailyvanuatu |
Radio New Zealand International says the Forum Fisheries Agency welcomes Australian funding of aerial surveillance in FFA member states. FFA Director-General James Movick says the service will be available 365 days a year, Australia providing the appropriate aircraft for carrying the sensitive electronic equipment needed. The scheme starts in July next year and will cost $A11 million a year. It will run for 30 years.
As reported here yesterday, Vanuatu is to have a new patrol vessel to be deployed against illegal fishing in Vanuatu waters. RVS Tukoro currently polices Vanuatu’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). It is another Australian gift useful in the protection of Vanuatu’s maritime wealth.
The first meeting of the Constitutional Reform Committee is today. The CRC comprises 27 members – 19 MPs from all major political persuasions and 8 from womens’, youth and disability bodies, the VCC, VCCI, Vango and the Malvatumauri. The complexity of the constitutional issues to be addressed, says Daily Post today.
The MSG Secretariat in Port Vila will undergo major restructuring with the new MSG DG Amena Yauvoli. The aim is to address the sub-regional groups in considering how to improve the financing of the body which should become more efficient. There will be a review of staff policy. The Secretariat promises to follow the views of the membership more closely, says Radio Vanuatu.
Grass House Park in Freswota 1 in the capital is now declared a community space following the decision of the Council of Ministers. Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu, Mayor Sumptoh, and Freswota 1 Community Chief Jacky Massing signed an agreement on Saturday to bring the new public space into law. Minister Regenvanu was also able to announce new projects for Freswota 1 including a direct road from Dhash Studio to Beverley Hills to shorten the long journeys to the latter suburb via USP or Freswota 5. (Daily Post)
And today Daily Post reports Vanuatu’s Rodney Philemon is joining an elite of 42 scientists, engineers, and technology professionals in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, USA in a Master Education Programme. The campus is called Technovation Challenge. He is confident that Computer Science – his field – can change Vanuatu in problem solving.
8) Former Police Minister in Samoa could face jail time16 July 2016
Samoa’s former Minister of Police, Prisons, and Fire, Ulu Vaomalo Ulu Kini, his son and another family member have been found guilty of one count of intentional damage which carries a maximum jail term of 14 years.
The trio were charged after a police inspector and a resident of Toamua village filed a complaint to police in 2014.
Our correspondent said the protest was over the defendants using an excavator to uproot the complainant’s agricultural crops such as bananas and pawpaw trees.
The offence had taken place after the Lands and Titles court ruled in favour of the former Minister’s ownership claim of 12 acres of customary land which the complainant lived on.
But the Supreme Court judge, who presided on the case against the defendants, ruled the ownership of the land was different from the ownership of the crops.RNZI
9) ‘Akosita wins Vava’u 16 by-election, becomes only woman in Tongan parliament
8:41 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2016, Tonga
Akosita Havili Lavulavu is the new Vava’u no. 16 People’s Representative to the Tonga Legislative Assembly winning a by-election with 39.4% of the votes Thursday.
With 754 votes ‘Akosita becomes the only woman representative in the Legislative Assembly.
A Director of ‘Unuaki ‘o Tonga Royal Institute in Nuku’alofa, ‘ Akosita was the first “Miss Face of Tonga” in 2002. She is married to ‘Etuate Lavulavu who lost the seat in a court order this year.
Tonga’s Electoral Commission said 1913 cast their votes out of 2775 registered voters in this constituency. This represents a 69% voter turnout.
‘Akosita was the only woman candidate.
Viliami Uasike Latu, a former Vava’u 16 People’s Representative who lost his seat to ‘Akosita’s husband ‘Etuate Lavulavu in 2014, trailed in second with 536 votes.
‘Atalasa Pouvalu polled 343 votes, followed by ‘Ipeni Siale with 280 votes.
The By-election was held to replace ‘Etuate Lavulavu who lost his seat after the Supreme Court found him guilty of bribery and overspending during his election campaign in 2014.
SOURCE: MATANGI TONGA/PACNEWS
10) Former Kiribati president eyes massive infrastructure projects to save his island nation
6:26 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2016, Kiribati
The island nation of Kiribati has become a poster child for the existential threat that rising seas pose to low-lying nations.
The country is made up of 33 coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean, most of them less than six feet in elevation.
Some of the country’s 110,000 residents have already had to relocate to higher ground, and scientists warn that large swaths of the country could become uninhabitable in a matter of decades.
The World Bank estimates, for example, that half of the town of Bikenibeu, population roughly 6,500, could be inundated by 2050 by a combination of sea-level rise and storm surge.
The country’s former president, Anote Tong, has long been an outspoken advocate for Kiribati and other low-lying island nations.
And in December of last year, while the international community was deliberating in Paris at the United Nations climate change talks, then-President Tong announced an ambitious plan of his own to help Pacific island nations adapt to rising waters.
It’s called “Pacific Rising” and is being cast as a Marshall Plan for low-lying Pacific nations. Tong said his plan is needed because the Paris climate change agreement to limit global emissions came too late for places like Kiribati.
“The momentum of what’s already in the atmosphere will ensure that we continue to be submerged under the rising seas,” Tong said. “So we had to devise an alternative plan in addition to what’s already there.”
According to the UN, there’s been a reluctance to plan for relocation on the international stage out of a concern that talking about adaption would reduce pressure on big polluters to cut emissions and fight climate change.
But recently, George Stone, a scientist with the nonprofit group Conservation International, said money is starting to flow toward vulnerable nations.
“For the first time, nations are stepping up to respond to the commitments they made in Paris to help nations that are suffering from the effects of climate change,” Stone said.
But Stone said there’s no international plan for how to help low-lying nations adapt or relocate.
“No one has a coherent, interdisciplinary approach,” Stone said. “That’s the problem.”
Part of the Pacific Rising plan, which Conservation International backs, is to be a platform to raise funds from foreign governments and private philanthropies for adaptation projects, including infrastructure to preserve drinking water access and disaster preparedness.
Tong said one component of the plan is to work with engineers from the United Arab Emirates, a country famous for its artificial floating islands, to dredge lagoons in Kiribati and deposit sand on the islands to raise their elevation.
Tong acknowledged that the effort is last-ditch and unproven.
“This is why we must do it as soon as possible so we can find out if it will work,” Tong said.
“The technology, the science, the engineering is still in the process of being developed. We cannot develop it without even trying to do it,” Tong said. “I think we should not just give up.”
Tong said he has been talking with governments in the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and South Korea about adaptation plans, though he provided few details about concrete commitments.
In conversations with foreign leaders, Tong said he stresses the moral question of helping a country like Kiribati, which did little to contribute to climate change but must deal with its most severe impacts.
“What is happening is not of our making,” Tong said. “Really the question, do we leave [people] behind, do we just jump on our own boats and let the rest drown? What would be said about our morality [then]? Where is the justice in that?”
Tong has said his adaptation plan is not meant to be a permanent solution, but a fix that would buy the country more time. While he was president, Tong also bought land in Fiji for relocation.
“Whatever adaptation measures we do are most unlikely to be able to accommodate all of the population,” Tong said, “so we have to think beyond that. So the next alternative would be to relocate people.”.
11) Nauru President sworn in
10:20 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2016, Nauru
Nauru President Baron Waqa has been sworn in today by the country’s Chief Justice Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi
According to the Nauru Government, all cabinet members and portfolios remain same, adding to stability and continuity.
It says members of the Nauru’s cabinet were also sworn in.
All members of the Waqa Government were re-elected after last week’s election except speaker Ludwig Scotty.
12) Guadancanal i winim 6th Solomon Games
Postim 18 July 2016, 16:03 AEST
Guadalcanal Provins i winim 2016 Solomon Games bihaen long tufala wik blong olketa kompetisin long Honiara wea hem finis long Sande.
Guadalcanal hem kam top long medal tally wetem 100 medal – 51 long olketa hemi winim long set long olketa athletics event.
Malaita Provins hemi kam naba 2 wetem 85 medal an Honiara City hem kam naba 3 wetem 80 medal.
Diswan hem meke 4 taem wea Guadalcanal ibin winim dispela Solomon Games.
Roland Kofuli blong SIBC Sports hem se 19 fala sports nao olketa 9 fala provins wetem Honiara City olketa kompit long hem.
Kofuli hem se samfala long olketa athlete long olketa provinsol tim ia olketa ino barava blong provins ia, an diswan hem mekem prmomotim uniti long Games.
Nekis Solomon Games bae olketa holem long Renbel Province long 2018.ABC
13) West Papua ULMWP i bilip em bai kamap ful memba blong MSG
Postim 18 July 2016, 15:11 AEST
Ol lain blong United Liberation Movement for West Papua i bilip olsem bai ol i kamap ful memba blong Melanesian Spearhead Group taim ol MSG lida i bung gen long Vanuatu long mun September.
MSG Summit long Honiara long wik igo pinis ino bin mekim disisan long aplikesan blong ol ULMWP long kamap ful memba long wanem olketa ofisal ino bin stretim sampela toktok aninit long MSG Agreement.
Praim Minista blong Solomon Islands husat i Chairman blong Melanesian Spearhead Group, Manasseh Sogavare ibin autim koros blongen long ol MSG Ofisal long dispela.
Tasol tokman blong United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda i tok ol lain West Papua i hamamas long strong sapot ol i kisim long ol pipol blong olgeta kantri long Melanesia.
Na em i tok ol bilip ol lida bai luksave long laik blong ol long kamap ful memba blong MSG.ABC
14) PNG bai bungim bikpela heve sapos Maritime Union i stop wok
Postim 18 July 2016, 14:55 AEST
Papua New Guinea Maritime and Transport Workers Union i givim tok lukaut olsem raun blong ol kago bai na ol wok bisnis na sevis long kantri bai stop sapos ol memba blong ol i stop wok.
Tasol National President blong MTW Union, Samuel Nalau itok ol bai weit pastaim long harim sapos Praim Minista O’Neill i raus oa nogat long mosan blong no-confidence long Friday.
Mr Nalau i tok sapos Mr O’Neill ino raus orait, bai ol memba blong Maritime and Transport Workers Union long olgeta 14 port long kantri bai stop wok.
Em i tok dispela bai min olsem, olgeta kaikai, ol samting long stoa, ol maining samting, saplai blong ol skul – nogat wanpela samting bai gokam long olgeta port long kantri oa ausait long kantri.ABC
15) PNG Oposisan i bilip bai ol i rausim PM O’Neill
Updated 18 July 2016, 16:05 AEST
Laen blong oposisan long Papua New Guinea itok emi bilip olsem em bai kamapim nupla gavman bihaenim vout blong no-confidans agensim Praim Minista Peter O’Neill long Friday July 22.
Ibin gat bilip olsem bai oli holim despla vote of no confidence long Fraide long wik igo pinis.
Tasol Supreme Court ibin tokim Palaman olsem aninit long loa, ol vote of no confidence imas gat wanpla wik pastem oli mekim wanpla vote of no confidens olsem na oli bin surikim ikam long despla fraide.
Oposisan ibin askim long mekim vout blong no-confidens agensim Mr O’Neill bihaenim ol tokwin blong korapsan.
Planti heve ibin kamap long PNG pinis long wanem ol i singaut long Mr O’Neill lusim wok na larim ol polis i investigetim em – tasol em ibin nolaik
Tripla memba blong gavman i lusim pinis gavman na joinim oposisan.ABC
16a) PNG: Peter O’Neill peut-il se maintenir au pouvoir?
En Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, Peter O’Neill a échappé au vote sur une motion de censure vendredi. Mais son répit n’est que de courte durée. Le Parlement décidera vendredi s’il renouvelle sa confiance au Premier ministre, qui est soupçonné de détournement de fonds publics.
16b ) Brèves du Pacifique – jeudi 14 juillet 2016
Quel statut pour le Mouvement uni de libération de la Papouasie occidentale au sein du Groupe mélanésien Fer de lance ? La réponse devait être connue ce soir.
17) Ex-Australia PM Rudd wants top UN job
10:32 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Australia
Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd Monday revealed he wants to succeed Ban Ki-moon as the next UN secretary general, asking Canberra to endorse his nomination.
A growing list of candidates have declared their interest in becoming the world’s top diplomat, including UNESCO chief Irina Bokova of Bulgaria and former New Zealand prime minister and head of the UN Development Programme Helen Clark.
The Mandarin-speaking Rudd, who is based in New York as head of the policy institute Asia Society, served as Labor prime minister from 2007 to 2010 and again in 2013.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Monday he had officially asked for government backing, with the cabinet to consider the request.
“Kevin Rudd has requested that the Australian government nominate him and, as the prime minister has indicated on a number of occasions, that’ll be a matter for cabinet,” she told Sky News. “I’ll certainly put the matter forward.”
Candidates must be nominated by their governments, with Ban due to stand aside on January 1.
For decades, the choice of the UN chief has been in the hands of the Security Council and its five permanent members — Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States — in a process largely kept behind closed doors.
But the General Assembly last year voted to shake up the process, asking candidates to send a formal application letter, present their resumes and appear at hearings.
The final decision still rests with the Security Council, but the new openness could put some pressure on big powers to pick a nominee with broader appeal.
Rudd was elected Australian prime minister in the 2007 general election in a landslide defeat of John Howard, but in his first term was dumped by colleagues fed up with his style of management. He became foreign minister in Julia Gillard’s government.
He remained popular with the electorate and Labor returned to his leadership in June 2013, making him prime minister for a second time.
However, he announced an end to his political career in November 2013, two months after losing elections won by conservative Tony Abbott.
A former diplomat who has long studied China, Rudd was an outward-looking prime minister whose love of travel earned him the nickname “Kevin 747”.
18) Labour mobility could generate an additional $10 billion for Pacific Islanders by 2040
10:39 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Fiji
The full potential of labour mobility between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region remains largely untapped, according to a new report launched today by the World Bank and the Australian National University (ANU) during the Pacific Update Conference in Suva, Fiji.
Taking a long-term view, Pacific Possible: Labour Mobility found that, with reforms made by both sending and receiving countries, 240,000 more Pacific Islanders could migrate abroad by 2040. The increased number of workers could generate up to $10 billion of additional income, relative to a business as usual scenario. Most of this income would be retained by the workers themselves, however a significant proportion would also be sent home, resulting in up to an additional $800 million in remittances for sending countries.
“Increasing labour mobility options for Pacific Islanders has the potential to be transformative, not only for workers and their families, but also for Pacific Island economies,” said Jesse Doyle, joint report author and Social Protection Economist at the World Bank. “Our research quantifies what these opportunities could look like and outlines ways they can be achieved.”
Looking at both sides of the equation, the report also highlights an increasing need for Pacific workers in labour receiving countries, particularly Australia and New Zealand. For example, by 2040, the share of people aged 80 and over will double. As a result, the aged care sector will have shortages of both residential and community care workers. Training and recruiting Pacific Islanders would represent a reliable and economical option to fill this upcoming labour market shortage.
“Given the region’s unique characteristics, increasing labour mobility is critical for the future of the Pacific, and would also be of benefit to Australia and New Zealand. We present a range of options which governments could pursue with the aim of stimulating debate and discussion,” said Professor Stephen Howes, joint report author and Director of the Development Policy Centre at ANU. “The challenge of realizing these opportunities falls to all governments of the region – Pacific Islands to lift education and training standards and Australia and New Zealand to reduce the constraints for Pacific Islanders wishing to move for work.”
The report proposes a number of labour mobility reforms and programmes for both sending and receiving countries. Some of its recommendations include:
*Introducing a Pacific caregiver programme to facilitate access to trained Pacific migrants to provide residential care.
*Reforms to the Australian Pacific Technical College to enable better labour mobility outcomes.
*Australia introducing a reformed version of New Zealand’s successful Pacific Category visas.
*Reforming Australia’s and New Zealand’s seasonal worker programs to reach their full potential.
*Investigating new labour markets around the Pacific Rim. For example, Korea’s Employment Permit System for low-skilled workers already includes Timor-Leste, and could be extended to the Pacific Island countries.
*Improving education and training in Pacific Island countries to avoid brain drain and increase opportunities for employment at home and abroad.
*Promoting Pacific workers abroad, and taking measures to mitigate any negative social outcomes associated with labour mobility.
The report is part of the Pacific Possible series looking at potentially transformative opportunities for Pacific Island countries that warrant further research, understanding and policy action. The series aims to inform government and stakeholder decisions on planning and long-term decision-making.
The World Bank is welcoming public comments on Pacific Possible: Labour Mobility until Monday August 15, 2016.
SOURCE: WORLD BANK/PACNEWS
19) Bainimarama rests trust on Sogavare
Published: 16 July 2016
Prime Minister (PM) of Fiji Frank Bainimarama has assured all member countries in the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) that PIDF will be fruitful under the leadership of the new Chairperson Manasseh Sogavare.
“Honourable Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, we have every confidence that PIDF will continue to advance a Green Blue Economy for the Pacific under the leadership of Solomon Islands, and we pledge you our full support,” he said this week.
He said the transition to a Green Blue Economy is a long-term challenge.
“Therefore we and the rest of the world will need to persevere and spare no effort as we move towards more efficient use and conservation of natural resources and greater respect for our beloved ocean.
“This is how we will guarantee the livelihood of future generations in the Pacific and the rest of the world.
“As we in PIDF know all too well, it is a collective challenge that States and private actors must assume together.
“We must develop strategies and embrace approaches to business, trade, infrastructure, energy, food production and employment that enshrine efficiency in the use of resources and minimise waste.
“To make the transition to a Green Blue economy, we will need framework conditions for innovation and a strong voluntary commitment from the business community, the scientific community and civil society. It is PIDF’s role to ensure that the measures promoting the Green Blue Economy are put in place,” Bainimarama stressed.
“The ten priorities we had previously adopted as leaders provide a very broad mandate. As we deliberate on the Strategic Plan before us, I urge you to consider an even stronger focus on those specific aspects that will strengthen the PIDF’s unique role of harnessing the means to develop Green Blue Economies in the Pacific. This includes the reinvigoration of collaborative partnerships that accelerate climate action and oceanic conservation as part of the sustainable development in the Pacific,” he continued.
“Such a concentration will not only allow us to pick off some low-hanging fruit before gradually expanding to the other remaining priorities.
“It will also be the most practical way to achieve more with less as we develop the steps we will need to take to meet accreditation guidelines that will allow us to access multilateral funding through global partnerships,” the Fijian leader elaborated further.
“We have a challenging agenda ahead of us. Let’s have constructive discussions today, as we always do, as we strengthen and broaden the foundation for our historic regional cooperation,” the Fiji PM concluded.
By AATAI JOHN/Solomon Star
20) Pacific islands nations consider world’s first treaty to ban fossil fuels
6:31 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2016, Solomon Islands
The world’s first international treaty that bans or phases out fossil fuels is being considered by leaders of developing Pacific islands nations after a summit in the Solomon Islands this week.
The leaders of 14 countries agreed to consider a proposed Pacific climate treaty, which would bind signatories to targets for renewable energy and ban new or the expansion of coalmines, at the annual leaders’ summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).
Mahendra Kumar, climate change advisor to PIDF, told the Guardian the treaty proposal was received very positively by the national leaders. “They seemed convinced that this is an avenue where the Pacific could again show or build on the moral and political leadership that they’ve shown earlier in their efforts to tackle climate change,” he said.
The PIDF was formed in 2013, spearheaded by Fiji, and excludes Australia and New Zealand, which are members of the older Pacific Islands Forum. There were claims at the time that Australia and New Zealand attempted to sabotage the group’s first meeting.
Then in 2015 Australia and New Zealand foiled an attempt by the developing countries in the older forum to take a 1.5C target to last year’s Paris climate change conference.
But the treaty being considered by the newer group embraces the aspirational 1.5C target set at Paris, setting mitigation targets that are in line with it, as well as establishing adaptation mechanisms to cope with the effects of that warming.
Written by a coalition of non-governmental organisations called the Pacific Island Climate Action Network (PICAN), the model treaty will be the subject of consultations, which will result in a report to the summit next year.
Kumar said it is unlikely to be adopted within one year, but it was possible it could be adopted the following year, in 2018.
Joeteshna Gurdayal Zenos, acting head of Pacfic Net, which is Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s climate justice project, said: “Pacific island leaders are among the most proactive in the world on global warming because their countries are bearing the brunt of climate changes.
“Their willingness to consider a Pacific climate treaty shows much-needed leadership on the world’s most pressing environmental challenge,” she said.
In a report that presents the model treaty, PICAN said: “The rationale is that potential Parties to the Treaty already possess the political courage and commitment needed to adopt a flagship legal instrument that is sufficiently ambitious to prevent catastrophic changes in the global climate system.
Report’s author says many media outlets have misinterpreted the science by conflating sea-level rise with climate change
“Such a treaty, when implemented in collaboration with PIDF and civil society, would send a powerful signal to markets, governments and civil society around the world that the end of fossil fuels is near, with Pacific Islanders acting not as victims of climate change but as agents of change.
“As there is currently no treaty that bans or phases out fossil fuels, the Treaty would set a pioneering example to the rest of the world.”
The treaty itself would bind parties to not approve any new coal or fossil fuel mines and not provide any subsidy for fossil fuel mining or consumption.
It says parties will ensure “universal access” to clean energy by 2030, and would establish a “Pacific framework for renewable energy” to achieve that goal.
The treaty would establish a fund, which would provide compensation for communities that have suffered climate change-related losses.
The proposed treaty also has sections on climate-related migration and adaptation.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN/PACNEWS
21) EU urges Pacific Leaders to continue spearheading international work on Climate Change
8:36 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2016, Solomon Islands
The Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation for the Pacific, Christoph Wagner, urged Pacific leaders to continue spearheading international work on climate change mitigation and adaptation, based on the success of the high-ambition coalition in the lead-up to Paris Agreement last November.
Wagner made the call at the 4th Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Leaders’ Summit in Honiara, Solomon Islands this week.
Wagner explained EU’s ongoing work to implement the Paris Agreement on mitigation – in order to reach the EU 40% reduction goal of green-house gas emissions by 2030. He also detailed the EU’s efforts to support adaptation measures in developing countries with the EU being the largest contributor to international climate finance.
For the Pacific, about half of the total seven-year envelope of EURO 750 million (US$833 million) is going to climate-change related programmes such as renewable energy, disaster risk reduction and resilience.
Further discussions at the PIDF Leaders’ Summit touched upon the use and protection of the oceans, and the particular role of the Pacific in climate change and the stewardship of the oceans.
Wagner said the COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco in November will be an important point to take stock and ensure implementation. The focus of the Moroccan Presidency will be on delivery on the ground, access to climate finance, outreach to non-state actors and adaptation in Africa.
22) Pacific atolls ‘could be underwater by 2050’
8:39 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2016, New Zealand
The New Zealand government is being warned to prepare for an impending stream of refugees from the Pacific as low-lying atolls are swamped by sea-level rise over the coming decades.
Labour is also calling for the government to take a humanitarian approach to people from the region who are overstayers in New Zealand.
The United Nations warns if sea level rise continues at the current rate, the Pacific atolls of Kiribati and Tuvalu could be completely submerged within decades.
Terry Edwards has lived on Kiribati’s main atoll of Tarawa his entire life.
The people there feared for the future, he said.
“We are so afraid and we think about Kiribati. Kiribati maybe in future is going to sink, we worry about it.”
The senior pastor of the church in Eita Village in Kiribati, Eria Maerere, said the King Tides were never a problem when he moved there in 1980.
“When we first heard about the rise of the sea level, we thought that somebody made up a story.
“At the beginning of 2000 we begin to realise that it is no more of a fiction, it’s a true story.”
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said whatever international commentators claimed about climate change refugees, the people on the islands did not want to leave.
“They want to stay where they are, the traditions and cultures are everything, and hence there are strong reasons why they want to stay, but they need us to focus on some realistic investments that are going to help them be able to stay.”
Labour’s Su’a William Sio said the people of the Pacific were fighting a losing battle.
The government could take a more sympathetic approach to overstayers from Kiribati and Tuvalu and not send them back to islands already under pressure, he said.
“The main islands they’ve got issues not just with climate change, but with population growth and waste on both Tuvalu and Kiribati, so I think we’ve got to seriously look at what we do with that, and my view is that we need to adopt a humanitarian stance with the overstayers that are here.”
Climate change refugees might not be a serious issue now, but they would become one, he said.
“The overwhelming scientific evidence is telling us these islands will be underwater by 2050 or 2070, so we actually do need to have a strategic long term plan in preparation to help these islanders because we can’t just sit around once those islands are underwater.”
McCully said the notion that Pacific Island nations would suddenly depopulate was fanciful, and the government’s current focus was helping people there live more sustainably so they could stay in their homes.
23 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2016-07-18/taiwan-arrests-three-foreigners-in-multimilliondollar-atm-cyberheist/1599910
24 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2016-07-18/palace-of-versailles-national-gallery-to-host-collection-never-before-seen-outside-france/1599884
25 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2016-07-17/donald-trumps-got-a-new-running-mate-mike-pence-who-is-he/1599562
26) Helping hand for Solomons’ hospitals
Solomon Islands hospitals will be recieving up to 20 containers of supplies a year from the New Zealand non-Government organisation (NGO), Take My Hands.
Solomon Islands are under resourced and in need of equipment and supplies. Photo: US Navy/Mayra A. Conde
Hospitals in the country are in desperate need of everything from bedding to prosthetics.
Take My Hands collects medical equipment and supplies from New Zealand and then sends them to countries in need.
The NGO has struck a deal with the Solomon Islands government to ensure its freight costs of almost US$35,000 per shipment are covered.
A former government consultant Alfred Sasako said health professionals have asked for more resources but never received them.
“I’ve think they’ve said enough, over the years. No one seemed to be listening in terms of government seriously taking the concerns expressed by doctors. Talking to them I know they’re very grateful for what Take my Hand is doing”
Mr Sasako said the first shipment of 48 beds has allowed the hospital to accept more patients.18/7/2016 -RNZI
27) Diabetes statistics concern in Fiji
4:07 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Fiji
Fiji’s Health Minister Jone Usamate has once again called on Fijians to rethink their lifestyle and address their health issues after disturbing reports of Fiji’s high rates of diabetes and non-communicable diseases.
He said figures which showed 40 per cent of children in Fiji between the ages of 13-15 were obese was alarming.
“Around 80 per cent of premature deaths in the country are from non-communicable diseases, this is below the age of 70 and it’s shocking,” he said on Friday. “We need to make the right choices about the food we eat. Avoid the abuse of alcohol and cigarettes and exercise daily. NCD is a serious problem.”
Usamate says statistics that rank Fiji as the second in the world with a high rate of deaths from diabetes is shocking and not the kind of record we want.
Usamate said it was crucial that people realised their role and responsibility in curbing and avoiding this condition.
“It is very important for people to realise that diabetes is something that is not addressed in the hospital,” Usamate said.
“It has to be addressed beforehand, it is done at home and in society.
“We have to make sure that we teach families, that we eat the right kind of food to stop this from happening.”
Usamate said the Government and ministry were playing their role in creating an environment that encouraged healthy living.
“All of us need to take the first step and look after our own health and make sure that we get our families to do the right thing so that we can try to reduce and stop this rise in diabetes that we have.
“It is something that churches need to look at, schools, communities, places where you work, because if we don’t this statistics will get worse.
“Right now in Fiji, every 12 hours somebody gets amputated. Sometimes these cuts are not as big as before but it is still happening.
“This is not something that can be cured in the hospital but by you out there.”
According to the World Life Expectancy diabetes report, Fiji had an age adjusted death rate of 147 (146.5) people for every 100,000 deaths and was second to Mauritius on the world ranking.
Meanwhile, Fiji’s Health permanent secretary Dr Meciusela Tuicakau has resigned from Government.
This was confirmed by the Government in a statement.
“His duties will be assumed with immediate effect in an acting capacity by the permanent secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Josefa Koroivueta, until a substantive appointment can be made,” the Government said.
“We thank Dr Tuicakau for his public service in Government and wish him well in his future endeavours.”.Credit – PINA
28) Medical team attends to rural patients
The National, Friday July 15th, 2016
By ZACHERY PER
A medical outreach team from the Kundiawa General Hospital did wonders in attending to some chronic health problems in the remote Negabo area in Karamui, Chimbu, this week.
According to Dr John Tonar, director of the outreach team, they reached out to fulfil the vision and aspirations of the Chimbu government in reaching out to rural areas.
Dr Tonar confirmed referring six patients with chronic health problems to the Kundiawa General Hospital this week.
Patients referred were Sam Torai (severe ulcer), Miriam Sam (dislocated jaw), Saki Ki (cornea transplant) Newe Steven (chronic abdominal pains) and a three-year-old boy to undergo a colostomy.
Dr Tonar thanked Salt-Nomane Karamui MP Mogerema Wei for establishing a partnership with Manalos Aviation which made the medevac possible.
The patients were flown in a Manalos helicopter to Kundiawa where they were immediately attended to. The eye patient was referred to Mt Hagen General Hospital for further screening by the regional ophthalmologist.
“The medical rural outreach programme was started in 2014 because in Chimbu, which is rugged and riddled with very bad geographical features, people were suffering and dying from curable and treatable health complications,” Dr Tonar said.
29) Mass termination imminent for Solomon Islands students studying at USP in Suva
4:09 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Solomon Islands
More than 30 Solomon Islands government sponsored students studying at the University of South Pacific, (USP) Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji are expected to be terminated and others receiving indefinite suspension to their scholarships.
The 31 students are those who failed up to four courses during the first semester.
A well placed source said the Solomon Islands Students Association (SISA) executive at USP in Fiji sympathises with the students therefore pledged their support in appealing the government decision.
“Some 31 students are on the firing and suspension list.
“From the 31, 10 are expected to face the axe with 21 are to face indefinite suspension,” the source revealed.
The source said the 21 earmarked for suspension are those who fail half of their courses while the 10 in the firing line are those who fail over half.
The source however said that on Friday 15th, the SISA executive met over the issue and make agreed to appeal against the “harsh decision” made by the National Training Committee (NTC).
“An appeal letter will be sent to the National Training Committee (NTC) and the National Training Unit (NTU) on Monday, outlining grounds on which SISA executive thinks NTC should reconsider their decision and to allow the students to continue with their studies this second semester.
“There is no guarantee that NTC will change its decision but the students were just told to wait as SISA make the attempt to save them.”
The Solomon Star understands the students will be given a chance to put their arguments forward individually when they meet with the education attaché this week for consultations.
The suspension and termination list includes first, second and final year students.
The source explained that some of the likely exceptions for such poor performances were due to Cyclone Winston, which affected academic classes early this year as well as the late arrival of some students last semester.
This year’s termination and suspension number has decreased compared to last year’s first semester which was 59.
Attempts to get comment from NTU were unsuccessful.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS….PACNEWS
30) Students lauds gov’t for fixing tuition fees
Published: 17 July 2016
GOVERNMENT funded students studying at the University of the South Pacific Solomon Islands (USP SI) Campus has commended the government for settling their tuition arrears.
This follows the lifting of their holds which denied them from viewing their semester one grades and registration for semester 2.
“Thank you SIG for clearing our holds,” the students said.
A student said that since the start of the registration week, they were unable to view their grades which resulted in being denied registration.
“But now we can register and view our grades,” he said.
A notice last Tuesday to the government sponsored students by the USP SI student association said, “All SIG sponsored students holds have been lifted as informed by the director of NTU this afternoon (12/07/2016).
“SIG sponsored students can now register for their courses this semester by tomorrow (Wednesday/12/07/16) onwards.
“Please take note that holds release will be done on a one-by-one student basis so be patient if your hold is still not released, however by Wednesday afternoon every holds should be cleared,” the notice to students said.
Yesterday, several students confirmed the government had already sorted the issue.
“It was a relief. We are happy the government promptly dealt with the issue.”
By STEPHEN DIISANGO/Solomon Star
31) Eastern Highlands students flown home
The National, Friday July 15th, 2016
By ZACHERY PER
THE Eastern Highlands Provincial Government has spent more than K200,000 to repatriate Eastern Highlands students studying in State universities at the height of the student crisis, Governor Julie Soso says.
“Eastern Highlands students studying at the University of Papua New Guinea and University of Technology were flown back home on a K200,000 funding from the provincial government,” Soso said.
She made this announcement to Eastern Highlands students attending the University of Goroka and more than 2000 people at the opening of a new Meri Seif Haus.
She also presented K40,000 to Eastern Highlands students at the University of Goroka.
The money will be used for a reconciliation at the university next week.
Soso said the acting provincial administrator also presented another K10,000.
“I call on you students at the University of Goroka to take responsibility over one another and look after properties at the campus.
“The Government decided to put the university in Goroka so we are very fortunate.”
UOG Eastern Highlands students president Eddie James thanked Soso for the financial support.
“We do not want to do what the University of Technology had experienced.
“We will return to classes after the reconciliation, because this is what our parents want.”
32) Nadroga-Navosa provincial technical college campus opens
Monday, July 18, 2016
Update: 5:56PM THE Nadroga-Navosa provincial technical college campus is the only campus in Fiji that includes hostel facilities.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama highlighted this at the opening of the technical college today.
He said it would help ease the burdens of students who needed to travel from deep rural and maritime areas.
“This campus stands as one of the largest technical college campuses in Fiji, and will draw students from villages, urban centres, suburbs and settlements.”
Mr Bainimarama also highlighted the need to develop a skilful Fijian competitive workforce.
“I believe we should never stop learning, never stop pursuing new knowledge, and never stop being curious and never stop growing. This is one very basic way to live a fulfilling life.”Fijitimes
33) Vanuatu Constitutional reform Committee meeting today
8:08 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Vanuatu
The newly appointed members of the Vanuatu Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) will convene for the CRC’s first meeting today in Port Vila.
19 Members of Parliament and eight representatives of other organisations have been appointed as members of the 27-member committee.
The appointments were made after Parliament endorsed a motion to establish the CRC on June 17, 2016.
The 19 MPs representing their political parties are: MP Marcellino Barthelemy, MP Johnny Koanapo, MP Jacob Mata, MP Kalo Seule, MP Hosea Nevu, Minister Ralph Regenvanu, MP Edwin Macreveth, Leader of Opposition MP Ishmael Kalsakau, MP Sato Kilman, MP Don Ken, MP Alickson Vira, MP Joshua Kalsakau, Minister Jotham Napat, MP Jerome Ludvaune, MP Ian Wilson, MP Samson Samsen, MP Christophe Emelee, MP Ephraim Kalsakau and Minister Ham Lini.
The eight other members comprise of Elison Bovu (Vanuatu Society for Disable People), Doresday Kenneth (Department of Women’s Affairs), Lorine Bani (Vanuatu Council of Trade Union) Joe Kalo (Vanuatu National Youth Council) , Pastor Allan Navuki ( Vanuatu National Christian Council of Churches), Miss Astride Boulekone (Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Charlie Harrison (Vanuatu Assosciation of Non Government Organisations) and Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe (Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs).
The Office of the Clerk of Parliament sent a notice to the members on July 14, 2016, advising them to collect their documents ahead of the meeting today.
The CRC has a clear mandate to review the Bill for the Constitution (Seventh)(Amendment) Act No. of 2016, consult and provide the views of the organisations they represent on the Bill for the Constitution (Seventh)(Amendment.
The terms of reference require the CRC to consult and provide the views of the organisations they represent on any other constitutional amendments or legislation that is required to: enable the regulation of political parties; enable the regulation of elected candidates; safeguard political stability and integrity of leaders in Vanuatu; provide for the regulation of the involvement of naturalised citizens in Vanuatu politics; provide for the procedure of appointment of the Speaker of Parliament.
The CRC is also mandated to provide for the independence of the office of the Auditor General; extend the life of Parliament; regulate the powers of the Parliament to dissolve Parliament; regulate the powers of the Prime Minister and a Minister after the dissolution of Parliament and before a general election; regulate the occurrence of motions of no-confidence against the Prime Minister; and expand the definition of a leader to include leaders in the private sector working with the Government.
Under the motion endorsed in parliament, the CRC is required to submit its reports together with its findings and recommendations to the Speaker of Parliament no later than August 31, 2016.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS
34) National Alliance to remain with PNG government
10:35 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Papua New Guinea
National Alliance Party leader Patrick Pruaitch says his party remains part of the Papua New Guinea Government, although founder and East Sepik Governor Sir Michael Somare may be siding with the Opposition.
He said that before departing for Alotau yesterday with 78 other Government MPs, including Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Pruaitch said stabilising the Government’s work programme would be the focus of the meeting and not the numbers game.
“We are going down to Alotau, as the prime minister has indicated, to consolidate and look at our work programme for the coming months,” he said.
“I think we have seen what stability has done for the country.
“We now need to demonstrate that in genuineness by going to Alotau.
“As the prime minister has indicated, the Government’s numbers are intact, PNC (People’s National Congress), URP (United Resources Party), NA (National Alliance) and most of our coalition partners are there.
“We’re basically going down to get the members psyched up.
“We’re more focused on the (2017) election than worrying about this (no-confidence vote).”
Party leader Ben Micah says the issues facing the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill are what forced the PPP to defect to the Opposition.
He said that on Friday just before Parliament resumed for the no-confidence vote against O’Neill.
Micah was flanked by South Bougainville MP Timothy Masiu, Kainantu MP Johnson Tuke and Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather.
The PPP caucus made the decision on Friday morning at a meeting as well as a tele-conference with those who were not in Port Moresby.
He said he could no longer sit back and watch people suffer from crisis such as the grounding of aircraft, which was threatening the security of the country, among other aspects.
“The crisis before us are not about numbers,” Micah told media before Parliament resumed.
“It is about decisive leadership to stop the downward slide to hell.
“I have made the decision as leader to withdraw PPP from the O’Neill-led Government.
“Every opportunity I made for us to address this issue with Government so that we can give some comfort that the Government is sensitive has resulted in no such meetings being convened.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he is disappointed that Petroleum and Energy Minister Ben Micah and his People’s Progress Party (PPP) have defected to Opposition.
He said this on Friday after Micah and his PPP members crossed the floor to join the Opposition ranks.
Micah was O’Neill’s chief-of-staff in 2011 and 2012 before the last general election.
“He is a leader, we respect his desire to be part of an Opposition team,” O’Neill said.
“We will see him at the election.
“But, of course, we are disappointed because he has been a key member of our staff, prior to him going to elections, but again, you can see that you never know who you can trust.
“You can’t even trust those close to you. Good luck to him.”
O’Neill said he would sit down with coalition partners and decide on who will replace Micah.
“We will stay focused on what is ahead of us: Let’s get the vote out of the way and we’ll make sure that we have one of our members who’s very competent to manage that.”
O’Neill said the no-confidence vote was a backward step.
“It brings us back to the dark old days where you have to start up camps, talk to members, and so forth,” he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONA/….PACNEWS
35) 040716 NEW SOUTH MEMBER
By Aloysius Laukai in Buin
South Bougainville has a new member. He is Timothy Masiu a longtime broadcaster with the National Broadcasting Corporation of Papua New Guinea before becoming the first secretary to the Governor for East New Britain, LEO DION for 13 years and two years as the Secretary special services for the Honourable LEO DION as the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.
MR. MASIU was declared at 4pm Bougainville Standard Time by the Returning Officer. JOHN ITANU after the 10th elimination of candidate NICK PENIAI who at the time of his elimination had scored 4705 votes.
The final battle was between two schoolmates from BUIN SECONDARY SCHOOL where the counting was held since last Friday.
The runner up JOSEPH KIM SUWAMARU who polled 6121 votes whilst MR. TIMOTHY MASIU polled 8323 votes to become the next member for South Bougainville open.
The battle was not easy but the newly elected member started well from TOROKINA and BANA votes that pushed him as the leader but at to come 3rd when counting reached the Siwai District.
However TIMOTHY MASIU never gave up and took up the lead again in Buin making him the leader again at the end of the Primary counts.
At the end of Primary count, TIMOTHY was leading with 4307 votes whilst JOSEPH SUWAMARU KIM was running second with 3645 votes.
Other candidates, NICK PENIAI was on 3293,THOMAS KOIORO 2382, PETER MANUKA 2258, BENARD KEPA 2105, ALBERT MAGOI 931,SUTCLIFFE IAMU 848, EDWARD OKUAU 492,ANDREW MIRIKI 333, LEMBIAS MAGASU 301 and PETER NERAU 293.
The newly elected member will sign a declaration accepting his election in Buin tomorrow.
Meanwhile, member elect TIMOTHY MASIU thanked the people of South Bougainville for having faith in him and voting him as their new member.
Speaking soon after his declaration, MR. MASIU vowed to work for the common good of the people of South Bougainville regardless of how they have voted in the election.
He also thanked the other eleven candidates for putting their hands and standing as candidates for this election. He said he will work with all of them in future.
The new member for South Bougainville also thanked the Election officials for a job well done despite some minor problems that they encountered during the election process.
On the law and order and security situation during the elections, MR.MASIU also congratulated the Bougainville Police Service for providing security during the polling and counting period.
He said that the credibility of an election depends on how secure the ballot boxes were during polling.
MR. MASIU said that he would open his office in Buin and will be operating from there and nowhere else.
He said that he has many plans on moving South Bougainville forward and would be requiring the support of all the people of South Bougainville to make his plans a reality.
The new member will be sworn in at the Parliament house next week.
The new member for South Bougainville contested under the Peoples Progress Party Ticket. His Party leader will meet up with him this Thursday in which a traditional ceremony will be performed by the people of South Bougainville to officially hand over the new member to the party.DawnFM
36) Bougainville Momis confident of winning over PNG Government
8:04 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Papua New Guinea
Bougainville’s President John Momis is still confident he can win over the Papua New Guinea Government after a walk out by mining giant Rio Tinto.
Two weeks ago Rio Tinto split its majority stake in Bougainville Copper Ltd between both governments.
This means they each have 36.4 percent of BCL, despite Bougainville’s expectation of a majority stake.
Momis has written to Rio Tinto and complained to the International Council of Mining and Minerals.
He has also called a special week long session of the ABG to sit from Tuesday to discuss the matter.
Momis said the best way to get the closed Panguna re-opened is for Bougainville to get majority shareholding.
“Even if Rio Tinto walks away the Bougainville Copper could go ahead with the Bel Kol (custom reconciliation) and we can have the mine re-open.”
“Outside of that they would [have a] lose/lose situation where the national government and BCL might have the majority shareholding but they will not have the right to operate in Bougainville,” he said.
Under the Bougainville Mining Act, if 25 per cent or more of shares in a company holding an exploration licence are transferred, the Bougainville Government has to start action to terminate the lease.
The transfer by Rio to the Trust means that the termination process must now begin.
37) Embrace political stability: PM
The National, Friday July 15th, 2016
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has urged Papua New Guineans to embrace just how important political stability was to the country’s future.
“We are living in a very uncertain world economic environment, and we are no longer able to fully isolate Papua New Guinea from the impact of global economic conditions,” O’Neill said in a statement yesterday.
“We are now a significant supplier of the LNG to meet global needs, and LNG is a commodity significantly impacted in terms of both price and demand by the downturn in international economic conditions,” he said.
“In an uncertain global environment, we must maintain the unwavering political stability, and sound economic management.
“It is this approach that enabled our first LNG project to become operational ahead of schedule, and to be delivering high quality LNG to the markets of the world.
“The next LNG project will begin next year provided we maintain a stable political and economic environment.
“These factors are the number one requirement of investors in multi- billion kina projects such as Papua LNG.”
“The same stability and confidence is going to be critical to other gas resource projects, and mining projects such as the massive Frieda River project which will be one of the world’s largest copper projects when completed.”
O’Neill said the strong political stability and sound economic management delivered by the Government over the last four years has enabled the successful negotiation of the K1.6 billion sovereign bond loan.
“This loan will assist with the funding of vital services and improve the foreign exchange position that had adversely impacted on the private sector, and on individuals.”
38) Changes needed to PNG Media codes of ethics
The president of Papua New Guinea’s media council said there was a need for the country’s media ethics codes to be revised.
Alex Rheeney said local media was under fire recently over its coverage of recent police shootings of students at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Mr Rheeney, who is also the editor of the Post Courier newspaper, said there have been many changes in the industry over the years including the rise of social media.
He said the current code of ethics which was implemented nearly 30 years ago needs to be changed.
“Social media has funnily become a movement in Papua New Guinea.”
“How do we work within the code of ethics and apply – how can journalists in Papua New Guinea apply that to their profession today. You know, we need to have a code of ethics that actually reflects those changes,” he said.18/7/2016 – RNZI
39) Register land, Dept says
The National, Friday July 15th, 2016
MOST land in the country is under customary ownership and not registered, Customary Land Law Foundation (CLLF) director Dr Onne Rageau says.
He said 97 per cent of PNG’s land needs to be safeguarded for its owners under customary law.
CLLF is a body recently set up by Communal Land Development Limited (CLD) to secure this land so it remains under customary ownership.
Rageau said in the last 32 years CLLF had found that land issues were very widespread, very prominent and were affecting the majority of Papua New Guineans.
“There is an absence of clan customary land titles registry in the Lands Department and that is the reason why compulsory land grab by outsiders is the biggest corruption and this can only be resolved by compulsory land registration,” Rageau told The National.
“We have to look back on what we can do with the customary land and we found that customary land among the customary laws was enshrined in the national constitution.
“So when it was in the national constitution it was referred to as the living constitution that means it’s unwritten. When it is unwritten then nobody talks about written documents or document form or whatever.”
40) Air Niugini services to return to normal
4:31 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Papua New Guinea
Air Niugini has advised that all its flights are slowly returning to normal.
The backlog of disrupted passengers is being cleared out of Port Moresby including its domestic outports.
Air Niugini sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and anxiety caused to its valued customers.
Air Niugini chief executive Simon Foo said in a statement that management and staff will continue to ensure its flights are returned to published schedule by early this week.
“Providing air services to our passengers remains our priority and we are doing everything possible to recover from the disruptions over the last few days,” Foo said.
Airline management advised that updates will be posted on its website, social media as well as radio so the travelling public is kept informed of its operations.
In another statement released by Air Niugini, the management has advised the travelling public that all its services will be returning to normal by today following a fresh dialogue with the National Pilots Union.
High on the list of priorities is to ensure that disrupted passengers are uplifted to their destinations at the earliest opportunity possible and that every attention is directed at providing services throughout its network.
The airline said today it operated most of its domestic schedule and all international flights except the operation to Honiara, Solomon Islands and Nadi in Fiji.
All flights to Lae today were operated by the B737 which enabled many of the back-log of passengers to be uplifted.
“Our passengers remain our number one priority and management and staff are on hand to do everything possible to alleviate the inconvenience caused by the temporary setback to our services,” said Foo.
Air Niugini will have its sales offices in the outports open.
Waigani and the airport sales offices will be open until 5pm to assist with rebooking and rerouting of tickets for the passengers who wish have to make changes to their travel there.
The airline advises that it will waive all penalty fees for the disrupted passengers.
“I would like to thank the staff who are working tirelessly to process and handle the various disrupted flights in the last few days including those pilots who have supported the airline’s mandate to provide air services to the travelling public.”.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
41) Commercial reforms needed to boost Pacific State – owned enterprises – ADB
8:16 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Fiji
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are a significant drain on Pacific island economies, with the returns from most countries’ SOE portfolios not even meeting their capital costs, according to an upcoming Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.
Advance copies of Finding Balance 2016, the latest edition of ADB’s landmark assessment of Pacific SOEs’ performance, were shared at the Pacific Update Conference at the University of South Pacific, Fiji.
The report finds SOE portfolios in the eight Pacific countries examined contributed only 1.8% to 12% to gross domestic product, despite their very large asset base, ongoing government cash transfers, and monopoly market positions. It also finds productivity levels of the SOEs tend to be well below developed country benchmarks.
“Low SOE returns are not unique to the Pacific but are common throughout the developing and developed world,” said Christopher Russell, SOE Expert with ADB’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), which produced the report. “They reveal a fundamental flaw in the SOE model: it is not an effective long-term ownership structure as politicians will avoid commercial decisions that may have short-term political costs.”
The report assesses the performance of SOEs in Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu, as well as Jamaica and Mauritius. It finds many countries have made significant progress through commercially-oriented reforms. Solomon Islands’ SOE portfolio’s return on equity jumped from -11% in 2002-2009 to 10% in 2010-2014. In Tonga, portfolio returns have increased to 6% from a low of 0% in 2009. Overall, seven of the 10 countries examined had seen improved SOE profitability since 2010.
The report also highlights that, while improvements had been achieved, sustaining them has proven impossible in most countries, both developed and developing. Drawing on the experiences of New Zealand and Singapore, the report concludes that increased private sector ownership and operation of SOEs is the only way to lock in reform gains.
Finding Balance 2016: Benchmarking the Performance of State Owned Enterprises in Island Countries will be published in August. It will be the fifth report in the Finding Balance series, which identifies strategies to guide reforms of SOEs, highlighting the importance of finding the right balance between public and private sector roles.
PSDI is a technical assistance facility cofinanced by the Government of Australia, the Government of New Zealand, and ADB. It supports ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and to support inclusive, private sector-led economic growth. The support of the Australian and New Zealand governments and ADB has enabled PSDI to operate in the region for almost 10 years and assist with more than 280 reforms.
42) ADB VP highlights private sector as driver of growth
10:43 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Fiji
More private sector investment is needed to sustain growth and create jobs in Fiji, Asian Development Bank’s Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Bambang Susantono, told officials attending a Pacific region conference here today.
Susantono is in Fiji for a 2-day visit where he is attending the Pacific Update Conference at the University of South Pacific and holding talks with government officials.
“Over the past 6 years Fiji has experienced one of its longest periods of sustained, growth since 1970, propelled by accommodative fiscal and monetary policy, as well as wide-ranging structural reforms,” said Mr. Susantono. “To maintain this momentum, Fiji now needs to encourage more private investment and to provide opportunities for all sectors of society to benefit from growth.”
At the conference, attended by Fiji’s Attorney General and Finance Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Susantono discussed findings of a recent ADB country diagnostic study, Fiji – Building Inclusive Institutions for Sustained Growth, which identifies key constraints to inclusive growth and suggests policy options for addressing them.
The study notes that Fiji’s rapid economic growth can only be sustained with reforms that provide an enabling environment for private business to start and operate in, address gaps in infrastructure, remove barriers to access finance and tackle a lack of productive job opportunities. The government is already implementing policy actions to address many of these constraints, but as it pursues further reforms it should consult regularly with the private sector and stakeholders to ensure their support.
The Pacific Update Conference is an annual event that brings together policymakers, academics and researchers, the private sector, and development practitioners to discuss policy issues of pressing importance to countries in the Pacific region. The event is sponsored by ADB in collaboration with the ADB Institute, the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre, and the University of the South Pacific.
As part of his visit to Fiji, Susantono visited the ADB-financed Waila water treatment plant, which has been helping to improve water supply in the greater Suva area over the last two decades. Last year, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved a $31 million climate adaptation grant for the ADB-financed Fiji Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Project that will benefit a third of the country’s population of 860,000. The GCF grant was among the first group of projects approved by the GCF Board at its meeting in Livingston, Zambia in November last year.
43) Fiji signs loan agreement with World Bank, ADB
8:19 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Fiji
The Government of Fiji today signed a US$50 million loan agreement with the World Bank to support their continued recovery needs from Tropical Cyclone Winston and enhance the country’s efforts to protect the most vulnerable.
A further US$50 million loan was also signed in the same ceremony with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), bringing the total amount to US$100 million.
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fijian Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, met with Mona Sur, World Bank Acting Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Pacific Islands and Robert Jauncey, Asian Development Bank Regional Director for the Pacific, in his office this morning for the ceremony.
Category 5 Cyclone Winston was the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, killing 44 people and leaving a trail of destruction across large parts of Fiji. The total damage and losses resulting from Cyclone Winston are estimated at US$1.38 billion (31 percent of GDP), including US$959 million in damage and losses to Fiji’s productive, social and infrastructure sectors. Nearly 130,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, affecting approximately 15 percent of Fiji’s total population.
The World Bank’s Fiji Post-Cyclone Winston Emergency Development Policy Operation supports the country’s efforts to protect the most vulnerable and strengthen the country’s broader, disaster-responsive objectives.
The loan was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Thursday 30 June in Washington D.C. Credit – PINA
44) 130716ARAWA TRAVELLERS IN OPENED
By Aloysius Laukai in Arawa.
With the promotion of Tourism sites around Bougainville by the National Minister for Tourism, the Lynchar Group of Companies has done it again by opening its 16 room fully air-conditioned facility at the Back of its Lynchar Supermarket.
The opening ceremony was attended last night by the local chiefs,Leaders, Businessmen alike and the friends and families of Lynchar Group of Companies.
Speakers at the Ceremony included Land owners, who wanted similar setups by Bougainvilleans to set up in Arawa.
Businessman, ISHMAEL TOROAMA whilst congratulating the owners of the Company said that his fighters fought for the people of Bougainville and would continue to support Bougainvilleans who want to venture into business on the next level.
Former UN rep in Arawa and chief PETER SIUNAI said that he was one who supported the restart of business in Arawa and is also happy to reflect on the changes that has taken place since those days.
The member for Central Bougainville and Minister for Communications, JIMMY MIRINGTORO who officiated at the ceremony called on landowners to unlock land in Arawa to Bougainvillean entrepreneurs instead of outsiders who have no interest in supporting Bougainville’s recovery.
Minister Miringtoro said Bougainville should be developed by Bougainvilleans and also called on the ABG to tighten the RESERVED LIST of Businesses that must be operated by Bougainvilleans.Dawnfm.
45) $4.5m for high priority bridges
Monday, July 18, 2016/ Fijitimes
+ Enlarge this image
Development work in progress at the site where the new bridge will be erected along Fletcher Rd in Vatuwaqa, Suva. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA
GOVERNMENT has committed $4.5 million for necessary repair works to nine bridges around the country, which it considers a high priority.
Confirming this allocation, Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) chief executive officer John Hutchinson said many of the bridges needed strengthening work.
“It is important to understand most of these bridges were built as early as the 1960s with different volumes of traffic and weights in mind when they were designed.”
Mr Hutchinson said very little maintenance had been carried out over the years which created a significant backlog of maintenance, repair and replacement work. Some, he added, needed to be replaced urgently.
“Work on these bridges need to be prioritised, taking into account public safety and the availability of alternative routes and its economic importance to the nation,” Mr Hutchinson said.
The CEO acknowledged some mistakes of FRA over the past years but said the authority was constantly striving to improve its capacity and capability to deliver a safe, efficient and effective transport infrastructure that met the needs of all Fijians.
Mr Hutchinson did not elaborate on the mistakes.
He said Government had set a very clear vision and objectives for Fiji and FRA in particular.
“We are working hard to meet that vision and objectives and with the support and assistance of all stakeholders, we will achieve them.”
High priority bridges
* Walu Bay bridge, Suva
* Tamavua bridge, Suva
* Labasa bridge, Labasa
* Lami bridge, Suva
* Vesidrua bridge, Vanua Levu, (Seaqaqa)
* Tavualevu bridge, Tavua Town
* Naiyalayala bridge, Taveuni (Waiyevo)
* Matanaivuso bridge, Viti Levu (Verata Village)
* Nakasava bridge, Vanua Levu (Savusavu)
46) Man funds road work
The National, Friday July 15th, 2016
By ELIAS LARI
A man in Western Highlands has used more than K70,000 from his personal savings to help his people by maintaining and upgrading a 15km road.
Gabriel Andandi from Tambul in the Tambul-Nebilyer electorate has funded the road from Tomba to Tambul which was closed for more than 10 years causing more than 20,000 people from 22 council wards to suffer.
Apart from the K70,000 spent on the road works, he bought six diesel drums at a cost of K5000 and gave another K1000 to people that helped.
He said that the road was closed for more than 10 years due to lack of maintenance.
He said that he was from the area and was saddened by his people’s plight.
“I have to dig deeper into my pocket to help my people because they have been without a road,” Andandi said.
“It was not good to see them walking with loads for several kilometres in order to reach their homes.”
47) Traditional approach for iTaukei stats
Monday, July 18, 2016
THE Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) has adopted a traditional approach to address the growing iTaukei population in Fiji’s corrections facilities.
This, after it was revealed that the iTaukei made up 77 per cent of the prison population or 1400 of the 1800 inmates around the country.
A two-day workshop hosted by the iTaukei Affairs Ministry was held for senior FCS officials to undergo a cultural empowerment training with the ministry.
Deputy Commissioner Superintendent Jo Kulinidilo said this would help senior officers learn about the importance of traditional roles and responsibilities and how to promote this issue to inmates.
“With them making up more than half of the current prison population, we need to target iTaukei issues. It has to start from the village and community level. The high make-up of iTaukei inmates in our prisons is a negative repercussion of the collapse of our cultural and traditional system,” said the Deputy Commissioner.
iTaukei Affairs Ministry senior training officer Ro Aca Mataitini said it was the first time for both institutions to work together on the program.
“We started doing this work eight years ago but it was mainly at provincial and tikina level. This is our second year of hosting the program at village level and today (Friday) is the first time we’ve hosted the program for an institution.”Fijitimes
48) Army joins task force
The National, Friday July 15th, 2016
By MALUM NALU
Police and soldiers will be used by the newly established National Security Joint Task Force to stifle any internal security threats.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki and PNG Defence Force Commander Gilbert Toropo confirmed this after the establishment of the task force was announced by Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari yesterday.
Baki said the task force would be headed by assistant police commissioner (crimes) Victor Isouve, who would report to him directly, and would be assisted by the PNGDF.
“We will have support staff from police, defence and the National Intelligence Organisation to come on board,” he said.
“I will be initiating documents today so that the deployment of the Defence Force with police in the task force is legal and binding in the callout provisions.
“We are not vindictive on anyone.
“The message given by the chief secretary is very clear – If you break the law, you will be dealt with by the law.”
Baki said there should not be suspicion that the task force was set up for other purposes.
“It’s important that you look at it from the security point of view particularly affecting Papua New Guinea as the constabulary has been tasked with the responsibility of planning security for the upcoming FIFA (women’s under-23 soccer tournament) in November and APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit) 2018.
“We’re also having the support of defence, correctional service and the Government in our preparations.
“We need to stabilise the country to allow a safe environment for any other international event that’s going to take place in Papua New Guinea.”
Toropo assurance of PNGDF support.
“My staff have already been informed of their roles in supporting the police in this task force.
“Is is our desire that people of Papua new Guinea, our citizens, the international community including investors, conduct their activities without being interrupted or interfered with.
“We will provide manpower and any other resources that are required to carry out this internal task force responsibility.
“PNG Defence Force is ably ready to support this cause in the best interest of our people.”
49) Regularisation consultation for fishing rights owners
Monday, July 18, 2016
Update: 5:40PM A TEAM from the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests will be conducting public consultations on the regularisation of goodwill payment to customary fishing right owners (CFRO’s) for issuance of inshore fisheries license.
The consultation will begin in the Western Division this Wednesday.
All submissions will be then taken up to Cabinet.
With the anticipated regularisation process, customary and community fishing right owners will be able to benefit through,
– Equity in the distribution of fishing levies, a transparent and accountable process and a more effective community-based fisheries management & development.
– Commercial fishers will benefit through a more transparent and accountable process in acquiring consent for fishing permit and license as well as security in investment.
The regularisation of all these key factors will greatly assist Government in achieving key development deliverables at community level and the monitoring of fishing effort and catch through inshore commercial fishing.Fijitimes
50) FFA welcomes Australia funding Pacific fishing surveillance
4:27 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Solomon Islands
The Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) says the offer by Australia to fund aerial surveillance in member states’ fishing zones will allow the agency to charter a mission specific aircraft.
James Movick said Australia would be responsible for the crewing and maintenance of the aircraft, with the FFA regional fisheries surveillance centre managing its deployment.
“The Australian military authorities will be the ones to contract a suitable aircraft and at this stage it’s not known whether it will be one aircraft or several aircraft.”
“But certainly they will have to be aircraft that are capable of carrying the suite of electronics that will be required for this type of surveillance,” he said.
Movick said the aerial surveillance would be required 365 days a year and would create two additional watch officer roles for the FFA.
He said the surveillance was supplemental to all existing initiatives and will work in tandem with existing surveillance assets.
The scheme starts in July next year and has an annual budget of $US11 million for each of the next 30 years.
51) American Samoa seek assistance from eight Pacific neighbours for fishing vessels
8:14 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, American Samoa
The Governor of American Samoa has written to the eight Pacific states that are Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) for favourable treatment of fishing vessels based in the territory.
Due to new requirements agreed to in the new South Pacific Tuna Treaty between 16 Pacific states (including New Zealand and Australia) and the United States of America, US fishing vessels need to fulfill new requirements for fishing access to Pacific Island waters through to 2022 – by 1 August 2016.
Governor Mauga’s letters to the eight PNA members is not surprising as they control the largest area of the Pacific fishery. In fact, they control the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery and specifically, around 50 per cent of the global supply of skipjack tuna, the most commonly canned tuna.
“It is a blessing to our people that your strong representation salvaged the Treaty,” Governor Mauga writes in his letter to the Government of Tuvalu.
“We have a strong interest in using this momentum to forge a collaborative and mutually beneficial relationship with the Government of Tuvalu, to provide a robust exchange of information and a shared vision to optimise the use and management of our resources for the benefit of our peoples.
“As a result of the Tuna Treaty talks, US flagged boats that are based and supply tuna to canneries in American Samoa must fulfill certain requirements of the Tuna Treaty with your country by August 1, 2016.
“Please be informed that the American Samoa Government to the extent feasible and appropriate will support boat owners’ offers of employment, human resource building and other benefits as they negotiate with your country. American Samoa enjoys a strong mutually beneficial relationship with these boats and we hope to facilitate a relationship that is advantageous for all.”
“I look forward to working together in the spirit of reciprocity to protect and sustainably advance our interests.”.
SOURCE: PACIFIC GUARDIANS/PACNEWS
52) NZDF’s Joint Pacific Fisheries Patrols Continue Success
6:21 pm GMT+12, 14/07/2016, New Zealand
Fisheries patrols conducted by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) together with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Pacific Islands countries have continued their run of success, with 34 commercial fishing vessels boarded and 36 breaches detected during the inspections in the south-west Pacific since the operation began in June.
The operation, sponsored by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, saw boarding teams – comprised of crew from the Royal New Zealand Navy’s offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago and compliance officers from MPI and Pacific Islands countries – conducting 34 inspections during patrols in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of Fiji, Niue, Tokelau and Tuvalu.
“The patrols highlighted the excellent collaboration between the crew of Otago and representatives from Pacific Islands countries and MPI. This was vital as we worked together in often challenging conditions,” said Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR) Andrew Sorensen, Commanding Officer of HMNZS Otago.
LTCDR Sorensen said the boarding teams detected 36 breaches during the inspections. These breaches included unmarked fishing gear, licensing issues and the discarding of rubbish, and will be fully investigated by each Pacific Islands country and supported by New Zealand if requested.
“The operation is significant in terms of raising compliance levels within the Pacific region and also for the direct support that the Pacific nations receive. Although the number of breaches detected was disappointingly high, it showed the importance of ‘at sea’ boarding and inspection as a tool for raising compliance levels and of implementing measures that ultimately support the effective management of Pacific tuna fisheries,” MPI Chief Operations Officer Andrew Coleman said.
HMNZS Otago left New Zealand on 5 June to conduct fisheries patrols in the south-west Pacific over the next two months. Port visits to several Pacific Islands countries were also scheduled as part of defence diplomacy activities.
MFAT’s Pacific Security Fund supported the participation of compliance officers from MPI and Pacific Islands countries. The patrols were also supported by NZDF and MPI personnel in New Zealand who worked hard to ensure that HMNZS Otago had all the information she needed to plan and carry out the operation.
“For several years now, the NZDF has been deploying its ships and aircraft to conduct maritime patrols to assist south Pacific Islands countries in protecting their fishery resources,” said Captain (CAPT) Dave McEwan, the Acting Maritime Component Commander.
SOURCE SCOOP NZ/PACNEWS
53) Youth training programme to expand
A youth-in-work programme in Solomon Islands will be replicated in the rest of Melanesia if a training programme is successful.
The Pacific Community will train 20 youth from Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu to act as leaders to help unemployed youth in their home countries.
The SPC’s Melanesia director, Mia Rimon, said 20 percent of the Pacific’s 11 million people are 15 to 24 years old, and approximately half are unemployed.
But she said if the leaders are successful, they could help move large numbers into formal employment.
“We frontload train them on work ethics, on getting a bank account, a mobile phone, a provident fund card, all sorts of things that they would need to go into the workforce. Then we get them a job placement and we give them about 20 weeks with that employer to gain some job experience.”RNZI 18/7/2016.
54) Soso opens Meri Seif Haus in Goroka
The National, Friday July 15th, 2016
EASTERN Highlands Governor Julie Soso opened the first Meri Seif Haus n Goroka yesterday.
The two-storey house was built by businessman and philanthropist Ijampi Suave using K300,000 provided by Soso in 2013.
The house will accommodate women who were left alone to fend for themselves due to factors, including death of spouses, polygamy, divorce and desertion.
“As a female governor, I do not want women to be left disadvantaged. I found that Suave has been working hard to look after helpless women and I supported him with K300,000.
“He constructed a building that is like a lodge, fitted with furniture for women who are left out in the cold to fend for themselves,” Soso said.
She called on the women to have faith and trust in God who inspired wise men like Suave to look after their welfare by providing free accommodation, meals and other necessities.
“I acknowledge the important work that Ijampi and his directors like Winnie Namane are doing to support homeless women. I will continue to give my support as long as I remain your governor.”
She presented K50,000 to the safe house and another K10,000 for the opening.
Soso also made a further commitment of K100,000 for the new home.
Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority chief executive officer Joshua Soso praised Soso and Suave for the new centre which would work with the health authority to help disadvantaged women.
A number of non-government organisation partners were present to witness the occasion at Lusaroka compound near Kama village.
55) German musicians here for series of concerts
The National, Friday July 15th, 2016
By NAOMI WASE
A GROUP of young accordion musicians from Germany are in the country to hold concerts and workshops.
The 20-member Akkodeon Harmonists musical team arrived on Wednesday for a three-week visit, including a visit to the Solomon Islands.
Music director Volkmar Thermer said they were not just here for visit and collect good memories from Papua New Guinea but to learn something as well.
“This visit is also for these young people to learn and know the cultures and the traditions of Papua New Guinea,” Thermer said.
The team will be travelling to Rabaul, East New Britain, then to the Solomon Islands, Western Highlands and Chimbu and back to Port Moresby before going back to Germany.
They will be hosting concerts at Bomana prison, Marriaville secondary school, Caritas and Technical Secondary during their stay in Port Moresby.
Akkordeon Harmonists consists of musians whose ages range from 15 years to 32 years.
A member of the group, Br Reto Wanner, introduced PNG to the group, which led to their decision to tour the country. “I made presentation about Papua New Guinea to them and they were fascinated about it.
“So, they developed the idea to come here,” Wanner said.
He was with the Akkodeon Harmonists for two years before coming to Papua New Guinea and worked at the Don Bosco Technical Institute.
56) Melanesian games back after 13 years
Monday, July 18, 2016/Fijitmes
WITH Fiji holding a regional athletics competition after a lapse of 13 years, the Melanesian Athletics Championship proved to be a good platform for young athletes.
While the highlight of the competition mostly centred around three athletes Toea Wisil, Leslie Copeland and Banuve Tabakaucoro, who were all vying for Olympic qualification, the competition included much more involvement from youths who while still in school, showed a great interest in national representation.
Regional Games statistician Bob Snow said with the event serving as a qualifier to the Rio Olympics, the competition was much more prominent.
“The Melanesian Athletics Championship has been around for quite a long time in many different forms. Sometimes they were held in conjunction with other events and that way you would get. Because this one came just before the Olympics it gave it extra status and importance,” he said.
He added that with big stars around the Pacific fighting for qualification, the championship served as the perfect development for those that debuted at the event.
“We had the Toea, Banuve and the Leslie show to get everyone excited but deleting the big stars, we had a huge number of young people come forward and consolidate their position as players of the future and there were some who in a sense came to break the waters and that is really important.
“I thought it was a wonderful opportunity and a huge participation from the participating countries,”he said.
Athletics Fiji chief development officer Joseph Rodan Jr said they considered the event a success.
“We were happy with the turnout because we had the biggest participation numbers from the country.
“We had a total of 230 athletes in both the open and U18 grade and both out of all of them 205 were from the Coca-Cola Games.
“We have done well in terms of the new national record set and not only that we have had a few personal best performances so it’s been a success,” he said.
Australia proved dominant in the Melanesian Athletics Championship winning first place with a total of 76 medals.
The winners had participated in most of the events both in the development and open grade.
The 76 medals comprised of 36 gold, 26 silver and 14 bronze medals.
The Fiji A grade team placed second with 10 gold, 15 silver and 14 bronze.
Papua New Guinea placed third with eight gold, eight silver and 6 bronze.
57) Public praise police
Published: 17 July 2016
MEMBERS of the public have expressed gratitude and commend Police for providing security which resulted in the peaceful final soccer matches on Saturday afternoon.
The grand final match between Isabel Frigates and Makira had attracted thousands of Honiara residents who jam-packed the stadium and around the stadium despite the scorching heat.
“W thanked the police for a splendid job not only during this soccer match but also throughout the past weeks when this country hosted a number of big events,” one senior citizen told the Solomon Star yesterday.
He said a week prior to the Independence Day celebration, police started executing their duties.
“That followed by the PIDF meeting, the MSG summit and now this big soccer final. Police are doing a splendid job therefore they deserve congratulations and must be thanked for ensuring crime-free events.”
He said the RSIPF visibility at these venues show how committed police are in guaranteeing public security.
“For this, police officers or RSIPF must be commended,” he said.
Another member also shared the same sentiments while acknowledging private security firms who sent in their guard officers to Lawson Tama.
“Many times, people are quick to criticise police, but these big events were completed successfully with the great help of police presence on the streets and at the venues.
“They deserve commendation even from the government.”
By STEPHEN DIISANGO
58) Kakamoras shot Frigates
Published: 17 July 2016
Makira Ulawa Football team are the champions of the 2016 Solomon Games football competition.
The Eastern boys claimed the top spot after thrashing Isabel Frigates 3-0 in a stunning grand finale in front of a huge crowd at the Lawson Tama stadium on Saturday.
The Frigates team was hoping to get their first highest football title in their football history, but it did not turn out the way they wanted.
A goal each from Ian Ngahu, Rex Honu and Jacklin Manogi in the first half was enough for Makira /Ulawa football team to claim a gold medal in the competition.
It was an equally contested match with each sides having had an equal share of ball possession and scoring chances, but it was the boys from the east side that utilized their chances.
Despite trailing behind, Frigates keep the pressure only to be denied from scoring.
Frigates scoring machine Mostyn Kelly did set up three golden opportunities for his side in the first half but his teammates fail to utilize the chances.
After the break, both teams again displayed a good game but were not able to score any goals.
The first half score remained the same before the final whistle.
Excited Makira skipper Junior Dagi said it was a well deserve victory for his boys since they were training hard for the competition.
“We finally fulfil our dream, that is to come and win this competition,’’ he said.
“I would like to thank my boys for the great effort we put into this whole tournament.
“Credit must be given to our coach, team management and our die-hard fans here in Honiara and back at home,’’ he added.
Despite the loss for Frigates, it was a great achievement for them to reach the grand final in any national football competition.
In the losers’ final, Honiara claimed secured the third spot after narrowly beating Malaita Eagles a goal to nil.
By CROFTON UTUKANA/Solomon Star
59) Fiji 7s squads for Rio 2016 announced
8:28 pm GMT+12, 17/07/2016, Fiji
The 24 players hoping to claim Fiji’s first ever Olympic medal have been named by coaches Ben Ryan and Chris Cracknell.
Fiji have never won an Olympic medal but the sevens mad nation hopes the men’s and women’s squads named on Saturday will finally lay that statistic to rest at Rio 2016 next month.
As back-to-back HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions, the men’s side are top seeds for the 12-team event in Rio and favourites to claim gold so it was no surprise the squads were announced live on television by Fiji Prime Minister and Fiji Rugby Union President Voreqe Bainimarama.
Coach Ben Ryan has selected a 12-man squad with Masivesi Dakuwaqa a travelling reserve for the 9-11 August event at the Deodoro Stadium.
The core of the side which retained the series title are selected in the likes of Captain Osea Kolinisau, try-scoring machine Savenaca Rawaca, Jerry Tuwai, Jasa Veremalua and Vatemo Ravouvou.
They are complemented by the likes of RWC 2015 star Leone Nakarawa, Samisoni Viriviri and Toulon flyer Josua Tuisova who all impressed when given their chance by Ryan this year.
One name missing is Pio Tuwai, who had been struggling for fitness recently, while Jarrad Hayne’s Olympic dream had already come to an end before the final squad was selected.
Fiji will face host nation Brazil, USA and Argentina in Pool A.
The women’s team, coached by Chris Cracknell, finished eighth in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in 2015-16 but will not be underestimated by their Pool A opponents in series champions Australia, USA and Colombia.
Ana Roqica will captain Fijiana for the 6-8 August event, with Lavenia Tinai and Rusila Nagasau other key figures for Cracknell’s charges.
Rebecca Tavo, meanwhile, was part of the Australian side which won the first Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens title in 2009 and provides plenty of experience to the Fijiana outfit. Raijieli Daveua is the only player named not to feature on the series in 2015-16.
Men’s squad: Apisai Domolailai, Jasa Veremalua, Josua Tuisova, Kitione Taliga, Leone Nakarawa, Samisoni Viriviri, Savenaca Rawaca, Semi Kunitani, Jerry Tuwai, Vatemo Ravouvou, Viliame Mata, Osea Kolinisau (captain)
Travelling reserve: Masivesi Dakuwaqa
Women’s squad: Asena Rokomarama, Lavenia Tinai, Litia Naiqato, Luisa Tisolo, Merewai Cumu, Raijieli Daveua, Rebecca Tavo, Rusila Nagasau, Timaima Ravisa, Tima Tamoi, Viniana Riwai, Ana Roqica (captain)
Travelling reserve: Jiowana Sauto.
SOURCE: WORLD RUGBY/PACNEWS