Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1082 ( Friday 27 January 2017 )


1) Bougainville Referendum Komisin awenes

Updated 26 January 2017, 12:49 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Direkta blong Leitana Nehan divelopment agensi long Bougainville, itok wok blong statim Bougainville Referendum Commission nau bai strongim ol wok blong skulim na toksave gut long ol pipal long indipendans referendum long 2019.

Mrs Helen Hakena i mekim despla toktok bihaen long ol sinia gavman ofisa blong Autonomas Bougainville Gavman na Papua New Guinea gavman ibin sainim ol agriman long Tunde blong redi-im despla vote.

Oli tok bikpla wok blong despla Commission em blong redi-im despla referendum long  2019 blong save sopos Bougainville bai lusim Papua New Guinea oa nogat.

Mrs Hakena itok tenk yu tu long ol lida blong tupla saed long luksave na respektim peace agreement na iwok long go hed gut wantem despla wok blong mekim referendum.

Organisation blong en, Leitana Nehan divelopment agensi ibin statim ol awenes long despla referendum long yia igo pinis we oli save go long olgeta ples long Bougainville long tok klia long wonem samting tru em despla referendum.

2) Papua New Guinea, Bougainville governments set up commission to oversee independence vote

8:18 pm GMT+12, 24/01/2017, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea and Bougainville Governments have moved a step closer to a referendum on the autonomous region’s independence by creating a commission to oversee the vote.

The Bougainville Referendum Commission will be in charge of preparing for and conducting the referendum in 2019 on whether Bougainville should secede from Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The referendum is a key requirement of the 2001 peace agreement that ended a decade-long armed conflict between Bougainville and PNG.

Vice-President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Patrick Nisira, said the creation of the commission showed both Governments were working together to honour the peace agreement.

“It is a significant step forward,” he said.

“It gives confidence to the people of Bougainville, to the people of Papua New Guinea, that the process is alive and well.”

Chief Secretary to the PNG Government, Isaac Lupari, said the commission had important responsibilities in the lead-up to the vote.

“It will be tasked to oversee the planning and preparation of the referendum plan that’s going to be put in place,” he said.

Lupari said there were still two important conditions of the peace agreement that needed to be met before the referendum — the creation of good governance structures and the disposal of any remaining weapons.

“The referendum is conditional on those two key conditions, we have to make sure those are fully complied [with] to the letter of the law,” he said.

Lupari said there would also be a review of Bougainville’s autonomous government arrangement.


3) Vanuatu PM Launches ‘Vanuatu 2030’ Sustainable Development Plan

Submitted by PIR Editor on Sun, 01/22/2017 – 12:24

Plan builds on 2006-2015 Priorities and Action Agenda, new balance between the ‘three pillars’ of development encompassing Society, Environment and the Economy

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, January 21, 2017) – Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has launched ‘Vanuatu 2030’, the country’s new National Sustainable Development Plan.

The launching event for the Government’s 15-year development roadmap took place on Wednesday, the 18th of January 2017 at the National Convention Centre in Port Vila.

It outlines steps for delivering on the national vision to achieve ‘a Stable, Sustainable and Prosperous Vanuatu.’

The plan builds on the progress made and lessons learned under the Priorities and Action Agenda (PAA), which guided Vanuatu’s development efforts between 2006 and 2015 which also coincided with the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015.

When approaching the task of developing a plan as the successor to the Priorities Action Agenda, there was a concerted effort to strike a new balance between the ‘three pillars’ of development encompassing Society, Environment and the Economy, which was seen to be lacking in previous government plans.

However, the most notable development has been the inclusion of a culture and kastom at the heart of the document, which was prominent in discussions around the initial stages of writing the plan and was also reaffirmed during extensive public consultations.

In his keynote address, the Prime Minister said “I like to think of the structure as a large nakamal with the three pillars holding up the roof and the foundation is our culture and kastom.” Adding that inside this nakamal “is where the important discussions on our development agenda should take place.”

The Prime minister went on to thank those who took part in the intensive nationwide consultations that convened communities, provincial governments, private sector, and civil society that “helped to deliver a document which is truly ‘The People’s Plan.’”

In his speech, PM Salwai also challenged the representatives of development partners present to engage with ‘Vanuatu 2030’ as a tool to encourage closer alignment of government and donor resources, and to work together “in a true partnership” to deliver on the aspirations of the people of Vanuatu.

He also thanked the staff of the Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination (DSPPAC) who had led the process to develop ‘Vanuatu 2030’.

Gregoire Nimbtik, the Director of DSPPAC who was responsible for overseeing the final stages of the putting together the document said that, “with the launch of ‘Vanuatu 2030’ there is still the need to build more on awareness, institutional capacity, government mechanisms and processes to materialise our plans and policies”.

Work to address these gaps, and on implementing the new development agenda is expected to start immediately.

Vanuatu Daily Post

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6) More Than 800 Homes Destroyed, Damaged From French Polynesia Floods

Submitted by PIR Editor on Tue, 01/24/2017 – 16:29

Work underway in Tahiti to remove tons of mud

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 25, 2017) – More than 800 homes have been destroyed or flooded in French Polynesia after the weekend’s severe storms.

Authorities said at least four people were injured, 4000 people have been affected and that at least five bridges had been destroyed.

Work was underway, yesterday, on Tahiti to move tons of mud brought in by the floods.

A state of natural disaster was declared after the weekend rain.

Overseas Minister Ericka Bareigts released emergency aid to the territory of $US215,000.

258 homes were still without electricity yesterday afternoon.

Earlier this week, French Polynesia’s international airport was closed for more than 24 hours due to flooding.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Tonga Denies Claims By U.S. Company That It Was Granted Casino License

Submitted by PIR Editor on Wed, 01/25/2017 – 15:35

Prime Minister: Gambling is illegal in Tonga, any casino application would be futile

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan. 2, 2017) – Tonga’s Government this evening has refuted claims that it issued a casino license to a US company called Red Warrior Entertainment LLC.

Red Warrior CEO Ronald Pate announced  two days ago that Red Warrior had been granted “an exclusive National Master Gaming License” which was ” the first of its kind issued from Tonga” to operate a casino in Tonga. He quoted a cabinet decision by number “His Majesty’s Cabinet decision No. 1194 on the 4th of November 2016” and also claimed to have received a formal letter and proclamation from the Minister of Customs dated 24 November 2016 and a completed Licence agreement on 9 January 2017.

But in a statement today the Prime Minister’s Office denied the claim and stated that gambling is prohibited in Tonga by law, “and therefore any intention from Red Warrior Entertainment or any Casino Company to apply for a gaming license would be futile.”

The Prime Minister’s Office stated that Red Warrior is a “foreign team counterpart” of a foreign investment company  called Amira-Unison-Gatti LLP. In November last year Cabinet received a proposal for a tourism facility and investment called “Tavake Tamafua Investment Project” from Amira-Unison-Gatti for an investment covering three projects: the Pearl Airport Hotel & Shopping Mall, the Frangipani Luxevillas and the Aria Tourism Entertainment Gaming Resort.

The PMO stated that while the Cabinet initially, on November 4, supported the project, after further consideration the Cabinet on November 11 supported only the first two projects, but not the proposal for a Aria Tourism Entertainment Gaming Resort.

“The Cabinet further directed that the full plan for the Pearl Airport Hotel and Shopping Mall and the Frangipani Luxevillas are to be submitted for final consideration and approval.”

Casinos are forbidden under Tonga’s Criminal Offences Act 1926 which prohibits gambling.

The Prime Minister’s Office added that “any proposal that will be deemed to disrupt the peace and harmony of the society will be given careful scrutiny and consideration.”

However, the press statement did not reveal the names of the project’s local Tongan counterparts.


Meanwhile, public opinion in Tonga is likely to reject any attempt to change the law regarding gambling.

Rev. Tevita Haukinima, treasurer of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, told Matangi Tonga today that he did not believe that the stories about establishing a casino in Tonga were true.

“We at the FWC don’t believe in casinos and dealing cards. This is what the church believes and what Christians believe as well as our pastors and people of the church… It might bring about problems in society that will affect the people.

“We all know of casinos overseas and the difficulties it brings and I think the same thing would happen in Tonga.”

Matangi Tonga Magazine


8) More women reporting domestic violence in Marshall Islands

26 January 2017

More women in the Marshall Islands are reporting domestic violence thanks to a new process for requesting temporary protection orders against abusive spouses or partners.

As recently as 2014 not a single protection order was sought but since the introduction of the new process this jumped to 10 in 2015 and rose to 12 in 2016, with two cases already reported this year.

Under the new system applicants do not need a lawyer but are assisted by High Court staff to fill out an affidavit form which is then submitted to the judge for action, normally on the same day as it is filed.

The two new requests for protection filed in the High Court earlier this month were heard, the same days on which they were filed, by Judge Colin Winchester.

After hearing the reports of violence, he issued temporary protection orders against men in both cases.

According to the national women’s organisation, Women United Together Marshall Islands, 51 percent of women interviewed said they were victims of domestic violence.RNZI

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10) Solomons PM i hamamas long outgoing Polis Komisina

Updated 26 January 2017, 12:47 AEDT
Sam Seke

Praem Minista blong Solomon Islands hemi bin tok hae long olketa waka wea outgoing Polis Komisina,  Frank Prendergast hem bin duim fo Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and kantri insaet long last 2 an half ia.

Mr Sogavare hem preisim Mr Prendergast long hao hem divelopem “capacity and capability” blong polis fos fo dil wetem and stopem kraem long evriwea long kantri.

Praem minista hem mekem toktok blong hem long wanfala seremoni long Rove polis hedquata yestede fo se faeawel long Mr Prendergast and welkamum niuwan, forma Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner, Matthew Varley.

Mr Varley hem bin tekem oath or mekem promis blong hem long Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui long gavman haos bifoa long parade long yestede aftanun.

Regional Assistance Mission or RAMSI Public Affairs and Media Manager, Johnson Honimae i  stori olsem  seremoni long yestede ibin go gut olgeta.ABC


11c) Brèves du Pacifique – jeudi 26 janvier 2017
Mis à jour 26 January 2017, 20:55 AEDT

1) En Australie, fin de cavale pour les 7 déliquants mineurs qui s’étaient évadés de l’établissement pénitentiaire de Malmsbury, dans le Victoria, à une centaine de kilomètres de Melbourne. Au total, 15 adolescents s’étaient fait la belle mercredi en début d’après-midi. 

D’après les autorités, ils ont agressé un gardien, lui ont pris ses clefs et ses cartes pour passer toutes les portes, et ils ont finalement pris le volant de deux voitures du personnel, avant de voler une 3ème voiture. 8 d’entre eux ont été repris assez rapidement par la police, mais les 7 autres ont semé les policiers pendant 24 heures, ce qui leur a laissé le temps de faire quatre braquages à main armée et un cambriolage. Trois des évadés ont été placés dans un quartier de haute-sécurité désormais dédié aux mineurs, dans la prison pour adultes de Barwon. C’est au moins la quatrième mutinerie dans un établissement pénitentiaire pour mineurs dans le Victoria depuis novembre. La ministre de la Jeunesse du Victoria promet de construire un nouvel établissement pour mineurs avec un dispositif de sécurité renforcé.
2) Aux Samoa américaines, une fonctionnaire transgenre poursuit en justice le gouvernement pour discrimination. Simeonica Tuiteleleapaga accuse Taeaoafua Meki Solomona, le directeur du département des ressources humaines, de l’avoir intimidée et harcelée sexuellement au cours d’une réunion en 2016. Taeaoafua Meki Solomona lui aurait en effet demandé si elle était une femme ou un homme, de manière insistante. La fa’afafine a répondu qu’elle était une femme, et le directeur des ressources humaines lui a alors demandé de se déshabiller pour le prouver, ce qu’elle a refusé. 
3) Aux Îles Cook, les habitants de Penrhyn attaquent en justice un transporteur maritime qui ne leur a pas livré des produits de première nécessitéPenrhyn, également appelé Tongareva, est un grand atoll très isolé, situé tout au nord des Îles Cook. Il compte environ 200 habitants. D’après la radio néo-zélandaise internationale, Pacific Schooners, le transporteur maritime, devait leur acheminer de la nourriture, des matériaux de construction, et des appareils ménagers. Mais ils attendent l’arrivée du bateau depuis septembre 2016, car Pacific Schooners a de gros problèmes financiers. Autre point de friction: la compagnie de transport maritime ramène aussi le poisson pêché par les habitants de Penrhyn, pour le vendre à Rarotonga, la capitale. Mais selon Wilkie Rasmussen, avocat et ancien député de l’île, Pacific Schooners n’a pas payé les dernières cargaisons de poisson aux pêcheurs de Penrhyn. L’entreprise leur devrait 60 000 dollars américains. 


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15) Court rules on Brexit

Thursday, January 26, 2017- Fijitimes

LONDON – Prime Minister Theresa May must give parliament a vote before she can formally start Britain’s exit from the European Union, the UK Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, giving lawmakers who oppose her Brexit plans a shot at amending them.

A “straightforward” Bill will now be rushed to parliament within days, the government said after the country’s highest judicial body decided Ms May could not use executive powers known as “royal prerogative” to invoke Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty and begin two years of divorce talks.

However, the judges did remove one major potential obstacle for the Government, saying Ms May did not need the approval of Britain’s devolved assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before triggering Brexit.

“We will within days introduce legislation to give the Government the legal power to trigger Article 50,” Brexit minister David Davis told parliament. “This will be the most straightforward bill possible to give effect to the decision of the people and respect the Supreme Court’s judgment.”

Ms May has said she intends to invoke Article 50 before the end of March but the ruling means the Brexit process is now open to scrutiny from lawmakers, the majority of whom had wanted to stay in the EU.

However, the main opposition Labour Party has said it would not block Brexit although it would try to amend the legislation.

“Labour will seek to build in the principles of full, tariff-free access to the single market and maintenance of workers’ rights and social and environmental protections,” party leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

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19) Association supports aggrieved lecturers

January 26, 2017The NationalNational
Article Views: 78

THE National Doctors Association is supporting its members on strike to protest the non-payment of outstanding salaries, an official says.
Association secretary Dr Sam Yakopua said they would continue to maintain pressure on the Government to pay the outstanding K5.6 million to the 30 doctors teaching at the University of PNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences Taurama campus in Port Moresby.
Yokopua said the association fully supported the suspension of classes since Monday.
The outstanding salaries are part of the association awards negotiated with the Government in 2013 and came into effect on Jan 1, 2014.
The UPNG administration, administrative staff from the UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and representatives of the doctors met yesterday.
Yokopua said the association was talking to the Government to resolve the protest so lectures could resume.
UPNG lecturer Dr Pauline Wake said about 250 medical students were at the Taurama campus, 50 of whom were final-year students.
Wake said doctors suspended classes over their unpaid salaries and to show the Government that they were playing a significant role in the development of the country through health.
“There is to be no teaching within the medical school and no teaching within the hospital grounds,” Wake said.


20) System to help teachers

January 26, 2017The NationalNational
Article Views: 46

TEACHERS will find it easier to plan and prepare lessons through the new standard-based education system, according to Education Minister Nick Kuman.
“When teachers use these materials, they will have no difficulties in planning and preparing their lessons because they are in the syllabuses and teachers’ guides. This will make the work load easier for them,” he said.
“They will also have enough time to get all the teaching aids ready prior to the lessons.”
He commended the Education Department curriculum division for producing the teaching and learning materials and training more than 17,000 elementary school teachers.
“The results of your efforts are evident as we can see these containers packed with materials and ready for distribution to schools throughout the country,” he said.
Kuman urged everyone to see that the standard based education was successful.
“The success of standard-based education depends on the ability of the teacher to teach standard base at the school,” he said.
“We expect to see the advancement of standards starting at the elementary level.”
He said early childhood education was crucial in a student’s learning and therefore, teachers must facilitate the learning effectively.


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22) Papua New Guinea Opposition Describes 2017 Budget As ‘Fraudulent’

Submitted by PIR Editor on Wed, 01/25/2017 – 16:06

Poor projections, estimations make it difficult for government to fund priorities: Deputy leader

By Frankiy Kapin

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 26, 2017) – Papua New Guinea’s 2017 national budget has been described as fraudulent.

Deputy Opposition leader and Pangu Party leader Sam Basil said last weekend on the premise of a summary of the 2017 budget by a former PNG Treasury expert Paul Flanagan.

Mr Basil says the current government has generated unpredictable patterns in the economy that gives the world an impression that its business as usual for PNG each day.

He said economically as a country, PNG took a serious tumble last year as the government took major risks that gambled away what should have been the lucrative inheritance of future generations of Papua New Guinea.

“The O’Neill Government will continue to have difficulties paying for its own priorities,” Mr Basil predicted.

He said PNG now faces a major problem with the entire districts and provincial development plans given the government’s annual money plan is a fraudulent theory of poor projections and estimations. Referring to the budget summary by Australian Paul Flanagan, Mr Basil reiterated that Flanagan’s report states that the budget was a missed opportunity for restoring credibility in the government’s economic management.

He said the report goes on to paint the government’s ambitious yet desperate policy choices and reflect the government’s out of control institutional processes that are designed to embed transparency and provide protection against the abuse of funds from the public purse.

Mr Basil said to economically reform PNG, a budget repair and fiscal discipline is the only way to prioritise health, education, transport, infrastructure and law and justice again.

“We want to share the benefits of this country’s gain with the people whose assets are mortgaged to negotiate commercial loan deals requiring higher level of political will,” Mr Basil said.

He said understanding the importance of earning revenues and not just spending from the public purse will put a stop to the crippling debt burden on the state.

PNG Post-Courier

23) PNG’s Electoral Commissioner defends decision to print ballot papers in Indonesia

8:16 pm GMT+12, 24/01/2017, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato says he is not compromising the democracy of the election process, defending the commission’s decision to print PNG’s 10-million ballot papers in Indonesia.

Gamato said the Electoral Commission is adding six more security features onto three others used in the 2012 election ballot papers.

This is a more improved version with line security features embedded into it.

“For security reasons I cannot disclose any security features but I’m saying it is a more improved one, because in the last ballot paper the 2012 ballot paper there were only two or three security features,” Gamato told NBC News.

“We are not compromising the security of this country, the important thing to note is that we have to secure the ballot papers.”

In a related development, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has revealed the reduction of the election campaign period from the current eight to four weeks will not be legislated by law.

And he’s put the final decision squarely on the Electoral Commissioner to decide,

“We are giving the flexibility and the administrative powers to the Electoral Commissioner and it is entirely up to him whether he maintains it at four weeks or eight weeks,” PM O’Neill told journalists at the inaugural NBC Press Club meeting in Port Moresby.

“If he sees that the general conduct of the elections are something that he is having difficulty with managing, then he has to be given the flexibility of making that decision.

“The campaign period is not going to be legislated by law minimizing the number of weeks”.

Meantime the Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has been taken to task by the Opposition demanding that he reveal the ownership of the Indonesian company engaged to print the ballot papers.

Opposition Leader Don Polye said there is more to the printing deal than meets the eye, and that the ownership of the company’s PNG agent must also be revealed.


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25) Ol Pacific pipal i wari long ABC shortwave sevis bai pinis

Updated 26 January 2017, 14:19 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Long Mande Australian broadcasting Corporation (ABC) bai stopim nau Shortwave Radio Transmission sevis blong en, we planti pipal long Pacific rijan isave harim klostu long 80 yiar nau.

Radio Australia, we emi hap blong ABC International isave brodcas long shortwave igo long planti kantri long Pacific, wantem tu Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands na Vanuatu.

Despla tingting blong ABC long stopim Shortwave sevis emi kamapim planti wari long rijan long wonem oli save lukluk long Radio Australia long ol nius, stori, na tu long ol taem nogut olsem cyclone, earthquake, na ol narapla kaen disasta.

ABC itok olsem, taem bai oli rausim shortwave sevis, bai go hed long bringim ol redio brodkas igo long Pacific rijan long ol FM transmita, long ol kaen siti olsem, Port Moresby, Lae long PNG,  Hoaniara long Solomon Islands, na Port Vila long Vanuatu.

Tasol planti lista itok emi no gutpla tingting long wonem planti ol lista isave stap long ol rural eria oa long ol bus ples we oli no nap harim FM sampla itok oli sore tru olsem ABC i mekim despla pasin. Wanpla long ol em Ronny Karen, blong West Papua husat itok ABC shortwave sevis emi bikpla samting tumas na ABC inoken stopim.

Long taem blong bougainville crisis long PNG, ol pipal long Bougainville isave harim ABC tasol long wonem oli no gat ol narapla nius sevis long taem blong Francesca Semoso, deputi spika blong ABG itok emi wari tru long despla tingting blong abc.

Narapla long taem listena blong Radio Australia, Gerry Melican itok emi save wok long Melanesia, na ABC shortwave sevis emi save bringim ol nius na stori em ol narapla redio sevis long rijan ino save gat.

Tingting blong ABC long stopim despla impotant sevis igo long ol pipal blong Pacific ino stret, olsem Bougainville lida meri Helen Hakena itok.ABC

26) Facing Charges Over Article, Fiji Times Publisher Denied Right To Travel

Submitted by PIR Editor on Wed, 01/25/2017 – 15:54

iTaukei newspaper accused of inciting communal antogonism

By Aqela Susu

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 26, 2017) – The Fiji Times publisher and general manager Hank Arts will not be able to travel to New Zealand to attend his daughter’s wedding next month and for a medical review after the High Court in Suva dismissed his bail variation application yesterday.

Mr Arts had earlier made an application to travel from February 11 to February 27.

He appeared before Justice Thushara Rajasinghe.

Mr Arts is charged with Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula, The Fiji Times Editor-in-Chief, Fred Wesley, Fiji Times Ltd and contributor Josaia Waqabaca with one count of inciting communal antagonism in relation to an article published in the iTaukei language newspaper, Nai Lalakai, on April 27 last year.

It is alleged Mr Waqabaca, Ravula, Wesley, Mr Arts and Fiji Times Ltd made, or caused to be published, a statement in the Nai Lalakai newspaper that was likely to incite dislike, hatred or antagonism of the Muslim community.

In his ruling, Justice Rajasinghe said the offence of communal antagonism was a serious offence that was related to communal and religious relations of the community.

“Hence the public has a greater interest in the offence of this nature,” he said.

Justice Rajasinghe said Mr Arts had a dual citizenship in Fiji and New Zealand which would enable him to stay away indefinitely without the requirement of a valid visa.

“He has his family members living in New Zealand. Therefore, I find the applicant has strong community and family ties in New Zealand.”

He said he also did not find the proposed security by Mr Arts of his two properties sufficient enough to permit him to travel overseas.

Justice Rajasinghe also found that Mr Art’s proposed security of accrued balance of his Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) was not a sufficient security in his application.

Mr Arts informed the court that he had no other assets overseas.

In addition, Mr Arts had proposed that David Aidney and/or Jinesh Patel be his surety while he was away in New Zealand.

Both Mr Aidney and Mr Patel had agreed not to travel overseas and remain in Fiji while Mr Arts was overseas.

Suva lawyer Feizal Haniff represented Mr Arts.

Mr Arts has been given 30 days to appeal to the Fiji Court of Appeal.

Fiji Times Online.


27) Millions to access internet

January 26, 2017The NationalBusiness
Article Views: 55

MORE than 1.2 million people are expected to have access to the internet at the conclusion of the World Bank rural communications project rollout in August.
The World Bank yesterday gave an overview of the project and its progressive support of the information and communication technology sector in the country.
“The rural communications project will improve access to telecommunications infrastructure and services in rural and remote areas of PNG,” it said.
“The project will provide technical assistance to the National Information and Communications Technology Authority (Nicta) to address emerging regulatory challenges and to strengthen the competitiveness of the telecommunications market and to the Department of Communication and Information to strengthen ICT policy development.
“It will help establish a universal access and service regime and associated fund to develop regulations and operating procedures.
“Further, the project will finance two UAS demonstration projects using competitively-bid one-time capital subsidies to stimulate extension of ICT services to unserved and under-served areas of the country.”
The World Bank had been actively involved in the sector since 2008, advising governments on telecommunications issues including the liberalisation of the mobile market.
“The ongoing rural communications project has financed the installation of mobile base stations at 59 sites in remote areas,” it said.
“It has contributed to providing basic telecom services to over 500,000 people previously unserved by any form of telecommunications services.
“Coupled with aggressive rollouts by the private sector, telecommunications coverage has increased from 20 percent in 2009 to 90 percent in 2016.”

28) Mobile phone customers given flexibility to retain their numbers when switching to other networks
8:10 pm GMT+12, 24/01/2017, Papua New Guinea

Customers of mobile communication service in Papua New Guinea will be able to retain their mobile numbers when switching to other network operators of their choice.

This will be realised when the National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) concludes the process of introducing mobile number portability in the country.

NICTA Chief Executive Officer Charles Punaha said the authority will make its final decision after comments from stakeholders including the mobile operators in the country.

Punaha said a discussion paper on the costs and benefits of implementing the Mobile Number Portability is also being circulated for public comments.

He said the project is looking at making it mandatory for number portability to be introduced.

Number portability basically means that a customer can retain the same number but can switch to another service provider and take his number with him.

The public and mobile network operators have until the 3rd of February to comment.



29) Vanuatu Making Significant Progress In Fight Against Money Laundering

Submitted by PIR Editor on Wed, 01/25/2017 – 16:01

International delegation lauds local Committee on efforts to get off grey list

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 26, 2017) – On Monday January 23, 2017 the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism National Coordinating Committee (NCC) of Vanuatu had their first face-to-face meeting of 2017 with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the FATF and the Regional Review Group (RRG) to provide Vanuatu’s progress since December 2016.

The FATF, ICRG and RRG are the reviewers responsible for putting Vanuatu on the grey list.

Following the meeting, Vanuatu was reassured that with all the progress that Vanuatu has reported so far it is very satisfactory and this will not warrant a warning from the reviewer’s or place Vanuatu on the dark grey list.

The efforts of Vanuatu in submitting 31 bills at the due date of December 30th 2016 were applauded.

While a formal response has yet to be received, this is confirmation that Vanuatu will get a tick off on having met the requirement to provide legislative amendments within the required timeframe.

The delegation was led by the Director General of the Office of the Prime Minister as the Chair of the NCC including relevant government agencies and all members of the NCC.

Parliamentary Secretary, Johnny Koanapo who is one of the MPs appointed to be part of the NCC was also present demonstrating the political will and commitment of the Government, in Vanuatu’ s efforts to get off the grey list.

Vanuatu provided positive progress updates to the FATF/ICRG/RRG from seven of its agencies namely; State Law Office, Public Prosecutor’s Office, Financial Intelligence Unit, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, Vanuatu Police Force, Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, Department of Customs and Inland Revenue including NCC, despite having much negative feedback in regards to Vanuatu being placed on the dark grey list or black list and being told the country’s plans were ambious and unachievable

The progress works that Vanuatu has accomplished thus far have enabled it to slowly progress forward to get off the grey list in which it had been placed in on February 2016. Although Vanuatu is still not out of the wood works but the positive progress thus far is a good indication of the path forward.

According to the statement released by the delegation, the reviewers were astounded and congratulated Vanuatu on the work done so far.

Vanuatu Daily Post

30) Papua New Guinea Improves Slightly On Global Corruption Index

Submitted by PIR Editor on Wed, 01/25/2017 – 15:20

Score on Transparency International Index up from 25 to 28 out of one; ranked 136 out of 176

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 25, 2017) – Papua New Guinea has improved its standing in the latest Transparency International Corruption Index.

Transparency has today released its 2016 Index which finds PNG has fallen from last year’s ranking as 20th most corrupt country in the world to 36th.

176 countries in total were ranked on the index.

Denmark was ranked the least corrupt, and Somalia the worst for corruption.

The only other Pacific country on the index is Solomon Islands which is ranked the 75th least corrupt country in the world.

The Solomons and PNG were the only Pacific Island countries on the index as data was not forthcoming from the other states.

Transparency has sounded a depressing note about the overall pattern of global corruption.

Over two-thirds of the countries and territories in this year’s index fell below the midpoint of the scale from 0, highly corrupt, to 100, very clean.

Radio New Zealand International


31) Yaqona prices soar ( Kava )

Luisa Qiolevu
Thursday, January 26, 2017- Fijitimes

RAIN experienced in the Northern Division has not helped in bringing about any changes to the price of yaqona.

After Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston hit Fiji last year, the price of yaqona has remained high with a kilogram of waka selling at $80 to $100.

Yesterday, yaqona vendors at Labasa market shared the challenges they faced over the past year.

Ashwant Prasad said rain last year and in the beginning of this year had affected the supply of yaqona and he had lost out on customers.

Mr Prasad said he has not been able to get customers like he used to in the past.

“Even the customers we have no longer buy in bulk and this affects our income,” he said,

“We buy $30 to $40 per kg of cut piece and lewena costs us $40 to $50 while waka costs us $80 to $100 and it’s too much for us,” he said.

Another yaqona seller, Kelemedi Lewai, said he had also lost customers.

“I only wish things would return to normal,” he said.

32 )

33) Overfishing of Fiji’s EEZ a challenge for Fisheries Ministry

00:22 am GMT+12, 26/01/2017, Fiji

Overfishing because of rogue vessels in Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is becoming a serious concern for the Ministry of Fisheries.

Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau says they have licensed 60 long line vessel to fish in Fiji’s EEZ with a catch quota of twelve thousand tonnes.

While this catch is documented, how much rogue vessels plunder our oceans is unclear

“It’s very difficult to track them because they seem to find a way to get into the black area of fishing within the fishing industry, it’s a subject that has being discussed at great length and it doesn’t seem that, it’s because they’re unregistered, they don’t have any flags and they don’t belong to any country.”

Koroilavesau says there are plans to increase monitoring of Fiji’s EEZ with a new surveillance vessel by 2020, however in the interim the Ministry is reliant on overseas assistance and small scale monitoring operations.

Local fish vendors told FBC News that supply of fish over the years has not only declined in numbers but fish sizes have also being affected.

Fisherman William Kean says other than overfishing, pollution by bigger shipping vessels is also affecting their catches with his crew now having to find new fishing grounds.



34) Ministry focus on employment opportunities for youths

Thursday, January 26, 2017- Fijitimes

Update: 3:28PM THE Ministry of Youth and Sports is focused on youth development with particular emphasis on a few key areas that will ensure employment.

While opening the Western Division Youth Conference at the Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka, Youth and Sports permanent secretary Alison Burchell said these include training in agriculture and carpentry.

It also includes training for women mainly in massage, cooking, baking and beauty treatments under the banner of multi-skills, training in small boat engine repair, boat masters and seeds of success, project management, financial literacy in our empowerment and training in music specifically marching band, dance band, meke and sigidrigi.

The conference was attended by youths and groups from Nadroga Navosa to the Ra province.


35) Leeds threaten to sue Segeyaro

January 26, 2017The NationalSports
Article Views: 367

SYDNEY: Leeds are preparing for a court battle with former player James Segeyaro after chief executive Gary Hetherington dismissed a claim that he is a free agent.
The Rhinos are demanding a A$400,000 (K956,258) transfer fee for the former Penrith hooker after he walked out on them with two years left on his contract.
Segeyaro’s manager Sam Ayoub has told News Corp that the contract was not valid amid rumours the former Penrith hooker is close to agreeing to a move to NRL champions Cronulla for 2017.
However, Hetherington told Press Association Sport: “We have a bona fide contract that is currently lodged with the RFL. If they want to go through the courts, that’s their prerogative.”
Hetherington says Papua New Guinea-born Segeyaro signed a two-and-a-half year deal when he joined the club from the Panthers last June, with a get-out clause to opt out on or before September 30, a deadline which passed with the player apparently happy to stay.
The 26-year-old rake was an instant hit with the 2015 Super League champions, helping them to nine wins from their last 10 matches of the season.
But he underwent a change of heart while back in Sydney and failed to report for pre-season training earlier this month.
Leeds signed a replacement in ex-Manly Sea Eagles hooker Matt Parcell and slapped a transfer fee on Segeyaro.
“He terminated that contract by failing to return to the club but he remains on our register and on the transfer list,” Hetherington said.
“We have had no request from Cronulla and the NRL have confirmed that while ever he is registered with the RFL he cannot be registered with them.” – AAP

36) PNG preparing to host major international surfing event
8:04 pm GMT+12, 24/01/2017, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea will for the first time host a “World Surfing Tour” event in March, in Madang Province.

Surfing Association PNG President, Andrew Abel said the association is bringing this world tournament to PNG after many years of hard work.

Abel said the association is expecting around a 1000 people to turn up for the event; among them, some of the world’s best surfers with their family and friends.

He said this will show case PNG in a positive way, not only in surfing but everything that PNG can offer including food, culture and others.

He said he is very proud to say on behalf of the surfing association of PNG and as a Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) board member that this is a very significant event that will catapult PNG onto the world stage.


37) Historic event on the cards

00:14 am GMT+12, 26/01/2017, New Zealand

Young footballers from across Oceania are eagerly awaiting kick-off for the 2017 OFC U-17 Championship in two weeks’ time, all of them confident of booking tickets to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

The stakes are higher than ever this year, with the 17th edition of the competition being the first to offer two OFC nations berths in the FIFA youth tournament.

The 2015 edition’s runners-up Tahiti will host preliminary champions Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and five-time consecutive champions New Zealand in Papeete for the 16 matches.

The excitement is set to play out in two locations – Stade Mahina for Group A and Stade Pater for Group B – with the latter also gearing up to host to the final.

The matches are scheduled to kick-off at either 4pm or 7pm Tahiti time, and as well as being at different times across the Pacific Islands, for many nations it will also be a day later due to the international dateline.

The OFC U-17 Championship will be the 17th edition of the competition in Oceania with the first tournament held in Auckland, New Zealand in 1983.

The bi-annual competition has only ever been won by two nations with former OFC Member Association Australia holding a record ten titles. New Zealand are the five-time defending champions and hold six titles.


38) Lewas primed

January 26, 2017The NationalSports
Article Views: 133

PAPUA New Guinea head into next month’s women’s one-day cricket World Cup qualifiers feeling confident they can have an impact.
With the City Pharmacy-sponsored Lewas squad set to be announced today in Port Moresby for tournament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from the Feb 7-21, coach Rodney Maha spoke about the prospect of the Lewas playing against some of the best cricketers in the world and having an opportunity to qualify for an ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup for the first time.
“I am very happy and excited that the Lewas will be playing some of the best female cricketers in the world. This will only enhance the development of the Lewas to get better and better,” Maha said of his team who are the East Asia Pacific champion,” Maha said.
“We will be expecting spinner friendly pitches (in Sri Lanka) and probably similar wickets to what we have here in PNG. We will be making sure that we cover everything to ensure that we will be well prepared for the qualifier,” Maha said
CPNG’s Gayan Loku said the side would be joined by technical adviser Cathryn Fitzpatrick, who is a former Australian representative.
The 10-team tournament will see the bottom four sides from the ICC Women’s Championship along with Bangladesh, Ireland, Thailand, Scotland, Zimbabwe and PNG Lewas go head to head for the four remaining spots in the ICC Women’s World Cup in the United Kingdom from June 26 to July 23.
PNG, who are 13th in the ICC rankings, have been training over the past two months and recently returned from a tour to Adelaide where they played five 50-Over and T20 matches against a South Australian Cricket Association XI.
“The girls have been training hard, especially under the sun, and we’ve been working on our mental game and to compete throughout the tournament in Sri Lanka. We trying to add more structure to our batting and bowling plans with the help of Cathryn Fitzpatrick,” Maha said
The 10 sides competing in Colombo will be divided into two groups of five with the top three from each progressing to the Super Six stage, thus securing One-Day International (ODI) status until the next ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier.
The top four sides from the Super Six stage will qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 as well as for the next ICC Women’s Championship, while the top two sides will contest the final on Feb 21.
The Lewas qualified for the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier after claiming the EAP women’s trophy in Samoa last year.

39) Aussie High Com backs AFL’s rise

January 26, 2017The NationalSports
Article Views: 23

AUSTRALIA is always keen on providing assistance for sports in Papua New Guinea.
Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis told The National last week, during the official ground breaking ceremony at the Colts Oval, that providing AFL PNG with a facility was an act of sport development which the high commission supported.
“We put a lot of emphasis on our sports for development programme and AFL is one of those key,” Davis said.
He said they were pleased to see that AFL finally had a home of its own as it would provide the opportunity for the code to grow in the.
“The code is going to get the opportunity to get a good facility and this is going to help AFL in PNG.”
He also pointed out an important aspect of dedication of the venue to the code which is the availability of opportunities provided for the youth.


Philippe Saibir Pako -Tenene



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