Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1089 ( Wednesday 5 April 2017 )


1) A career spanning five decades

April 5, 2017The National

BORN on April 9, 1936, Michael Thomas Somare later became a radio broadcaster based in Wewak, East Sepik Province.
He received further training at the Administrative College in 1965 in Port Moresby.
Following numerous conflicts with his superiors concerning his outspoken political comments, he was transferred from broadcasting to administrative roles, and left the Public Service to contest the elections for the second House of Assembly in 1968 as a member of the Pangu Party which he had founded with others in 1967.
Somare and eight other Pangu Party members were elected. They declined invitations to join the coalition government, and he became the first official opposition leader.
Following the third House of Assembly elections in 1972, he formed a coalition government which included Julius Chan of the People’s Progress Party, as Minister for Internal Finance.
Somare became Chief Minister when self-government was granted in 1973, and was a key figure in the preparations for independence in 1975 and the preparation and adoption of the Constitution.
With independence, Somare’s title changed to Prime Minister. Ousted by a parliamentary vote of no confidence in 1980, Somare was again Prime Minister from 1982 until 1985.
He won the office a third time in the 2002 election and re-elected again in 2007.
On 28 June 2011, the Somare family, led by, Lady Veronica Somare, announced Sir Michael’s retirement as Prime Minister and from politics.
He was still hospitalised in intensive care at Raffles Hospital in Singapore at the time of his retirement, more than three months after he underwent heart surgery in April 2011.
Son Arthur Somare, the Minister of Public Enterprise at the time, told a press conference in Port Moresby that his father had made the decision to permanently step down from the prime minister’s office and leave PNG politics. “It is our wish that Sir Michael will now pursue a life in retirement after nearly 50 years of active politics due to medical reasons and the uncertainty of the recovery period,” he said. – Wikipedia


By Aloysius Laukai

The member for South Bougainville, TIMOTHY MASIU last week called on the ABG to address the unemployment issue in our communities.
Speaking at a gathering at KANAURO village, MR. MASIU said the people must change their attitude and create a conducive environment for development to take place.
He said law and order is one key area that he wants to address by helping to build the capacity of the Bougainville Police Service to be mobile and police our town and surrounding villages.
MR.MASIU said only then Businesses will be attracted to develop Buin thus creating employment for our people.

MR. MASIU has already bought a Toyota LandCruiser ute and a Ten seater for the Buin Police station as part of this capacity building.30/3/17

3) Autonomous Bougainville

Village head must ‘live iTaukei culture’

Litia Cava
Wednesday, April 05, 2017-Fijitimes

SOCIAL Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula says people who are chosen to be village headmen must know, appreciate and live the iTaukei culture.

Mr Nawaikula made these comments in response to a statement made by iTaukei Affairs Board’s deputy CEO Apakuki Kurusiga that people of different ethnicities could be allowed to become village headman (turaga-ni-koro).

“In a village situation, the most important thing is a person who adheres to the culture, who speaks the language, who performs the cultural protocol and everything. The person who has been in a village a long time and has been accepted by them should be a headman if they (villagers) choose to.”

Tui Wainunu, Ratu Orisi Baleitavea, said he concurred with the suggestion as the village headman role mainly dealt with development in the village.

“I do not have a problem with what has been said because I believe if the villagers adhere to the appointment,then why not because if villagers appoint their headman, this means they believe that the person they are appointing can bring positive changes into the village.”

Meanwhile, there have been mixed reactions noted on social media from members of the public on comments made by Mr Kurusiga.

4) Indonesian Police shoot dead Papuan Armed Group Leader

8:06 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, Indonesia

Indonesian Police shot dead the suspected leader of a separatist group in Papua during a raid that quickly turned into a gunfight, a police spokesman said.

The incident on Monday appeared to be the latest in a string of violent clashes in Papua, where decades-old insurgencies showed no signs of abating.

Police identified the killed Papuan man as Maikel Merani, who they said has long been on their most-wanted list.

Maikel reportedly hid in his family’s home in Yapen and resisted arrest before being shot dead, Papua Police spokesman Chief Comr. Ahmad Kamal said.

“Our officers were involved in a shootout in Konti Unai village which resulted in the death of group leader Maikel Merani,” Ahmad told state news agency Antara on Monday.

The police seized an assault rifle, nine ammunition magazines, 13 rounds of revolver bullets, 230 rounds of 5.56-caliber ammunition, a bayonet, a vest and cash during the raid.

Police also confiscated the banned Morning Star flag, the symbol of the Papuan independence movement.

Police said Maikel’s body has been taken to Serui hospital in Yapen, but did not give details on the fate of other group members.

Maikel was with two other Papuans when police raided his home, United Liberation Movement for West Papua spokesman Benny Wenda said in a statement on Monday.

Officers reportedly told the men — one of them believed to be Maikel’s father — to put their hands over their heads and crouch down. According to a ULMWP witness, police then shot Maikel several times and tortured the other two men.

Officers also harassed other family members at the house, according to the witness. Police then reportedly took the man believed to be Maikel’s father to their office for interrogation.

Calling the incident “same old story,” Benny said, “Police stigmatise every Papuan as criminal or separatist as justification for killing them and for their illegal occupation of our country.”

Papuan nationalists have long protested against a UN-backed referendum in 1969 that saw the province become part of Indonesia, arguing it was rigged.

They have been mounting an insurgency since then, complaining that the Indonesian government has been giving resource-rich Papua an unfair share of the state’s wealth.

This has led to allegedly rampant human rights abuses, and Papuan activists have been pleading for support for independence from the Melanesian community in the Pacific.

“We desperately need the international community to look at the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua,” Benny said.

“Everyday, West Papua is becoming a killing field,” he said.


5) K1 billion in arrears

10:43 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, Papua New Guinea

By Joseph Morokona in Bougainville

There is a growing sense of frustration among Bougainville leaders that the National government has failed practically to give Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) the agreed annual K100 million (US$30 million) special intervention grant.

This concern was raised by Bougainville House of Representative Member, Albert Punghau, the Minister for Bougainville Peace Agreement and Implementation (BPAI) when he opened a workshop on Referendum Dialogue facilitated by Peace and Conflict Studies Institute Australia (PACSIA) at Chabai Rehabilitation Centre on North Bougainville Mainland last week.

Punghau said outstanding grants owed by Papua New Guinea government to Bougainville had amounted to K1 billion (US$304 million) in arrears.

“PNG Government has not given us the money. This is the money Bougainville needs to do rapid reconstruction. This is the money we need to do human resource capacity building. This is the money we need to do peace and reconciliation programmes across the region,” he said.

The trend of the outstanding grants indicate that from 2011 to 2013, about K188 million (US$58.7 million) was behind payments – and by 2016, according to Punghau, the outstanding payments had accrued to a massive K1 billion.

“We are building a nation of Bougainville and we pay tribute to the lives of those 20,000 people who died during the 15 years Bougainville Uprising.’ These people they died for a cause – and that cause is for a future prosperous Bougainville.

Bougainville Parliamentary members this week are attending a meeting where they will report on the initial progress of referendum preparation in their constituencies. By June 2018, the 33 constituencies in the region are expected declare if they will be referendum ready to hold the voting on June 15, 2019.

The Bougainville Government through its Department of Bougainville Peace Agreement and Implementation (DPAI) is working in collaboration with three Partner Projects – Referendum Constituency Committee (RCC), Bougainville Referendum Dialogue (BRD) and the Bougainville Peace Building Strategy (BPBS).

These committees are tasked to deal with issues involving peace reconciliations initiatives, weapon disposal, and unresolved issues on the desirable age for voting and the validity of Bougainvilleans living outside of the region to vote.

Punghau also said there was positive progress on the whole referendum preparations so far.

The Autonomous Region had gone through two failed Independence bids – in 1976 and in 1990.


6) New Caledonia Candidate For French Assembly To Push Indigenous Rights Of Kanaks

Submitted by PIR Editor on Mon, 04/03/2017 – 16:11

Germaine Nemia Bishop has the backing of pro-independence teachers

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 3, 2017) – A teacher in New Caledonia has announced that she will stand in the election of the French National Assembly in June to push for better recognition of the rights of the indigenous Kanaks.

Kanaks, who make up about 40 percent of New Caledonia’s population, are only one of two peoples officially recognised within the French republic.

Germaine Nemia Bishop said her main point was to secure the application of the UN declaration on indigenous people’s rights which would boost the role of traditional chiefs in the running of the territory.

Mrs Nemia Bishop, who has the backing of pro-independence teachers, said she was also driven by the independence referendum due next year which will conclude the 20-year decolonisation process set out under the Noumea Accord.

Under the Accord, chiefs were recognised but lack formal powers in administering the territory.

Mrs Nemia Bishop said 90 percent of prison inmates were Kanaks, there were practically no Kanak lawyers, doctors or engineers and the drop-out rate was high.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Solomon Islands Government Defends Police Cooperation With Indonesia

Submitted by PIR Editor on Mon, 04/03/2017 – 16:36

Stance on West Papua not compromisd: Minister

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 4, 2017) – The Solomon Islands government says its strong stance on issues relating to West Papua are separate from proposed policing co-operation with Indonesia.

Along with Vanuatu, Solomon Islands has been a strong proponent for indigenous West Papuan’s rights to self-determination and an end to human rights abuses in Indonesia’s Papuan provinces.

Indonesia has associate member status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group and is opposing a bid for full membership in the group by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which already has observer status.

The membership issue has caused divisions within the group with the governments of Papua New Guinea and Fiji siding with Indonesia, while Solomon Islands and Vanuatu support the ULMWP.

Support for West Papuan representation in the MSG is based on strong regional concern about ongoing reports of human rights abuses in Indonesia’s Papua region by police and military forces.

However a recent announcement by the Solomon Islands police minister that local police were seeking to strengthen co-operation with the Indonesian police has raised questions about the country’s position on West Papua.

Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Milner Tozaka however said any co-operation arrangement with Indonesia comes under existing bilateral relations and does not compromise the country’s stance on West Papua.

“We are at liberty to maintain our good relationship with any country.”

“Therefore in terms of policing if the ministry of police and corrections see that this is in line with our policy and it is best for our Royal Solomon Islands Police Force that should be quite acceptable,” he said.

Radio New Zealand International

8) PNG PM admits landowners have been let down by lease laws

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says land is an important part of people’s lives and investors will have to work with landowners in any project.
Parliament debated the issue of the land lease “Special Agriculture Business Lease” or SABL and a new lease system in place called the Voluntary Customary Land Registration.
Mr O’Neill admitted there have been many cases under SABLs where investors did not work in partnership with landowners.
Source: Pacific Beat | 31 March 2017/ABC

9) Fiji’s suicide rate alarming: Police

4:48 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2017, Fiji

Over 1,350 Fijians have committed suicide or attempted to commit suicide in the past six years, according to statistics from Fijian police this week.

There had been a notable increase of suicides and attempted suicides in Fiji recently and the figures were alarming, Isikeli Ligairi, Fiji’s assistant police commissioner, said at the National Symposium on Suicide Prevention on Tuesday.

“There are several circumstances that lead to the suicide and attempted suicide cases. These include domestic disputes, relationship problems, rejection by a partner’s family, family arguments, financial obligations, humiliation by persons in authority,” said Ligairi.

Suicide rates in Pacific Islands are some of the highest in the world, reaching up to 30 per 100,000 in Samoa, Guam and Micronesia, doubling the global average, with youth rates even higher according to the 2014 Pacific Island Reports.

“Youths committing suicide seem to get younger and younger by the year,” said Lionel Rogers of the Fiji based Youth Champs for Mental Health.

He said contributing factors to suicide were unemployment, social and cultural expectations, family and relationship problems, bullying, violence and abuse.

The Pacific Islands has an escalating youth population, with 54 percent of people in the region now aged below 24, and those between 15-29 years were at the greatest risk of taking their lives.

Tarusila Bradburgh, a coordinator of the Pacific Youth Council, believed the burden of multiple issues that affected young people in the Pacific Islands were enormous and many were ill equipped to cope.

She added that a decade ago there were an estimated 331,000 annual suicides in the region, accounting for 38 percent of the world total.

Anne Rauch, a development advisor of the Fiji Alliance for Mental Health, said there was significant under reporting of suicide deaths.

She said under-funded and under resourced mental health services struggled to address suicide.

In Tokelau, a national Health Department report claimed a significant factor in youth suicide was relationship breakdowns, including between parents and children.

In Papua New Guinea there was an estimated 80,000 school leavers each year but only 10,000 secured formal jobs while youth unemployment was an estimated 45 percent in Solomon Islands.

UNICEF warned earlier that denial of economic and social opportunities led to frustrated young people and the result could be a high incidence of self-harm with the loss of the productive potential of a large section of the adult population.



10a) Tonga’s economic growth increases but lacks recent stats

Friday, March 31, 2017 – 17:28

Friday, March 31, 2017 – 17:28
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a preliminary statement this week that Tonga’s “economic activity is expanding and likely to remain relatively strong into the next couple of years”. However, the IMF found that there was a lack of recent statistical information available such as government finance, inflation, balance of payments, and national accounts data for their assessment of economic development.


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10d) Tongan PM says no to casino

5:30 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, New Zealand

Tonga’s Prime Minister has poured cold water on the idea of a casino resort being developed in the country.

‘Akilisi Pohiva is in New Zealand visiting workers and companies involved in the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.

At a reception in Hawkes Bay Monday night, Pohiva declared there would be no room for casinos in Tonga, according to Kaniva News.

The statement comes after the developers behind plans to build a gaming resort and shopping mall said they were on the verge of fulfilling requirements to move on to the next phase.

The Finance Minister Tevita Lavemaau had also said he was open to looking at the proposals.

However ohiva said his government would not permit any casino to be built.

Earlier church leaders from the Tongan community in New Zealand had indicated they were planning to hold a protest against the casino proposal this week.

It is currently illegal to gamble in Tonga.





11) Chamorro protest rally to be held on Guam this Friday

A protest rally in favour of greater self-determination for the indigenous Chamorro people of Guam is being organised for Friday.
Organisers say it has been prompted by a number of issues, including threats to the Chamorro Land Trust, military encroachment onto sacred lands and a recent court case which challenged a plebiscite on self-determination.
One of the rally organisers, Amber Benavente-Sanchez, says the court decision in particular has thrown into doubt the ability of Chamorro people to vote on their own future.

Bruce Hill

Source: Pacific Beat |  5/4/17 ABC

12) Air Kiribati gets international flight number & code from IATA

10:43 pm GMT+12, 02/04/2017, Kiribati

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has provided Kiribati’s national airline, Air Kiribati, with its official two-letter designate code – IK and its airline code of 069.

A statement from Air Kiribati said the letter and numbers codes will be used by the airline for its international flights. In addition, it provides the airline with the ability to codeshare with other airlines.

Air Kiribati has signed an agreement with Solomon Airlines who will partner with AKL to establish new aviation services that will link Tarawa with Honiara, Brisbane and Nadi which re-launches Air Kiribati as an international airline.

In a recent press conference, Kiribati President Taneti Maamau said the Kiribati government’s new Dash 8 commercial aircraft is expected to arrive in the country in June or July this year to provide services to Funafuti, Tuvalu and Majuro, Marshall Islands and other nearby countries.

He said Air Kiribati’s new airbus aircraft which is being procured by the Taiwan government is expected to arrive in the country in November this year to continue a broader international flight services for Kiribati.


13) Palau sign seafood cooperation agreemen
5:27 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, Palau

Palau and the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang have signed a cooperation agreement on fishing and seafood consumption.

The document was inked on April 3 between Speaker of House of Delegates of Palau Sabino Anastacio and the Thai Hoa Trading Service Seafood Company based in Tan Phuoc district.

During a reception for the Speaker and his entourage, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Van Nghia introduced local economic potential and investment opportunities in fishing, seafood processing and export, industrial trees and tourism development.

The Speaker also briefed the hosts on the potential and investment opportunities in his country.

Palau has a total area of 458 and around 21,000 people. It boasts huge potential for forestry, minerals and sea products. Its major exports include dry coconut and tuna.


14) Extraordinary deep sea sanctuary near Kiribati a treasured asset for locals as well as scientists

Scientists are still examining the treasures from the deep that were uncovered in the ‘dive of discovery’ off Kiribati by robotic cameras 6,000 metres below the sea-level of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.

The largest and deepest World Heritage Site on the planet lies halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand and is part of the focus of a three-year project by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

There was great excitement from the scientists around the world watching the live pictures as the cameras captured an underworld wonderland with new and exotic species.

It’s a huge operation – a fully-equipped ship with state-of-the-art equipment, staffed by 50 people on a three-year expedition focused on the marine-protected areas in the central and western Pacific.

The CAPSTONE project is aimed at highlighting ocean conservation in the region, but Betarim Rimon, PIPA education and outreach officer says the marine sanctuary also can bring economic benefits for the local I-Kiribati.

Richard Ewart

Source: Pacific Beat | 31 March 2017/ABC

15) Marshall Islands govt moves fast to put a stop to passports scam

In Marshall Islands, it’s emerged that a Hong Kong-based company has been promoting an “investment-for-passports” scheme.

The government only became aware of it late last month, and moved quickly to put a stop to it.

Giff Johnson, editor of the Marshall Islands Journal, says the scheme was being sold as a way to gain entry into the US, but that’s a privilege afforded only to Marshallese who are born in the islands.

Richard Ewart

Source: Pacific Beat | 3 April 2017/ABC

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17) Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare i retire

Updated 5 April 2017, 11:14 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Ol pipal blong Papua New Guinea imas luksave na tok tenk yu long Papa blong Nation, Sir Michael Somare long helpim kantri i kisim indipendans na tu long bikpla wok long politik inap klostu long 50pla yiar.

Sir Arnold Amet, husat ibin Minista blong Justis na Attorney General taem Sir Michael ibin Praim Minista i mekim despla toktok tede bihaen long Sir Michael ibin pinis long wok aste.

Sir Michael ibin memba blong East Sepik Provins taem emi bin kamap nambawan Prime Minista taem PNG ibin kisim indipendans long Australia long 1975.

Aste Grand Chief Sir Michael ibin mekim lastpla toktok blong en long Palaman haus we emi bin statim wok long 1975.

Emi bin tok tenk yu long ol pipal blong PNG long sapot blong ol long ol despla yiar igo pinis na emi askim tu ol palaman memba long bihaenim yet Westminster system.

Sir Michael ibin askim tu ol pipal blong PNG long go hed na wokbung wantem long strongim kantri.

Wanpla long ol strongpla sapota blong Sir Michael em Sir Arnold Amet, husat ibin Minista blong Justis na Attorney General taem Sir Michael ibin Praim Minista. Sir Arnold Amet itok olsem Sir Michael ibin wanpla lida blong East Sepik long Momase rijan, tasol emi bin wanpla lida blong PNG na tu long Pacific.

Emi tingtim bikpla wok em  sir Michael ibin mekim stat long indipendans day September 16 1975.ABC

18) PNG igat bikpla wari long ikonomi

Updated 4 April 2017, 15:22 AEST
Sam Seke

Executive Director blong Institute of National Affairs blong Papua New Guinea i tok igat sampela rot na gutpela sain long daunim bikpela heve long ikonomi blong PNG, tasol gavman i nidim gutpela planning.

Paul Barker i tok win moni long bikpela LNG projek bai ken kamap long 2021, prais blong gold na sampela agrikalsa produce olsem oil palm i kamap gut, na sampela moa nupla LNG projek bai kamap.

Mr Barker i tok em ol samting bai ken daunim heve long bikpela pablik dinau blong kantri, daunim bikpela pudaun blong economic growth, employment na takis.

Tasol em i tok gavman imas noken wok long hope tasol long sapos ol prais na ikonomi bai kamap gut gen, em i mas gat gutpela plan.

Mr Barker i mekim dispela toktok bihain PNG Trasurer, Patrick Pruaitch i tokaut olsem m aski em i traim long katim ol gavman expense, dinau i bikpela tumas na ikonomi blong kantri ino gutpela.ABC

19) Vanuatu National Workers Union Strike

Updated 4 April 2017, 13:12 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Strike i bihaenim ol bel heve wantem wanpla Petroleum kampani long pay na conditions

Vanuatu Nioational Workers Union i askim strong ol lida blong kantri na Labour dipatman  long hariap na stretim kuik ol wari  wantem Pacific Petroleum Company, bihaenim strike em oli bin mekim aste.

Moa long 75 ol wokman-meri ibin lusim wok long moning igo inap long lunch time long wonem despla kampani ino bin harim askim blong ol long ol ol gutpla working conditions em oli tok istap longpla taem pinis.

Despla strike ibin kamapim ol bikpla heve long ol ron blong balus insaet iet long kantri na tu ol flights igo long ol narapla kantri.

Vauatu National Workers Union itoktok pinis wantem kampani na nau bai oli wetim kampani long kamapim sampla gutpla rot long stretim ol askim blong Union.




21a) Islanders welcome PM

April 5, 2017The National

THE indigenous community on Palm Island in Townsville, Australia, welcomed Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to their island on Saturday.
Mayor for Palm Island Alfred Lacey, who welcomed, O’Neill and his delegation to the Island, said O’Neill was the first prime minister to visit them.
Lacey said he hoped more Papua New Guineans would visit the island with commencement of Air Niugini’s direct flight services between Port Moresby and Townsville.
O’Neill said the people of Palm Island faced similar challenges to PNG on health, education, security and safety of the community.
“Many of the people who are living on Palm Island, many of them came from Torres Strait Island and many of them originated from Daru,” O’Neill said.
“We have Papua New Guinean families living there and we have linkage by blood to Papua New Guinea.
“I am hoping to expand some of the things we (delegation) saw there including health.
“They’ve got a population of about 5000 people and with the support of many organisations they have been able to build dialysis units there, nursing care for their population and very high standard medical care without going to the cities.
“This is a model that we want to see happening in all the districts in PNG. Am talking to Queensland health and try to ensure that we duplicate that in our country.”
O’Neill said he was a big promoter of health and education.
The delegation to Palm Island comprised of Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tobias Kulang, Air Niugini chairman Sir Frederick, Air Niugini chairman Simon Foo and National Capital District Commission staff.
Lacey took the delegation on a tour of the health facilities, housing estates and the dam on Palm Island.
O’Neill invited Lacey to visit PNG.

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21f)  Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull accused of “dangerous” interference in PNG politics

4:51 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2017, Papua New Guinea

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will travel to Papua New Guinea this weekend – but has already copped an extraordinary spray for the “insensitive” and “dangerous” timing of the trip ahead of local elections.

PNG’s former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta on Tuesday accused Turnbull of interfering in the domestic politics of Australia’s neighbour barely two weeks before the country’s caretaker period begins.

Turnbull has not travelled to PNG since taking over the top job in 2015 and Morauta said the government in Port Moresby would “spin” a visit so close to the election as an endorsement of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

“That is a very dangerous position for the Australian Prime Minister to put himself in, especially with the prospect of a new Government just around the corner,” Morauta said in a statement.

O’Neill – who struck a deal with Australia to host the Manus Island detention centre for asylum seekers – has faced persistent claims of corruption while PNG’s economy has struggled.

Student protests against his government turned violent last year and O’Neill later survived a motion of no-confidence in the local parliament.

“O’Neill will use this visit to prop up his sagging image and boast to Papua New Guineans that he commands Australia’s support,” Morauta said.

Writs for elections are expected to be issued on April 20, with national ballot considered mostly likely to be held over two weeks in July.

Australia has relied on PNG, along with Nauru, as part of the so-called “Pacific solution” for offshore processing refugee claims.

The Supreme Court in PNG last year ruled the Manus Island camp to be unconstitutional, but despite O’Neill pledging to close the centre more than 800 asylum seekers remain on the island, with hopes a deal with the US will see some of the men resettled.

Turnbull will also need to navigate a surprise request from PNG last month to transfer $550 million (US$416 million) of Australian aid each year directly into the local budget coffers to fund local hospitals and education.

International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has already warned that Australia’s “aid is not charity” and said the government would not honour the request.

Morauta, a former governor of PNG’s reserve bank who stepped down from politics in 2012, has been a fierce critic of O’Neill in recent years and flagged he may run for parliament again.

He said the two leaders had met in Australia recently and at several international summits.

“What is so important that Turnbull should be visiting now? What is so important that it cannot be conveyed to the incoming Government in a couple of months’ time?”  Morauta said.

“If O’Neill happens to be the Prime Minister after the election, fine, visit him then. We would all accept that. But to visit now is inappropriate,” he said.

Both Turnbull and O’Neill have been asked for comment.



22) Pacific looks to improve links with Asian economies

Pacific economic ministers meeting in Suva have been looking at how the region can better engage with the growing Asian economies.

The ministers, from Pacific Islands Forum member countries, have been discussing issues critical to improving development in the Pacific.

One of these is to work out how to make use of the wealth they have within the region to help finance development.

The concept of a regional finance facility has been floated for the past two years but a firm decision is yet to be made.

And the Forum’s trade commissioner to China, David Morris, said there had been a lot of discussion on the need to engage with China and other key Asian economies.

“How we as a region should be approaching the rise of the Asian economies, their increasing importance in the global economy and their increasing capacity to help us to develop the Pacific region.”5/4/17 RNZI

23) NCDs: A sustainable development challenge in the Pacific

8:08 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, Australia

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) threaten the very future of small Pacific Island countries and territories and must be decisively addressed as a development crisis in order to nurture a healthy environment that enables healthy lifestyle choices, according to the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga.

Dr Tukuitonga made these comments in his keynote address today on Sustainable Development Challenges in the Pacific at the 15th World Congress on Public Health, currently underway in Melbourne, Australia.

NCDs – mainly heart disease, cancers, chronic lung diseases and diabetes – are the leading cause of death in the Pacific region, accounting for up to 75 per cent of mortalities in most Pacific Island countries and territories.

These largely preventable and manageable diseases also account for a high proportion of premature deaths in the Pacific.

“Premature death, disability and reduced productivity from NCDs pose a heavy burden on our families and communities but in addition they are creating a socio-economic crisis that immensely challenges our collective vision for Healthy Islands in the Pacific and the achievement of our Sustainable Development Goals,” Dr Tukuitonga said.

Pacific Island countries rank among the top 10 countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world for example and as a result in some Pacific Island countries, diabetes care consumes approximately 20 per cent of annual government health care expenditure, in comparison to the global 12 per cent average.

“Pacific leaders are taking proactive measures to addressing NCDs as demonstrated with the approval Pacific NCD Roadmap in 2014 which has resulted in some progress. Urgent action is critical and SPC continues to support the efforts of its Pacific members across many sectors in order to reverse this crisis,” he added.

During the weeklong congress, Dr Tukuitonga will also join other internationally recognised public health leaders, politicians, and experts for World Leadership Dialogues, a series of moderated public debates that tackle key issues related to public health.

Among key issues for debate are tobacco control, integrating ecological determinants into public health practice and ending childhood obesity in one generation.

“Pacific Island countries and territories rank among the top 12 globally with the highest prevalence of adult obesity and there is no doubt childhood obesity is a major concern for the region, compounding the already overwhelming NCD crisis,” said Dr Tukuitonga, who served as a commissioner for the World Health Organisation (WHO) global Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity from 2014 to 2016.

“At the end of the day, Pacific Island governments need to be accountable to each other to ensure that they deliver on their commitments outlined in the Pacific NCD Roadmap. On the same note, investment by donors and development partners to assist in this fight against NCDs including childhood obesity needs to adequately reflect the mammoth burden at hand,” he said.

The World Congress on Public Health, hosted by the World Federation of Public Health Associations, serves as an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experiences on key public health issues, contributing towards protecting and promoting public health at a national and global level.

The final day of the congress coincides with World Health Day on 7 April.



24a ) Trump cuts funding for UN Population Fund

Updated 5 April 2017, 3:10 AEST
Beverley O’Connor

Beverley O’Connor speaks to the World Health Organisation’s Rüdiger Krech about the challenges facing global health policy and Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw funding for the UN Population Fund.

WHO’s Rüdiger Krech says Donald Trump’s decision to cut funding to the UN Population Fund removes the US from key decision making.ABC

24b )



By Aloysius Laukai

The Department of Distance Learning with the Papua New Guinea University of Technology is giving second change to school leavers of South Bougainville who want to upgrade their Grade Ten and Twelve marks and pursue further studies with tertiary Institutions and Universities.
DODL Coordinator for the Program in Buin and Deputy Principal for Buin Secondary School, JOSEPH KAREBA told New Dawn FM that currently he has THIRTY NINE students studying through the program.
MR.KAREBA said interested persons can come inquire at the school.
He said currently weekly two hourly tutorials are held at the Buin Secondary on Thursday and Saturdays.
MR. KAREBA said that currently they are charging TWO HUNDRED THIRTY KINA for individual subjects with another ONE KINA per student for the use of a Classroom for tutorials.30/03/17 Autonomous Bougainville

26) Majority USP staff accept redundancy

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Update: 1:15PM SIXTY one staff of the University of the South Pacific’s Properties and Facilities section are no longer employed with the institution as of Monday April 3 as a result of the restructure of the division.

Of the total 77-member workforce, 54 now-former employees have accepted the redundancy package.

And the other seven  had received offers from other companies since the beginning of the restructure process six months ago.

USP’s vice-president Regional Campuses, and Properties and Facilities Dr Giulio Paunga said 16 staff were considered for redeployment to the new Properties and Facilities structure.

He said approximately $0.5million was paid out on April 3-4, respectively.

Dr Paunga said the Properties and Facilities section will be replaced by a new Estates and Infrastructure Division that separates service delivery and operations from asset strategy and management.

He said the new structure would focus on the section’s core functions and activities and outsource non-core activities.

It has been confirmed that the provisions of the Employment Relations Promulgation (ERP) and the agreements with the unions were complied with in this process.Fijitimes

27) Low enrolment for science subjects

Alisi Vucago
Wednesday, April 05, 2017-Fijitimes

“AS PER the enrolment data in the past two years, it is evident that there is a declining student interest in science subjects at Year 12 and 13 level, especially in biology, chemistry and physics.”

This was revealed by Minister for Education Dr Mahendra Reddy while launching the National Science and Technology Competition in Suva yesterday.

In physics, for instance, Dr Reddy said Year 13 had 2068 students enrolled in 2016 compared with only 1269 enrolled this year and Year 12 had 3147 students enrolled last year compared with 2131 this year.

He said most students had lost interest in science subjects.

He said most students lost interest in science subjects as there were preconceived ideas that science and technology subjects were difficult and that there were a lack of career opportunities in science and technology fields in Fiji.

“Apart from this, in Fiji, science subjects have also been characterised with low pass rates over the years which had led to less number of students progressing from Year 12 to Year 13 for sciences,” he said.

28) Students at UPNG oppose new graduation fee

Students at the University of Papua New Guinea are not happy with the imposition of a new graduation fee.
UPNG’s acting chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann has told local media the 600-kina fee is necessary to cover costs incurred during last year’s long-running student protest.
Third year public policy student Peter Nahi was an executive member of the Student Representative Council before it was suspended in the wake of the protest.
He says the new graduation fee is a lot of money for students who’ve already paid their tuition fees.

Liam Fox/ Source: Pacific Beat | 5/4/17 ABC


29) Parliament passes the motion to create a formula for distributing of CDF

Published: 05 April 2017

Parliament   has  passed  a  motion   to  consider  introducing  a  formula  that   reflects  fair  allocation  of  the  Constituency  Development  Funds  to  each  of   the  constituencies  in  Solomon  Islands.

This  was  moved  by  the  Leader  of  Independent  Group,  Hon.  Dr  Derek  Sikua.   Hon.  Sikua  when  moving  the  motion  said  he  was  asked  by  his  constituents  to see  how  the  allocation  of  Constituency  Development  Funds  can  be  done  in  a  fairer  and  equitable  manner  based  on  such  factors  as  population,  remoteness and  hardship  factors.

“For  my  constituency  alone,  I  have  an  estimated  population  of  just  over  15,600  people  in  Northeast  Guadalcanal  constituency.  And  if  you  divide  the   allocation  that  each  constituency  was  given  $6.5million  for  the  2017  financial   year  equally  to  each  of  my  constituents,  each  person  would  get  something  like $416.18  each.”

He  further  gave  a  simple  analysis  of  the  funding  to  show  the  very   unfair  and   sad  story  for  the  majority  of  our  people  in  this  country,  which  he  asked  that   something  must  be  done  to  correct  this  very  grave  injustice.

“My  motion  as  it  stands,  asking  the  Government  to  do  what  this  motion  is saying, “ he  added.

Hon  Sikua  clarified  that  the  CDF  funds  he  referred  to  in  this  motion  are   basically  the  Solomon  Islands  Government  Funds  to  support  constituency   development;  the  SSCD  Funds  and  the  Cash  Grants  that  come  with  it  as  well   as  the  Republic  of  China  Taiwan   Funds  which  are  basically  cash  grants,   but   they  may  also  include  those  funds  that  are  paid  directly  to  constituencies   from  Government.

Other  Members  who  contributed  to  the  motion  suggested  that  factors  such  as   land  terrain,  weather  conditions,  time  and  effort  to  get  to  a  certain  place  and   generally  the  physical   nature  of  our  constituencies  must  be  considered  when   making  a  formula.

A  total  of  18  members   from  both  sides  of  the  house  including   the  Prime   Minister  and  the  Leader  of  Opposition   spoke  in  support  of  the  motion.

Now   it  is  up  to  Government  to  create  and  implement  a  formula   for  that  cause.

‑  PARLIAMENT  MEDIA  /Solomon Star

30) New elections website

Wednesday, April 05, 2017-Fijitimes

Update: 10:20AM THE NEW Fijian Elections Office website, which is interactive and device responsive, was launched this hour in Suva.

The website, according to the FEO director Strategic Development and Communications, Patricia Mallam, has features which give information to disabled people like never before.

A sign up feature on the website allows voters direct access to news and information from the Elections office.

The website can be found at

31) Write-offs concern PAC

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Update: 1:28PM PERMANENT Secretary for Fiji’s Ministry of Education Iowane Tiko and two directors – director Finance Donish Lal and director AMU Serupepeli Udre presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this morning on the Auditor-General’s audit findings for the 2014 and 2015 years.

PAC chairman Ashneel Sudhakar pointed out to the ministry that an area of concern for the committee had been the high amount of write-offs in most ministries and departments that had appeared before them.

Committee member Ratu Sela Nanovo said: “These write-offs are unsubstantiated and it’s an area of concern.”

Meanwhile, Auditor-General Ajay Nand, who was also present, said the ministries and departments concerned had to exhaust all avenues of substantiation before applying for a write-off.Fijitmes

32) Clan, tribal voting still a challenge in PNG
4:46 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2017, Papua New Guinea

The practice of voting along tribal lines and clans rife in parts of Papua New Guinea especially in the some Highlands provinces remains a challenge for the Electoral Commission during the 2017 National Election.

This includes the intimidation of voters during the election.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said in Lae Tuesday that such practices still remain as challenges.

Gamato said that for the Electoral Commission to effectively address instances of intimidations during election such as in polling, though remaining to be a challenge is targeted by the commission’s awareness campaigns.

He said such practices are in relation to the attitude and behavior of electoral officials as well as candidates, political parties and their supporters.

Gamato said that given the shared responsibility and working together by all concerned parties and stakeholders then “we can improve those types of incidences”. Bribery, violence, and threatening with intimidation were not democratic, he added. He said such behaviours actually stop or delay the democratic process.

“It happened in the last election. I am not saying it will not happen this time but our message and emphasis has been that lets do it properly,” he added.

He said as the mandated electoral body the Electoral Commission will go out and deliver the election. He said the security aspect of protecting the process is with the police so the police and the security personnel will have to come in and play their part to provide that security.
Political parties and intending candidate also have a responsibility to ensure that the democratic process is accessible by all Papua New Guineans, Gamato said.

“So it not just electoral commission business. It’s everyone business. They cannot just point fingers at us nor do we point fingers at them. We have to work together, cooperate and ensure there is a free, fair and safe election,” he added…..


33) PNG MPs to vacate office by 20 April

10:44 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, Papua New Guinea

Members of Papua New Guinea Parliament have been told to vacate their offices by 20 April when the writs for the general election will be issued.

“Once the writs are issued, we’ll start moving people out of this house and get ready for the new intake,” Acting Clerk of Parliament Kala Aufa told The National.

He said the face recognition machines on all doors would be cleared from April 20.

Parliament staff will also start cleaning and refurbishing offices.

Speaker Theodore Zurenuoc will be writing to all MPs this week advising them of the date to vacate the offices.

Aufa, who has been acting clerk for the last two years, said the ninth parliament “had done it all”.

“I believe that this Parliament has done very well,” he said.

“I’m happy with the outcomes.”

Aufa said there was more debate and passage of bills in this Parliament than in any other.

“Last week for example, in one session, we had 14 questions,” he said.

The acting clerk said there had been a staff restructure in Parliament.

“We hope that when the new MPs come, we’ll be able to provide a better service,” he said.

The next Parliament is scheduled to have its first session on Aug 1 after the return of writs.

“Our team is now working on preparing for induction for the new MPs,” Aufa said…..


34) SODELPA 14 pledge loyalty

8:01 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, Fiji

The 14 parliamentarians of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) will not switch parties ahead of the 2018 polls.

This was confirmed to The Fiji Times by the party’s member of Parliament, Niko Nawaikula, who said they had agreed to support party leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

Nawaikula said the 14 MPs applied to contest the coming general election under the party’s banner.

He said despite the influencing factors and the formation of new political parties, SODELPA MPs supported Rabuka and his leadership.

“I am very certain because I know people have much more up their head to see the need for that (switching parties),” he said.

Nawaikula said the ultimate aim of SODELPA and its members was to form government in the next election.

“Because when the party makes the decision and when you see the bigger picture, which is to form government, you have to support it.”

He said new political parties poaching candidates need to assure the public they would be able to get more than 139,000 votes which SODELPA got in the last election.

“A lot of influencing factors, but it all comes to the mandate.”

Nawaikula said the party’s MPs agreed to stay together.

“You can’t win this election unless you have a big party. Joining small parties with no assurance or guarantee of the threshold, it’s a waste of time and you are just giving your vote away to the other side.

“So you need to have big parties, not small ones and least of all, the independent candidates.”

He said the party was doing well and was now working hard to consolidate support.

Meanwhile, representatives of five political parties met with the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Suresh Chandra Monday.

Speaking on behalf of the parties, Fiji Labour Party (FLP) leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the first meeting with the commission was to discuss issues of concern to opposition parties in the buildup to the 2018 General Election.

Chaudhry said among the concerns were the implementation of the Multinational Observer Group report on the 2014 elections and those of the Electoral Commission in its 2014 annual report.

“Other matters raised for discussion included the design and numbering of the ballot papers and the issue of one-day polling,” he said.

Chaudhry said political parties stressed that the commission must be seen to be independent from the executive arm of government.

“We made it clear that it was the responsibility of the commission to ensure that all electoral laws, regulations and practices are brought in line to deliver free, fair and credible elections. If they are not, they must be changed.

“The whole environment has to be made conducive to ensuring credible elections.”

Chandra said the recommendation of the MOG and the 2014 Electoral Commission’s annual report were being reviewed by his team.

“The commission will comprehensively review all the reports and recommendations in due course,” he said.

“The commission is aware that the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights has also undertaken public consultations on the reports.”

The FLP, National Federation Party, People’s Democratic Party, Social Democratic Liberal Party and Fiji United Freedom Party were represented at the meeting.

The commission is independent and therefore will analyse the reports in light of the latest amendments and other international standards before it will release its own assessment.”

The FLP, National Federation Party, People’s Democratic Party, Social Democratic Liberal Party and Fiji United Freedom Party were represented at the meeting.




35b) Media Watchdog Calls Search Warrant On Fiji Times Newspaper ‘Heavy-Handed’

Submitted by PIR Editor on Mon, 04/03/2017 – 16:29

Pacific Freedom Forum says police action ‘could further erode the right to free expression’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 4, 2017) – The regional media watchdog, Pacific Freedom Forum, says the search warrant executed at the Fiji Times newspaper last week could further erode the right to free expression in Fiji.

The police were seeking the employment contracts of three staff members charged with sedition, following the publication of an inflammatory letter last year.

The Forum’s chair, Monica Miller said the search warrant seems like overkill.

“Couldn’t they have asked for a copy of the contracts? I think that this is strong, heavy-handed action by the police,” she said.

“I think that this will have a chilling effect. Now, with these kinds of actions, people will think twice before they really express how they feel.”

Monica Miller said the Fiji Times case should have been dealt with by a media regulator and not escalated to court.

The newspaper and three of its senior staff were charged with sedition relating to a letter published in the Times’s iTaukei newspaper, Nai Lalakai.

The staff, including publisher Hank Arts, editor-in-chief Fred Wesley, and Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula, were earlier charged with inciting communal antagonism, but that was changed last month.

RNZ International understands that officers from the police major crime unit arrived at the newspaper’s Suva headquarters on Thursday with a warrant seeking the employment contracts of Mr Arts, Mr Wesley and Mr Ravula.

The pursuit of the charges against the Fiji Times has been condemned by human rights group Amnesty International.

Radio New Zealand International


36) Attract Investors: PM

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai strongly emphasized the importance for the Heads of Missions abroad to attract foreign investors to invest and do business in Vanuatu as well as attract more assistance at the bilateral level.

He made the remarks when joining the Minister of Foreign Affairs yesterday during the Heads of Missions Meeting at Aquana Resort in Eratap on Efate.

“At the beginning of this year, the Government launched a new National Sustainable Development Plan for our country.

“We called the document “Vanuatu 2030” because it charters a vision for the country and overarching policy framework to achieve a stable, sustainable and prosperous Vanuatu over the next 15 years,” PM Salwai stressed.

He said the new Plan is founded on Christian and Melanesian values and principles, in particular Vanuatu’s customs which differentiate the nation of Vanuatu and its people from other countries.

He went on to state that the Government of the day is committed to the implementation, monitoring and reporting of progress.

However, he said, success of the document depends on collective ownership and collaborative partnership between the people, the Government, the community leaders, business, civil society and development partners.

On the note of Foreign Policy, Prime Minister Salwai, stated that: “The roles for you and your staff, in different missions, especially to secure new markets, are more crucial at this time more than before.

“Furthermore, the Government needs your support in the initiatives under the Economic Sector including attracting Foreign Investors, support in Social Sector, especially in Education and Health and support down to the Provincial Governments through sister cities agreement for example and the environment sector,” PM Salwai made the call to Heads of Vanuatu Foreign Missions abroad.

[email protected] 5/4/17.

37) Landowners urged to venture into businesses

April 4, 2017The NationalBusiness

LANDOWNERS in the oil and gas area of Southern Highlands have been encouraged to venture into businesses and not to depend solely from oil and gas benefits.
Oil Search Community Relation Officer in Kutubu Tony Auvita mentioned this when opening a new fuel service station and warehouse in Moro, Kutubu in Southern Highlands.
He said not everyone would become rich from the sale of oil and gas on their land.
Auvita congratulated Kawaso Limited for setting up the warehouse and the fuel service station in Moro.
He said Oil Search would provide the necessary support and information needed to ensure the business prospered.
“Oil Search believes in the sustainable development of Papua New Guinea.
“And this is a great example of how that philosophy can be applied through the development of local businesses,” he said.
Kawaso Limited managing director Kossy Sosoro said he was proud to do something to benefit the people of Kutubu.
Sosoro said the service station and warehouse was to save costs.
“Most of the time, the landowner companies get their fuel from Oil Search which is quiet expensive but we have no choice but to purchase it,” he said.
“We pay in US dollars for all the support or help with get from Oil Search – more like boomerang assistance so to speak.”
Sosoro said the fuel service station was now fullly operational and charging K3.80 per litre.
“I am appealing to all landowners to support Kawaso Fuel Service station by purchasing fuel from our service station,” he said.
The company was established with assistance from the Oil Search business development team to enable landowners to sustain their livelihoods through non-royalty-based income streams.

8) Global electronics expands service to PNG

April 5, 2017The NationalBusiness

GLOBAL electronics and technology service provider Oppo has expanded its footprints in South Pacific starting with Papua New Guinea.
The firm has been established in Port Moresby for three months and would be launched soon.
Chief executive officer Danny Jun Wu said Oppo’s products could be found at Fone Haus outlets at the Vision City Mega Mall, Boroko, Downtown and J-Mart in Erima.
He said Oppo was dedicated to delivering customers with the most extraordinary mobile experience through meticulous designs and smart technology. The firm expected more from its smart phone than a run-of- the-mill experience.
Wu said Oppo’s establishment in PNG was for long term and the firm was focused on the socio-economic development and growth of the country.
“Creating jobs. We are employing 31 PNG nationals and looking at increasing the number in the near future,” he said.
Oppo delivers the latest and most exquisite mobile electronic devices in over 20 countries including the United States, China and Australia.
OPPO designs, manufactures, and promote its own products to its markets globally.

39) Lady pilots sky aircraft
10:50 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, Solomon Islands

For the first time in the history of Solomon Airlines two local female pilots flew a Twin Otter aircraft H4-FSI together on a commercial flight last week.

The Airlines management were at the airport to witness the two females took off.

A statement from the Solomon Airlines’ Human Resources Department said, it’s a big achievement and milestone in its gender empowerment efforts when two of its very own local female pilots, Captain Linda Tito Owen and first Officer Patricia Avosa to sky the plan.

“Although women make up the majority of the work force in the tourism industry, the aviation industry is largely male dominated,” the statement said.

It added that an idea of occupational image means that in today’s aircraft women are often confined to working in the customer service or cabin steward roles instead of cockpit.

“However, we at the Solomon Airlines can proudly attest to the fact that we do take gender equality with vigor and enthusiasm as part of our overall human resource development strategy.”

When asked to describe how they feel about their roles as pilots in the national carrier, Capt Linda and First Officer Patricia’s responded happily and said: “we just love to do our job to serve our people to the best of our abilities.

“We just do the job and of course with safety as our number one priority.”

Out on the tarmac to witness the momentous occasion were Solomon Airlines management and staff.


40) New air service launched, direct service to benefit PNG and Queensland

6:28 pm GMT+12, 02/04/2017, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill launched Papua New Guinea’s new air services, which could provide a bigger opportunity to build on more than A$500million (US$381 million) in two-way trade between Townsville and Port Moresby every year.

This flight path will provide Townsville and benefit PNG a “one stop” to Asia connection, mainly Hong Kong, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan and also to the Pacific Island countries like Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands.

O’Neill said that these direct flights from Port Moresby to Townsville would not only be a move tipped to boost business connections within these two but also tourism, education, agriculture and improve on social issues.

“Two years ago, I visited and addressed Townsville’s business leaders in 2014. I made a commitment to try to encourage Air Niugini to fly in. I am sorry that it has taken two years but we are here today,” he said.

He said he was delighted about inaugurating the twice-weekly service that would open up opportunities which would mutually benefit PNG and North Queensland.

“I am sure there will be a major expansion of business, investment and trade links as a result,” he said. Townsville and Queensland have significant similarities which also includes apart from business, mining services, agriculture, aquaculture, sporting, information technology services, training and education and tourism,” O’Neill said.

There are about 5000 Papua New Guineans living in Townsville, about 300 of them students studying in various institutions, 100 working in mines and others living and working in and around the city.

There are already 80 businesses very happy about the direct flights to Port Moresby as it will ease time, shorten their flight paths, cheaper and will mean more business-these are companies that are directly involved within Townsville to PNG.

The flights will also be the best that could ever happen for PNG’s Hunters team and expand on tourism, agriculture and many more benefits. Townsville is the sister city of the National Capital District. There are 3000 expatriates who belong to Townsville living in Port Moresby and around PNG.

Meanwhile, Minister for National Planning Charles Abel has commended Air Niugini for launching the inaugural, direct service from Port Moresby to Townsville, North Queensland, last Friday.

Abel, who is also Acting Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments, said PNG and Queensland already enjoy strong historical, business and cultural links, as well as a sister city relationship between Port Moresby and Townsville.

He said the direct service would benefit both PNG and Townsville in many ways, opening up tourism and leisure opportunities as well as education, business, agriculture, freight and sporting opportunities.

“The direct Port Moresby/Townsville services will mean greatly reduced travel times and airfares between the two cities.

“This direct service will greatly assist organisations such as Youth with a Mission (YWAM) with the uplift of their volunteers, medical and other supplies, enabling them to continue and expand the splendid work they are doing here in Papua New Guinea to help our citizens especially in remote areas.”

Abei said Port Moresby and Townsville share a rich Wor1d War two connection through events such as the Kokoda campaign, and given that Townsville has the largest garrison city in Australia. Every year, more Australian tourists are walking the track, another great opportunity to use this service.

“For those in Townsville, this service has the potential to be an important addition to Air Niugini’s regional “hub” in Port Moresby.

It will offer the citizens of Townsville and other centres such as Mackay and Mt lsa the efficient international “connection” they currently don‘t have transiting here before traveling to Air Niugini’s major Asian cities such as Manila, Singapore.

Hong Kong and Narita as well as Honiara, Nadi, Port Vila, Pohnpei and Chuuk in the Pacific. It saves the Townsville community costs and cuts down on travel time,” he said.



41) ‘Expect better roads’

Vishaal Kumar
Wednesday, April 05, 2017-Fijitimes

RESIDENTS living along Vuci South Rd in Nausori should expect better road conditions and drainage.

This is after the Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH) started roadworks in the area that will result in ther road being stabilised, drainage cleared and extra height added to the existing road to alleviate flooding and related issues.

FHH stabilising foreman Inia Hughes said the upgrades would help solve the residents’ accessibility issues in the area.

“For about a decade now, the drainage has never been excavated or cleaned and often when there is heavy rain, the road gets flooded,” he said.

“These residents have to use a longer, alternative route to reach the communities inside the road whenever the road becomes inaccessible because of flooding,” Mr Hughes added.

“Work on Vuci South Rd will involve raising the road by 200 millimetres to give it extra height, which will allow water to flow easily off the surface of the road and into the drains.

“We’re stabilising a stretch of about 555 metres,” he said.

FHH maintenance and operations manager Patrick Keenan said FRA identified safety “black spots” on the road and had been developing a plan to resolve as many of the issues as possible.

“When the pavement and drainage works are complete, some minor safety works such as speed humps, signage and line marking improvements will be tied in,” he said.

“We are pleased to be given the opportunity to make some tangible changes in this neighbourhood to improve safety, pavement strength and drainage on and around this stretch of road.”

Meanwhile, Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) general manager network operations and maintenance Aram Goes said the community could help by ensuring that property owners constructed proper culverts that allowed continuous flow of water.

“The FRA in trying to improve the road network, is available to assist property owners in ensuring they comply with standards set by the authority, including correct culvert sizes,” he said

“Those property owners constructing driveways that invade the road reserve must seek assistance from the Fiji Roads Authority.

“Our findings on Vuci South Rd have revealed that some properties have undersize culverts, contributing to the water dispersing on the road.”

Mr Goes added that members of the public could always contact Fiji Roads Authority to find out the requirements for constructing driveways or access into their properties.

42) Vanuatu’s airport to be upgraded by Chinese company

The Vanuatu government has ended the long-running saga over the upgrade to the runway at Port Vila’s airport by announcing the winner of the contract to carry out the work.
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai says China Civil Engineering and Construction Company has been awarded the US 47-million dollar contract.
The World Bank is providing the money and in recent weeks there appeared to be something of a stand-off between the bank and the government over the choice of preferred tenderer.
At the announcement Mr Salwai said the World Bank had no objection to his government’s selection.
Dan McGarry, the media director at the Vanuatu Daily Post was at the announcement.

Bruce Hill/ Source: Pacific Beat | 31 March 2017/ABC




By Aloysius Laukai

Parents who have deserted their kids and started different families have been warned that the law will finally catch up with them.
Speaking at the Law and Justice road show in Buin, an officer with the Community Development office, DESMOND PONPON said that the new LUKAUTIM PIKININI act recently passed by the National Parliament is to protect the families who have been deserted in the past.
He said that many Papua New Guinean husbands and including Bougainvilleans have been deserting their wives and children and the law will make sure they look after their children until they turn 18 years.
MR.PONPON said these people would be made to pay maintenance for their children and can be jailed if they fall in to arrears.
He said many such husbands are lucky as mothers do not go to the courts to report them.31/03/17 Dawn Fm- Autonomous Bougainville

45) Minister awaits sentencing

Published: 28 March 2017

MINISTER for Justice and Legal Affairs William Marau will be sentenced tomorrow for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

This followed the sentencing submissions and mitigation on his matter on Monday at the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.

Marau entered his guilty plea to the charge of presence of alcohol in a person’s blood on Thursday last week.

In mitigation on Monday, Mr Marau apologised to the court for his actions and said he willingly accepts the penalty that will be imposed on him.

He said being a national leader and the minister for the justice and legal affairs he apologised and assured the court it won’t happen again.

He then told the court he regretted what he did which he described as “an unfortunate incident and not one that is done intentionally”.

In relation to the issue of banning of his driving license which was raised in court, Mr Marau pleaded with the court not to impose the ban.

He said due to his responsibility as a minister for justice and legal affairs, if his driver was not available he will need to drive.

Therefore, he said he did not see the banning as appropriate.

When asked by the presiding magistrate if he was one of the Members of Parliament who passed the draft new Transport Act?

Marau said “yes”.

Police Prosecutor Ambrose Motui had suggested a fine of $4000 to be imposed on Marau.

The maximum penalty for this offence is a $10,000 fine or one year imprisonment.

The warrant of arrest issued on Tuesday last week on Marau was withdrawn two days later in court after the court was satisfied with the explanation he gave the court.

Marau was attending a Cabinet conference the whole day and therefore could not attend court last week.

Marau was charged after police conducted a Random Breathalyzer Test (RBT) on him on 4 March 2017, in front of the Central Police Station and found him positive of alcohol in his blood.

Police stopped him in the RAV 4 vehicle he was driving and conducted the first test where police found positive with a reading of 0.145 per cent.

He was taken to the Central Police Station where a second test was conducted which resulted in a reading of 0.132 per cent.

With both readings positive, police then charged Marau.


46) New Caledonia to discuss public safety 

A top level meeting has been called in New Caledonia to discuss security concerns raised by civil society.

This followed a rally by a small group outside the French High Commission in Noumea which vowed to stay put until their call for talks was met.

The Collective against Insecurity in New Caledonia was formed last month after the death of a motorcyclist near Noumea.

Debate on social media had been intense over whether her fatal fall was an accident or the result of foul play because the incident happened along the troubled stretch of the main road near St Louis.

The road, which has been the scene of unrest late last year, was repeatedly closed, disrupting the life of thousands.

The group said it had now been assured that a meeting would be held with the President of New Caledonia, the president of the southern province, the four mayors of the Noumea agglomeration and a top official from the French High Commission.

The meeting is expected to go ahead no later than Friday.5/4/17 RNZI.

47) Vietnam criticised after more illegal ‘blue boats’ caught, this time in Solomon Islands

The battle against fishing boats operating illegally in Pacific waters is intensifying, with the maritime authorities in Solomon Islands the latest to intercept so-called ‘blue boats’ from Vietnam and arrest their crews.

Blue boats have also been caught in waters around Vanuatu and New Caledonia in recent times, and these latest arrests have heaped further pressure on Vietnam to take responsibilty for a problem which comes from their shores.

In the latest cases, the Director-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, James Movick, says local Solomon Islands communities played an important role in sounding the alarm.

Richard Ewart

Source: Pacific Beat | 31 March 2017/ABC


48) Pacific plant breeding network being set up to help farmers

The Pacific Plant Breeding Network has been set up in Fiji to help farmers and growers across the region get access to seeds for drought, heat and disease resistant food plants.

The Secretary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Kent Nnadozie, says crop diversity is becoming more and more important in the face of the ongoing impacts of climate change.

Bruce Hill/ Source: Pacific Beat | 3 April 2017/ABC


49) Momis Commits to New BCL
By Aloysius Laukai
President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government Chief Dr John Momis has announced his support for the new Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) .
The new BCL is partly owned by the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the National Government, Panguna Landowners and people of Bougainville.
President Momis said the ABG as regulator will work together and support BCL explore alternative Panguna development options that will accommodate the interest of project stakeholders to fast track the development of the Panguna resources.
“Since BCL was invited to formally re-engage in discussions in Bougainville in 2012, the landowners have consistently stated their preference to work with BCL as the developer,” Momis said.
Last month BCL paid outstanding payments to the landowners totalling more than FOURTEEN MILLION KINA.17/03/17 Dawn Fm/Autonomous Bougainville

50) Concerns PNG govt yet to revoke controversial leases

An advocacy group in Papua New Guinea says it’s yet to see any evidence of the government fulfilling its promise to cancel Special Agricultural Business Leases that cover more than ten per cent of the country.

The Lands Minister, Benny Allen, claimed recently that all SABLs, many of which were granted without the landowners’ consent, had been revoked.

He called on lease holders to surrender them, saying a process had been established to convert them under a new Voluntary Customary Land Registration System.

But Act Now PNG’s Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Tanago, says logging and other activities are continuing unchecked, and it appears the government has done little more than give the leases a new name.

Liam Fox/ Source: Pacific Beat | ABC 5/4/17

51) Way forward found in Freeport dispute with Jakarta

The mining giant Freeport has agreed on a way forward to a resolution in its prolonged dispute with the Indonesian government over its Papua operations.

After months of strained negotiations over the renewal of Freeport’s contract to mine the large Grasberg gold and copper deposit in Papua, it appears the miner may be willing to divest some of its majority share to Indonesia.

The Jakarta Post reported Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan as saying the parent company Freeport-McMoRan had agreed to allow its contract of work to be converted into a special mining permit.

Relations between the two parties became tense after a mineral export ban took effect in January under a government order.

Freeport Indonesia has been pressed by Jakarta to divest 51 percent of its shares, build a smelter within five years and convert its contract in exchange for a permit to export copper concentrate.

Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said the company was still negotiating the terms with the government.

As a result of the export ban, Freeport had been unable to sell its copper concentrates overseas, leading to a large pile-up that halted its mining operations.

Earlier this month, Freeport resumed production at 40 percent of its normal rate after securing an export permit for anode slime, a by-product of copper processing.

Meanwhile, some Indonesian lawmakers called on the central government to seek input from the Papuan people before making any future policy about the miner.

“We ask the energy and mineral resources minister to involve Papuan locals in any decision-making process pertaining to Freeport Indonesia in order to comply with the Regional Autonomy Law,” chairman Gus Irawan Pasaribu said. 5/4/17 RNZI

52) Nautilus submersible trials will start soon in PNG

4:53 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2017, Papua New Guinea

The Seafloor Production Tools (SPTs) developed by Canadian Miner Nautilus Minerals for the World’s first ever deep sea mining have arrived in the country and will shortly commence submerged trials.

Nautilus vice president Adam Wright, who flew in from Brisbane where he is based said the equipment was shipped mid-March from a ship yard where they had been stored, arriving in Port Moresby on Monday.

Wright told the Post-Courier the equipment would undergo a series of trials over a four to five month period at Motukea Island.

He said the four things that the Canadian miner will be testing are the stability of the machine, how efficiently they can cut rock, how efficiently they can collect rock and how well the operator can control and monitor submergible using visualisation technology.

“This really puts the spot light on PNG in taking the lead role in developing deep sea mining and this is a joint initiative between Nautilus and PNG through Kumul Mineral Holdings Limited.

Nautilus chief executive officer Mike Johnston in commenting on the arrival of the machine said “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to complete these trials in PNG rather than overseas.

Not only will it result in the addition of over K6million (US$1.8 million) into the PNG economy and employing of thousands of Papua New Guineans.

“It will also ensure that our partner Kumul Mineral Holdings, government officials from the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) as well as from New Ireland and East New Britain provincial governments can fully participate in the trials.

“The machines will not be deployed into the ocean so there will be no impact on the seafloor around Motukea Island Instead the machines will operate in an existing fully enclosed excavation on the island,” the CEO said.

Meanwhile, Wright said after the trials have been concluded the equipment will be shipped back to China to be integrated onto Nautilus’ production support vessel which he added is currently being built in a shipyard in there.

“Once the ship completed and completed its sea trials then that vessel will come back to PNG,” Wright said.

He said the firm remains confident that the commissioning of the mining operation will fall in the early part of 2019.



53) Women fuel development and change

Luke Rawalai
Wednesday, April 05, 2017-Fijitimes

VILLAGERS of Savusavuitaqa in the interior of Dogoru, Macuata, will no longer have to withstand harsh conditions to wait for transportation after the opening of their new bus stand on Monday evening.

The bus stand, a result of a seeding project by women in the village, has been hailed by Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu as evidence that women continued to fuel development and change in their communities.

Women in the area were involved in the collection of seeds within the village’s nursery which earned them $598.50.

Ministry of Forests representative Maleli Natasava said the department gave cement and corrugated iron for the bus stand to the women after learning of their project to assist them.

Meanwhile, turaga ni koro Savusavuitaqa Lorasio Salavocea said youths in the village also partnered the department to replant three hectares of forests.

Mr Salavocea said after sitting with the department’s project officers youths managed to identify the implementation of a sports ground as a worthy project to fund from their partnership.

“Considering the fact that five youths had been injured from the village’s current ground because it was not proper officers found it fitting to make a proper playground,” he said.

“The partnership that we have forged with the Ministry of Forests has benefited us a lot.”

On Monday evening, Mr Naiqamu, handed a sum of $598.50 to villagers as down payment for the levelling of the playground for the village.

54) Involve kids, says Tokalauvere

Serafina Silaitoga
Wednesday, April 05, 2017-Fijitimes

STAKEHOLDERS dealing with eco-system issues should involve children, a workshop agreed yesterday.

The proposal put forward by Save The Children Fiji’s Northern officer Tevita Tokalauvere, was accepted as participants agreed it was best to involve children.

Mr Tokalauvere, asked the participants at the Macuata Yaubula workshop held in Labasa, on why adults were mostly involved when the children would be decision-makers for future development work.

Involving children with such projects at their young age, he said would allow children to better grasp environmental issues such as climate change.

“We are dealing with it now at an adult life but imagine if we involve our children today, they will be in a better position to do more for themselves when they grow older,” Mr Tokalauvere said.

“This is because we are involving them from their young age and will help them understand issues that affect our environment.

“We have a child’s club in the organisation I work for and it is community-based, so we involve them in activities and I believe if we involve children in our yaubula projects, amazing changes will happen.”

FLMMA’s (Fiji Locally Managed Marine Protected Area Network) executive Margaret Tabunakawai supported the proposal to involve children.

She asked participants to allow Save The Children Fiji, who have the expertise in working with children, to guide them into ways and methods of involving children with environmental projects.

“I agree that children should be involved because in most of our projects and work in communities, we involve the adults only,” she said.

“It is true that children are our future and I believe we should start working with them too.”

The workshop was organised by Macuata Provincial Council.


55) Vanuatu 2017 expecting over 1,800 athletes at Pacific Mini Games
10:58 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, Vanuatu

Vanuatu 2017 organisers have stated that around 1,832 athletes are on course to attend this year’s Pacific Mini Games.

Members of the Organising Committee provided an update on their progress for the multi-sport event, as preparations continue for the Games in December.

Mike Flood, Vanuatu 2017 chief executive, stated that 1,101 male and 731 female athletes are currently registered to take part across 13 sports.

A further 498 team officials are also earmarked to attend, while participation could be further increased as Australia and New Zealand are now expected to compete in weightlifting.

However, Flood requested that National Olympic Committees also put forward technical officials to help with the demands of staging the event.

“We are working very hard with the National Federations in Vanuatu to build an to build the capacity and we are working with technical delegates to secure technical officials across the Pacific,” Flood said.

“There has been an appeal for technical officials to be included as part of your teams.

“New Caledonia have committed 15 technical officials and that is a huge support, which helps to offset our budget and builds capacity.”.


56) Tonga 2019 admit preparations are “running late” but stress country will host Pacific Games
10:57 pm GMT+12, 03/04/2017, Fiji

Tonga Sports Association and National Olympic Committee (TASANOC) secretary general Takitoa Taumoepeau has admitted preparations for the Pacific Games in 2019 are “running late” but stressed the event would go ahead as planned.

Taumoepeau was providing an update during the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) meetings last week and sought to allay any fears.

“We are running a bit late,” Taumoepeau said.

“There has been ongoing dialogue with the Pacific Games Council and they are fully behind us as an Organising Committee.

“We have been working through these turbulent times with our Government.

“Let me reassure you, the Games are going ahead.”

Tongan Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pōhiva cast doubt on their ability to host the event last year when he warned a number of construction projects for the Games are unlikely to meet their deadlines.

He reportedly told Parliament that a piece of land to build an 18-hole golf course had not yet been found before warning it would then take four years to get the facility ready.

A new site has been reportedly found for the course, Taumoepeau claimed, although the Tongan Government are claimed to have a different preference.

Pacific Games Council chief executive Andrew Minogue confirmed to insidethegames that a new course was not vital for the Games, with an existing one being ready for use.

He claimed the competition could be over nine holes, which has been a format used at past Pacific Games.

Minogue expressed his confidence in Tonga 2019 after the presentation as the country prepare to stage the event for the first time.

Tonga are also poised to receive support from the Chinese Government, with the design team from the country having agreed to finance the Tonga High School Sports Complex.

Their work of the team, who helped design the Bird’s Nest stadium in China, will work on an indoor gymnasium, a rugby field, two swimming pools, netball and tennis courts, as well as a lawn bowls field.

A total of 26 sports are expected to be contested at the Games, with sailing and shooting having been added to the programme.

There will be two main venue clusters at the Games, with the Teufaiva Sport Stadium scheduled to host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Athletes attending the Pacific Games are due to be housed in local schools.


57) Rugby in Oceania to receive pre-Tokyo 2020 funding boost

10:45 pm GMT+12, 02/04/2017, Fiji

-Oceania’s rugby sevens teams have been handed an increase in funding as they seek to replicate the achievement of the Fijian men’s side at Rio 2016.

Fiji’s 13-man squad became the country’s first Olympic gold medallists when they triumphed at last year’s Olympics.

The sevens team defeated Britain 43-7 in the final as the sport made its debut at the Games.

Before Rio, the Fijian team were also crowned as winners of the World Rugby Sevens Series after a number of fine performances.

Their achievements saw the team inducted into the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) Hall of Fame earlier this week, while they have also acted as an inspiration to the region’s other sides.

Oceania Rugby’s services manager Bruce Cook has now confirmed several teams are set to receive a funding boost as they look towards qualification for Tokyo 2020.

“This is the start of a new four-year cycle for Fijian rugby and other teams in the Pacific,” Cook told the Fiji Sun.

“Most teams that missed out on the Olympics have been given additional funding and chances to get through the repechage, both men and women, [including] teams from Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.

“There are a number of exciting programmes aligned with the increase of funding, which rugby unions can apply for and the funding could help them.

“It is up to the National Federations to get their houses in order.”

Australia, Fiji and New Zealand represented Oceania in the men’s and women’s competitions at last year’s Games.

Samoa narrowly missed out on securing the last place in the men’s event, losing in the final qualifier to Spain.


58) Disappointment for PNG as they lose one day cricket series in the UAE

A big batting collapse has seen the Papua New Guinea cricket team crash to a 103 run defeat against the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.

But the 50 over match was marred by controversy, with two contentious umpiring decisions costing the Barramundis wickets at a crucial time in their innings.

The result means PNG have lost the one-day series 2-1, but coach Dipak Patel says their single win secured them valuable points at the top of the World Cricket League ladder, as they press for a place at the World Cup qualifying tournament in Bangladesh next year.

Richard Ewart/ Source: Pacific Beat | 5/4/17 ABC

59) Ni-Vanuatu rower on track for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan

Just a year after a chance encounter on a Port Vila street, George Langa has become the first para-rower from Vanuatu to compete in an international regatta.

And he made it all the way to the A-grade final at the Sydney International, where he finished sixth in a field of rowers from Australia and Hong Kong.

Now the hope is other athletes with a disability will be encouraged to take up the sport, so Vanuatu can field a team in the Tokyo Paralympics in three years time.

Rowing Australia’s Tara Huntly says George had never even thought about rowing, until he had a chance encounter with Margaret McFarlane, who’s now the coordinator for the Vanuatu Para-Rowing Programme.

Richard Ewart/S ource: Pacific Beat | 5/4/17 ABC

60a) Fijian 7s players blend in well in Hong Kong

Paulini Ratulailai
Wednesday, April 05, 2017-Fijitimes

FIJIAN 7 players Josua Vici, Pio Tuwai and Lemeki Tulele are enjoying the weather at Hong Kong as they prepare for the 10’s tournament today at the Happy Valley Race course.

Vici and Tulele are both playing for a French Club called the Bordeaux club while Tuwai plays for a New Zealand club called the Tradition.

Also part of the clubis Samu Bale of Tabadamu and Glen Cakautini of Uluinakau

The 22 year old Niudua Naceva Kadavu said they had really enjoyed their outing in the city before their first game against Samurai.

“We’ve enjoyed ourselves for the past days and we’re looking forward to the big game today.

“We’re all here to get some exposure and see how the international games are being played and hopefully learn some new things and hopefully apply it when we get back home,” Vici said.

Vici and Tulele will play their first match against Scottish Exiles and Samurai International for the second round at the Happy Valley Race course

As for the past 31 years the tournament will be held on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the world famous Hong Kong 7s tournament.

60b) Jamaica unveils super star

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Jamaica may have another sprinting sensation on their hands, after a 12-year-old female athlete posted a record time at the 2017 Boys and Girls Championships over the weekend.

Brianna Lyston, left her competitors in her wake to win the 200m race in the Caribbean nation, clocking a time of 23.72 seconds — almost within two seconds of the senior world record set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at the 1988 Olympics.

Lyston, who attends St Jago High School in Spanish Town, St Catherine, finished 0.88 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Oneika McAnnuff, to win the 200m final and she showed she’s not bad at shorter distances either.

The budding speed merchant also won the 100m dash on Thursday night in her Under-13 age group at Class Four level, winning the final in 11.86 seconds.

It is little wonder she is being immediately compared to the exploits of her all-conquering compatriot Usain Bolt.

Despite Lyston’s tender age, her potential as an elite athlete has been known for some time, with her first coming into national prominence as a 10-year-old.

The short-distance runner posted 42.41 seconds in the 300m at the Caribbean Union Teachers Championships in Trinidad and Tobago in 2015 — over a second faster than the time clocked by the winner of the boys’ race.

Lyston is certainly one to watch at future Olympic Games, and she was clearly delighted with her achievement on home soil across the weekend in Kingston.

As a 12-year-old, Bolt began to show his sprinting potential by becoming the fastest 100m runner at his school Waldensia Primary, but his love for all sports meant it was not until he was 14 that he focused on improving his athletic abilities.

It was fittingly at the same event Lyston has now caused ripples across the world that Bolt won his first annual high school championships medal in 2001, taking silver in the 200m with a time of 22.04 seconds.

60c) Aussie coach questions rules after Wisil beats Breen

April 5, 2017The NationalSports
Article Views: 115

CANBERRA: The rules that determine Australia’s national athletics champion have been called into question after Canberra sprinter Melissa Breen finished with silver despite being the fastest Australian in the race.
Breen was beaten in the women’s 100-metre final at the Australian Athletics Championships by Queensland-based Papua New Guinean sprinter Toea Wisil last Saturday.
Athletics Australia’s rules state national titles are open to all athletes living in Australia, who have been registered with an association for at least two seasons.
Breen’s coach Matt Beckenham voiced his displeasure on Twitter, questioning how the first Australian across the line could miss out on the national championship.
Beckenham said while Wisil was a “deserving winner”, the “rule defies common sense” and called for a review of the process.
The former Olympian said the rule robs Australian athletes of medals “they deserve” and added international competitors should be acknowledged but they shouldn’t deprive locals of medals.
Athletics Australia tweeted Wisil had finished “seconds ahead” of second-placed Breen. Wisil was only 0.22 seconds clear after running 11.42.
Wisil also beat Breen at the Canberra Grand Prix last month, confirming her status as one of the best sprinters in the country. – The Canberra Times

60d )



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