Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1098 ( Tuesday 9 May 2017 )

MELANESIA

1a) New Caledonia braces for arrival of Cyclone Donna

Winds are getting stronger in New Caledonia as the centre of Cyclone Donna is expected to hit the Loyalty Islands late this afternoon.

The category three system is on track to hit the island of Ouvea with very destructive winds.

A level two alert has been in force for Ouvea and Lifou as well as coastal areas of the main island, which means that people have to be inside their homes or in shelters.

The maximum alert will be extended to the rest of the east coast and to the island of Mare at 5pm today.

Authorities have shut down the water supply in Hienghene, Poindimie and Canala to protect those communities from storm contamination.

Reports say eight mobile phone transmitters have stopped working along the east coast.

The curfew declared last night has meanwhile been lifted on the western side of the main island as the storm system with winds gusting to 230 km/h is approaching the Loyalty Islands.

The cyclone is then forecast to pass between Mare and the southern tip of the main island while it is continuing to weaken.

The south of the main island as well as the Isle of Pines are on alert level one, which means residents are advised to take all the standard precautions.

Businesses and schools are closed, and bus services have been suspended.

Vanuatu assess impact of Cyclone Donna

Earlier the cyclone swept over northern Vanuatu, damaging homes, crops and a cell phone tower.

The storm hit Torba, Malampa and Penama provinces as a category four, damaging homes and crops.

Forecaster at the Vanuatu Met Office Jerry Timothy said the central islands were fortunate the system has stayed out at sea.

“Sanma Province and Malampa province they’ve experienced a little bit of destructive gale force winds but at this stage it is far west of Port Vila,” Mr Timothy said.

“Nothing is happening here, the night is very calm.”

Unicef spokesperson Lachlan Forsyth said there were reports of damage to water and sanitation infrastructure.

He said Unicef was in touch with people in evacuation centres but some people had taken shelter in other places.

“In some of the northern islands some of the people have taken shelter in the evacuation centres. There are around 170-180 people sheltering in a cave, otherwise they’re sheltering in things like police stations, in schools, or even some of the sturdier buildings on those islands.”

Vanuatu’s Northern District Hospital has prepared more beds for people who may have been injured during the cyclone.

The manager of the hospital in Luganville on the island of Santo, Andy Ilo, said the health authorities in Torba have told him they’ll transfer any serious cases to his hospital.

Dr Ilo said they’ll get extra staff from Port Vila Central Hospital if needed.

The Director of the National Disaster Management office, Shadrack Welegtabit, said if countries or charities want to help, cash donations would be appreciated.

He said Vanuatu wants to avoid receiving expired or contaminated food and other unwanted goods as happened after Cyclone Pam.

World Vision said people should consider donating cash rather than goods for those who have been badly affected by Cyclone Donna.

Vanuatu country director, Michael Woolfe, said when disaster strikes, people are always wanting to do something to help out, which is really good.

But he said that disaster officials have already specifically asked for all aid agencies to tell people who wish to assist in any way to donate money.

He said goods often get held up due to the delivery time, there are port fees to be paid, and often donated goods, like toys, are actually not what people need the most.

“The biggest thing that can be done is for agencies to provide financial support,” Mr Woolfe said.Tuesday 09 May 2017- RNZI

2 )
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-08/cyclone-donna-schools-closed-flights-cancelled-as-category-four-storm-eyes-new-caledonia/1669976


3) Vanuatu capital calm as New Caledonia prepares for Cyclone

4:41 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2017, Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s capital of Port Vila has escaped any major impact from Cyclone Donna but the storm is continuing on its path towards New Caledonia.

Although Donna is packing winds of up to 265 kilometres per hour it remains to the west of the central islands.

Donna is about 280 kilometres west southwest of Vila and 330 kilometres west of Erromango.

Forecaster at the Vanuatu Met Office Jerry Timothy said the central islands have been fortunate the system has stayed out at sea.

“Sanma Province and Malampa province they’ve experienced a little bit of destructive gale force winds but at this stage it is far west of Port Vila,” Timothy said.

“Nothing is happening here, the night is very calm.”

Timothy said the system should head into New Caledonian waters within the next 12 hours.

Earlier the cyclone swept over northern Vanuatu, damaging homes, crops and a cell phone tower.

Vanuatu’s Northern District Hospital is preparing more beds for people who may have been injured during Cyclone Donna.

The storm hit Torba, Malampa and Penama provinces as a category four, damaging homes and crops.

The manager of the hospital in Luganville on the island of Santo, Andy Ilo, said the health authorities in Torba have told him they’ll transfer any serious cases to his hospital.

Dr Ilo said they’ll get extra staff from Port Vila Central Hospital if needed.

The Director of the National Disaster Management office, Shadrack Welegtabit, said if countries or charities want to help, cash donations would be appreciated.

He said Vanuatu wants to avoid receiving expired or contaminated food and other unwanted goods as happened after Cyclone Pam.

World Vision said people should consider donating cash rather than goods for those who have been badly affected by Cyclone Donna.

Vanuatu country director, Michael Woolfe, said when disaster strikes, people are always wanting to do something to help out, which is really good.

But he said that disaster officials have already specifically asked for all aid agencies to tell people who wish to assist in any way to donate money.

He said goods often get held up due to the delivery time, there are port fees to be paid, and often donated goods, like toys, are actually not what people need the most.

“The biggest thing that can be done is for agencies to provide financial support,” Woolfe said.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

4 ) http://dailypost.vu/news/red-cross-ready-to-provide-help-to-cyclone-victims/article_f7c50179-0aab-589a-bd52-512c5ca8bdcf.html

5 ) http://www.lnc.nc/breve/cyclone-donna-le-point-de-situation-commune-par-commune

6) Solomon Island foreign minister heads MSG mission to New Caledonia


9:32 pm GMT+12, 07/05/2017, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka, last week led a Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) mission to the Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia as the current chair of the MSG.

The mission was to appraise MSG member countries and stakeholders on preparations of New Caledonia (Kanaky) and to continue to provide briefings to the Special Committee on decolonisation of the United Nations on preparations for the self determination referendum in 2018, as per the Noumea Accord.

The MSG mission involved meetings with Mayors, Presidents and Government representatives from both the Kanaks and the New Caledonian territorial government.

The Mission also included a visit to Mare Island in the Loyalty Islands Province as well as to Kone in the Northern Province.

Amongst the issues discussed during the mission was the electoral listing for the referendum in 2018 as per the Noumea Accord. Concerns were raised on how best to include all the Kanaks for the referendum in 2018.

Recommendations made during the mission on mechanisms on a way forward will be brought to the attention of the MSG county members; and presented as a follow up to the United Nations special committee on decolonisation known as the UN C24.

Minister Tozaka was accompanied by the Vanuatu Foreign Affairs Minister,Bruno Leingkone with officials from the MSG secretariat.

Fiji and Papua New Guinea were unable to participate in the MSG mission…..

SOURCE:P SIG/PACNEWS

7) Calls for Indonesia to abolish death penalty, Uphold Human Rights in Papua
9:30 pm GMT+12, 07/05/2017, Indonesia

Indonesia expressed its commitment to address challenges that hamper its efforts to improve and protect human rights at home, during the 27th session of the United Nations Universal Period Review in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday.

While the country was praised for the improvements it has made on human rights, such as the ratification of various international conventions, the delegations of several countries raised their concerns and recommended that Indonesia should do more.

Indonesia accepted 150 of the 225 recommendations it received from 101 delegations during the review, while undertaking to examine the remainder.

The country is expected to state its position on the pending recommendations by no later than September, during the 36th session of the Human Rights Council.

The recommendations touched on several issues, including the abolition of the death penalty, preventing discrimination against religious minorities, ensuring the right to freedom of expression, repealing existing laws on blasphemy and promoting women’s rights and the rights of vulnerable groups.

Dozens of countries, including Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom, criticized Indonesia for its continued use of capital punishment for drug offenders and the perpetrators of major crimes, such as murder and terrorism.

During Indonesia’s review on Wednesday, Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly, who led the Indonesian delegation along with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, said the “death penalty is still part of Indonesia’s positive law.”

“[…] It is our conviction that the rights of the offender must always be weighed against the rights of the victims, their families and the broader rights of their community to live in peace and security, as stipulated in our constitution,” Yasonna said.

He added that the firm action by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration against drug offenders is based on the fact that narcotics remain among the top-three on the list of major causes of death for the Indonesian youth.

Death penalty has never been removed from Indonesian law, and that Jokowi is just fast-forwarding the process of executing those already convicted for drugs-related crimes.

Furthermore, the minister said Indonesia has always applied necessary safeguards based on international standards, which are in accordance with a strict due process of law. He added that Indonesia’s current practice of capital punishment does not contravene any international conventions.

Several countries also brought up the issue of human rights in Papua, voicing concern about alleged abuses and a lack of access by journalists to the area, despite the country recently having allowed foreign journalist to visit Papua for the first time in 70 years.

This New Zealand delegation recommended that Indonesia must “ensure human rights obligations in Papua are upheld, respected and promoted, including freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and the rights of women and minorities.”

Australia, meanwhile, recommended that Indonesia should “finalise the investigation of all human rights cases in Papua.”

In her response, Foreign Minister Retno said Papua is an integral part of Indonesia.

Several Pacific island nations, including Vanuatu, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands, issued a joint statement Saturday condemning Indonesia’s human rights violations in West Papua, including crimes against humanity, at a council of ministers meeting of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

The coalition called for a resolution, which includes support of the right of West Papuan political self-determination.

In March, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in response to a question by a member of parliament that the country’s regular engagements with Indonesia “have not revealed any information to support assertions of genocide in Papua.”

The contradictory reports reveal that Indonesia has reason to consider Mexico’s recommendation, which said the archipelago nation should “extend an invitation to the special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples to visit Indonesia, including Papua.”

Addressing issues related to access for foreign journalists, Retno said procedures have been simplified for journalists applying to visit Papua, and access has “significantly increased” to 41 percent in 2015 from the year before.

“Until the end of April 2017, we have received eight applications from journalists to visit Papua and all applications have been granted,” Retno said.
SOURCE: THE JAKARTA GLOBE/PACNEWS

POLYNESIA

8 ) http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/pacific/330400/drinking-kava-becoming-popular-with-tongan-women

9) Niue’s Parliament at least 20 percent women

4:38 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2017, Niue

Provisional election results in Niue indicate a boost to women’s representation in Parliament.

At least four women have won a place in the 20-seat legislature after the country went to the polls at the weekend.

A fifth woman, Maureen Melekitama, is in a tie for one of the 14 village seats.

There were two women in the Fono Ekepule during the last parliamentary term.

Niue’s former High Commissioner to New Zealand, O’Love Jacobsen, gained the most common roll votes, and is one of two women to have gained one of the six open seats.

The other is Joan Viliamu.

Vaaiga Tukuitonga, who has been in Parliament for 18 years, retained her Alofi North seat.

Mona Ainuu is among only four newcomers to the fono, winning the village seat of Tuapa.

Niue Star Publisher, Michael Jackson took the Hakupu seat from Young Vivian.

Veteran opposition politician Terry Coe took the second highest number of votes after Ms Jacobsen, followed by the long-serving premier Sir Toke Talagi.

Jacobsen and Sir Toke have said they would try for election to the premiership which is to be decided by the members of the fono.

One of the two tying contenders’ names will be picked out of a hat to decide who will represent the village of Mutalau.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

MICRONESIA


10) Fish carrier, Purse seiner caught in Palau waters

4:32 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2017, Palau

The Palau marine law enforcers seized another fish carrier from the Philippines early Saturday morning.

The vessel carrying 42 tons of tuna was apprehended in the waters between Sonsorol and Angaur state, and escorted to Koror where it arrived Sunday.

Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold Oilouch said no charges will be filed against the eight-crew members but the fish catch would be confiscated.

Its crewmembers are free to leave Palau, Oilouch said.

The vice president also said part of the deal was that the vessel would be able to take the previously detained Filipino fishermen back to General Santos City.

Many residents flock to the marine law dock yesterday to get the fish being given away from the Philippine vessel.

Meanwhile, Remeliik also caught a purse seiner on Friday at the Southeast of Palau’s exclusive economic zone.

The Indonesia-registered purse seiner had 19 crew members.

SOURCE: PACIFIC NOTE/PACNEWS

PAPUA NIUGINI TOK PISIN / SOLOMON ISLANDS PIJIN / VANUATU BISLAMA

11) Guadalcanal mix filing long polis i karem gan moa

Updated 9 May 2017, 9:20 AEST
Sam Seke

Premier blong Guadalcanal Province, Anthony Veke hem se olketa pipol long Guadalcanal i garem didiferen kaen tingting long limited rearmament blong police force.

Premier Veke hem se samfala i fil oraet long olketa assurance wea olketa otoriti i mekem, bat olketa wea i safa long han blong olketa polis we i iusim olketa gan blong polis olketa ino laekem.

Hem se long saet long Guadalcanal Province gavman, olketa i talem aot finis stat long taem olketa i saenim Townsville Peace Agreement long 2000 olsem olketa ino laekem gan long han blong olketa polis.

Mr Veke hem se dastawae nao long last year, gavman blong hem hem se fo givim land long Australian Federal Polis fo stap long hem taem RAMSI hem go.

Hem se plande pipol blong Guadalcanal i safa iet taem olketa i tingim polis i atakim olketa – an i weit iet fo police fo rekonsael wetem olketa.ABC

PACIFIC


12) World Bank: Let climate-threatened Pacific islanders migrate to Australia or NZ

4:37 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2017, Australia

Australia and New Zealand should allow open migration for citizens of Pacific nations threatened by climate change, to boost struggling island economies and prevent a later mass forced migration, a paper from the World Bank argues.

The policy paper, Pacific Possible, suggests as one climate change adaptation measure, open access migration from Tuvalu and Kiribati – for work and permanent settlement – to Australia and New Zealand.

Tuvalu (population 11,000) and Kiribati (107,000) are low-lying archipelago nations in the Pacific acutely vulnerable to climate change, in particular to rising sea levels that have already begun inundating land and homes across the islands.

The World Bank paper argues a structured migration program instituted now would prevent a more harried, forced migration in future generations.

“The worsening impacts of climate change have provided a new moral imperative for providing open access,” the report says.

It forecasts, with open migration, about 1,300 i-Kiribati and Tuvaluans would migrate to Australia and New Zealand annually, about 0.6% of those countries’ combined annual permanent migration programs.

“The two governments would prefer a slow outward flow resulting from voluntary migration and do not wish their peoples to be treated as ‘refugees’ fleeing a hopeless economic and environmental situation.”

Seventeen people from the Pacific – including 11 from Tuvalu and five from Kiribati – have already made refugee claims in New Zealand, citing climate change as part of their basis of claim. None have been successful (four have yet to be determined and 13 have been rejected) because the refugees convention does not recognise climate change as grounds for protection.

Report author Prof Stephen Howes from the Australian National University said unrestricted access across national borders was unusual but it did occur, with some Pacific nations, such as the Federated States of Micronesia, granted open access to the US, effectively borderless travel between Australia and New Zealand, and free movement within the EU.

“But there has to be something very special, very important to allow that free movement. It seems to us that climate change might provide such unusual circumstances as to give rise to open access.”

He stressed the migration to Australia and New Zealand was not “about emptying out those countries” but with making them sustainable, economically and environmentally.

Howes said it was important to have a pathway to permanent migration for Pacific Islanders coming to Australia and New Zealand so they could form diasporas that could assist later generations of migrants.

“If you don’t have that avenue for permanent migration, you won’t establish a diaspora, and the most successful migrant communities we’ve seen, for instance, the Indian community in Australia, thrive because of the personal and community links an established diaspora provides.”

Open access migration for all Pacific Islanders has been proposed by a number of Australian thinktanks as a more effective mechanism than aid for lifting struggling Pacific states out of poverty.

A December 2016 report by the Lowy Institute’s Leon Berkelmans and Jonathan Pryke argued that allowing just 1% of the Pacific’s population – an average intake of fewer than 3,000 people – to work permanently in Australia would deliver a “transformational impact” and be of greater benefit to the people of the Pacific by 2040 than all of Australia’s current aid to the region.

Based on conservative assumptions, an uncapped migration model could increase the income of some Pacific Island countries – for the entire population, not just emigrants – by 300 to 400% over the next 25 years.

“We are conscious that this focus is a different way of thinking about development but conventional thinking is clearly not working in the Pacific.”

In March the Menzies Research Centre said Australia had been slow to realise the potential of the Pacific and suggested Australia create two dedicated visa categories for Pacific Island workers – a skilled visa and a labour exchange visa for unskilled work in a variety of seasonal industries.

“The time is now ripe for Australia to reconsider how it engages with the Pacific workforce,” the Menzies report says. “Forecasts for labour demands suggest that the domestic labour supply will not be sufficient to meet demand in sectors like aged and community care, agriculture and tourism and hospitality. They are sectors with jobs that workers from the Pacific are potentially well-suited to fill.”

Launching the Menzies Research Centre report, the foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, said Australia had a substantial aid program in the region, focused on infrastructure, health, education, security and defence.

“But foreign aid alone will not deliver economically sustainable and independent nations,” she said. “That’s why we’re focusing on seeking to build the economies of our Pacific Island neighbours.

Bishop said Pacific labour migration to Australia was “a win-win”.

“Australia has some of our labour force shortages met but those from the Pacific gain skills, gain an opportunity, gain access to Australian qualifications, see Australian business practices and of course send home remittances.”

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, told the Pacific Islands Forum in September that Australia was looking to make a “step-change” in its relationship with the Pacific.

Australia’s relations with the region are expected to be a key element of the government’s forthcoming migration white paper. Australia has run a seasonal workers program since 2012 – which has attracted some criticism over worker exploitation – and, since last year, a Pacific microstates-northern Australia worker pilot, which provides multi-year visas for up to 250 workers from Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru.

Bishop’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said climate change migration was not a priority.

“Australia believes that the best response to climate change impacts, where feasible, is effective adaptation and well-supported internal relocation rather than resettlement.”

The New Zealand government said its immediate climate change focus was on effective and comprehensive global mitigation to reduce emissions, and for the implementation of effective adaptation measures that reduce the vulnerability of countries and communities.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN/PACNEWS

13) Fiji Presidency of COP23 receives ADB support, Governors endorse Fiji as host of 2019 ADB summit
4:55 pm GMT+12, 07/05/2017, Fiji

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Yokohama

Fijis Presidency of COP23 has been further boosted by a financial and technical assistance of US$1.5 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The support was conveyed to Fiji’s head of delegation and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on the side lines of the annual ADB conference in the Japanese city of Yokohama.

Accepting the generous financial support of the ADB, Minister Khaiyum said Fiji is ready and prepared to take on the Presidency of COP23 and bring the globe together to discuss and address climate change issues.

Fiji has also extended an invitation to the ADB to join the Advisory Panel for COP23.

“We are fortunate that Fiji, not being a major geopolitical power has been given the honour to host a key global event like this. We can bring all the global parties together without the political baggage. It also gives us the ability to highlight the many challenges facing Pacific DMCs and other vulnerable regions like the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.

ADB’s support to Fiji’s COP23 Presidency includes technical advice worth at least US$0.5 million to assist the Pacific country become a global leader on green transport issues and explore options to expand insurance coverage for households, farmers and businesses to cover potential losses from natural disasters.

The $1.5 million grant support will ensure that Pacific Island Countries have a strong voice in the lead up to the COP23.

“This type of assistance will help us to implement preparatory work a lot quicker especially the ones that remains to be done prior to the actual COP23 meeting in Bonn. These are pre-COP meetings and regional meetings in July.

“Fiji’s Presidency will reach out to Non-State Actors, which includes NGOS, private sector and multilateral development banks because we need everybody’s input to ensure that we address global climate change challenges and ensure that State Parties meet the targets set in Paris. For us, the crux of the proposed agreement to be reached in Bonn is to ensure that it will be implemented by State Parties, said the Fijian Minister for Economy.

ADB’s Vice President for East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, Stephen Groff said ADB’s support for Fiji Presidency of COP23 comes as the institution doubles its climate change financing to US$6 billion by 2020.

“ADB was also very pleased to have assisted Fiji in mobilising US$31 million in grant financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to improve water supply in Suva. This was the very first round of proposals agreed by GCF, said Groff.

On Sunday, ADB Governors approved Fiji as the host of the 52nd ADB Annual Conference. This will be the first time that ADB will hold its annual meeting in a Pacific Developing member country.

Minister Khaiyum is confident that Fiji will deliver an equally successful ADB meeting in Fiji in two years’ time.

“It’s a great honour to be given the honour to host the ADB annual meeting in the Pacific. It’s also a huge responsibility. I have the Permanent Secretary for Public Service who has had experience in organising international events such as this looking at the behind the scenes and logistics in preparation for the meeting in 2019 said Minister Khaiyum…

SOURCE: PACNEWS

HEALTH


14) Diabetics ‘refusing’ medicine

Mere Naleba
Tuesday, May 09, 2017-Fijitimes

HEALTH Minister Rosy Akbar says it is disturbing to learn that diabetics are choosing not to take medication to help treat the disease.

Ms Akbar, while speaking at the opening of the Research and Journalism Wellness in Primary Health Care Settings Workshop, shared the story told to her by a nurse stationed at a health centre at Levuka on Ovalau Island.

She said during her tour of Bureta Village health centre last week, she was informed by the nurse of how certain diabetic patients were choosing not to take their medications.

Ms Akbar said the knowledge of the nurse knowing how many diabetic patients there were in her community impressed her, but knowing that diabetic patients now had a choice not to take medication was disturbing. “I was also greatly disturbed to learn that many people who have diabetes choose not to take the medications that could easily manage and control their illness,” she said.

“Why is it that people choose not to take essential medicines when the Government provides them free of charge? Why are some people willing to allow their health to gradually deteriorate and condemn themselves to a shorter life, to a life that is possibly beset by discomfort and disability?”

She said people who refused medical help were creating an additional burden to health services and the economy.

Ms Akbar said there was only so much the ministry could do and the onus was on every Fijian to contribute to healthy living.

“We can help, as the nurses of Bureta do, but we need to work in partnership with patients and the wider community,” she said.

EDUCATION


15 ) http://dailypost.vu/news/program-for-young-leaders-from-pacific-islands-countries-china/article_d75a2682-fe2d-5f25-9781-848746649023.html

POLITIC

16a ) http://postcourier.com.pg/former-militia-heads-unite-peace/

16b ) http://postcourier.com.pg/lera-must-not-blamed-says-chief/

16c ) http://postcourier.com.pg/voters-urged-reject-criminals/

16c ) http://www.thenational.com.pg/pangu-in-strife/

MEDIA

17) Media training on sustainable growth

Litia Cava
Tuesday, May 09, 2017-Fijitimes

MEDIA representatives have been advised to have a better understanding of the regional dimensions of sustainable and resilient development.

Speaking at the opening of the Resilient and Sustainable Development and Media Communication Training in Nadi yesterday, Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau urged communications professionals to exercise their powers in influencing policy and development in their various countries.

“Resilient and sustainable development simply means building the resilience of our region so that our islands are able to survive and withstand challenges that threaten their way of life and continued growth,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

“For you as media partners, it means bringing stories to the fore.”

Information officer for the Pacific Disability Forum Simione Bula said he hoped to build a network with other media representatives.

“This is an important workshop for me as it will assist me to identify ways of working together with journalists on how we can share stories of persons with disabilities in the Pacific on disability inclusive development,” Mr Bula said.

The weeklong regional workshop which was attended by journalists and communications professionals from around the Pacific aimed to give a better understanding of the regional dimensions to sustainable and resilient development and equip them with ideas and tools to improve coverage on issues.

The workshop was organised by UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji in collaboration with Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and other partners.

BUSINESS

18) Business Council presents first quarterly update

May 9, 2017The NationalBusiness

THE Business Council of Papua New Guinea has put together its first quarterly business report providing an update on the country’s private sector performance.
Executive director Douveri Henao said it was done by observing the trends in sales, investment, employment, consumer and insurance products in PNG.
“We have a very strong, credible, amount of people that participated in this engagement (report),” Henao said.
“And because of their participation, this information does demonstrate that we are able to give a fact-based picture on how the business is in the country for the first quarter or how it has performed.
“The commercial banks, the financial advisory services, superannuation funds, insurance and private equity firms, actively participated in this engagement.
“The only one that was not part of the financial services was the retail sector. I would just like to highlight what we grabbed from this discussions.
“Trends in sales, trends in investment, trends in employment, trends in consumer and the last one is on insurance trends as well.
“So this basically forms the basis of this first quarter report.”
The report was attributed to the engagement of council’s members in the financial and retail service sector which comprises the majority of commercial banks, financial advisory services, superannuation funds, insurance and private equity firms.

19) High liquidity due to foreign exchange shortage


4:44 pm GMT+12, 08/05/2017, Papua New Guinea

Liquidity has increased in the market due to the oversupply of kina that is attributed with the issue of foreign exchange shortage.

Business Council of PNG Executive Director Douveri Henao made this statement when highlighting their first quarter report in an interview recently.

Henao explained that the oversupply of kina in the market was due to the fact that there hasn’t been a lot of foreign currency going out therefore there is now a backlog of unused or floating liquidity in the market space adding that because there is limited money available to buy foreign currency the money starts to accumulate in the bank which has created an artificial liquidity.

He said this means that there‘s a lot of money in the economy because most of the money that have come in can’t go out therefore chief financial officers for companies are now utilising these huge sums of money to enhance their business while some of them are holding it back because if the value of kina drops they will have to pay more kina.

“We’re now seeing investment firms and investment chief advisors and officers using this time to invest because they’ve got extra cash in their accounts based on the interest of backlog of import bills,” he said.

However Henao said the foreign currency shortage can be helped if the country is going to have another major project coming into the market that will bring in a lot of US dollars that the country needs at the moment.

The medium term of the economy looks set he said adding that Frieda, Wafi, Golpu and the Hidden Valley mines are 60 to 70 percent to be in full operation including the Papua LNG.

“These things are not in 20 years of exploration and they are now ready for execution so in the medium term we are going to expect US Dollars to come in to up start these projects. But it’s the short term that we are now concerned with.

“There’s obviously borrowings being undertaken to improve the shortage of cash flow, public borrowings but also in the financial sector for example the banking sector, they also introduced loans in offsetting foreign currency shortages so there is an adjustment that is going on in the market and it has been going on for some time.

The fact that OK Tedi is going to do a full year production, that’s going to bring in US dollars as well,” he said.

Henao added that dividend payments for companies in December 2016 and January 2017 have also brought in US Dollars into the market.

“There is certainly consciousness on optimism because of the fact that the projects will yield and will drive foreign currency coming back into the market,” he said.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

20) Japan’s investment continues to grow, says O’Neill

May 9, 2017The NationalBusiness

JAPAN is interested in increasing its supply of liquefied natural gas from Papua New Guinea when the second LNG project is up and running, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
He met Japan’s ambassador Satoshi Nakajima in Port Moresby and said Japanese investment in Papua New Guinea continued to expand.
“We are seeing a lot of potential for further investment in the resources sector,” he said.
“Japan is a foundation customer of the PNG-LNG project. And with our second LNG project being initiated, Japan is interested in purchasing additional supplies.
“This works for both countries in creating a secure market for Papua New Guinea, and providing Japan with reliable and high quality energy to power homes and businesses.”
O’Neill thanked Japan for its partnership in various sectors, including enhancing technical capacity in agriculture, education and healthcare.
He said it was improving infrastructure and improving skills in vital sectors.
“Working with Japan, we are rebuilding the terminal at Nadzab Airport to an international standard, improving water and sewage capacity in Port Moresby and providing enhanced training and skills development for our Government officials.
“Japan is also very active in working with the Government to improve infrastructure in rural and remote areas and this is having a great impact on improving lives around the country,” he said.
“There are also a number of volunteers from Japan working in sectors such as agriculture, education, information technology, and living in our communities.”
Nakajima conveyed the regards of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Papua New Guinea and was looking forward to attending the Apec Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby next year.


LAW&ORDER


21) Solomons Police armed for first time since 2003

9:34 pm GMT+12, 07/05/2017, Solomon Islands

Police in Solomon Islands will be officially rearmed today at a ceremony at the Rove Police Headquarters in Honiara.

It has been almost 14 years since local police officers have been allowed to carry firearms.

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force was stripped of all its weapons in 2003 when the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands arrived following years of bloody ethnic conflict.

This action was taken because the force had been compromised during the unrest, with police siding with militants.

Rearming local police has been a contentious issue, with some sections of society, mostly men, welcoming it while others, particularly women, still sceptical about the move.

Those to be armed are specialised units such as the police response team or riot squad, those providing security for the prime minister and visiting dignitaries and officers manning the police post at the country’s international airport

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

22) Soldiers trained on human rights, gender issues

Vishaal Kumar
Tuesday, May 09, 2017-Fijitimes

WOMEN play an important role in the military, says Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

She made these comments while officially opening the Gender, Violence Against Women and Human Rights Training for the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour yesterday.

Mrs Vuniwaqa said the RFMF had the overall responsibility under section 131 of the Constitution to ensure at all times the security, defence and wellbeing of all Fijians.

She said the national population ratio of 49 per cent females to 51 per cent males meant it was important to include gender mainstreaming in all of the RFMF’s operational and administrative agendas.

“This constitutional mandate will become even more of a challenge if we were to consider that the male to female ratio of soldiers in the RFMF is now approximately 1:10, compared to around 1:26, 10 years ago,” Mrs Vuniwaqa said.

“This ratio becomes even more skewered if we are to consider those females who are in positions of leadership and who actually influence decision making in the military. With these statistics, training on gender becomes very critical for the military.”

She said it was important for male soldiers to be attuned to gender issues.

“As peacekeepers and as a key national human resource during times of disaster, military personnel may become the first persons to come in contact with women who are in need of humanitarian and protective assistance,” Mrs Vuniwaqa said.

RFMF chief-of-staff Colonel Jone Kalouniwai said the RFMF had always been a male-dominated institution and there was a need for the force to start moving and recognising the various gender issues that would help the RFMF evolve.

MINING,FISHERIES,FORESTRY,AGRICULTURE


23) NARI releases new taro varieties to develop resilient crop

5:03 pm GMT+12, 07/05/2017, Papua New Guinea

The  Papua New Guinea National Agriculture research Institute (NARI) has released four new taro varieties in the hope of developing a commercial and weather resilient taro crop.

NARI’s deputy director general Dr Akkinapally Ramakrishna, in presenting the taro varieties, said the taro varieties were an improvement on those it had previously released.

The deputy director general said the four varieties are improved versions of NT 1, 2, 3 and 4. He said the improvement to the taro varieties commenced in 2007.

“The NT 1, 2, 3 and 4 are currently widely accepted in the country, and many farmers are growing them,” Dr Ramakrishna said.

However, Dr Ramakrisna said varieties NT 5, 6, 7, and 8 are much better. “These new varieties are much better and farmers can grow them under any climate.” He added that tests are being conducted in various communities in Madang, the Eastern Highlands, East New Britain and also within Morobe Province. “NARI is ready and will be providing the taro seedling and planting materials for free to communities and individuals who are willing to take them on,” Dr Ramakrishna said.

Meanwhile, the Morobe provincial government revealed that the Buhalu Taro project has gotten off the ground and the Bukawa people are ensuring that taro makes its mark within the agriculture industry.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

EVENT/ART

24) Poet wins runner-up prize in PNA talent quest

The NationalBusiness
Article Views: 277

POET Darryl Megiarni won the runner-up prize in the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) Talent Quest during the World Tuna Day celebrated last week.
He was the only Papua New Guinean among the winners.
He told The National that his poem was about sustainability and transition in the tuna industry.
He was overjoyed when he received an email last Monday from Dr Anouk Ride, a researcher with PNA, congratulating him.
“I leaped with joy in my work station for this is my first time to ever win a competition and also my first time to write a poem,” he said.
“I mostly elaborated on the issue of sustaining and monitoring tuna within the Pacific Ocean and also the transition from traditional ways of fishing to the modern or rather westernised way of fishing.
“I would like to thank PNA for giving us Pacific Islanders the chance to express our thoughts through competitions like this.
“I would like to thank our creator for the wisdom given to me to write this poem, and to all my family, friends and colleagues for their support.
“And a big thank you to my wife and son for being my inspiration.”

SPORT


25) Athletes shine

May 9, 2017The NationalSports

US-BASED Papua New Guinea athletes had a successful time last weekend with two national records, several regional championship titles and personal-best performances recorded in Texas and Kansas.
Rellie Kaputin, Adrine Monagi and Peniel Richard competed at the Lone Star Conference Championships in Commerce, Texas, while Wesley Logorava and Robson Yinambe were in action at the Region V Junior College Championships in Arkansas City, Kansas.  Meanwhile, Poro Gahekave, Shirley Vunatup and Naomi Kerari were at Texas Tech University in Lubbock for their final meet before the Junior College National Championships next week.
Not only did Monagi complete the heptathlon last Thursday but she then ran the 100m and 100m hurdles heats on Friday and on Saturday took part in another five events.
The highlights were a great personal best of 14.07secs in the 100m hurdles and a 41.26m javelin throw.
Monagi amassed 32.5 points for her Angelo State team and was hugely disappointed that her team were beaten by a single point (211 to 210) by Kaputin’s West Texas A&M team in a pulsating competition after leading all the way .
Peniel Richard broke the long standing men’s national long jump record with a 7.23m  and Kaputin was again in great form with an outdoor personal best 6.22 and national record in the long jump; a season’s best 1.72 in the high jump and a huge 13.20 triple jump.  Richard’s long jump eclipsed the 7.21m record held jointly by Sandy Katusele (Samoa 2003) and Edward Bai (Port Moresby, 1998).
Kaputin has jumped 6.27m indoors this year but 6.22 is an outdoor national record, eclipsing the 6.10m that earned her second place at last year’s NCAA Div 2 National Championships.
Yinambe caused quite a stir at the Regional Champs as he won the decathlon with 6284 points, just four points less than at the 2015 Pacific Games and he then went on to run a personal best 15.50 in the 110m hurdles and a very good 55.74 in the 400m hurdles.  Logorava ran excellent personal best times of 10.68 and 21.60 in the 100/200 and followed this with a 49.87 clocking for 400m.
Poro Gahekave set a huge personal best 2:16.41 in the 800m as did Shirley Vunatup with a time of 56.95 secs in the 400m.
Naomi Kerari had a season’s best high jump of 1.61m.
Afure Adah has her Conference Championships this weekend.
The following week sees the Junior College Nationals (May 18-20)  and then the NCAA D2 Nationals in Bradenton, Florida, from May 25-27.

26) Nawaeb topple Morobe

May 9, 2017The NationalSports

By LARRY ANDREW
GAME three of the National Premier League Northern Conference over the weekend was a thriller, as competition leaders Morobe United  were humbled by Nawaeb FC 1-0.
In the first match, Laiwaden held off Bulolo FC 1-0 while Markham FC overcame Lahi United in the second quarter of their match to win 2-1.
The win by the Markham district-sponsored team has thrown wide the competition in its early stages.
Coach Hans German Gewebing was full of praise for his players after the match.
He said their loss to Nawaeb in game one was a wakeup call as the team had just been put in place but improved in the last two matches.
Markham FC last week beat Bulolo FC 2-1 and repeated the dose against city team Lahi.
He said the core of the team were raw talents from Azera in Umi-Atzera LLG area while three were experience players — former Morobe United duo Jonah Kera and Paul Waikisa, and Danny Kevin from Besta United.
The main match of the NPL Northern Conference between Morobe and Nawaeb was evenly-contested.
However at the 26th minute, Joshua Oscar copped a red card after getting two yellow cards, leaving his side with 10 men against Nawaeb.
The game see-sawed with Nawaeb dominating the match as captain Eliud Fugre controlling the midfield.
Nawaeb had chances to score but United’s defenders  were up to the task of denying their opponents.
Morobe had their share of chances to score but patience was one area that was lacking.
Players from both teams were at times cautioned by the referee for infringements on the field. The opportunity arrived at the right time for Nawaeb from a penalty that saw the ball taken into the United’s goalmouth for replacement Sammy Hiob to score.  The 74th minute goal from Hiob gave his side the edge to defend for the last 16 minutes to come out winners. This weekend’s matches will be played at Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium and enthusiastic soccer supporters and fans in Lae are encouraged to go and support their teams.

27) AFL Highlands hosts grand finals

May 9, 2017The NationalSports

By TONY PALME
THE Aussie Rules Football League (AFLPNG) development programme in Mt Hagen held its grand final matches on Sunday at the Tarangau Primary School ground.
Programme development officer Elizah Barewoi said they had exciting games that drew a lot of spectators and supporters.
In the Under 12 boys’ game, Kala AOG School edged out Mt Hagen Primary School (Tee School) with a score of 4.2(26) to 3.1(19). In the U-14 boys’ game between Tee School and Tarangau Primary School, Tee School won by a close score of 3.9(27) to  3.8(26).
In the U13 girls, Tarangau clipped Hagen United Primary School by 5.1(27) to 1.2(8).
In the U15 girls final, Tarangau came on top of Rebiamul Primary School. Tarangau U15 boys beat Hagen United.
Pale Wais and Sisi Arnold won the coaches award, George Yamog from PNG Power won the AFLPNG development award, and Biang Wani, security guard from Tarangau Primary School received the AFL PNG Development Mt Hagen award.
Barewoi said he was pleased with the skills exposed by the school kids, adding that AFL has huge potential in the Highlands.
The junior development programme has produced a lot of talented players some of whom have gone into other sports like rugby league.

28) SOPNG win gold at Qld State Games

May 9, 2017The NationalSports

By HENRY MORABANG
SPECIAL Olympics PNG team completed their quest in the Special Olympics Queensland State Games on a high note by winning a gold medal in seven-a-side football.
The win takes PNG’s tally at the Games to nine gold, four silver and two bronze medals.
SOPNG took part only in two sports — athletics and football.
The football team went through the tournament over the weekend unbeaten in their four pool-B matches to win gold medal.
In the first match, PNG beat Gladstone 2-0, before handing Redcliff and Sunshine Coast loses by the same scoreline. In the final match, they beat Sunshine Coast (B) 3-0. “This is our first international competition in team sports for SOPNG and we are ecstatic with the outcome,” SOPNG’s Takale Tuna said. The team returns to Port Moresby today.

29) Dakuwaqa joins NRL

Canberra Raiders
Tuesday, May 09, 2017

THE Canberra Raiders are excited to announce the signing of Fijian rugby sevens Olympic gold medallist, Masivesi Dakuwaqa. Dakuwaqa’s contract will see him join the Raiders for the remainder of the year.

Dakuwaqa played rugby league in Fiji until 17 years of age, before successfully switching to rugby union and making his international debut for the Fijian sevens side last year.

A string of strong performances in sevens’ tournaments secured Dakuwaqa his spot on the plane to Rio, where he played a key role in Fiji’s landmark first Olympic gold medal.

Having only arrived in Canberra on the weekend, Dakuwaqa said he was looking forward to starting training with the team.

“I’m very excited to arrive here and I can’t wait to start training with the team. There’s so many good players here and I’m going to be able to learn a lot off them.”

Raiders recruitment and high performance manager, Peter Mulholland, is excited at the talent and potential Dakuwaqa possesses.

“Masivesi played league until he was 17 like a lot of Fijian kids do. The game is not strange to him,” Mulholland said.

“He’s a gold medallist and plays on both sides of the park. He’s a big unit and it makes obvious sense to have a look at him and see how he goes.”

Standing at 190cm and weighing in at over 100 kilograms, 23-year-old Dakuwaqa is capable of playing multiple positions.

“His experience has been playing lock and second row as a kid, but he would also be lethal as an outside back. He could end up playing anywhere,” Mulholland said.

30 ) http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/330385/sport-samoa-vs-all-blacks-to-be-part-of-pacific-double-header

w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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