Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1101 ( Monday 29 May 2017 )

MELANESIA

1) Gov’t to host sixth Melanesian festival

Published: 25 May 2017

THE government is looking forward to host the 6th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival next year.

Minister of Culture and Tourism Bartholomew Parapolo in his address to open the 6th Council of Arts and Culture meeting this week said his office is gearing up for the festival.

“I am sure the Solomon Islands preparation will be communicated to this important meeting within the next two days and we seek your support towards our plans,” MrParapolo said.

“For that, I also look forward to hosting my colleagues from the MSG countries and also from the MSG Secretariat,” he added.

MrParapolo states that Solomon Islands continues to stand proud as one of the defining members of the MSG and with that, the government will continuously support and play their role in the MSG agenda.

“As we all know, the common Melanesian culture is one of the pillars that the MSG is founded on.

“The common Arts, Culture and Heritage that we share and value form an important platform for our cooperation and interaction, which will continue to strengthen our social and economic linkages between our countries and people,” MrParapolo remarked.

He then acknowledged the Director of Culture Division and his team for all the efforts that they have put into making sure that this meeting is hosted by the Solomon Islands.

The two days meeting (23rd and 24th) by members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Council of Arts and Culture Meeting (CACM) at Heritage Park Hotel discussing progress of the preparations of the 6th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival ends successfully yesterday.

The 5th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival was hosted by PNG in 2014.

It is expected that outlying Melanesian islands from the Torres Straight Islands in Australia, West Papua in Indonesia and East Timor will be invited for the festival.

By TEDDY KAFO

2) Bougainville To Take PNG Gov To Court Over Money Woes

Submitted by PIR Editor on Sun, 05/28/2017 – 15:09

Under the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement Port Moresby was compelled to make annual payments to the regional government, lack of which has been crippling Bougainville service delivery

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 29, 2017) – Bougainville’s government says it’s taking the Papua New Guinea government to the Supreme Court over the non-payment of funds to the autonomous region.

Under the Bougainville Peace Agreement, signed in 2001, Port Moresby was compelled to make annual payments to the regional government.

But the Bougainville government said it had not received any of the budgeted money this year, which the vice president, Raymond Masono, says was crippling services in the region.

The president, John Momis, had threatened to take the dispute to the courts for months, and now Mr Masono said the government was following through on the threat.

“We’ve already started the process, we’ve already engaged one of the most prominent lawyers in Papua New Guinea to take up the case with the Supreme Court,” he said.

“We’d like to sort this matter out as soon as possible so that as soon as the new [national] government comes up after the election, we should be able to discuss what the Supreme Court interpretation is.”

Raymond Masono said his government believes it was owed about US$250 million by Port Moresby.

Radio New Zealand International

POLYNESIA

3 ) http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/331780/former-adviser-calls-for-tongan-pm-to-resign

4) Election in Samoa to be mandatory in 2021: PM Tuilaepa

11:37 pm GMT+12, 28/05/2017, Samoa

By the 2021 Samoa General Election it will be mandatory for every registered voter to vote.

The move by the Election Commission is strongly supported by Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi who also took the opportunity to express his frustrations over steps that had already been taken to ensure universal voting.

Last week the Election Commission held a four-day forum where discussions were focused on issues pertaining to the past election, the current challenges and proposed changes.

The Prime Minister during his weekly conference with the media pointed to current laws which allow for compulsory registration but not compulsory voting.

“This allows for the qualified voters to register but by election time they don’t show up to vote. So to correct this practice, it should be compulsory to register as a voter and it should also be compulsory to vote. If people don’t vote, we take them to the law. This is one way for people to exercise their right to vote,” said Tuilaepa.

Another challenge he spoke about was the dishonesty of the candidates.

“In 1982 one of the candidates was charged and lost his seat after it was uncovered the list of voters had names of dead people who were found to have been voting in that general election.

“We then decided to require voter’s identification cards (ID’s) with photos.

“We were adamant this was going to change everything for the better, but we were wrong.

“The voters still did not show up to vote,” said Tuilaepa.

“Then the candidates started to pick up the constituents and take them to register and also give them money.”

He referred to a case, where if there are four candidates in the county, one voter would have four voters registration IDs.

“We never anticipated this would happen with the identification system. Even with the candidates, they were not helping at all.

“We fix one problem, yet another problem arises,” said Tuilaepa.

Another change the Election Office is looking at is Electoral boundaries.

Tuilaepa said there is a need to implement new boundaries.

“The majority of people leave their villages and move into the town areas due to employment and other obligations. And government developments are usually focused on where the population is high, that is why Electoral boundaries are extremely important.”

He also pointed to voting constituencies from villages with 2,000+ voters and only one Member of Parliament, yet there are two MP’s for a population less than this.

“This concern has been raised over the years and the government cannot move on and not consider the impact of the reality behind the issues raised.”

He said the challenges regarding the Electoral boundaries is Samoa’s chiefly system and this does not happen in other countries as they don’t have chiefs.

“There are anomalies that need to be looked at and that’s why there should be amendments to the election laws regarding boundaries.” .

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS

5) Samoan Finance Minister says Polynesian Airlines must have strong business case

11:07 pm GMT+12, 25/05/2017, Samoa

Samoan Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, says Polynesian Airlines must have a very solid business case for the government to revive its international operations.

He also believes that learning from the lessons of the past is a must for the government.

He made the comment when his opinion was sought over the government’s plan to revive Polynesian Airlines as a fully-fledged international airline.

“As you know we’ve been through that path before,” Minister Sili told the Samoa Observer during a recent interview.

“It was quite costly and we are just paying off some of the debts.

“Learning from the lessons of what happened in the past, looking around at what’s happening, I think it’s up to Polynesian Airlines to come in with credible a strong business case.”

Sili said the government is working on some options.

“Currently we are also trying to make sure that we leverage other people resources, more flights by Fiji Airways, more flights by Air New Zealand, more flights from Australia and we are looking at that.

“We appreciate that there is Fiji Airways flight that comes to us from Honolulu, maybe there’s an opportunity for an additional flight or we invite Hawaiian Airlines to fly directly instead of us going to Pago.”

He believes a ‘better cheaper alternative’ can be found.

“I think the business case has to be very strong and I’m sure they are already doing that.”

“I’d like to see their numbers and the discussion and negotiations with other airlines for the sake of our tourism.”

As of now, the Minister said Polynesian Airlines is performing very well.

“They have a fairly strong performance with operations to American Samoa.”

Does he support the government’s decision for Polynesian Airlines’ international flights?

“I’d like to look at the business case. We need to have a look at the discussions with Virgin and other airlines. I know Polynesian is also talking to Fiji Airways.

“If we can get more flights in and with Polynesians sort of co-sharing with those airlines that’s going to be beneficial for Polynesian but also for the wider economy.

“But I suspect the board and management of Polynesian Airlines are working really hard to come up with a business case.

“For me, I’ll be willing to look at it.

“We all need to make sure that we know where things will be in five years time. We do have opportunities to maybe also increase the capacity of Polynesian to regional routes.” ….

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS

MICRONESIA

6) US Moving Troops From Japan To Guam Could Be Delayed

Submitted by PIR Editor on Sun, 05/28/2017 – 15:14

Japan Times reports the military presence is deeply opposed in Okinawa, which is pushing for the departure to come sooner rather than later, obvious friction with ongoing Guam opposition to buildup

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 29, 2017) – The plans by the United States to relocate thousands of Marines to Guam and Hawaii could be delayed in light of tension with North Korea and environmental concerns in Guam.

The Marine Corps Commandant, General Robert Neller, told a Senate committee in Washington last week that an agreement with the Japanese government to relocate could be subject to change.

Under the 2012 agreement, about 4,000 marines will be moved from Okinawa to Guam, and another 5,000 to Hawaii.

General Neller told the committee that bellicose threats by North Korea had prompted a revision, which was in its very early stages.

The Japan Times reports the military presence is deeply opposed in Okinawa, which is pushing for the departure to come sooner rather than later.

But it’s controversial in Guam, too, where money is currently being poured into infrastructure for the buildup, which would swell the island’s population.

In April, the governor, Eddie Calvo, withdrew his support for the buildup in the midst of a feud with the United States over immigration policy.

The buildup would also affect the neighbouring Northern Marianas, where the military plans to lease islands for live-fire training, a plan which is being challenged in court by environmental organisations.

General Neller said he had concerns about environmental issues in the two territories, which also need to be considered before any move took place.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Kiribati Using Trust Fund For Short Term Climate Financing

Submitted by PIR Editor on Sun, 05/28/2017 – 14:14

Money would be repaid when climate financing was available and would go towards buying desalination plants and protecting coastlines from storm surges

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 26, 2017) – Kiribati will use its trust funds to address a shortage of fresh water and coastal damage because, according to the president, it can’t waste time.

The low lying islands have been experiencing numerous problems related to climate change.

The President of Kiribati, Taneti Maamau, told a United Nations meeting in Mexico the government was looking to finance the works through leveraging its sovereign wealth fund.

The money would be repaid when climate financing was available and would go towards buying desalination plants and protecting coastlines from storm surges.

Mr Maamau said Kiribati was also looking at private financing for the adaptation and mitigation measures.

He told the disaster risk reduction conference his government needed to act on combating the impacts of climate change for the sake of the Kiribati people who are continuing to suffer.

A day earlier, a World Bank workshop heard countries including Fiji, Mauritius and Samoa were still waiting to receive approved assistance of about US$316 million from the Green Climate Fund.

Mr Maamau said his country could not afford to wait, saying the “longer the delay, the greater the impact on our people and environment, and higher the cost.”

Radio New Zealand International

TOK PISIN

8) Ol Pacific papa-mama imas skulim kalsa long ol pikinini

Updated 29 May 2017, 16:28 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Ol papa-mama na ol olpla pipal long Pacific igat bikpla wok long skulim gut ol yangpla pipal long ol pasin tumbuna oa culture blong lukim olsem ol despla kalsa ino dai nating.

Dennis Marita, Director of Culture Division aninit long Ministry of Culture na  Tourism, long Solomon Islands ibin mekim despla toktok long First Nations Cultural summit emi bin kamap hia long Melbourne long stat blong despla mun.

Emi tok ol nambawan tisa blong ol pikinini em ol mama na papa wantem tu ol pipal long ol wanwan communiti blong ol, na bai gutpla sopos oli givim save blong ol long kalsa igo long ol yangpla pipal.

Igat sampla wari iwok long kamap olsem planti yangpla pipal long Pacific rijan iwok long lusim kalsa blong ol long wonem igat ol kaen kaen samting iwok long kamap nau long wold olsem social media na modern teknology.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2017-05-29/ol-pacific-papamama-imas-skulim-kalsa-long-ol-pikinini/1674866

9) PNG Helt minista bifo i laik stretim helt sistam

Postim 29 May 2017, 13:58 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Regional Candidate blong National Capital District long 2017 National ileksan long Papua New Guinea itok em bai halvim wonem laen i kamapim gavman long stretim gut Helt sistam long kantri sopos emi winim ileksan.

Jamie Maxtone Graham husat i resis agensim Governor blong NCD Powes Parkop i mekim despla toktok olsem wanpla polisi blong en long stretim gut Helt dipatman we emi tok planti korapsan  iwok long kamap long saed blong marasin.

Emi sutim tok long gavman blong Praim Minista Peter O’Neill olsem em i no save wari tumas long helt blong ol pipal husat isave sik na dai long planti hap long kantri long wonem ol marasin ino wok, na tu ol rural helt klinik ino wok tu.

Mr Maxtone Graham i tok tu olsem bai gutpla sopos gavman i salim Executive Jet blong gavman na iusim moni long baem marasin na stretim helt dipatman.ABC

FRENCH

10) Neuvième victime de la dengue : un bébé de six mois

Crée le 29.05.2017 à 10h52
Mis à jour le 29.05.2017 à 16h31

La dengue a provoqué un neuvième décès jeudi. Un nourrisson de six mois, de sexe féminin, domicilié au Mont-Dore. Les premiers signes cliniques d’infection, notamment respiratoires, s’étaient déclarés le 22 mai. La famille avait alors consulté son médecin traitant le mardi 23 mai, mais le nourrisson ne présentait pas d’antécédents médicaux particuliers. Dans un communiqué, le gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie adresse ses sincères condoléances à la famille endeuillée, et renouvelle, par ailleurs, « un appel à la vigilance à l’ensemble de la population rappelant qu’elle doit impérativement se prémunir contre cette épidémie qui sévit toujours dangereusement. »http://www.lnc.nc/breve/neuvieme-victime-de-la-dengue-un-bebe-de-six-mois

11 ) http://www.lnc.nc/article/pays/politique/comment-voient-ils-l-avenir-institutionnel

AUSTRALIA

12 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-29/welfare-drug-test-which-countries-do-it-and-has-it-worked-anywhere/1674940

13 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-28/constitutional-recognition-is-our-generations-1967/1674640

14) Tonga-Australia Sign Agreement To Share Cyber Security Information

Submitted by PIR Editor on Thu, 05/25/2017 – 11:57

Tonga lacks expertise to respond to threats, vulnerabilities

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 25, 2017) – Tonga has signed an agreement with Australia to share Cyber Security information in order to be able to manage cyber threats and vulnerabilities for businesses and the Tongan community, such as online scams, banking fraud and identity theft.

The Framework for Operational Collaboration on Cyber Security agreement is between Tonga National CERT and CERT Australia signed by Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni and Australia’s Ambassador for Cyber Affairs, Dr Tobias Feakin on 23 May 2017.

Hon. Sovaleni said in a statement the “agreement marks a significant milestone for Tonga to be recognized with the problems happening on Cyber Security”.

He said Tonga faces challenges because it lacks the expertise and capacity needed within its line Ministries as it is still a developing nation.

“Tonga is pushing forward in addressing issues of cyber security and we are happy to see that becoming more operative in the future,” said Dr Feakin.

CERT Australia operates within Australia’s Attorney General’s Department providing the nation’s private sector organisations with information and assistance that will help them to better detect, deter and respond to threats and vulnerabilities.

Tonga National CERT, launched last year, is the first national computer emergency response team in the Pacific Islands, based in Tonga. It is also the first point of contact in Tonga’s Government for cyber security issues and like its counterpart in Australia, it provides advice and support on cyber threats and vulnerabilities to owners and operators of Tonga’s critical infrastructure as well as other systems of national interest.

This week, Tonga hosted a cybercrime workshop attended by senior officials from 13 Pacific Island countries to discuss police and prosecutorial responses to cybercrime and electronic evidence.

Matangi Tonga Magazine

NEW ZEALAND

15) NZ Gov Disputes Claim That Budget Failed Pacific People

Submitted by PIR Editor on Sun, 05/28/2017 – 14:38

Minister for Pacific Peoples: an additional $205 million for social housing as well as increases to the accomodation supplement would help low income Pacific islanders

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 26, 2017) – The New Zealand government has disputed an opposition claim that its budget failed Pacific people on housing.

The budget was revealed yesterday in Wellington, and Labour’s spokesperson for Pacific people, Aupito Su’a William Sio, said it will increase inequality.

Aupito said housing was the biggest issue facing Pacific people which the budget did nothing to address.

He said that rather than tax cuts, Pacific people needed a budget that improved education, health and housing.

“The home ownership rates for Pacific are at its lowest,” said Aupito.

“The overcrowdedness that I see in my electorate and parts of South Auckland – it’s just tearful.”

Aupito said the tax cuts favoured people on high incomes, “rather than those who needed it the most.”

“It also means that people living in garages, peope living in cars become normalised.”

But the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Alfred Ngaro, said the Labour Party’s claims were “quite simply wrong,” and that the budget included “a great deal to help families with housing.”

He said an additional $205 million for social housing as well as increases to the accomodation supplement would help low income Pacific islanders.

Mr Ngaro also noted “the Government’s plans to build 34,000 more houses in Auckland.”

“The Family Income Package, in particular, will make a big difference for many of our people. We’ve set aside $2 billion to provide better rewards for hard work, to help lower-income families with young children meet their living costs, and improve incomes for those with high housing costs,” said Mr Ngaro.

“It’s great to see increases in health funding, particularly in those areas that Pacific people are disproportionately affected by, such as bowel cancer and mental health issues,” he said.

Mr Ngaro said the budget also increased funding to his ministry by three million dollars over four years for research and policy development.

Radio New Zealand International

PACIFIC

16) World can ‘learn ocean management from Pacific’
11:39 pm GMT+12, 28/05/2017, Fiji

There is a call for the world to listen to how Pacific coastal communities have managed their areas sustainably.

Next week, the United Nations Oceans’ Conference is being held in New York, co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden, with a specific focus on Sustainable Development Goal 14 – namely to conserve and sustainably manage the use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.

Hugh Govan is an advisor with the Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) network and had worked with Pacific coastal communities for many years.

He said these communities had lived in harmony with the ocean for thousands of years and they need to be listened to.

“There is much that the Pacific coastal communities in particular have to offer the world in terms of ways forward where people can be part of actively managing the coastal and, indeed, oceanic resources.”

“I think this is something that the world should be pricking its ears up to,” Govan said.
SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

17) Seventh Non-State Actors dialogue on PACER Plus in Vanuatu next week
8:43 pm GMT+12, 25/05/2017, Fiji

Representatives of national and regional umbrella bodies of non-state actors (NSAs) will be in Vanuatu next week for the seventh (7th) NSAs Dialogue on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus.

The dialogue which is being held at the Warwick Le Lagon Hotel on Wednesday (May 31st) will include participants from both the private sector and civil society organisations.

In April 2017, 14 Forum member countries – Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu – concluded negotiations on the PACER Plus legal text and market access.

The signing ceremony of the PACER Plus is due to take place on 14 June 2017 in Tonga.In launching the PACER Plus negotiations in 2009, Forum Trade Ministers emphasised the importance of consultations with stakeholders including the private sector and non-government organisations. Regular consultations on PACER Plus have been facilitated since 2009 as the negotiations progressed.

The 7th NSA Dialogue on PACER Plus is being held to discuss specifically the agreed Legal Text, including the Chapters on Trade in Goods, Customs Procedures, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Investment, Development and Economic Cooperation, as well as the Labour Mobility Arrangement and the implementation of the Agreement.

The meeting is an opportunity for senior trade officials from Forum member countries and representatives of the NSAs to provide their perspectives on the agreed legal text of the PACER Plus.

SOURCE: PIFS/PACNEWS

WORLD

18 )
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-29/europe-can-no-longer-completely-count-on-its-allies-angela-merkel-says-after-nato-g7/1674740

19 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-29/vladimir-putin-a-bigger-threat-than-islamic-state-john-mccain-says/1674944

HEALTH

20) Baby the latest victim of dengue in New Caledonia

A six-month old baby has died from dengue fever in New Caledonia.

According to the newspaper Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes the baby died from the mosquito-born disease last Thursday in Mont Dore.

She was the ninth person to die from dengue during the current outbreak in New Caledonia.

The government has sent condolences to the family and appealed for vigilance from the public to guard against the epidemic.

There have been more than 3,500 cases of dengue, with nearly 500 hospitalised since January.RNZI

EDUCATION

21) UniFiji law school changes

TALEBULA KATE
Monday, May 29, 2017

Update: 5:17PM THE University of Fiji’s School of Law (SoL) is moving into a new direction for betterment and the improvement of learning for its students.

“The School of Law prides itself on being able to adapt to the changing needs of legal education by focusing particularly on legal knowledge development for the 21st century, and by ensuring that graduates are capable of addressing all legal issues that are pertinent for the intellectual development of Fiji as a nation,” Prof Shaista said.

“In our pedagogy we are moving away from training ‘robotic lawyers’ or mere ‘technical or black letter lawyers’ to lawyers who are not only technically sound but also see themselves as the ‘critic and conscience of society’,” she said.

She said the School of Law had responsibility for the post-graduate International and Regional Relations programme (INR) which was attracting students from a wide range of government departments and public offices.Fijitimes

22) Plan to attract marine science students from PNG
8:06 pm GMT+12, 28/05/2017, Papua New Guinea

A Townsville school has secured State Government funding to recruit students from Papua New Guinea for its marine science programme.

The St Patrick’s College Townsville’s Aquaculture Initiative will have a direct link to the Bachelor of Science in Aquaculture Science and Technology, and the Bachelor of Science Marine Biology at James Cook University.

Principal Paulina Skerman said the funding would help build on North Queensland’s reputation as the world’s best tropical research hub.

“We are partnering with James Cook University’s Marine Science Faculty in our bid to attract international students from PNG who are interested in careers in this field,” she said. “Together we offer students a streamlined experience from school to university, preparing them for a career in marine science.

“We are very excited about the opportunities this partnership represents for not only our two institutions, but North Queensland overall in this field.”

St Patrick’s College and five other new projects across the state will share in $1.2 million under the Queensland Government’s IET Partnerships Funding, created to promote the state’s international education and training industry.

SOURCE:  TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN/PACNEWS

23 ) http://dailypost.vu/news/scholarships-to-learn-chinese-language/article_b5f16bab-de27-5324-8990-23e59a0d462e.html

POLITIC


24 ) http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/331862/army-on-board-for-png-elections-security-operations

25) New Caledonia Politician Calls For Looser Voter Eligibiliity Criteria

Submitted by PIR Editor on Thu, 05/25/2017 – 12:43

French National Assembly candidate Backes is member of anti-independence Republicans

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 25, 2017) – There has been a call in New Caledonia to loosen the eligibility criteria for voters in local elections.

Campaigning is underway for next month’s French National Assembly election, and one candidate Sonia Backes said the poll would be the last one open to everybody before the independence referendum due in 2018.

According to the local newspaper Les Nouvelles caledoniennes, Ms Backes was calling on voters at a meeting in Noumea to push for the strongest rejection of independence.

Ms Backes, who is a former minister and now Congress member of the anti-independence Republicans, said if there was a loyalist victory, the voting rights should be changed for the 2019 provincial elections.

She said French citizens moving to New Caledonia should be allowed to vote after five years of residence, and anyone born in the territory should automatically be qualified.

Currently voting is restricted to those enlisted in 1998 in line with provisions of the Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

Radio New Zealand International

26 ) http://dailypost.vu/news/the-salwai-government-hits-misses/article_9dfab499-a550-58e4-8b1d-b6e94bae57ea.html

MEDIA

27 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-29/social-media-amplifies-indigenous-voices-even-if-they-dont-always-agree/1674854

28) PM slams media attacks

May 26, 2017The NationalNational

Reports by MALUM NALU
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has condemned attacks on the Government by the Opposition on social and mainstream media.
He said the Opposition seemed to hold the view that the Government controlled the media and everything against them.
“They (Opposition) have no policy vision,” O’Neill said.
“I don’t get into personality politics. I have never, at one stage, made a degrading comment about anybody in this country although I’ve got enough evidence and enough material to do so.
“I do not allow myself to be lowered to that level of politics.
“Politics about the management of the country is a serious business.
“It’s not something that you take for granted, and run one-line statements and think that you will excite the entire country.
“It’s not as simple as that. If it was that simple, we would all do it.
“But it needs clear policies, with clear visionary plans for the country, with determined effort in trying to move the country.
“That’s what we’ve offered in the last four to five years and that’s what we intend to continue. Papua New Guinea is changing – unless you are blind and don’t see that.
“Every Papua New Guinean, everyone around the country sees that it is changing for the good.”

BUSINESS

29) BSP moves into Cambodia

5:10 pm GMT+12, 28/05/2017, Papua New Guinea

In a historic move, Bank South Pacific (BSP) has established a presence in Cambodia – to provide asset finance.

The decision on Cambodia was made in May 2, with the bank entering into a joint venture buying 50 percent of an asset finance business there, currently called RMA Finance.

The business is now in the process of being rebranded to BSP Finance Cambodia Propriety Limited.

This was announced by BSP chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou last Friday at a news conference in Port Moresby soon after the bank’s annual general meeting with its shareholders. Apart from Cambodia, the bank is also eyeing Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Sir Kostas said the move to Asia is part of the bank’s strategy as it looks to further grow its business.

This follows the successful completion of its Pacific acquisition, which had seen it acquire all of Westpac Bank’s assets in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, the Cook Islands and Samoa. This exercise had cost BSP A$125 million (K306.3 million).

“We are the biggest bank in PNG and the Pacific, but we wanted to make a mark in Asia. We can only do that because we are making extremely good profits,” Sir Kostas said.

He had also attributed the growth to its management team and staff.

Sir Kostas said having completed its expansion in the Pacific, the question had been raised as to “where to go to next?”

One of the strategies the board and consultants had looked at was establishing Asset Finance in the Asian region.

“We had a look at all the countries, and the first country that we homed in on was Cambodia, and what we are doing is a joint venture,” he said.

Sir Kostas said the business in Cambodia is already up and running, adding that he and the chief executive officer, Robin Fleming, would be heading there in two weeks’ time to officially launch the product.

He said that feasibility studies have started on Laos, Myanamar and Vietnam, which BSP hope to enter in the next 18 months to two years.

“These things don’t happen overnight. There is a time-frame, but we must make sure that we get all the ticks in the boxes first. We must ensure all the regulatory requirements are satisfied and then we proceed,” he said.

“There are opportunities in these countries. That is why we (BSP) are going there, if there weren’t any opportunities we would not have,” the chairman said.

Fleming said the bank is hopeful that by the end of July, the BSP colours will be proudly displayed in Cambodia, adding that he and Sir Kostas would be there when this happens.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

30) PNG Government rejects 5pc tax

11:06 pm GMT+12, 25/05/2017, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Government is shelving a recommendation by the Taxation Review Committee to increase the Goods and Service Tax by 5 per cent because it will adversely impact low-income earners.

It will instead target companies which have been registered with the Investment Promotion Authority but have not been paying taxes.

The 5 per cent increase in GST – from 10 to 15 per cent – was one of the recommendations made by the committee headed by Sir Nagora Bogan after it held consultation meetings around the country from 2012 to 2015.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told a FM100 radio talkback show  that he did not agree with imposing extra taxes on the “already-overburdened people” of this country.

He said he was disappointed with the review committee’s report.

“Quite frankly, I was disappointed with the report,” he said.

“The most obvious recommendation they made was that we must increase the GST from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

“They did not recommend many of the reforms that we were looking for. That is why I told the officials to go back to the drawing board so that we can have a comprehensive relief for our wage-earners.

“I do not want to increase the GST because no matter what they say, it affects the ordinary men and women more than those who have got enough income.

“When you go to the shop, it doesn’t matter whether you earn enough money. Everybody (rich and poor) pays the same price. That is why it affects the poor, and those who are not able to afford, more than anybody else.”

Sir Nagora, when contacted, said he would later respond to O’Neill’s statement.

The prime minister said the Government needed to look at other reforms.

“The other reforms include those who are now avoiding paying tax,” he said.

“We are committed to reducing personal tax rates and company tax rates. But we are at the same time, to make up for that revenue downfall, going to expand the base of the tax rate.

“There are lots of people out there who we know have businesses.

“We’ve got thousands of businesses registered under IPA (Investment Promotion Authority), but are not regular taxpayers.

“We will now be telling our people at IPA, our tax people and the people at the banks that we must now tax those people. Once you register a company, you must have a tax file number.

“If you want to open a bank account, you must have a tax file number so that we capture those people who are not paying their share of taxes that we all are paying.” O’Neill said workers were already heavily taxed and it was not fair that certain companies were not paying taxes.

“This is a criminal act so they must be charged.”.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

31) $15m tax evasion in Fiji

8:52 pm GMT+12, 25/05/2017, Fiji

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) is investigating several companies and taxpayers for alleged tax and Customs duty evasion, including possible money laundering.

In an alarming case, six companies are under FRCA’s spotlight for alleged tax and Customs duty evasion amounting to more than $15 million (US$7.2 million).

FRCA chief executive officer Visvanath Das said these six companies, involved in the import trade, were allegedly undervaluing their goods to evade customs duties and understated their income to avoid taxes.

Das highlighted that a number of companies were allegedly involved in invoicing scams.

Three other companies that were under investigation for similar reasons have been investigated and slapped with a $25 million (US$12 million) tax bill,” he said in a statement. These three companies who are major importers have since paid their taxes and penalties in full.

Das said some cases involved Fiji-based companies that set up business houses either in Australia or New Zealand and bought products and supplies for the business in Fiji.

“Upon further investigation it was established that the products and supplies were coming from China, but the invoices are generated in either Australia or New Zealand,” he said.

“In such cases the value of invoice can be manipulated and understated to avoid duty and VAT at the border.

“We have established that these Fiji-based companies then remit monies to its overseas companies for payment of goods supplied when in fact these monies are being invested into properties and other activities.”

Das said that some taxpayers declared huge losses on their tax returns in order to pay less tax.

“We have established that for zero rated or 5 per cent duty rate items, the value of the goods are inflated when they are imported into Fiji as a way to siphon money out of the country,” he said. “This is happening and is under investigation because it?s not only tax evasion but money laundering as well.”

Das added that these cases were examples of how non-compliant taxpayers were dealt with under the law.

He said this should be a deterrent to those who thought they could get away with beating the tax system.

“Despite the many public awareness, amnesty programs, support services and media coverage on voluntary compliance, some taxpayers are still looking for ways to evade their tax obligations,” he said.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

32) Businesses in Fiji work on disaster resilience
11:01 pm GMT+12, 25/05/2017, Mexico

By Samisoni Pareti in Cancun, Mexico

Fiji’s private sector has joined a groundbreaking initiative aimed at strengthening the resilience of businesses during times of disasters.

Called the Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council (FBDRC), the scheme is promoting the adoption of business continuity plans of Council members. Membership is open to businesses big and small, and according to its inaugural chair, Digicel Fiji’s executive Monika Hunter, the concept will be extended to other islands in the Pacific.

Hunter outlined the objectives of the FBDRC to delegates at the United Nations conference on disaster risk reductions that is being held in this Mexican city this week.

She said with the support of the Pacific Community (SPC) and PIPSO, the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation, PBDRC has produced a toolkit to assist businesses increase their disaster resilience.

“We also have a train the trainers programme where we will have trainers go out to members including those in remote areas including small and medium enterprises to make sure that they have a business continuity plan in place and they know how to engage or use the plan. Everyone can have a plan but how to actually engage it and make sure employees are aware of these plans. How do we prepare or respond to disasters if we don’t know what the plan is, and how do we integrate this plan with government’s and what government can provide.”

She said the experience of Category Five Tropical Cyclone that caused catastrophic losses in Fiji in February last year underscored the need for the private sector to improve its resilience to disasters. According to Ms Hunter, businesses in Fiji lost F$350 million (US$168m) from the monster storm.

“Another step we have taken is to put in place long term agreements. These are LTAs that we are putting in place for the likes of the World Food Programme for example. What we’ve done is to look at the absolute needs post-disaster. What are some of the equipments, what are some of the supplies that are typically pushed into a country post-disaster? We had a look at the list and we ask what can we as the private sector provide in country? Why do we have to bring all of these in? If we need tarpaulins for example, do we have anyone in the private sector that has thousands of tarpaulins in stock?”

With the Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council up and running, the mobile telephone company executive said the initiative would now expand to the region. Teams have already visited Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, said  Hunter.

Meanwhile, Habitat for Humanity Fiji wins US$10,000 merit award on Winston rebuild project at the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Mexico.

Pacific delegations at the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in Cancun celebrated the Habitat for Humanity Fiji win.

Pacific Island delegates attended in good numbers at the awards ceremony led by head of Fiji’s delegation Meleti Bainimarama.

In his acceptance speech, Habitat for Humanity Fiji national director Masi Latianara paid tribute to the Fijian Government, for it was its home rebuilding programme that allowed Habitat of Humanity to implement its build back stronger initiative.

SOURCE: ISLANDS BUSINESS/PACNEWS

INFRASTRUCTURE

33) Hotel, Retail, Business Center Project Planned For PNG’s Angoram, East Sepik

Submitted by PIR Editor on Thu, 05/25/2017 – 13:35

Parliamentary candidate claims to have secured investor for mutli-million kina Mossin Plaza

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 26, 2017) – Angoram, once a colonial district administration and pride of East Sepik Province, is set to regain its former glory days.

This will be made possible with the construction of a multi-million kina plaza comprising a four-storey hotel, a three-storey shopping mall and a two-storey business centre.

Angoram Open candidate Terry Daniel has already secured a prominent onshore investor, Vitis Industries Ltd, to undertake the construction of the building, to be called Mossin Plaza.

The construction of the multi-million kina plaza is set to start “very soon” and it will be developed by a Ukrainian consortium. The project is set to create employment opportunities for the people of Angoram.

While most candidates are busy campaigning for the election, Mr Daniel has instead gone about engaging with the investor to bring what he termed as “tangible development for Angoram” or “walk the talk.”

Mr Daniel says that Angoram has not changed one bit and he has pursued this project as a way forward to transform Angoram after years of neglect and collapse.

He said that Angoram was a main district centre for government and business before and after Independence, but that is not the case anymore with overgrown grass and dilapidated public schools and health services.

Mr Daniel said by investing in a modern high-rise building in a remote setting like Angoram, business and government services, including tourism, can be lured back to the district by the attraction and offering of a quality and modern facility like the plaza, which they can enjoy and live in.

Mr Daniel was the head of food sanitation council secretariat with the Department of Health until he resigned to contest the election.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology (Unitech) and Masters in Business Administration (UPNG).

“My party’s overall objective is to economically empower the people of Angoram through agriculture and fisheries.”

He said that economic empowerment is a key policy of SOM Pioneer Party, in which he is a candidate.

PNG Post-Courier

WELFARE


34) Government Reforms Drop Working Poverty In Fiji
Submitted by PIR Editor on Sun, 05/28/2017 – 13:50

Attributed in part to commitment to ‘social wages’ where income for living is determined by basis of citizenship rather than employment

By Vishaal Kumar

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 29, 2017) – Government through its reforms, particularly payment of social wages to Fijians, has reduced working poverty from 34.8 per cent to 11 per cent, says Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Minister Jone Usamate.

Mr Usamate said this reduction was made possible through Government’s efforts regarding social wages.

Working poverty is defined as working people living under the poverty line, while social wages is the right to enough income for living as determined by basis of citizenship rather than employment.

“Social wages is one way in which people are assisted especially the most marginalised people,” Mr Usamate said.

“Social wages are those things like free bus fare, free medicine, subsidizing of your electricity, subsidizing of water. It is one way in assisting people who are most marginalized.

“So when you are calculating the income of marginalised people, you have to take into the account the social wages. The kind of things the Government does to assist the poor.”

During a recent public consultations of the National Minimum Wage and Wage Regulations Consultant Professor Partha Ganopadhyay had said social wages was the most effective way in reducing working poverty in the country.

Prof. Gangopadhyay said a recent survey he conducted found that social wages provided by the Fijian Government has improved the quality of life for working people in Fiji.

“In other words, from our sampled workers, we highlight that social wages have reduced working poverty in Fiji by nearly 70 per cent than it could have been,” Prof. Gangopadhyay said.

He said there are five spending categories that reduce the cost of living for the Fijian working population. These are spending on social development, public education, public health, housing and local amenities and social assistance.

Prof. Gangopadhyay said working poverty was very high in the informal sector.

However, Employment Ministry Shadow Minister Ratu Sela Nanovo said the minimum wage rate of $2.32 is not economically viable because people are still living below the poverty line.

“The minimum wage rate of $2.32 that was there and people are still living in poverty. Even though it has been increased to $2.68, which is still under the poverty line,” Ratu Sela said .

“What we have been pressing for if it is possible to increase minimum wage to be targeted at least at $4. ”

Meanwhile, National Federation Party leader and member of Opposition Professor Biman Prasad thinks other wise.

“The wage consultation seems to be looking at one side of the story. The real issue facing the working class in the country is that they don’t have a living wage,” Prof Prasad said.

“We should stop talking about minimum wages which is already set up at a ridiculous level at $2.32 and the proposed minimum wage remains ridiculous. To have an effective wage policy, we need to look at the concept living wages. Living wages means a weekly or monthly wage rate that considerate to the cost of living of the families.”

He said the reality is that working families in the country are struggling to make ends meet.

Fiji Times Online.

LAW&ORDER


35) Unarmed AFP take on Solomon Islands police training mission

4:04 pm GMT+12, 25/05/2017, Australia

Forty unarmed Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers will be based in the Solomon Islands as trainers after the 14-year long, Australian-led peacekeeping mission in the Pacific nation ends in June.

The AFP training programme will cost $79m (US$58 million) over four years.

“They will not be armed and they will not have policing powers,” the AFP said in a statement to SBS World News.

“AFP officers deployed will be undertaking capacity building work.”

The Solomon Islands Police Development Program (SIPDP) will become the AFP’s second-largest overseas deployment, after the 73-officer mission in Papua New Guinea.

“SIPDP was developed in consultation with key stakeholders in Solomon Islands, including DFAT (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs), the RSIPF, and the Solomon Islands Government,” the AFP statement said.

In 2003 the multi-national military Regional Assistance Mission (RAMSI) ended a violent ethnic conflict, known as the ‘tensions’, that had cost hundreds of Solomon Islander lives.

RAMSI disarmed local police after elements of the force took sides and turned their guns on civilians.

Australia funded the $2.6 billion (US$1.9 billion) decade-long RAMSI military operation that ended in 2013 and the AFP stayed on with 100 officers to rebuilt the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF).

Earlier this month 125 members of the RSIPF’s rapid response and close personal protection units were rearmed for the first time.

Former AFP deputy commissioner Matthew Varley heads the Solomon Islands police.

“Members of the SIPDP mission report to the AFP SIPDP Mission Commander in the Solomon Islands who reports to the AFP National Manager International Operations,” the AFP said.

Total Australian overseas aid to Solomon Islands in the 2017-18 financial year is $142 million (US$105 million)…..

SOURCE: SBS/PACNEWS

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION


36) Forecasters: Pacific hurricane season depends on El Nino
4:07 pm GMT+12, 25/05/2017, United States

Forecasters say the central Pacific region around Hawaii can expect a normal or slightly above-average hurricane season, depending largely on the presence of El Nino conditions.

Chris Brenchley, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said at a news conference Wednesday that the region can expect anywhere from five to eight tropical cyclones from June through November.

Brenchley said there is an equal chance of El Nino and neutral conditions in the Pacific this season.

El Nino is a natural warming of the Pacific that alters weather worldwide.

The average number of storms per year since 1970 is 4.6, but the past four seasons have had above-average activity.

The 2015 season set a record with 15 total named storms that came amid a strong El Nino.

SOURCE: AP/PACNEWS

MINING,FORESTRY,AGRICULTURE

37) Papua’s Massive Grasberg Mine Is Hit By Further Strike Action

Submitted by PIR Editor on Sun, 05/28/2017 – 13:44

Strike action driven by layoffs, mine’s owner treating absenteeism as resignation after deeming strike illegal

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 29, 2017) – Production has been hit at the massive Grasberg mine in Indonesia’s Papua province as more than 9,000 workers stage an extended strike.

The mine’s owner, Freeport McMoRan, also says a “large number” of the absentee workers are deemed to have resigned.

Meanwhile, the striking miners, angry at the American company’s decision to lay off thousands of workers, have agreed to extend their industrial action for a second month.

Freeport deems the strike illegal, and had followed through on a threat to take disciplinary action against absenteeism, considering staff who are absent for more than five days to have resigned.

A Freeport spokesperson told Reuters it was trying to mitigate the strike’s effect on mining and milling rates, which it did not quantify, by re-allocating resources and training additional workers.

The strike was a further disruption for Freeport, which had lost hundreds of millions of dollars in a protracted dispute with the Indonesian government over new mining laws.

Copper concentrate exports had only resumed late last month, when the strike began.

Radio New Zealand International

38) Oil Search buys stake in PNG licences
8:15 pm GMT+12, 28/05/2017, Papua New Guinea

Oil Search has acquired a 30 per cent stake in several prospecting licences in Papua New Guinea from operator ExxonMobil.

The company has raised its exploration budget for the year to US$270-320 million, from US$250-300 million earlier, after agreeing to acquire a 30 per cent interest in PPLs 474, 475, 476, 477 and PRL 39 from ExxonMobil.

The onshore licences are in close proximity to the Elk-Antelope gas fields that will supply gas to the ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG project, in which Oil Search owns a 29 per cent stake.

SOURCE: SBS/PACNEWS,

39) Tomscoll: Cocoa brings cash

May 26, 2017The NationalBusiness

By ELIZABETH VUVU
MORE than two million people depend on the cocoa industry, which also generates K350 million annually for the economy, according to Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Tommy Tomscoll (pictured).
He told the Air Niugini inaugural Cocoa Warwagira in Kokopo, East New Britain, yesterday that it was why the cocoa industry must not be allowed to die out. Attending the show are cocoa farmers from Milne Bay, Karamui in Simbu-Karamui, Morobe, Bougainville and East New Britain, officials from the World Bank, and international cocoa experts who will be sampling the country’s best cocoa at the show.
“Cocoa brings cash to government budgets and generates Government revenue,” he said.
“We must strive to own it and make it sustainable.
“It is an industry that brings income into people’s pockets. It is an industry we cannot afford to destroy.
“If we bring destruction to this industry, we bring destruction to the lives of two million people directly. We (also) lose more than K300 million.
“This is an industry not driven by foreigners in terms of production but driven by families in small units which is why we have small block-holders.”
He said 90 per cent of what was grown and harvested was produced in Papua New Guinea.
“Cocoa is the best tool that government can use to drive out poverty in our household,” he said.
PNG Cocoa Board chief executive officer Boto Gaupu said it was a significant industry.

EVENT

40) Design Divas

Litia Cava
Sunday, May 28, 2017-Fijitimes

MINISTER for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa has commended the efforts put in place by the Fiji Fashion Week in promoting locally manufactured garments.

Mrs Vuniwaqa also thanked the organisers of the show for encouraging and inspiring young fashion designers and models to promote the Fijian made, Fijian sewn and Fijian crafted labels on the local and international scene.

She said the event had been an inspiration towards the growth of fashion-related businesses since its inception in 2007.

“The economic empowerment of women is one of the key areas of concerns for my ministry, especially for rural women who are too often hampered in their ability to access decent work which they could leverage to improve their economic and overall wellbeing and more importantly, their social advancement and political participation,” Mrs Vuniwaqa said.

“Rural women are constrained by unequal access to productive resources and services. The limitations rural women face in turn imposes huge social, economic, and environmental costs on society as a whole and rural development in particular including lags in agricultural productivity.”

The established and emerging designer show, together with children and student shows were rated highly as their designs created style pieces for the runway.

The Student Designers Show featured 40 students, with 20 travelling from the Western Division.

Meanwhile, the FFW main show was held last night at the Vodafone Arena.

41) Narrative from 16 queens

Vishaal Kumar
Sunday, May 28, 2017-Fijtimes

SIXTEEN Queen contestants will vie for the main crown at this year’s 2017 Vodafone Fiji Hibiscus Festival.

The launch of the festival last night was attended by the 16 beauty queens, the 12 King and also the 12 Teen contestants.

With the theme “Telling Your

Own Narrative” linking it to climate change, Hibiscus Events Group chairman Hirdesh Prasad thanked the contestants for coming on board this year.

“This is because we believe that this is a critical area that needs our collaborative efforts. We are aligning ourselves to the Fijian Government’s focus in leading the global negotiations on climate change at COP 23 in November,” Mr Prasad said.

The festival will be held at the Vodafone Arena in Laucala Bay in August.

SPORT

42) Kangaroos to face Fiji and PNG in Suva

8:57 pm GMT+12, 25/05/2017, Australia

The Australian Kangaroos will face Fiji and Papua New Guinea in an historic tri-contest in Suva ahead of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

The innovative format of the match will see all three teams face each other on October 14, at Suva’s ANZ Stadium.

Fiji will face PNG before Australia takes on both PNG and finally Fiji. All three match-ups will last 40 minutes.

It will be the Kangaroos’ first match in Fiji.

“This is a wonderful initiative and will be an historic day for Fiji, who will be hosting not one but two nations,” NRL head of football Brian Canavan said.

“Fiji will get to see some of the best players in the world.

“Clearly the other important aspect will be that each contest will provide a strong preparation for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.”

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said the contest would be a novel way to prepare for his team, as well as an important one.

“Not only will this contest be good for the Kangaroos’ preparation for the World Cup, it will be wonderful for international rugby league,” Meninga said.

“I love the concept of three teams playing on the same stage. It will be a great exhibition for our game.”

Fiji Bati coach Mick Potter said: “It will be a great showpiece. It can only be a good thing for the game in Fiji for the locals to see the Australian team playing against two different nations, including their own.

“The people of Fiji will appreciate having all the names associated with this Kangaroos team at their stadium, as well as the best players in Fiji and PNG. To have that calibre of player on show will be phenomenal for the game.”

PNG coach Michael Marum said: “It’s the first time this has ever happened so it will be a good experience for all of us.

“We’ll take a lot out of playing 40 minutes of football against each of those teams, and we’re looking forward to doing some community work alongside Fiji as they work to make rugby league even stronger over there.”.

SOURCE: NRL/PACNEWS

43) Kapuls hopeful

May 25, 2017The NationalSports

By ISAAC LIRI
PAPUA New Guinea national men’s football coach Fleming Serristlev is still waiting on the government to sort out dual citizenship papers for three of his overseas-based players.
The players are Australian-based George Slefandorfas and the New Zealand- based pair Aaron Spain and Jamie Woodlock.
Training camp for the Kapuls in preparation for their first home-and-away fixture against the Solomon Islands on June 9 started last Sunday, with the three players named in the squad not in camp because they had yet to get their dual-citizenship.
“These three players are not in camp but they are on standby,” Serristlev said.
The trio were in camp with the Kapuls earlier this year when the Kapuls were preparing for their matches against Tahiti however, having their dual-citizenship not ready on time, the Kapuls managed without their input.
Serristlev told The National that if PNG wanted to be competitive and improve its chances of advancing past the OFC stage three qualifiers, they needed players like Woodlock, Spain and Slefandorfas to add depth.
Earlier this year when Slefandorfas was in the country, the 29-year Geelong Football Club striker made known his desire to play for PNG.
The Melbourne-based striker is eligible for PNG through his Central mother. His father is from Lithuania.
Twenty-two year-old Spain is a teammate of Kapuls defender Felix Komolong, who plays for Canterbury United FC in New Zealand as a central midfielder and is linked to PNG through his mother, also from Central.
For Lae-born Woodlock, the 18-year old striker is a teammate of Kapuls striker Raymond Gunemba with the Hamilton Wanderers in New Zealand.
Serristlev believed that having the trio available to play against Solomon Islands would improve the standard of the team when they combined with the best local talent.
“These players are not yet cleared to play because the dual citizenship papers are not ready. We are just hoping the government can do something soon.
“If we (PNG) are to be competitive in the qualifiers then we’ll need these sort of players in the side but if nothing happens then we will just go on with the players we have,” the Danish coach said.
The Kapuls named their squad last week with a total of eight overseas based players in Nigel Dabinyaba, Roland Bala, Alwin Komolong, David Browne, Aaron Spain, George Slefendorfas, Jamie Woodlock and Michael Foster.
In the meantime, the squad is already in camp and training at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby except for FC Groningen Netherlands-based David Browne and Malaysian Premier League striker Nigel Dabinyaba who plays for Penang FC — both are expected to join camp tomorrow.

44) Fijiana 7s focuses on Ireland

Paulini Ratulailai
Sunday, May 28, 2017-Fijitimes

THE Fijiana 7s team has been reminded and trained to be mentally tough when they play against Ireland in the Canada 7s today.

Coach Iliesa Tanivula said Ireland was going to come back for revenge.

“They beat us in Sydney and we drew at the Dubai 7s and we beat them in Japan and Vegas.

“They will come out strong and I know that they have studied our games and will try to come up with a good game plan to return the favour.

“The girls have to be prepared mentally because it’s a mind game and anyone could win so in order to win against them we need to read their game plan well and use it against them.

“We’re not underestimating any team as we will play to our full strength, play into space and use our numbers out wide,” Tanivula said.

He said one of the challenges he faced as a coach was that our girls lacked basic skills but were physically fit.

“Skills like passing in both sides, tackling and running lines it’s just the principal of defence and attack. We have prepared well and want to improve and remain in the top four or make it to another step up,” he said.

45) Italy names team to face Flying Fijians

Maikeli Seru
Sunday, May 28, 2017

THE Italy Rugby Federation says it will use next month’s international Test window to help improve its national team.

The Vodafone Flying Fijians will host the 31-member Azzurri side on June 17 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva after Italy’s Test against Scotland in Singapore on June 10. Italy is scheduled to play the Wallabies after the Fiji tour on June 24.

Italy’s head coach Conor O’Shea says they have selected four new caps as part of rebuilding process for the team.

“There is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes and we are making changes within our system which we really feel will benefit Italian rugby both in the short and long term,” O’Shea said in a statement sent to Fiji Rugby Union on Friday.

“No one is under any illusions about the task ahead. The goal for this group of players on this tour is to ensure we execute and start taking the opportunities that we have undoubtedly had.

Read more : http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=402288

46 ) http://dailypost.vu/vanuatu_sports/villages-in-north-east-efate-are-connecting-with-van-pacific/article_c850406e-1728-57b5-86b1-0ed214e56e48.html

47 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-29/state-of-origin-rips-through-nrl-season-afls-stars-show-indigenous-pride-richard-hinds/1674760

w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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