Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1111 ( Sunday 03 September 2017 )


1) Women eyed to lead preparations for referendum

September 1, 2017 The NationalNational

Women are a force to move preparations ahead for the 2019 Bougainville referendum, a government official said.
The Secretary of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), James Tanis, during a celebration of the women unity forum at Bel Isi Park in Buka town yesterday, said he was impressed with the women’s initiative and efforts in the region.
A former rebel who returned after meeting with the reclusive leader of a failed money scheme, ‘The U Vistract’ Noah Musingku, Tanis said he was pleased with women leaders organising an important event as it strengthened the solidarity of women in the region.
“Women are equal partners and we should take them on board to move the referendum preparation efforts. They are a driving force,” Tanis said.
He told the women that unity was a key factor to a peaceful and credible referendum come June 15, 2019.
Those who took part in the peace march included the four ABG women parliamentarians, other colleague ministers, senior public servants and representatives of United Nations.
Women’s groups, children and young people from South, Central and North Bougainville who attended a weeklong forum, also participated in the event which was described as a huge success towards the preparation of the referendum.
They took 2km peace march from Kubu Parliament down to Bel Isi Park to coincide with the ABG Day, an annual event celebrated to mark the signing of the
Bougainville Peace Agreement in 2001.

By Aloysius Laukai

The former Chairman of the LEITANA COUNCIL OF ELDERS during the negotiation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, JOEL BANAM and former member for TONSU in the ABG said that he wants the ABG to approve one Language for Bougainville as Bougainville goes to Referendum in a year’s time.
MR. BANAM said that this way the people will trust each other and reduce ethnic tensions as Bougainville nears Referendum target date of 15th June, 2019.
He explained if the approved regional language is chosen to be PIDGIN , then where two or people meet must speak in that language so that other people be it from Solos, Siwai or Kieta can also hear what they are saying.
MR. BANAM said this way there will not be any suspicions between our people.
He made these remarks at the BEL ISI park on Wednesday when addressing the women of Bougainville who commemorated the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement in Arawa 16 years ago.01/09/17DawnFM/Bougainville.


4) Gomes suggests MSG replaces FLNKS movement

1:10 pm GMT+12, 31/08/2017, New Caledonia

A leading New Caledonian politician has suggested that the territory’s government replace the pro-independence FLNKS movement as member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group(MSG.)

Philippe Gomes, who heads the Caledonia Together Party and is a member of the French Senate, made the suggestion as part of a drive to integrate New Caledonia in regional organisations.

He has hailed this week’s unanimous vote by the Congress to approve New Caledonia joining the Pacific Islands Forum as a full member, saying this marks the end of almost 20 years of campaigning.

New Caledonia, along with French Polynesia, will be present as full Forum members for the first time at next week’s summit in Samoa.

Gomes said this had been made possible thanks to support from successive governments of France and the backing of Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.

He said New Caledonia should now try to join the MSG as well as other regional and international organisations.

The MSG has traditionally been advocating decolonisation while Gomes’ party is keen to keep New Caledonia within the French republic.


5) New Caledonia left without president
1:14 pm GMT+12, 31/08/2017, New Caledonia

New Caledonia has been left without a president after a majority of government members Thursday refused to vote for the re-election of Philippe Germain.

Earlier in the day the Congress elected a new 11-member government of ministers from the four groups making up the Congress.

The election was called because the Caledonia Together Party ministers had resigned nearly two weeks ago to allow one of them to take up his newly won seat in the French National Assembly.

The anti-independence side’s two groups have six seats in the government and a minimal majority, but fresh rifts have led to them not agreeing on voting for Mr Germain.

A new minister representing the Caledonian Republicans Christopher Gyges decided to abstain, citing disagreement over economic policies.

The pro-independence side’s five members also abstained, saying it’s for the loyalists to sort out their affairs.

It was not clear when a fresh bid will be made to elect a new president.

Two years ago, New Caledonia was without a president for months also because of disagreements within the loyalist majority.


6) West Papuan independence leader to petition UN

6:57 pm GMT+12, 31/08/2017, United States

A West Papuan independence leader says he will petition the United Nations General Assembly later this month with the signatures of his people.

The petition calls on the UN to facilitate a legitimate self-determination process for West Papua.

The leader Benny Wenda is in Geneva delivering a symbolic petition to the UN.

Wenda said he would take the actual petition, with authenticated signatures of West Papuans, to the UN in New York.

He said he would present the document to the UN Secretary General and the C24, the special committee on decolonisation.

Wenda said he would also announce how many thousands of West Papuans have signed.

“Indonesia’s always saying it’s just a handful of people that are talking about independence, it’s just a dream and fantasy, but now we show that all the minorities are wanting independence and that means Indonesia’s presence in West Papua is illegal,” he said.



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9) Acquisition of Sola Provincial Centre land commences

The notice of the Government’s intention to acquire the land occupied by the Sola provincial government, on Vanualava Island was served on the custom owners of the land and all interested parties living on and near the land on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.

The land to be acquired includes the land occupied by provincial and national government offices and the adjacent residential and commercial area, which is already densely settled.

Minister of Lands, Ralph Regenvanu and the Government’s Acquiring Officer, Mr Jimmy Pierre, served the notice on the custom owners at a meeting in the TORBA Provincial Government headquarters on the morning of the 29th August, after a detailed briefing and question-and-answer session with the custom owners.

Following that meeting, public notices were put up at various locations on the land and at Sola airport. In the afternoon of the 29th, an information and awareness session was held for the general public of Sola to explain the acquisition process and also answer questions.

At the end of the day, the Minister and the custom owners participated in a kava ceremony to “seal” the day’s activities and the acquisition process going forward.

The serving of the notice of the Government’s intention to acquire the land starts the process of acquisition as set out in the Land Acquisition Act.

The recent amendments to the Act made by Parliament in June this year will make the process of acquisition more transparent and simpler for the Government and the custom owners to undertake.

The Minister explained to the custom owners that if there are no objections to the acquisition or disagreement concerning the amount of money to be paid in compensation for the land, the acquisition of the Sola provincial government land could be completed before the end of this year.2/9/2017.


10) PNG Oro Gavana itok katim bol blong ol Rapist

Updated 31 August 2017, 12:55 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Gavana blong Oro provins long Papua New Guinea itok bai emi bringim wanpla Bill oa tingting igo long Palaman blong kamapim loa blong katim na  rausim bol blong ol man em oli save rapim ol meri.

Gary Juffa i mekim despla toktok bihaen long ol femili na laen wan pisin blong wanpla yangpla pikinini meri ibin katim na rausim bol blong tripla man husat ibin rapim despla  pikinini meri long Port Moresby aste.

Despla emi no nupla taem we ol man i rapim ol pikinini meri long PNG, long ol despla wik igo pinis sampla man long New Ireland ibin rapim na kilim liklik meri, wankaen pasin tu ibin kamap long Lae na Port Moresby.

Planti pipal na lida long kantri i askim blong wonem na ol despla kaen pasin iwok long kamap olgeta taem?

Gavana Juffa itok emi laikim tu bai oli save kalabusim ol despla man na givim ol kaikai long wanpla taem tasol long wanpla dei.

11) Transperensi Solomon Islands bosmeri ino wanbel long gavman

Updated 31 August 2017, 13:17 AEST
Sam Seke

Transparency Solomon Islands hem akiusim gavman blong Praem Minista Sogavare olsem hem no garem eni gud risin fo torowem aot nao disfala Anti-corruption Bill bihaen long 2nd Reading blong hem disfala wik

CEO blong TSI, Ruth Liloqula hem se ekskius wea gavman hem givim se Paliamentary Bills Committee i nid fo lukluk long hem moa ia, hem no tru.

Hem se Praliamentary Bills Committee hem apruvum finis lasfala draft, an disfala bill hem bin getem gud konsaltesen long kantri an law reform commission hem oraetim tu.

Ms Liloqula hem se hem luk olsem gavman hem aotim nomoa from hem no garem namba, and olketa i laek nomoa fo gohet fo kontrolem gavman.

12) Pacific Island miting na rijinal sekiuriti

Updated 1 September 2017, 14:21 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Bikpla miting blong Pacific Islands forum bai kamap long Apia, biktaon blong Samoa long wik bihaen na i luk olsem wanpla bikpla samting em bai oli  toktok long en em ol wok security long rijan.

Sampla toktok iwok long kamap olsem bai gutpla sopos oli lukluk long kamapim wanpla nupla wok security em bai oli kolim, “Biketawa Plus” .

Despla nem, “Biketawa”  i makim Biketawa Declaration em ol mema kantri blong Forum ibin sainim  long yia 2000 em aninit long en oli gat ol wokbung blong stretim ol bikpla heve emi save kamap long rijan olsem despla ethnic tension long Solomon Island.

Trabal long Solomon Islands ibin lukim Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, RAMSI em Australia ibin go pas long en ibin go na helpim kantri i lukim peace.

RAMSI ibin lusim Solomon Islands long mun June 2017.


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14) Samoa PM Wants A Bigger Polynesian Leaders Group

Submitted by PIR Editor on Fri, 09/01/2017 – 15:45

Tuilaepa, who takes over as chair of the Forum next week, says there is room in the PLG constitution to allow Fiji to join, also wants to include Polynesians in Hawaii, NZ and Easter Island

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, September 01, 2017) – Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, will be inviting Fiji to join the Polynesian Leaders Group at next weeks Pacific Forum summit in Apia.

In his weekly radio show he said Fijians from the Lau group are mostly Polynesians so it made sense to invite Fiji to be a member of the group or PLG.

Tuilaepa, who takes over as chair of the Forum next week, says there is room in the PLG constitution to allow Fiji to join.

He also wants to include Polynesians in Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island.

Some hapu (Māori subtribe) in New Zealand had made attempts to join the group in the past and Tuilaepa says he hopes the PLG will address these approaches as well.

The group currently has eight members – Tonga, Tokelau, Niue, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, American Samoa, Wallis & Futuna and Samoa.

Radio New Zealand International

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16) Tonga MPs deny reports of sackings, reshuffle 2 September 2017 

Two government MPs in Tonga says if reports of a cabinet reshuffle are true, then they haven’t heard anything.

Caretaker Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva has reportedly fired his deputy prime minister Siaosi Sovaleni and finance minister Tevita Lavemaau.

Kaniva News reports a cabinet spokesperson confirming the move, saying Mr Pohiva was disappointed in the ministers.

It reports that Lord Ma’afu has been appointed as the new deputy, while Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa is the new finance minister.

However, both Lord Ma’afu and Mr Tu’ionetoa have told RNZ International they have heard nothing of a reshuffle.

Lord Ma’afu says if it is true, he’s not sure use it would be after the King’s decision last week to dissolve parliament and call snap elections.


17) Marianas Tourism Sector Opposes US Military Plans

Submitted by PIR Editor on Fri, 09/01/2017 – 16:54

Visitor Authority: US military’s large presence in Guam is set to grow in the next several years and the tourism sector is concerned about what US military expansion into the commonwealth could entail

By Johnny Blades

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, September 01, 2017) – The Northern Marianas tourism sector is opposed to US military plans to use local islands for training purposes.

Tinian and the pristine volcanic island Pagan are being sized up by the Pentagon as live-fire training sites for units associated with a large build-up of marines in neighbouring Guam.

The plans are the subject of ongoing discussions between the Pentagon and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas government. However they are seen as a threat to tourism in the Marianas, which was recently rated the world’s third fastest growing tourist destination.

The US military’s large presence in Guam is set to grow in the next several years. The Managing Director for the Marianas Visitors Authority, Chris Concepcion said the tourism sector was concerned about what US military expansion into the commonwealth could entail.

“We predict it will do damage to our tourism industry, and more so to our environment and our way of life here in the Marianas,” he explained.

“We are opposed to their plans to turn Tinian and Pagan into live-firing ranges. And so the tourism industry has stated our position.”

RNZ Pacific asked Mr Concepcion which out of military presence and tourism provided more benefits for the commonwealth in terms of revenue and economic activity.

“By far it’s through tourism,” he replied. “The US military contributes very little, an insignificant amount of revenue to the islands as compared to tourism which provides about 90 percent of the GDP for the Northern Marianas.

“The military side of things here has very minimal impact on our economy. So we’re not quite interested in having them come in and doing damage.”

Mr Concepcion noted the recent media attention on Guam after the North Korean regime said it would target the island for a missile strike. He said the Marianas was not in any danger.

“Because we are not a target, we don’t want to alarm the market. We are of course a lot closer to Korea because we are north of Guam,” he said.

“But as far as military presence hurting us, I don’t think that it does necessarily hurt us because we don’t have such a big presence that Guam has.”

Korean factors

This week, as Pyongyang fired its latest missile – this time over northern Japan and into the sea – the governor of the Marianas assured residents that there continued to be no indication of an imminent threat.

Ralph Torres said the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency remained in close contact with Guam and military partners.

In Guam itself, where loyalty to the US has rarely been in question, local support for the military presence this week showed its limits.

Dozens of people upset over the US military plan for a new live-fire range in Guam staged a protest in front of Governor Eddie Calvo’s office.

The military last week awarded Black Construction Corporation a US$78 million contract to build the range on an area of land that the indigenous Chamorros community said was too culturally and environmentally important to damage.

The US Naval Command in Guam indicated it would take steps to minimise harm.

Earlier in the month, Guam received another, more high-level form of reassurance from the US, when President Donald Trump got on the line to Mr Calvo. This was in the immediate wake of North Korea’s threat to strike Guam waters.

Mr Trump told the Guam leader not to worry about a thing, that the US would ensure the safety of the island’s people. The president also told Mr Calvo that the global attention on Guam due to the threat would be a boon for tourism.

“I can say this, your tourism is going to go up like tenfold with the expenditure of no money, so I congratulate you,” said Mr Trump.

Next door in the Marianas, where for now there is no active military presence, tourism is enjoying a remarkable run. Tourist arrivals to the commonwealth in 2016 grew by just over 37 percent on the previous year. The dominant tourist market for this destination is South Korea.

Radio New Zealand International


18) Aust to assist Newcrest facilitate projects in PNG

September 1, 2017The NationalBusiness

AUSTRALIA has entered into a partnership with Newcrest Mining Limited to facilitate support on projects in Papua New Guinea.
Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis and Newcrest country manager Peter Aitsi signed an agreement yesterday.
The first year will be committed to:

Scholarships for Diploma of Nursing;
Australian awards scholarships in midwifery;
Workshops on extractive Industries transparency initiative;  and,
A mineral economics course to be delivered under the Pacific leadership and governance precinct.

Davis said it reflected Australia’s focus on engaging businesses to assist in development challenges.
“The approach recognises that the private sector has the means and increasingly the motivation to contribute to the development outcomes as part of their core business,” Davis said.
“It also recognises that the private sector are key players in addressing and improving the business environment, not just for themselves but also for their suppliers, buyers, employees and their employee’s families.
“Newcrest is on such company. Newcrest’s confidence in Papua New Guinea as an investment destination matches the Australian High Commission’s positive long-term outlook for Papua New Guinea.”
Aitsi said the company’s commitment to development was for the long-term.
“Newcrest already has a long record of engagement in PNG. And with 40 per cent of our global assets in this country, we hope to be a partner to Papua New Guinea for decades to come,” he said.

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21) High Level EU delegation to attend 48th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting
7:09 pm GMT+12, 31/08/2017, Fiji

The European Union (EU) Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and other senior EU officials will attend the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Apia, Samoa.

Ahead of the visit Commissioner Mimica stated: “I am delighted to attend the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting to reinforce our already excellent relations with Pacific countries. Aside from discussing the post-2020 relationship between the EU and Pacific partners, I will be working with leaders to encourage action on women’s empowerment and gender equality, working in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Australia.”

Commissioner Mimica will lead the EU Delegation and will be accompanied by the European Union Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, the Director for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and the Pacific at the European Commission’s Department for International Cooperation and Development, Pierre Amilhat, European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, Paola Pampaloni, Head of Unit EU- Africa, Africa Peace Facility , Dominico Rosa, and Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific, Christoph Wagner.

Commissioner Mimica will hold discussions with Pacific leaders to explore initial ideas for the focus of Pacific-EU relations after 2020 when the Cotonou Agreement expires. This comprehensive agreement was signed in 2000 between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

Commissioner Mimica and the Honourable Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, will host an EU-Pacific Gender Conference in the margins of the Pacific Islands Forum Meeting. At that occasion Commissioner Mimica and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor, will sign a financing agreement worth EUR 18 million to help tackle the roots causes of gender inequality and violence against women and girls in the Pacific. While in Samoa, Mimica will sign an additional EUR 7 million financing agreement with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat focusing on technical cooperation and capacity building at the regional level, as well as a EUR 1.4 million financing agreement in support of the Cook Islands’ sanitation sector.

During his short stay in Apia,Mimica will hold a number of bilateral meetings with Pacific Island leaders. The Commissioner will also take the opportunity of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting to strengthen the already excellent partnerships with Australia and New Zealand.



22) Philippine troops in tough push against IS militants

Sunday, September 03, 2017

MANILA – Philippine troops have fought one of their toughest clashes against militants loyal to Islamic State in a southern town, and three soldiers were killed and 52 wounded, many by rebel bombs as they pushed forward, an officer said on Friday.

The Islamists shocked the country by seizing large parts of Marawi town in May. After more than 100 days of fighting, pockets of fighters remain dug in in the ruins.

The army made its push on Thursday, the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, and seized a bridge in what military spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla described as some of the toughest fighting yet.

At least five militants were killed, he said.

“We are working to clear the remaining areas where the enemy is holding out,” Bri-Gen Padilla said in a statement.

“Following a short pause early today, to give due respect to the solemnity and significance of this day, the operations will continue without any let up,” he said, referring to the Muslim holiday.

The military has expressed confidence the end is in sight for what has been its biggest security crisis in years, which started in May, but the latest casualties underscore the difficulty that they still face in the battlefield.

In all, 620 militants, 45 civilians and 136 soldiers and policemen have been killed in the fighting that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and raised fears about Islamic State establishing a foothold in Southeast Asia.

The military has missed repeated targets and deadlines to crush the rebels in Marawi, a largely Muslim town on the southern island of Mindanao, raising questions about whether it can contain a wider rebellion.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who placed all of Mindanao under martial law until the end of the year after the militants occupied Marawi, has urged lawmakers to approve funds to beef up the army by 20,000 troops.

On Friday, Mr Duterte said he saw no reason to lift martial law in Mindanao, citing violence in other parts of the island.

“The way it looks, there seems to be some spillover,” he said, without elaborating.

Muslim rebels in the south of the predominately Christian Philippines have for generations battled for greater autonomy but in recent years hopes for peace were raised with several factions engaged in talks.

But the Marawi fighting has dimmed those hopes.


23) Million of records exposed on server

Sunday, September 03, 2017

ABOUT four million records of users of Time Warner Cable’s MyTWC app were found unsecured on an Amazon server last month, digital security research centre Kromtech Security Center said in a blog post on Friday.

The files — more than 600 gigabytes in size containing sensitive information such as transaction ID, user names, Mac addresses, serial numbers, account numbers — were discovered on August 24 without a password by researchers of Kromtech.

“A vendor has notified us that certain non-financial information of legacy Time Warner Cable customers who used the MyTWC app became potentially visible by external sources,” Charter Communications Inc , Time Warner Cable’s parent, said in an email.

The information was removed immediately after the discovery and the incident is being investigated, Charter said.

The breach was eventually linked to BroadSoft Inc , a communications company, whose unit developed the MyTWC app. Broadsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


24) New Caledonia dengue epidemic over

5:29 am on 2 September 2017

The dengue epidemic in New Caledonia is over.

The government issued a statement to say that on advice from the health authorities the epidemic declared on January 5th has ended.

It said people need to remain vigilant to avoid a recurrence as the weather is starting to get hot and humid again.

11 people died of dengue this year.

25) Pacific Health Ministers: NZ And Aus Called To Up Their Game Over Pacific Health

Submitted by PIR Editor on Fri, 09/01/2017 – 15:31

Pacific is struggling to cope with the impact of non communicable diseases, with figures for a whole range of conditions steadily worsening

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, September 01, 2017) – Pacific health ministers, who met this week in the Cook Islands, say New Zealand and Australia should be sending ministers to such meetings.

The Pacific is struggling to cope with the impact of non communicable diseases, with figures for a whole range of conditions steadily worsening.

The region’s health ministers meet once every two years but the host minister, the Cook Islands’ Nandi Glassie, said both the larger countries sent foreign affairs officials this year.

He said when the ministers started talking about critical health matters they needed to have the input from the New Zealand and Australia health ministers.

“Now having foreign affairs officials to represent may not carry the same impetus as the ministers here in the Pacific are concerned. They would rather talk to the ministers or someone from the ministry, rather than someone from other ministries, other than health.”

Radio New Zealand International



THE Parliamentary Opposition Group has hit back at the Prime Minister describing his statement as a “cheap lie” from a “desperate leader with a guilty conscience”.

The Opposition was responding to a statement by the Prime Minister in the Island Sun today accusing the Opposition of inciting public outcry against his withdrawal of the anti-corruption bill.

“The Prime Minister should really ask himself why he withdrew that bill,” the Opposition said.

“In fact, withdrawing the bill should never be an option as there are other avenues to deal with it,” it added.

“The Prime Minister must understand that citizens of this country no longer buy cheap excuses coming out from his office in trying to regain his Government’s integrity following all its unpopular decisions including the withdrawal of the bill.”

The Parliamentary Opposition said it was quite surprising to see desperate statements coming from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The Government should really be more focused in regaining confidence from the people rather than trying to blame others for their self-inflicted wound,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Group also called on the Prime Minister and his office to stop misleading the nation.

This was after the statement issued by the Prime Minister insisted that the ‘Bills and Legislations Committee Report did not recommend the Bill for Parliament as stated by the Opposition’.

“The Opposition is surprised that the Prime Minister has chosen to mislead people on this.

“The Report clearly outlined in Recommendations 16 that the Bill be laid before Parliament as soon as possible.

“It is shocking that the Prime Minister and his Office had denied this. It only proves their arrogance.

“Our people are well aware that the bill was withdrawn for political convenience and nothing to do with the recommendations so stop making cheap excuses.”

Meanwhile, outspoken Opposition MP and Member of Parliament of West Makira, Derek Manu’ari said it’s dis-flattering to see this rebuttal by Mr Sogavare.

“It is very clear that the real reason for the withdrawal of the Anti-Corruption Bill has very little to do with the Bills and Legislation Committee’s (BLC) recommendations but a politicised move to delay the actual passage of the bill,” Mr Manu’ari said.

“It seems that the whole issue is now turning into a political fluke for the PM as he continues to try and regain the confidence and trust of the public.

“The public must be made aware that instead of withdrawing the Bill the PM could have allowed the Bill to pass through Parliament and amendments can be brought in later as a separate bill or be treated as corrigenda at the Committee of the Whole House stage of the Bill.

“With the high expectation of the people on the DCCG to ‘fight corruption head-on’ withdrawal of the Bill should have been a last resort,” Mr Manu’ari stated.

He added it was surprising to see that the PM is now using the BLC as the reason for the delay.

“There have also been many important Bills that the BLC has made sound recommendations on but those had been totally ignored until now.

“While the change in the PM’s regard for the BLC is a good thing, one can’t help but must ask, why is it that only now the PM is jumping up and down as if he is just aware of the existence and the role of BLC?

“Why has he ignored the BLC’s constructive recommendations in the past?

“I am not surprised at all to see the current rush for ‘damage control’.

“In such a case by default the fault must always be thrown back at the Opposition and Independent.

“This is not the first time in regards to the Anti-Corruption Bill.

“When he found it difficult to make it through Second Reading in the past which resulted in its deferment the PM also blamed the Opposition for misleading members of DCCG.

“Why should we the Opposition MPs try to mislead non-Opposition MPs as if those MPs are not capable of fully understanding the content and/or implications of the Bill?

“The PM must understand that there are many avenues available to deal with the Anti-Corruption Bill rather than withdrawal and no one is buying this political decision-making blunder.

“He should have been advised by his many political advisors that withdrawing the Bill will only give a wrong impression to the public- that the DCCG lacks any true commitment to ensuring that the Bill is enacted into law. 2/9/2017 ”


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28) Pacific media urged to follow regional stories

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Update: 3:49PM PACIFIC Islands Forum Secretariat secretary general Dame Meg Taylor yesterday addressed Pacific journalists in a media workshop held in Apia, Samoa a week ahead of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum.

Dame Meg said the role of journalists in shaping and sharing the story of this regions collective efforts was “vitally important” to ensure a healthy, safe and prosperous environment for all its people.

She reiterated a statement she had made before that the Pacific people must be the recipients of the common good delivered by the policies and initiatives that the Forum and its Secretariat work on.

She said that meant engaging in ongoing dialogue and discussion with our many communities – from community and church groups, and business owners to non-government organisations, public servants, and students.

“An independent, well informed, and passionate Pacific media can, and do provide an immensely valuable space for these conversations to take place,” Dame Meg told media practitioners.

“So I’d like to take this chance to thank you all for the work you have done in the past and encourage you to continue following the regional stories.

“Stories like managing the effects of climate change and disaster risk for our communities, growing the economic benefits that flow to our people from our fisheries, maintaining security, upholding human rights, promoting gender equality, and opportunity for those who are living with a disability.

“These are stories that speak to a few of the biggest challenges facing our people today.”


29) New accounting standards ‘good’ for local businesses

September 1, 2017 The NationalBusiness

Two new international accounting standards could have a significant impact on the way Papua New Guinea businesses report their financial results, according to auditing firm, Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG).
Effective for periods beginning on or after Jan 1, 2019, the concept of operating and finance leases for lessees will cease. Property and equipment leases previously recognised off-balance sheet will be accounted for as assets with associated lease liabilities, bringing more transparency about an organisation’s lease commitments while changing financial metrics such as return on capital and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation).
KPMG PNG audit manager Ivan Obradovic said the new accounting standard could change how people did business and was not a basic accounting exercise.
Obradovic said to reduce the impact on financial reporting, leasing strategies might have to be reassessed, procurement processes adjusted as leases would no longer be considered an operating expense, but a capital expense.
He said upfront communication with stakeholders would be key to a successful transition given the changes to financial metrics, such as key performance indicators or debt covenants.  A second significant new international accounting standard will have an impact on how revenue is accounted for and reported.

30) Investment opportunities

Filipe Naigulevu
Saturday, September 02, 2017-Fijitimes

VARIOUS investment opportunities in untapped sectors are available to financial institutions such as Bred Bank, says Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

And one such sector, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, was the transportation industry.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted this after his meeting with the BRED Bank group chief executive officer Olivier Klein.

During the meeting, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum informed Mr Klein on the trajectory of the Fijian economy which had seen an unprecedented eight years of consecutive growth.

Mr Klein also briefed the AG on BRED Bank’s global operations and that BRED Bank had almost 20 branches in the South East Asia including three in the Pacific and a new branch that opened in March last year.

31) Accountants urged not to be lured by money

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, September 02, 2017-Fijitimes

REGISTERED accountants and tax agents have been urged not to fall into the lure of financial gain when servicing their clients.

While speaking to members of the Fiji Institute of Accounts National Budget Symposium in Nadi yesterday, Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said accountants should remain accountable to their profession.

“Don’t become lackeys of your client. You have a duty to your profession,” he said.

“Your job is not to minimise their tax liability and in the process break the law.”

He said there was a lot to be gained from working within the law.

“If everybody did their part we will be in a much better position in terms of revenue generation.

“There are more economic opportunities that arise because we have been growing the economy consecutively for eight years.

“If everybody actually play by the rules there are enormous potential for growth.”

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service CEO Visvanath Das said the authority had a few cases in the Western Division of accountants involved in alleged tax fraud.

“Just last week, we resolved a case where we had a fairly large taxpayer who simply overstated their creditors by $20million,” he said.

“Sometimes you (accountants) feel that the Fiji Revenue and Customs officers are very aggressive and they don’t want to listen to you but all of this is based on a trust relationship and if you overstate your creditors by $20million what do you expect?

“Another case I have which I am dealing with at the moment is of a practitioner or registered tax agent operating out of Nadi.

“This tax agent serves a number of businesses and has an arrangement with them whereby their fee or commission is based on a percentage of VAT refunds.

“They create invoices for VAT refunds so they can benefit too.”

He said tax agents should assist Customs officers in dealing with tax fraud.

“It’s our responsibility to create a voluntary tax compliance environment. You can see the whole tax reforms and the simplification of the tax regime.

“The environment is there but we need your partnership, your honesty and your integrity in terms of voluntary tax compliance.”

32) Name and shame policy eyed for large tax evaders

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, September 02, 2017 Fijitime

A NAME and shame policy could be used as a mechanism to deter large businesses from evading tax payments.

This was revealed by Fiji Revenue and Customs Services CEO Visvanath Das at the Fiji Institute of Accountants National Budget Symposium in Nadi yesterday.

He said tax fraud by large businesses was prevalent and one solution could be to expose the companies.

“We have had discussions with our minister and have talked about how it’s probably high time to bring in laws for naming and shaming these people,” he said.

“We really need to expose these people.

“There has been many times when we deal with taxpayers we inform them that the business is theirs, the liability is theirs but at the end of the day the tax will be yours.”

He said the role of accountants was extremely important to ensure that corporate bodies were paying their taxes.

“They have to get the services of the right professionals who are giving you proper advice.

“As tax agents and accountants you must give them the right instructions and advice.

“You don’t want to put them and yourself in a bad situation.”

Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Government had been looking at the possible implementation of a name and shame law.

“I think we need for us to remedy the situation we need to have name and shame,” he said.

“I’m not talking about the small player. We’re talking about the big boys and girls. We need to be able to address that and we are looking at some changes within the law regarding that.

“It’s not a threat but it’s getting people to understand that if we as a nation don’t address this fundamental issue we won’t be able to progress.”


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34) Warrant of Arrest issued for minister

A WARRANT of arrest (WOA) has been issued on Friday at the Honiara Magistrates’ Court for the arrest of the Minister of Provincial Governments and Institutional Strengthening David Tome.

Chief Magistrate John Numapo issued the warrant of arrest for the government Minister after he and his lawyer Michael Pitakaka of Michael Pitakaka Law Chamber failed to appear in court.

Public Prosecutor Olivia Ratu told the court Mr Pitakaka was supposed to appear and update the court on the status of his client whether he is back in the country or not.

A date is then to be set for a pre-trial conference.

The court had on the last court appearance last month waived some of Tome’s bail conditions to enable him to travel overseas for medical attention at the St Vincent Hospital in Australia.

He said Tome needs further treatment but Solomon Islands does not have the required medical facility to attend to his case.

Ms Ratu said she did not receive any communication from the defence.

Mr Numapo having heard from the prosecution issued the warrant of arrest for Tome.

He then adjourned the matter to September 18 for the review.

Tome’s case was supposed to be for a pre-trial conference early last month but given his health condition, it was vacated.

Minister Tome faces 14 counts of conversion as he was accused of converting $67, 170 that was supposed to be for a tree farming project in his constituency.

Prosecution alleged that on 27 June 2011 Shem Tome on behalf of the community association owned and registered as Grass Root Economic Development Community (GREDC) which was involved in tree farming or reforestation in Baegu/Asifola Constituency, submitted their application for the amount of $80,000 to their MP, Tome, through the Forestry office in Auki.

The money was for buying tools and materials for reforestation.

It was alleged that the proposal without the endorsement of the Member of Parliament for Baegu/Asifola Constituency David Tome was then later refereed to the Ministry of Forestry and Research in particular the office of Reforestation in Honiara.

The proposal was later endorsed by the Director of Reforestation on 30 June 2011.

It was further alleged the proposal was then forwarded to the office of the Permanent Secretary (PS) for further approval and the PS later endorsed and approved it for payment under the reforestation scheme on 19 July 2011.

Prosecution further alleged that the proposal was later forwarded to the Accounts Section of the Ministry of Forestry and Research and a requisition was raised on 1 August 2011.

Upon approval by the Financial Controller the payment was forwarded to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) for payment.

It was alleged that the Ministry of Finance approved and paid the amount of $80,000 on 24 August 2011 from the Government Account for this project.

Police investigators however, alleged Tome collected the cheque on an unknown date from the Ministry of Finance and later deposited it into his constituency account on 9 September 2011 at the ANZ bank in Honiara.

He then allegedly withdrew various amounts of money on various dates on September 2011 totalling up to $67, 170.

The money, according to the proposal, should be paid to Honiara Hardware for tools and materials in full and not for withdrawal in single cheques as the accused allegedly did.

The constituents have no idea whether or not the payment was made until a forestry officer made it known to one of them who in turn reported the matter to the police.



35) Uto ni Yalo missions community support for ocean protection

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Update: 1:40PM FIJI’S very own traditional voyaging canoe, the Uto ni Yalo, set sail for the Lomaiviti and Bua waters this morning to build up community support up for the establishment of offshore marine managed areas in the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape.

Uto ni Yalo Trust secretary Dwain Qalovaki said the seven-day voyage would focus on highlighting Fiji’s commitment to establishing marine-managed areas and continue its program of growing support for the protection of our ocean.

A joint statement from the Trust and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) stated the voyage was part of a joint effort it both had with the Government, aimed to engage with communities to generate feedback and support for the gazetting and zoning of two large marine-managed areas within Fiji’s Vatu-i-Ra Seascape.

The Vatu-i-Ra Seascape stretches 28,894 km2 across the channel that links the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

It is understood the Uto ni Yalo is expected to make a 148-nautical mile voyage to the seascape.

Fiji program director Dr Sangeeta Mangubhai said the Uto ni Yalo voyage was also a celebration and recognition of the efforts that local communities had made throughout the seascape to manage their qoliqoli areas.


36) Compromise over Papua’s Grasberg mine an ‘essential step

12:10 pm on 1 September 2017

The American mining company Freeport McMoran says its compromise with the Indonesian government over Papua’s Grasberg mine was an essential step towards extracting underground resources.

Grasberg is the world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine.

The Jakarta Post reported the company’s subsidiary, PT Freeport Indonesia, had agreed to divest 51 percent of its shares and to build a smelter within five years.

In exchange its contract has been converted into a special mining license valid until 2041.

Freeport McMoRan chief executive Richard Adkerson said the subsidiary planned to invest US$20 billion over the next two decades, with $17 billion to be invested by 2031.

Mr Adkerson said Indonesian ownership of the subsidiary would be increased over time from nine percent to 51 percent in a way that compensates the miner at a fair market value.

He said while Grasberg’s open mine reserves were depleting, his company saw potential in its underground mine.


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 40c) Fijian Drua eye winning start to Australian NRC

The Fijian Drua have done their homework and say they’re ready for today’s first match in the Australian National Rugby Championship.

All of the players are locally based, including seven who have already played test rugby for the Flying Fijians.

The Drua will make their debut away to a Brisbane City team featuring 70-test Wallaby Quade Cooper at first five and Fiji-born centre Samu Kerevi, who started for Australia against the All Blacks two weeks ago.

Head coach Senirusi Serevakula said they can not wait to get underway at Ballymore.

“We’ve been reviewing their games from last year but we understand it’s going to be a different year again.”

“They love to play hard on the forwards and they keep everything close within the forwards. I think we’ve done our part in reviewing all that and we just have the right attitude and the confidence in going there and trying to put our mark,” he said.

The Fijian Drua play their first two matches in Australia before their home debut in Sigatoka later this month. 2/09/2017.

40d) Chairman hails pair

September 1, 2017The NationalSports

PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka congratulated SP Hunters coach Michael Marum and captain Ase Boas on their achievements at the annual Queensland Rugby League awards on Wednesday night.
Tsaka who could not attend the event in Brisbane due to work commitments in an email to Marum said: “I take this humble privilege on behalf of the PNGRFL board and management, our partners and supporters throughout PNG to congratulate you and skipper Ase Boas for the well-earned recognition at the QRL Awards in Brisbane tonight.”
Tsaka said this was Marum’s second Coach of the year award, the first coming in 2015, which showed the respect and high esteem his peers and officials had for him.
“You have done well and have earned this award through sheer hard work and the many sacrifices you have made for the team and for the innovations you have brought to the teams culture that reflected both on and off the field,” Tsaka said.
He said captain Ase Boas had been an inspiration and great leader of the team this year.
“Ase’s football has been exceptional which made him the second highest point scorer in the competition,” he said.
“His great leadership both on and off the field and the two awards he earned are a reflection of his performance this year,” he added.
Boas won the club’s player of the year award in 2016 and has continued his form becoming easily one of the Hunters most important players on and off the field.

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