Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest Summary # 1120 ( Sunday 5 November 2017 )
1) French territory New Caledonia to hold referendum on self rule
A deal was reached after nine hours of talks in Paris between the leaders of the island nation, located 750 miles east of Australia, and French officials
France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, said he hoped New Caledonia would remain part of France. Photograph: Melanie Marriott / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm
Saturday 4 November 2017 04.37 AEDTLast modified on Saturday 4 November 2017 04.47 AEDT
The French overseas territory of New Caledonia will hold a referendum on self rule in 2018, which is expected to pave the way to full independence for the Pacific archipelago.
A deal was reached after leaders of the island nation, located 750 miles east of Australia, held nine hours of talks with officials in Paris.
If a majority of New Caledonia’s 275,000 inhabitants – 45% of whom are indigenous Kanaks – opts for independence, it will be the first French territory to break away since Djibouti in the Horn of Africa in 1977 and Vanuatu in the south Pacific in 1980.
France’s prime minister, Édouard Philippe, said the talks “resulted in a political agreement and, perhaps even beyond that, we have trust, which is just as important”. He will visit New Caledonia later this month.
In May, President Emmanuel Macron said he hoped the territory, which is battling unemployment, high levels of alcoholism and youth crime, and a failure of the education system, would remain part of France.
France’s presence was “necessary to guarantee peace and development”, Macron said.
In 1988, pro-independence militants killed four gendarmes on Ouvéa, one of the islands in the archipelago, and took 27 gendarmes, a public prosecutor and seven soldiers hostage. France despatched a military force, and most of the hostage-takers and two French soldiers were killed in a shoot out. The hostages escaped unharmed.
The Nouméa Accord, a 20-year agreement between Paris and New Caledonian officials in 1998 and named after the territory’s capital, envised a phased withdrawal by France from its territory 10,000 miles away, with a referendum on self rule by 2018 at the latest.
However, the move could lead to clashes between Kanaks and fiercely nationalistic ethnic Europeans, almost 30% of whom voted for the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the first round of this year’s presidential election.
New Caledonia, which has 25% of the world’s known nickel resources, was named by Captain James Cook in 1774; the British explorer said it reminded him of Scotland. In 1853, Napoleon III claimed it on behalf of France and turned it into a penal colony.
The territory currently sends two MPs to the National Assembly and two senators to France’s upper house of parliament.
TOK PISIN – PNG/ SOLOMON – PIJIN & VANUATU -BISLAMA
6) Vanuatu i winim intenasinal awod long best cocoa
Updated 3 November 2017, 16:05 AEDT
Tupla cocoa fama blong Vanuatu ibin winim awod oa luksave long bikpla International Cocoa Awards long Paris long France dispela wik.
Oli bin makim chocolate emi kam long cocoa blong tupela namel long 50 pela ol best chocolate tru long wold.
Tupela man ia nau i Mabong Maki blong Malekula long Malampa Province, na Moli Liu blong Malo aelan long Sanma Province.
Moli Liu i tokim Caroline Tiriman long telefon from Paris olsem tupela i kirap nogut na hamamas tru long kisim ol despla awod.
Em i tok tupela i hamamas long makim ol narapla cocoa fama long Vanuatu long dispela world event. Listen to Audio – http://www.radioaustralia.net.
7) Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project i stat
Updated 3 November 2017, 13:25 AEDT
Wok i stat nau long mekim gut moa runway blong Bauerfield International Airport long Port Vila we Praim Minista Charlot Salwai i tokim ol gavman dipatmen long oli mas givim top praeoriti longen.
Em i tok turism we i nabawan indastri long ikonomi blong Vanuatu na em i nidim gutpela international airport.
Praim Minista Salwai i mekim dispela toktok long ground-breaking seremoni blong Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project long Bauerfield International Airport aste.
Kiery Manassah blong Vanuatu Project Management Unit i tok, dispela aviation project bai karamapim tu Whitegrass international airport long aelan blong Tanna, na Pekoa international airport long Santo.
Em i tok gavman i kisim 7-point-4 billion vatu soft loan from World Bank long dispela projek we tupela kampani blong China nau bai wokim insait 340 days.http://www.
8) Manus refiuji na asailam sika i stat muv igo long nupela peles
Postim 3 November 2017, 15:09 AEDT
Ol refiuji na asailam sika long Lombrum Base long Manus Provins nau i stat long muv igo long nupela ples blong ol klostu long bik taun Lorengau, tasol sampela samting ino redi yet.
Manus Provinisel Polis Komanda, David Yapu i tokim Radio Australia olsem, namba wan ples em inap kisim 400 pipol i redi pinis na sampela i wok long muv igo stap long en.
Emi itok narapela namba tu kemp we iken kisim 140 pipol i redi tu, tasol namba tri kemp ino redi yet.
PPC Yapu itok wanpela miting ibin kamap namel long Provinsel Gavana Charlie Benjamin, na Spika blong PNG National Palimen Job Pomat na lain blong Provinsel gavaman long toktok long sait long sekiuriti.
Em i tok ol i lida ia i orait long dispela ol nupela kemp imas kamap long lukautim ol dispela lain.http://www.
9) PM Sogavare hem waka fo strongom moa gavman
Updated 1 November 2017, 16:05 AEDT
Faef fala niu Solomon Islands gavman minista olketa swea-in or mekem promis blong olketa long gavman haos long disfala moning.
Oposisin hem givim notis finis fo muvum mosin blong no-konfidens long Praem Minista Sogavare long Mande. Assistant Press Secretary long Office blong Praem Minista, Alex Akwai hem se tufala long olketa 5 fala minista, Praem Minista Manasseh Sogavare hemi rishafolom tufala.
Mr Akwai hem se evriwan long olketa 5 fala minista ia olketa i melwan olketa memba wea i stap baek yet long saet long gavman bihaen 9 fala cabinet minista i risaen from gavman long wiken.
Taem Radio Australia i askem hem abaot hao bae gavman hem senisim olketa 9 fala minista wea ibin risaen ia, Mr Akwai hem se diswan praem minista nao bae save – an dat aniting hem save hapen.http://www.
10) Tongan Noble MP says PM wants to curb the King, not just Nobles
A Tongan Noble says the Prime Minister’s comments about removing the reserved seas for the Nobles in Parliament actually conceals a much larger target.
Lord Fusitu’a, who holds one of the nine parliamentary seats reserved for the Kingdom’s 33 Nobles, says Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva is actually intent on stripping the King of his remaining powers.
Mr Pohiva recently told Pacific Beat that he’d like to see reserved seats for Nobles in Tonga’s 26 seat parliament gone within ten years.
But Lord Fusitu’a believes the Nobles are only the first target in a much wider plan to reshape Tongan politics, culture and society.Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/
11) Dengue fever outbreak in Samoa
11:10 pm GMT+12, 01/11/2017, Samoa
Dengue fever kills. That’s the message from the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, after announcing the outbreak of dengue fever type two in Samoa
Speaking during a press conference, Leausa asked the public not to panic but take immediate action to eliminate mosquitoe-breeding places.
“We have been monitoring this but it has now reached an outbreak level,” he said. “Despite numbers not being high, we still need to inform the public to be aware and we need to inform everyone who can help prevent the disease to help.”
“This is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes and it’s not new in Samoa, but with these viruses there are often outbreaks on and off.”
“We are also worried that this outbreak is a dengue type 2 strain viruses. It’s a slightly different presentation.”
“Dengue has four types and if a certain type does not appear for a long and then when it finally does arise, there will be severe cases.”
“The general symptoms are high fever, headache, severe pain, particularly the joint pains and the worse complication is bleeding and usually the bleeding kills people.”
“It can be internal bleeding; or bleeding from your gums, you can be easily bruised, if there is bleeding into the lungs and the brain and it’s quite fatal and that is why we are concerned.”
“That is why it’s important to heed the prevention messages.”
“Source reduction still maintains as the main prevention, where we need to control the source, this is where the mosquitoes breed and if we can control that then there will be no mosquitoes,” said Leausa.
According to the CEO, most mosquitoes die after a bite because they cannot fly far as they’re filled with blood.
“And that is why we need to control the breeding sites. It comes down to you to clean your around your house and look for anything that can store water that is where the mosquitoes will breed thousands of new adult mosquitoes.”
“We need to cut the cycle,” he said.
Leausa emphasised the main method to control or prevent the transmission of dengue virus is to combat vector mosquitoes by preventing mosquitoes from accessing egg-laying habitats by environmental management and modification.
He calls for proper disposal of solid waste, cleaning of domestic water storage containers and applying of appropriate insecticides to water storage outdoor containers.
He also noted the need of using personal household protection such as sleeping in mosquito nets, long-sleeved clothes, insecticide-treated materials, coils and vaporizers and also spraying during outbreaks as one of the emergency vector-control measures.
He said there were indoor mosquitoes that hid in dark places.
“Samoa usually responds well to this.”
“When we had the chikungunya, the ZIKA, we were quite amazed with the response and we were able to control the virus within months.”
“So the main reason we are releasing this information is not to panic our people, but to advise and inform our people there is a dengue outbreak around,” said the CEO.
He made it clear there is no casualty.
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS
12) Samoa Government to move in on ghost writers
8:20 pm GMT+12, 02/11/2017, Samoa
Samoa Government has tasked the Attorney General’s Office to look into reintroducing a law which was abolished by government in 2013.
And the intention is not only to protect the privacy of the individuals and the general public from unsubstantiated, vicious and inciting allegations posted by ghost writers on the social media but to safeguard and ensure peace and harmony in the country remains intact.
In announcing the move, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi in his weekly Media Conference today noted that when the criminal libel law was abolished (from the Crimes Act of 2013,) some have abused the freedom to express their views in particular the defamatory allegations posted on the social media.
“Some of these postings could lead to violent confrontation which may eventually cause misery to families and government will not stand by any longer,” he said.
Subject to approval by Parliament, the Prime Minister says the new act will ensure that the ghost writers will be brought to justice to answer to their writings. And could be liable to be prosecuted with offenses that will include imprisonment.
“The HRPP caucus is in full support,” he added.
“There are 4,500 hackers in Samoa. Some are children and even lawyers are among the best hackers in the country.”
“And to find the writers hiding behind anonymity by using their freedom of expression to vent their vile and demeaning allegations on social media will no longer be tolerated. They should be warned now that their days of mischiefs are numbered,” he said.
The hackers added the Prime Minister will be used by government to track down the ghost writers. “It’s like using a thief to catch a thief,” he said.
The proposed act is anticipated to be tabled in the next parliament session.
SOURCE: SAMOA GOVT/PACNEWS
13) Kiribati climate activist tours Australia ahead of COP 23
A climate activist from Kiribati says he’s going to the UN climate change conference in Germany next week because his country is going underwater.
Erietara Aram is a father of three and works in the Ministry of Fisheries and is also coordinator for the International Coastal Cleanup on Tarawa.
He’s been brought to Australia by the Catholic international aid and development agency Caritas to appeal to the Australian public to pressure the government to support the concerns of Pacific nations about climate change.
Mr Aram tells Bruce Hill that the possibility of forced relocation for people in Kiribati is a very real and grim prospect.Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/
16) More seasonal workers ‘slavery’ scandals (ABC News, 1.11.17)
‘$1 million a month skimmed from seasonal workers’: ‘How labour-hire villains make millions from Australia’s ‘modern slavery’ market’, by Sarina Locke, ABC News (Australia), 1.11.17:
‘Three Tongan workers have died and others are being forced to live and work gruelling hours in pitiful conditions….’
17) Manus Governor questions legality of Lorengau arrangements 4 November 2017
The Governor of Papua New Guinea’s Manus province says questions remain over the legality of new arrangements for refugees on his island.
Food, power and water were this week cut from the detention centre at Lombrum, which has officially closed, but 600 refugees are refusing to leave.
Australia wants them to move to facilities in the island’s main town, Lorengau, but refugees fear for their safety in the relocation.
Governor Charlie Benjamin said he has humanitarian concerns for the refugees, for whom services are available at Lorengau.
But he said simply moving them to Lorengau does not make it legal.
“PNG’s Supreme Court says that the set-up of the base at Lombrum is not constitutional. And now they’re moving them to Lorengau.”
“I think it is also unconstitutional. So that is why I said we don’t want to be in contempt of court. But based on humanitarian grounds, I said ok, they can come up,” he said.
Meanwhile, the United Nations human rights commission has rebuked Australia for what it calls the mistreatment and abandonment of refugees in Papua New Guinea.
Australia’s position is that the refugees are now the responsibility of Papua New Guinea, because its Supreme Court ruled their detention was unlawful.
But the UN rights office said Australia should immediately provide food, water, health services, electricity and protection to the asylum-seekers, since it interned the men there in the first place.
It said Australia has an obligation to do so under international law.RNZI
18) Hawea ends Fiji deployment, Fiji Navy benefits from billion dollar programme
8:25 pm GMT+12, 02/11/2017, Fiji
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) last night to bolster future engagements.
The MOU signed at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence was part of the HMNZS Hawea crew’s farewell after their deployment to Fiji for the past six months conducting the operation “Wasawasa 2017”.
Maritime Component Commodore (MCC) of HMNZS Hawea, James Gilmour said over a year ago, they had an inspiration to play a role in the South Pacific to provide maritime patrol along the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Fiji.
“We are thankful for the engagement and partnership with the Fiji Navy. Over the course, 20 per cent of vessels boarded had infringements. We made a really big difference this year,” he said.
Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz of the RFMF said the signing of the MOU was a testament of relations between the two nations and the two forces.
“I would like to thank our New Zealand counterparts. In the past months, we have seen so much being done. This opens up space for future engagements as well,” he said.
Meanwhile the Fiji Navy will directly benefit from the Australian Government-funded Pacific Patrol Boat Programme.
The $2 billion (US$1 million) initiative under Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Programme will provide funding for the refurbishment of Fiji’s naval vessels.
On her first visit to Fiji this week, Australian Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne affirmed Australia’s efforts towards strengthening the region’s maritime security.
“We are very good at the development or re-development of naval boats. The first 21 vessels Australia is building is underway and we have discussed the refit and refurbishment of two of Fiji’s existing patrol boats. The first will be back in Fiji early next year followed by the development of two new patrol boats.”
Payne said the program would also strengthen aerial surveillance.
“As you know, we’ve extended the Pacific Maritime Security Program to include aerial surveillance.
“We hope to have signed contracts on that in the coming months and for that to start early in 2018 as well.”
Payne said the refurbished vessels would be more advanced than its predecessors.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
20) New EU Ambassador to Fiji meets Acting Prime Minister
5:21 pm GMT+12, 02/11/2017, Fiji
The upcoming 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the 2018 general elections and international cooperation and development between Fiji and the European Union (EU) were top of the bilateral meeting held on Wednesday between the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and the new European Union Ambassador to Fiji, Julian Wilson.
Ambassador Wilson, who had presented his credentials to the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote in October, wished Fiji well for the Presidency of COP23 and reiterated that Fiji can bank on the strong support from the EU in this crucial role.
“Fiji knows first-hand the effects of climate change and we look forward to its leadership as Presidency of COP23. At COP23, the international community will need to demonstrate its continued commitment to the Paris Agreement and make substantive progress on the implementation of the work programme,” Ambassador Wilson told Sayed-Khaiyum.
The EU has provided Fiji FJD$6.5 million (EUR 3 million) to support preparations of COP23, which will be hosted in Bonn, Germany from 6 to 17 of November.
Ambassador Wilson said the EU sees Fiji also as an important trading partner in the region. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Fiji will contribute directly to advancing the development aspirations of Fiji.
Ambassador Wilson updated the Acting Prime Minister of EU’s current development cooperation and upcoming support for Fiji.
“’The EU funded Programme “Fiji Access to Justice” was launched by the Government of Fiji in August last year. The project, which is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will enhance the justice system in Fiji and provide more access to justice for underprivileged and vulnerable groups. For the future, the 11th European Development Fund foresees an envelope of FJD 45 million (EUR 20 million) to support the agriculture sector and the sugar subsector reform in Fiji. The preparation of the latter programme is ongoing in close cooperation with the government.”
In total, the EU will provide more than FJD$90 million (EUR 40 million) in financial assistance to Fiji during the period 2014-2020. This is in addition to almost FJD$ 110 million (EUR 50 million) worth of ongoing EU-funded projects
SOURCE: EU PACIFIC/PACNEWS
21/22 ) 26 medical interns to graduate from the National Referral Hospital
03 November 2017
The first group of Cuban-trained medical graduates complete training
The NRH will hold a ceremony on Friday 3 November 2017 to mark the graduation of 26 new doctors who will finish their clinical internship by the end of 2017, and begin work as registrars.
Nineteen of the group began their journey to become doctors in 2008, when they went to Cuba to study medicine for seven years. Since arriving home in 2014, they have spent a further three years – including a bridging year – as interns increasing their knowledge and learning clinical skills to meet the particular health needs of the Solomon Islands.
The other seven graduates studied in Fiji, and began their internship at the NRH in 2015.
All medical graduates , whether trained in the Pacific Region or outside it ( except University of PNG graduates), are required to do an intern training program in the Solomon Islands before they are fully registered by the Solomon Islands Medical & Dental Board to practice medicine in Solomon Islands.
All interns undertook a 14-week rotation each in Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Paediatrics, while they learned the required skills and professional practices. Shorter rotations were spent in Orthopaedics, Anaesthetics, Ophthalmology, Medical Imaging, Emergency Medicine as well as a placement in a rural or regional healthcare facility.
With these skills, the new registrars are set to begin their careers working as medical officers in provincial hospitals and health clinics, or to undertake further study to become consultants in specialist areas, such as Paediatrics or Surgery.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NRH, Dr Steve Aumanu, said:
“The large numbers of trainees has placed significant pressure on the National Referral Hospital, mainly through the limited number of supervisors available to support the interns. However, the variety and number of patients makes the NRH an ideal training facility for junior doctors.”http://www.
23) Study on amputees
Sunday, November 05, 2017
A STUDY conducted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWM Hospital) showed Taukei men topped amputation figures, despite having low prevalence of diabetes.
Lecturer in biostatistics at the Fiji National University (FNU), Sabiha Khan revealed the figures while presenting her research at the Island Health Research Symposium at FNU Pasifika Campus on Friday.
Ms Khan said Taukei men had lowest recorded cases of diabetes, but had highest number of amputations, while females of Indian descent had low rate of amputation but high rate of diabetes.
“We found Taukei men had the lowest prevalence of diabetes, but incident of diabetes was highest in this group. In contrast, Indian women had a highest prevalence of diabetes, but lowest incident of amputation,” Ms Khan said.
Explaining a bit more on the incidences of amputations, Ms Khan said: “Seventy-two per cent amputation was done on Taukei patients, the average was 58 years and here we could see that most amputations, major or minor is performed on Taukei patients among the age group of 50-64 years old.”
A total of 769 cases were identified by Ms Khan of which 67 per cent was referred to CWM Hospital from health centres around the country.
“Thirty-four per cent of patients had more than one amputation, 65 per cent of patients had two amputations and 15 patients had four amputations during the study period.”http://www.fijitimes.
24) Four ministries without ministers
03 November 2017
The Government has four of its ministerial portfolios vacant as it struggles to regain numbers ahead of Monday’s no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare.
Following the mass walk-out over the weekend, Mr Sogavare on Wednesday sworn in eight ministers to replace the defectors.
But they were mostly from his backbench, including two MPs who crossed earlier but decided to return and rejoin the government.
But four ministries – Fisheries and Marine Resources, Public Service, Justice and Legal Affairs, and National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace – are yet to have ministers.
Observers say the four ministries are being left vacant for any interested MPs from the other side.
The Government, now in the minority, is hoping there will be some cross-overs before Monday’s vote.
A government MP spoken to outside parliament on Thursday said MPs currently overseas have not confirmed which side they were in.
Meanwhile, a member of the Honiara Hotel Camp claimed their 28 MPs have remained intact.
In parliament on Thursday, 23 MPs from the Honiara Hotel Camp were on the Opposition side of the House.
By AATAI JOHN= http://www.solomonstarnews.
25) Maelanga assures Taiwan of support ahead of motion of no confidence in PM Sogavare
8:27 pm GMT+12, 02/11/2017, Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands-Taiwan relationship will be maintained even if the Sogavare-led Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) is ousted from office through the motion of no confidence scheduled for Monday.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs Manasseh Maelanga made the assurance to the visiting Taiwanese media outside parliament Thursday.
The Taiwan media accompanying President Dr Tsai Ing-wen on her two-day visit in Honiara are well aware that Maelanga has resigned and is now part of the group bidding to oust Sogavare in a vote of no-confidence.
He was asked whether Solomon Islands relationship with Taiwan will continue should a new government emanate from the motion.
“We will always treasure the relationship between Taiwan and Solomon Islands,” Maelanga replied.
“I think that is a number one priority that any government will always treasure because it is a longstanding relationship based on the fundamental principles of human rights and democracy.
“I think that if any new government is formed on Monday it will continue to maintain that relationship,” Maelanga assured.
Maelanga, who resigned from the DCCG Government last weekend, along with eight other ministers and nine backbenchers, told the Taiwanese media that for him personally, his resignation was prompted by the lack of confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Sogavare.
When asked why he lost trust and confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership, the East Malaita MP said he will outline the reasons when he moves the motion of no confidence.
Maelanga added that his exit from the government has nothing to do with the Anti-Corruption Bill as some people perceive.
“I wish to make it clear to the media and the world that the mass resignation of MPs from the government last weekend has nothing to do with the anti-corruption bill.
“Each of us has his own reasons for losing trust and confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister and therefore I cannot collectively speak for us all.
“But for myself as the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, I no longer have trust and confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister and I have my own reasons to share when I move the motion of no confidence in Parliament on Monday.”.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
26) Training for vendors
Saturday, November 04, 2017
On the main street of Levuka Town alongside the ocean, you will find market vendors in small tents selling a variety of products: taro, cassava, tomatoes, cucumbers, coconuts, and more.
Farmers from the nearby communities bring their produce to sell at the small market.
Among them is Sarafina Diwaqa who, every morning, brings large piles of vegetables to the market, from her family farm in Taviya Village, half an hour away from Levuka.
Ms Diwaqa was one of the participants in the Continuing Market Business Education (CMBE) training held in Levuka earlier this year.
The CMBE aims to build the financial literacy and business competencies of market vendors, especially women, and enable them to access financial services.
The training program is conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Westpac Banking Corporation, and is part of UN Women’s Markets for Change project.
Ms Diwaqa said with confidence, “I learned ‘the way of earning and keeping’ from the training.
“I earn more than twice now because I practise what I learned from the training.
“I started to keep record of my business, opened my bank account to save money, and used it on a budget for my family, village and church,” she said.
CMBE provides two phases of learning: basic financial literacy; and then improve your market business.Read more –http://www.fijitimes.com/
27) Air Niugini aces IATA operational safety audit
November 3, 2017The National
AIR Niugini had a double celebration yesterday – its 44th anniversary and for passing the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (OSA.
A reception was held at the airline’s new restaurant opposite its 7-Mile headquarters in Port Moresby.
Air Niugini chief executive Simon Foo said the achievement provided continued assurance that Air Niugini met world-class safety and security standards when measured against IATA’s global benchmark.
“At Air Niugini, safety is always our highest priority. It is expressed in everything we do and we are pleased to be one of the few airlines audited under the IOSA programme since 2011,” he said.
“And we remain proud of maintaining our unblemished safety record yet again in 2017.
“The purpose of the IOSA is to achieve an internationally-recognised high standard in flight operations and safety”
Foo said Air Niugini was pleased to re-secure the IOSA registration and congratulated its employees on the achievement.
The IOSA programme enables airlines including Air Niugini to review their safety processes using a worldwide standard that has become the single internationally-accepted safety and security audit process for airlines.
The audit on Air Niugini was conducted by an independent audit organisation accredited from the International Air Transport Association from July 3 to 7.
29) Airline increases direct flights
Saturday, November 04, 2017
IN A bid to capitalise on growing demand from Singapore and Southeast Asian travellers for Fiji as a holiday destination, the national airline will increase its flights between Nadi and Singapore.
Fiji Airways managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen said the number of Singaporeans travelling to Fiji increased by 120 per cent between 2015 and 2016 while Southeast Asia and India had been significant feeder markets.
“Through the introduction of our thrice-weekly services during peak periods, we hope to provide greater flexibility to travellers from this region.
“Visitors can now opt for vacation days that best suit their needs, be that a short four-day trip, or a longer nine-day holiday,” said Mr Viljoen.
“Our strategy to grow a new route is to introduce seasonal services first, and eventually progress to year-round as demand grows.
“Therefore it’s pleasing to note that Fiji and other South Pacific destinations are seen as the new frontier of travel for visitors from Southeast Asia.
“Likewise, more Fijians are now travelling to Singapore, South East Asia and India, taking advantage of our direct flights as well as our codeshare and interline partnerships with Jet Airways and JetStar Asia respectively.”Read more – http://www.fijitimes.com/
31) Awards recognise 16 local businesses
Siteri Sauvakacolo And Repeka Nasiko
Sunday, November 05, 2017
SIXTEEN local businesses were recognised for their excellent performance over the past 12 months at the 19th Fiji Business Excellence Awards in Nadi last night.
The event, attended by more than 25 organisations from across the public and private sector, recognised businesses that met quality operational international standards.
While opening the event last night, President Jioji Konrote said the awards ceremony had grown from strength to strength.
“It is an occasion in which we will recognise organisations that have distinguished themselves in their journey to be very productive and hopefully attain world-class status,” he said.
“We have all heard of the naysayers who believe that Fiji will not be on par with the most productive nations in the world.
“We should not subscribe to that belief. Instead, we should all believe in ourselves that we can, as a nation, be on par with the highly productive and economically advanced nations of the world. Excellence means different things to different people. As Fijians, we know that we can make the ‘Fijian Made’ brand just as good as the best in the world. But, this requires commitment, forebearance, perseverance and a major change in mind-set.”
Fiji National University vice-chancellor Nigel Healey said more than 25 organisations participated in this year’s awards.
“Fiji National University, through the National Training and Productivity Centre, is proud to co-ordinate the 19th Fiji Business Excellence Awards Night to showcase organisations in Fiji that have taken the brave step of putting themselves forward to be assessed against the FBEA Framework,” he said.http://www.fijitimes.com/
32) Fiji’s Green Bonds attract interest from investors
The government of Fiji says there’s been such an overwhelming response from local investors interesting in buying its Sovereign Green Bonds, it’s on track to achieving the $100 million dollar target.
At the close of tender for the first issue of $40 million, a total of $87.71 million was received from insurance companies, commercial banks and the Fiji National Provident Fund.
The green bonds initiative was launched last month at a pre-COP 23 meeting in Nadi where it was announced that Fiji would become the first Pacific nation to fund climate and environment projects from the bonds sale.
The government also announced they will be ramping up their efforts to provide solar energy to the remote villages and islands in Fiji, with the support of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for Climate Change, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says while it’s comforting to see the confidence from the local market, the government is optimistic there’ll be foreign investment when the second tranche is released.Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/
33 ) http://www.thenational.com.pg/
34 ) http://dailypost.vu/news/pm-
35) Solomons opposition accuses govt of bribery 4 November 2017
The Solomon Islands opposition is accusing the government of attempting to bribe MPs in order to bolster its numbers.
The government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is facing a vote of no confidence in parliament next week, after a series of defections from the government.
Mr Sogavare on Thursday announced moves to consolidate his coalition government, announcing eight new ministers.
But in a statement, the opposition group said that consolidation had included attempts at bribery.
It accuses the forestry minister Bradley Tovosia of trying to bribe MP Alfred Ghiro with cash and the fisheries portfolio, which he rejected.RNZI
36) Recruitment: PNG Security Firm Wants Fijian Security Officers
10:29 pm GMT+12, 02/11/2017, Fiji
Security company Paladin Solutions (PS) is adamant that it only wants Fijian security officers to be employed at the Manus Island refugee camp in Papua New Guinea.
Fiji recruiting agent, Isireli Tamanitoakula has received clear instructions from the PS headquarters that it only wants Fijian security officers.
Tamanitoakula said those from the Paladin Solutions headquarters in Australia were familiar with the work of Fijian peacekeepers.
Five Fijians security officers were sent to PNG in 2015 to visit villages and distribute food.
Tamanitoakula said Paladin Solutions content with the performance of those five Fijians on Manus then promoted them to Operation Managers.
He said the 42 preparing to leave include a number of former soldiers, policemen and Corrections officers. They will assist in training the rest of the group.
Tamanitoakula has been the local agent for the PNG-based security company since 2014.
Those bound for Manus island will sign a one year contract.
Tamanitokula said their expected salary would be $57,381 (US$27,634) or $4,481(US$2,158) per month.
“Their salaries are deposited into their bank accounts in Fiji.
In one month he said they would work for 18 days and take then take 12 days off,” he said.
“After three months they’ll take one month off and can come to Fiji to visit their families if they wish.”
Tamanitoakula is from Navukailagi, Gau Lomaiviti.
He is compensated only when people are recruited.
“For this recruitment, when the security officers leave, then I’ll get my pay.”
Tamanitoakula was a former RFMF personnel.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations said Papua New Guinea media had incorrectly reported that 42 Fijian security officers have been restricted and detained in PNG.
“In reality, the 42 security officers have not left Fiji.
“The Ministry is involved in the travel arrangements of the 42 security officers, who are bound for PNG. The Ministry is working with relevant authorities to ensure that all documentations and procedures are taken care of,” the statement said.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
37) Fijian sacked from Vanuatu Commission of inqury into European Development Fund
8:24 pm GMT+12, 02/11/2017, Vanuatu
The Secretary to the Vanuatu Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the European Development Fund (EDF), has been removed from the Commission, awaiting an investigation into allegations against him.
The Chairman of the Commission, Edward Nalyal, has advised Mohammed Rizwan that he is not allowed to attend any meetings of the CoI.
Nalyal said Rizwan’s status as Secretary to the CoI will be reviewed, once he has provided a copy of a valid Fiji Police Clearance. He said since Rizwan was made a member of the CoI, he purchased laptops and hired cars without the approval of the CoI.
Nalyal then made queries and found that Rizwan is a wanted man in Fiji, after he fled the country while on bail.
Evidence from the court affidavits showed that Rizwan has been convicted with obtaining goods by false pretence. He was convicted after he issued a forged Bank of Baroda Savings Deposit Slip to locals to take five ducks, four goats and two roosters in 2009.
Evidence revealed that Rizwan was also ordered to four years’s imprisonment on September 23, 2005 on 19 related counts of fraud.
In Vanuatu, sources within the judiciary have confirmed he has three pending cases with the prosecution, awaiting trial.
The Fijian was also linked to an alleged assault, ongoing harassment and detention of an Australian female Barrister who came to Vanuatu last year.
Reports claimed that Geoffrey Gee and Partners have written to Rizwan, on behalf of the Australian lawyer, advising him to stop contacting the victim.
Citing reasons that led to the removal of Rizwan in the CoI, Nalyal said that the CoI is inquiring into people’s conduct that can be said to be against various laws of the Republic of Vanuatu of the use of the EDF.
He said that therefore all Commissioners, assessors and secretaries of the COI should be above reproach in order to assure the government that their efforts are not compromised or questioned by the people of this nation.
He said if the integrity of such a report is questioned then the whole inquiry will be a waste of public money and time.
Nalyal wrote that he had submitted a report in September this year to Justice Minister, Ronald Warsal.
He said the Minister then advised the Fijian national to provide a proper police clearance. However, until today Rizwan failed to produce one.
Nalyal said he was instructed to remind Rizwan to provide a legal police clearance that shows his passport number and any citizenship number he may have back in Fiji.
A note that was addressed to Rizwan confirmed that after the continuous failure to provide the needed documents, the Chairman, Minister and the Director General came to a final decision to refrain him from attending any CoI meetings.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS
38) Urgent action needed on climate change as extreme weather events displace millions says Oxfam
A report published by Oxfam has found that every year the number of people forced out of their homes by extreme weather events around the world over the past decade is almost equivalent to the entire population of Australia, at just under 22 million.
And the report is warning that flash floods, cyclones and droughts are set to get worse, while rising sea levels are making life hard on the low-lying atolls of Pacific Island countries like Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.
The author of the report, Oxfam’s Australian Climate Change Advisor, Dr Simon Bradshaw says the alarming figures suggest that countries like Australia aren’t making the effort they should be to help those developing nations on the frontline of climate change. Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/
39) Fiji to use Virtual Reality to highlight impact of climate change to global decision-makers
5:24 pm GMT+12, 02/11/2017, Germany
Fiji is set to use 360° Virtual Reality (VR) as a key part of its global push for stronger action on climate change at next week’s COP23 Climate Change conference.
As part of its Presidency of COP23 in Bonn, Germany, the Fijian Government will launch an immersive VR experience that aims to transport delegates, decision-makers and the global community to Fiji to experience the current and future impacts of climate change on the Pacific.
Featured in this programme is Our Home, Our People, which was produced by the World Bank. The video takes viewers to communities across Fiji to experience the stories of four people, whose lives have already been fundamentally changed by climate change, including through last year’s devastating Category Five Tropical Cyclone Winston. The VR experience includes the story of Vunisavisavi, a remote coastal community which has already seen significant relocation due to the impacts of rising sea levels.
Our Home, Our People is launching alongside the Fijian Government’s Climate Vulnerability Assessment 2017, a significant new report which sets out, in significant detail, the climate impacts already felt by Fiji, and identifies possible strategies and costs to make Fiji more climate resilient.
The Fijian Government’s High-Level Climate Champion, Inia Seruiratu, said that VR provides a powerful medium for helping decision-makers and members of the public more deeply understand the impacts climate change is already having on Fiji and Fijians.
“Working with partners such as the World Bank, the Fijian COP23 Presidency is supporting a number of virtual reality projects as a way to share stories about climate change. We believe in VR’s power to give audiences – both decision-makers at COP23 in Bonn, and people across the world – the chance to see and experience the impacts of climate change in far-away vulnerable countries and isolated communities like in the Pacific, in order to better understand our call for stronger action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increased investment in climate adaptation. I hope through VR the urgency to act will be highlighted.” he said.
Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands said Our Home, Our People is about delving into the stories behind the numbers and projections of how climate change will – and is – impacting Fiji and the Pacific.
“VR is extraordinarily effective at taking audiences to another place, into other people’s lives,” said Kerf. “Our Home, Our People transports audiences – including decision makers who can take action to change the course of climate change – to the true heart of the issue in the Pacific.”
The Our Home, Our People project is produced by the Fijian Government, COP23 Secretariat and the World Bank, in partnership with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and VR specialists, S1T2.
SOURCE: WORLD BANK/PACNEWS
42) Tovosia told to stop meddling with Isabel nickel mine
02 November 2017
THE Parliamentary Opposition Group has called on the Former Minister of Mines & Energy Bradley Tovosia to stop trying to politicize the Isabel Nickel Mining Projects.
In a statement last night, the Opposition Group said it is concerned that the former minister has interfered with the Mines & Minerals Board in trying to bypass the process in issuing mining licence to at least three Asian nickel mining companies.
“The Opposition Group understands that the position of the Nickel Mine Committee and the leaders of the province is to recognize the partnership with the Government and that granting of licences must be done with due diligence and through appropriate procedures,” the statement said.
“The former minister did not respect leaders and people of Isabel province and refused to listen to technical expertise rather trying to influence and interfere with the Mines & Minerals Board,” it added.
“The Opposition was informed that Mr Tovosia this week has summoned officials at the ministry to quickly facilitate the paper works so that he can issue licences to the companies this week.
“This was before he was reshuffled yesterday from Mines Ministry to Forestry.
“Why did the former minister trying to facilitate these with urgency when he was minister? His actions raise a lot of questions regarding his motive,” the Opposition said.
It called on the new Minister not to be influenced by the former minister and to stop interfering with the Mines and Mineral Board and allow them to do their work without fear or favor.http://www.
43 ) http://www.thenational.com.pg/
44) PNG-born singer Kaiit making waves on Australian music scene
Discovered by the ABC’s Triple J Unearthed program for emerging artists, Papua New Guinea born singer Kaiit has been making waves across the Australian music scene this year.
Following the release of her first single Natural Woman in June, she is today launching her second single and is poised to perform across a swathe of music festivals over summer.Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/
45) Kumuls must treat acclimatised Irish with respect: Marum
Another sell out crowd is expected at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby on Sunday when Papua New Guinea play their next pool match in the Rugby League World Cup.
After thrashing the Welsh in round one, PNG will be up against another Celtic team in the form of Ireland, who started their tournament with victory over Italy.
The Kumuls’ Media Manager, Joanna Lester, says an injury will see Rod Griffin miss the match, with only a couple other changes to the team.Audio- http://www.abc.net.au/news/
46) Fijian Drua facing tough semi-final against Queensland Country
It’s make or break for the Fijian Drua this weekend as they travel to take on Queensland Country in the Australian National Rugby Championship semi-finals.
The two sides last met just two weeks ago in Lautoka, when the Queenslanders squeezed past the Drua by 24 points to 17.
But this time the Fijians will be without six key players who have been called up to play for the Flying Fijians on their northern hemisphere tour, and the Chief Executive of the Fiji Rugby Union, John O’Connor, acknowledges that it will be tough for the Drua to make it to the Grand Final.Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/
47) Fiji testing younger players in California ahead of Dubai Rugby Sevens
There are just four weeks to go before the opening round of the next World Rugby Sevens series in Dubai, and the teams from around the Pacific are stepping up their preparations and looking to finalise their line-ups.
Fiji and Samoa both have squads in California this weekend to take part in the inaugural Silicon Valley Sevens tournament in San Francisco, and Tonga are also there.
Their ambition is to re-build their sevens programme and push for a place in the core group of World Sevens nations over the next few seasons, alongside the Samoans and the Olympic Champions, Fiji.
Gareth Baber, the coach of the Fijian squad, says he’s focusing on trying out some young players who haven’t had the experience of playing in an international competition. Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/
49 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.
50a ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.
50b) Call for calm between Tongan and Samoan league supporters in Auckland
The highly anticipated match between Tonga and Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup this weekend is expected to be a very feisty affair, but there are concerns that rivalry among the two sets of fans might get out of hand.
Four Tongan supporters are understood to have been arrested after clashing with Toa Samoa followers in Auckland, and a video has emerged of a street brawl in another part of the city.
The match itself will be played in Hamilton, some 130 kilometres from Auckland, but the Chair of the New Zealand Tongan Advisory Council, Melino Maka, is calling for extra security at the Waikato Stadium to reduce the risk of any serious trouble.Audio –http://www.abc.net.au/news/